TSO Tips

By Lionel Dyck

This first tip is for those who install ISPF products and those who create their own products to run under ISPF.

First, do not assume that the product will be installed into libraries defined in the TSO Logon Procedure (PROC). The PROC should contain only the minimum required data sets to Logon to TSO and to start ISPF as the fewer data sets in the PROC the faster the time for the TSO Logon from start of session to the TSO Ready prompt or the ISPF Primary Menu.

Second, learn the capabilities of the TSO ALTLIB command and the ISPF LIBDEF function. Using these will enable you to dynamically define the data sets required for the vendor product or in-house ISPF application.

What you will have if you remember these tips is the ability to add products and applications to ISPF dynamically without having to update the TSO Logon Procedures (there are always multiples and you will miss one at some point).

Fortunately you don’t have to spend a lot of time learning all of this. You can go to http://www.frontiernet.net/~pinnacle and get a free copy of Tom Conley’s Dynamic ISPF Starter Set (DISS). This is a collection of REXX Execs that provide the dynamic interface to over 100 vendor products that operate under ISPF. Then you just need to customize these Execs with your installations data set names and then create your own ISPF Menu Panel to invoke these REXX Execs. See figure 1 for an example of how to invoke the TASID utility by Doug Nadel.

Another approach that eliminates the customized REXX Exec that provides the dynamic access to the required data sets as well as providing a dynamic ISPF Menu is the PLPISPF (PLP is short for Product Launch Point) from http://www.lbdsoftware.com. This package is free and, while not providing out of the ‘box’ access to the myriad of applications that DISS provides; it does provide a very simple ISPF driven way to define the products that you use. PLPISPF supports a general menu, a systems menu, sub-menus, and a user unique menu. See figure 2 for an example of the TASID definition from PLPISPF. PLPISPF will invoke ALTLIB, LIBDEF, and the appropriate ISPF Select service based upon the information in the definition panel.

This column in TSO Times is for your education and enjoyment. If you have questions about anything in TSO or ISPF send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and we will address as many as we can each issue. And if there are no questions? Then we will be creative and write something that you will find worthwhile.

/* rexx */
/* trace i */
/* This exec invokes Doug Nadel's TASID dialog. This exec invokes */
/* the TASID version with separate load and panel libraries. If you */
/* have the standalone version of TASID, use @TASID0 instead. */
parse arg ztrail
address ispexec "SELECT PGM(TASID) PARM("ztrail") SCRNAME(TASID)"
address ispexec "LIBDEF ISPLLIB"
address ispexec "LIBDEF ISPPLIB"
Figure 1: TASID Example from DISS

----------------------- Product Launch Point Management ------------------
Command ===>

*Application Name TASID___ A unique application name 1-8 characters
Application ID ____ 1-4 characters for application id
*Description MVS Information (TASID)_____________________________
Step Library or ____________________________________________________
ISPF Load Library ‘sysl.tasid.load’___________________________________
ISPF Message Dataset ____________________________________________________
ISPF Panel Dataset ‘sysl.tasid.panels’_________________________________
ISPF Skeleton Dataset ____________________________________________________
ISPF Table Dataset ____________________________________________________
Clist Library ____________________________________________________
REXX EXEC Library ____________________________________________________
*Application Start (select one)
Command tasid______________________________________________________
Program ________ Parm ___________________________________________
ISPF Panel ________ Panel option ___________________________________
Figure 2: TASID Example from PLP

Lionel B. Dyck has been in data processing since 1972. Over the years, he has developed many TSO/ISPF based tools to simplify repetitive or complex tasks. Many of Lionel's tools can be found on the old SHARE tools tape, the CBT tape and also at his web site http://www.lbdsoftware.com.