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KR edition 183

KR-183 : ISPF the dialog manager! - idea contributed by Nitish...

  • Did you know that ISPF is also called DIALOG MANAGER?

  • ISPF (Interactive System Productivity Facility) is a sort of front end to TSO; it provides us with panels and a GUI. 

  • TSO is equivalent to our command prompt in DOS (or shell prompt in UNIX). And ISPF is a GUI for TSO. Whatever we do in ISPF can be done by pure TSO commands as well (and we can execute TSO commands either in option 6: which is the ISPF COMMAND SHELL or by giving TSO commands in ISPF panels by preceeding them with the keyword TSO).

          Why is it called dialog manager?

  • We have a provision to design our own ISPF panels which can be controlled by REXX/CLIST (or even cobol) codes. 

  • What we create we call "dialog" (it's like a dialog between the system and the user). So applications/tools we create are run in ISPF and we call it "dialog manager" (since it manages our dialogs/apps). 

  • So to sum up: When using the normal in-built panels we use the term ISPF and while running our own apps we call it dialog manager instead of ISPF. 

  • One may wonder why to use dialog manager instead of using CICS to develop our own applications? Developing apps in dialog manager is much faster than that done in CICS and requires very little setting up of the environment. But we can't really use dialog manager to get high-speed transaction processing or high volume database access etc. - it is meant for low volume processing apps (we'll usually find dialog manager being used to create tools, simple applications which only a few users would use etc.).

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