ISPF TABLE COMPARISON TOOL
Original Publication Date: 2000-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
ISPF Table Comparison Tool Abstract : A method for comparing ISPF tables is disclosed. ISPF table information is a long stream of data, but it is physically stored as 80 byte records in a partitioned data set. Since the stored table is logically a large stream of data, it is not possible to use normal comparison tools to compare two versions of a table. Background: Many interactive software applications within the IBM mainframe environment utilize IBM's "Interactive System Productivity Facility" (ISPF) software product to save data using ISPF services. ISPF allows applications to save table data in a table format that is particular to ISPF, so that it can be quickly presented to the application user through ISPF’s table display services. The table information that is stored consists of user data (which could be text or numeric) as well as internal control information that ISPF uses to manage the table. The table information is a long data stream, but it is physically stored as 80 byte records in a fixed block partitioned data set. Since the stored table is really a data stream, it is not possible to use normal comparison tools to compare two versions of a table. Inserting or deleting data near the beginning of the table would shift all subsequent data. When tables are compared using existing comparison tools, all of the 80 byte records after the changed data look like they have changed. In order to compare two tables, specialized software is required.