Chapter 9: Data Tools

This chapter lists differences in facilities for viewing and editing data files that might require you to change familiar methods of working when you move from COBOL Workbench to Mainframe Express.

9.1 Overview

Data File Editor, the Data File Converter and the Structure Editor are included in Mainframe Express. Both have been extensively rewritten, but most of the differences are enhancements. As shown in the chapter Migrating from COBOL Workbench, the other Data Tools are not included.

The structure file is now called the record layout file, and Structure Editor is called the Record Layout Editor. Its user interface has been redesigned to improve usability. As in Workbench, you can load a record layout each time you open a data file, or you can associate a record layout with your data file so that each time you use the data file, Data File Editor finds the correct record layout. This facility to store file layout associations replaces Workbench's Structure Catalog.

Data File Editor has no command line options. Quick edit mode does not need to be set up - it is a default method of working with indexed and relative files. In addition to pulldown menus and toolbar buttons, you can see popup menus by right-clicking the record that you want to edit. These menus are context sensitive, only displaying options which are relevant for your file type.

The following changes have been made to the Data File Editor window:

9.2 Details

This section advises on what to use where a Data Tools feature is not in Mainframe Express or has changed. Where we believe you can continue using a feature without change, it is not mentioned. This book does not cover enhancements.

9.2.1 Catalog

Facility in the Data Tools to enable record layout files and data files to be associated using a user defined text label.

Status in Mainframe Express:

Not included. Associations are now stored in the project catalog.

What to use instead:

Use the Mainframe Express catalog to associate data files and record layout files. With a project open and a cataloged file loaded into a Data File Editor window, load a record layout file. Then click Associate Record Layouts on the File menu.

9.2.2 Data Tools Interfaces

Interfaces to the Data File Editor and Data File Converter.

Status in Mainframe Express:

The interface used in Workbench, using PC filenames, is available in Mainframe Express as an alternative to the new catalog-based interface. When you create a data file by clicking New on the File menu and selecting Data File, if you have no project open you get this PC-style interface to the the Data File Editor.

To get this PC-style interface to Data File Editor and Data File Converter even when you do have a project open, click Data Tools on the Options menu, then click the General tab. Make sure Use catalog has no check mark, then click OK.

The batch interface to Data File Converter is also included (use run dfconv at the Mainframe Express Command Prompt), but you must specify a profile as a command line parameter - you no longer get a dialog box asking you to specify a Load, Save, or Convert profile. The Load and Save options are not included.

9.2.3 Fileshare Support

Facility in Data File Editor to edit data files through a remote Fileshare server.

Status in Mainframe Express:

Not included. Not needed for developing mainframe applications.

9.2.4 IMS Databases

Early Release facility in Data File Editor to view and edit data in an IMS database.

Status in Mainframe Express:

Mainframe Express includes an IMS Database Editor for viewing and editing IMS databases.

9.2.5 Profile Files

File to store file header details. Used by Data File Editor and Data File Converter.

Status in Mainframe Express:

Usable for backward compatibility.

To migrate your application:

If the file does not have a header, Data File Editor reads the catalog - if no definition exists in the catalog it looks for a .pro file and uses that if it exists.

What to use in future:

Use the catalog to store file definitions.

9.2.6 Record Layouts from Copybooks

Facility in Data File Editor to create a record layout from a copybook.

Status in Mainframe Express:

Not included. Using the mainframe dialects of Mainframe Express, you can't compile a copybook free-standing (that is, it must be referenced from a COBOL source file).

9.2.7 Searching Data Files

Facility in Data File Editor to search in a data file.

Status in Mainframe Express:

There are four methods of searching data files:

9.3 Frequently Asked Questions

This section answers questions that may arise in the course of migrating.

9.3.1 How do I start Data File Editor?

Data File Editor does not appear on a menu. In Mainframe Express, opening or creating a file starts the correct editor for that kind of file automatically. Any of the following actions will start the Data File Editor:

9.3.2 How do I create a new data file?

Click New on the File menu and select Data File.

9.3.3 How do I create a record layout file?

From the Project View, right-click the COBOL source file that contains the layout you want to apply. Then click Create record layout on the popup menu.

9.3.4 How do I open a record layout file to edit it?

Click Open on the File menu and set the Files of Type field to Record Layout Files (.str).

9.3.5 How can I work with uncataloged datasets in a project?

You can uncheck the Use catalog option, as described in the section Data Tools Interfaces above. However, you will generally find it most convenient to add them to the catalog, and so have available all the catalog facilities. For each dataset, right-click on the Catalog View and use Add Existing Dataset on the popup menu.

Copyright © 2001 Micro Focus International Limited. All rights reserved.
This document and the proprietary marks and names used herein are protected by international law.