Character Animator enables you to debug applications during the various stages of the application development cycle. You can debug:
By default, when you syntax-check a program, an information file is created. This file has the extension .idy (and is usually referred to as the .idy file); it contains essential information required by Character Animator.
You can debug programs and applications using the following methods:
Character Animator can be used to debug your COBOL programs as part of the normal development cycle.
Enables an application to drop into debugging mode when a run-time error (for example, an "RTS173 File Not Found") occurs. Normally, when encountering a run-time error, you would see the error message, and then the application would end. However, with just-in-time debugging, you can debug the program in-line when an error occurs.
If you have the source files and the .idy files, the source code is animated at the line where the error occurred. If you do not have the required files, you are given the name of the source file or program where the error occurred.
Enables you to dynamically attach Character Animator to a process; you can thus debug an application that is already running. This can be particularly useful for larger applications where debugging from the very start might be difficult or time-consuming. You need to have the source files and the .idy files available to debug using this method.
Enables you to debug applications that have generated a core dump. You can use the resulting core file in Character Animator to display a snapshot of the application's state when the core dump occurred. You cannot execute the core file, so cannot perform operations such as stepping through the application, but you can examine data items and view the CALL/PERFORM stack.
You can perform a core dump even when you don't have any COBOL development tools installed. This is valuable if you need to debug a released application in a production environment. Just as with just-in-time debugging, you must have the source files and the .idy files to view the core file. If you do not have the required source files, you are only given the name of the source file or program where the error occurred.
Enables you to debug mixed-language applications using Character Animator. When program flow moves from a COBOL program to a C sub-program, the system debugger can be invoked.
Enables Character Animator to start when a particular point in a program has been reached. Applications often behave differently to how you expect; such problems might be deep in the code and at a distant point in program execution. By using CBL_DEBUGBREAK, you can start debugging at a specific program execution point.