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ISPF Panel

Interacting with z/OS - ISPF Panel:

Interactive System Productivity Facility (ISPF) is a menu-driven interface to most of TSO functions. Using ISPF, TSO functions can be invoked using menu options and answering system prompt.

For example: TSO is similar to DOS approach, ISPF similar to windows menu approach. All the ISPF operations are converted into TSO commands and sent to TSO subsystem, which in turn communicates with MVS Operating System:

Some of the features of ISPF are as follows:

  1. Provides an On-line environment to interact with MVS.

  2. Provides Menu driven interface operation, where at the same time as TSO provides line mode only.

  3. Provides facilities for editing and browsing data sets.

  4. Provides uses panel to display and receive information, and allows customization of your ISPF environment.

  5. Provides Program Function Keys to avoid manual typing of commands.

  6. Provides for easy management of datasets through the dataset menu.

  7. Provides extensive facilities for comparing datasets and searching for data and searching for data.

  8. Provides facilities for executing programs in batch or foreground.

  9. Provides for debugging of advanced user written ISPF application.

  10. Provides advanced facilities to Create, Delete and Display VSAM datasets.

PDF - Introduction

Program Development Facility (PDF) is a part of ISPF providing variety of facilities that are useful for program development work - a powerful text editor, a set of utilities to create and manage datasets and libraries, and the ability to invoke language translators to compile and link-edit application programs. Program Development tasks will be much easier using ISPF/PDF feature

ISPF - Primary Option Menu

As stated, ISPF is menu driven; all the functionalities are categorized into several Options. Once Logged in using TSO Session, ISPF will be invoked. Initial screen (Shown in FIG) of ISPF shows list of Option provided:

ispf screen

ISPF Interfaces

Action Bars and Pull-Down Menus:

One of the major features in ISPF 5.8 is the use of Action Bar pull-downs. The action bar is the area at the top of an ISPF panel that provides access to actions available on that panel. With the default settings, the Home key is used to position the cursor on the first action bar and the tab key is used to move on to the next action choice.

Using the Action Bar pull-downs also lets you to perform another function without having to end the present activity. For example, if you are editing a data set and want to allocate another data set from your edit session, select the Utilities option on the Edit panel action bar (as shown earlier), and then select option 2 (Data Set). Do this by placing the cursor in front of (or on) the menu item or typing a '2' where the cursor is placed at the top of the pull-down list.

ISPF will then suspend your edit session and will display the Data Set Utility panel. After the allocation is complete, ISPF takes you directly back to your edit session. The Utilities pull down eliminates the need to define a command in the command table to nest ISPF functions. Many shops have such a command, and its no longer needed. When exiting a pull-down action without selecting anything (using the escape key), your cursor is placed on the first action bar item.

ispf menu bar

Point and Shoot Fields:

Placing the cursor on a point and shoot field, and pressing the ENTER key performs the action specified by the field. If you have also placed a command in the command line that command will be performed before the point and shoot field action. You will find Point and shoot fields in the following:

  • Action Bar choices

  • Actions on pull down menus. Place the cursor anywhere on the line of your selection and press ENTER. This will perform the action.

  • Selection titles on menu panels. Menu panels that have action bars are set up with title fields that are point and shoot fields. For example, placing the cursor on the word 'Edit' on the Primary Option menu and pressing Enter takes you into Option 2, Edit.

  • Headings on member list panels. Pointing to a heading title of a member list title and pressing ENTER will cause the list to sort in order by the field pointed to. For example, sorting the member list of a PDS data set by change date in descending order can be accomplished by moving the cursor to that heading and pressing ENTER.

  • Member list items. Place the cursor in the area in front of a member list item and press ENTER to select the item. For example, if you are in edit and have a member list displayed, you can tab to the desired member and press Enter to select it without having to type an 'S' first.

Selection Fields:

A single period (.):

Member lists that use a single period in the selection field recognize a single selection among the members. For example, within the Copy function on this screen, you can select one or more members to Copy by specifying "S" command. Figure shows an example of this kind of panel.

selection field period

A single underscore (_):

Selection fields marked by a single underscore prompt you to use a slash (/) to select the Choice. You may use any non-blank character. For example, the Panel display CUA mode field on the ISPF Settings panel has a single underscore for the selection field as shown in figure:

selection field single underscore

An underscored field (____):

Member lists or text fields that use underscores in the selection field recognize multiple selections. For example, from the Display Data Set List Option panel, you may select multiple members for print, rename, delete, edit, browse, or view processing. Find an example for this kind of panel in figure:

selection field underscore

Function Keys:

The following function keys help you navigate in ISPF:

  • F1 Help: Displays Help information. If you press F1 (and it is set to Help) after ISPF displays a short message, a long message displays in a pop-up window.

  • F2 Split: Divides the screen into two logical screens separated by a horizontal line or changes the location of the horizontal line.

  • Note: If you are running in GUI mode, then each logical screen displays in a separate window.

  • F3 Exit (from a pull-down): Exits the panel underneath a pull-down.

  • F3 End: Ends the current function.

  • F7 Backward: Moves the screen up the scroll amount.

  • F8 Forward: Moves the screen down the scroll amount.

  • F9 Swap: Moves the cursor to where it was previously positioned on the other logical screen of a split-screen pair.

  • F10 Actions: Moves the cursor to the action bar. If you press F10 a second time, then the cursor moves to the command line.

  • F12 Cancel: Issues the Cancel command. Use this command to remove a pull-down menu if you do not want to make a selection.

  • F12 also moves the cursor from the action bar to the Option ==> field on the ISPF Primary Option Menu. See z/OS ISPF Dialog Developer's Guide and Reference for cursor-positioning rules.

  • F16 Return: Returns you to the ISPF Primary Option Menu or to the display from which you entered a nested dialog. RETURN is an ISPF system command.

You can also set the Keys by using Command "KEYS" in the command line.

The following screen shows the KEY-Settings:


In bottom of the each screen you can find the Key details.

bottom key

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