Mainframe Notes

  • Importing Cobol Copybooks
  • Downloading FB files.
  • Downloading VB files

  • Mainframe Notes

    The RecordEditor was not specifically written for the mainframe but it can edit mainframe cobol files, this means there will be a learning curve for you. It does require a full install of Java 5 or greater, some partial installs do not include charset.jar file which holds the EBCDIC translation tables. Some companies I have worked for have not installed this file on there Work PC's.

    While the RecordEditor is not a replacement for FileAid, I find it a useful to use the RecordEditor instead of FileAid for some tasks for these reasons

    1. The RecordEditor works better with PC Software than FileAid. You can cut and paste from the RecordEditor into Word / Excel. Also you can export as HTML or via velocity templates.
    2. You can view a lot more of the file at any one time in the RecordEditor. On my home PC (22 inch) I can see 55 rows by 18-> 20 field columns. In FileAid its 29 rows by 3 -> 6 columns.
    3. Can produce Adhoc Reports (via sister project FFReport which is a Report Designer) from Mainframe Cobol Files.
    4. Can create different views of a file (Filter Option).
    5. For a Project I typically create a PC folder. The recordEditor lets me save (and view) Mainframe Files in the projects folder.

    The RecordEditor is available in 2 format

    Importing Cobol Copybooks

    The first step in editing a file is to import the Cobol Copybook. To do this select Record Layouts >>> Load Cobol Copybook from the main menu

    The next screen to be displayed includes:



    Cobol Copybook

    Spilt Copybook

    How the copybook should be divided up (No Split - one record in the file; on redefine - Split into seperate record on a Redefine Statement; on 01 - split into seperate records for each 01 level).

    Font Name

    Blank for native files; cp037 (coded page 37) for US / Canada / Australian EBCDIC.

    File Structure

    Equivalent to RECFM in JCL. Can be left as Default Reader for FB and PC files. Needs to be changed for VB files.


    Basically a way of grouping Copybooks together in to logical systems.

    Downloading FB files.

    Fixed Block files can be downloaded as a binary file from the mainframe and edited in the record editor. You can set the File Structure to either Default Reader or Fixed Length Binary

    Downloading VB files

    The RecordEditor can edit VB files provided the RDW (record descriptor word i.e. record length) is in the file. Many file transfer protocols will drop RDW. The options for VB files are

    1. Copy to a FB file and transfer / edit this file.

    2. Transfer as a VB file (including RWD. You will need to set the File Structure to Mainframe VB (RDW based) Binary

    3. The third option is to copy VB file to a RECFM=U file and transfer this file:

      //STEP010 EXEC PGM=IEFBR14,COND=(0,NE)
      //SORTOUT  DD  DSN=&OUT,
      //             DISP=(MOD,DELETE),
      //             SPACE=(TRK,(30,30),RLSE),
      //             DCB=BLKSIZE=0
      //SYSUT2   DD  DSN=&OUT,
      //             DISP=(NEW,CATLG),
      //             SPACE=(TRK,(115,45),RLSE)
      //SYSOUT   DD  SYSOUT=*
      //SYSIN    DD  DUMMY

      You will need to set the File Structure to Mainframe VB Dump: Includes block length