Sunday, February 09, 2014

Those Good Old IBM Mainframe Utility Programs

Most mainframe programmers are aware that IBM supplies many utility programs that are useful for system maintenance chores such as copying and deleting files, manipulating partitioned data sets, and the like.  

These utilities typically begin with an IEB, IEF, or IEH prefix.  One of the most common of these is IEFBR14, which is used to catalog a data set.  But few people are aware, however, that IBM also supplies many other utilities that can make the life of a programmer much easier.  Below is a select list of these:

IEBMAGIC        fixes any problem without having to use your brain; perfect for consultants and contract programmers

IEBIQUIT         automatically updates your resume, writes a letter of resignation, forwards it to your boss, and prints reams of paper to make it look like you actually did something when you worked here

IEBIBALL         compares any source file to the last one that actually worked displaying all changes and who made them; perfect tool for technical support personnel overwhelmed by programmers chanting the phrase "I didn't change anything"

IEBPANIC         if all else fails, run IEBPANIC; sometimes it fixes your problem and sometimes it doesn't, but it never tells you how it did it; companion program to IEBMAGIC;

IEBNOTME      alters all trace of your userid from system change logs, SMF, etc.; useful to eliminate finger-pointing; this should always be run before running IEBIQUIT

IEFINGER        when designing on-line systems sometimes intermediate screens are sent that serve no purpose other than to tie together a series of related transactions; these intermediate screens generally direct the user to "Press ENTER to Continue"; IEFINGER simulates the end user pressing the ENTER key thereby eliminating unnecessary screens

IEHAMMER      forces a square peg into a round hole; for example, if you try to compile a COBOL program using the FORTRAN compiler, attaching IEHAMMER to the compile will make it work

IEBPIG               finds all unused resources of any type and assigns them to any specified job

IEBHAHA         randomly changes source code in test libraries; it is often speculated that IEBHAHA is the cause of most program problems that IEBIBALL is used to correct

IEBEIEIO          run this utility when you have too many problems to handle for one person;  it corrects the old "with an abend here, and a meeting there, e-i-e-i-o" syndrome by causing a system problem so large (in someone else's application) that all direction is diverted away from you to them

So did I forget your favorite?  Drop a comment below to share it!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

And what about this JCL:
//RUN EXEC PGM=SPOUSE
//SYSIN DD DSN=ALLMYMONEY,DISP=(OLD,DELETE)
//SYSOUT DD DUMMY

Craig S. Mullins said...

Good one!

Of course, if the program is changed to EXSPOUSE then the input file must be ALLMYMONEYANDSTUFF... but the output file becomes PEACEANDSERENTIY