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KR edition 201 - 203

KR-201* SEND command

After the series on INSYNC commands, lets start with a series that will show you just how fun, working with Mainframes can be, while trying to:
1.) Reduce the number of keystrokes,
2.) Improving productivity and
3.) Distancing ourselves (temporarily) from too many real “Techie” topics

SEND command

It would be interesting, if we could send messages to other mainframe users from our Mainframe Session, wouldn’t it be?

You can do just that, in the ISPF Command Shell (START 6) with the command:
(where XXXXXXX stands for the Zid)

And Voila! The User ID XXXXXXX gets the message on his/her screen.

Alternatively, You can also give the command ‘TSO SEND '<MESSAGE>' USER(<USERID>)’ from any ISPF panel.

What if you want to send the same message to multiple users at the same time?

The command would be: SEND '<MESSAGE>' USER

And then you will be prompted to enter the IDs to which you want the message to go to – Just separate each ID by a SPACE.

What if the user is not logged on?


But don’t worry. You can leave a message for any user to receive when (s)he logs on, by typing: send '<message>' user(<userid>) logon

Are there only Positives and no Down-sides to this command? Of course there are!

First of all, DO NOT enter the command without an user ID (send '<message>'). Why? Because the message goes to the CCN operator (and you don’t want to be sending your messages there. Believe me!)

Then there is the limitation to length of the message in one SEND command. The text in one SEND is limited to 115 characters.

Pardon me, if I am sounding too informal.

KR-202* Mapping TSO commands - 1

Lets see how we can map commonly used commands to a single/combination keys. You can map commands using:

1. KEYS command
2. Keyboard Map Editor

Lets explore the KEYS command in this edition…
1. KEYS command

The command KEYS shows the commands mapped to the function keys. We can assign commonly used commands to the function keys to save keystrokes. Some commands that can be useful are:

  • RETP - Opens the ISPF Command Retrieve Panel

  • RETURN - Takes you to the ISPF Primary Option Menu from any screen (without having to press multiple PF3 s)

  • RETREIVE - Retrieves the last command entered

  • NRETRIEV – Retrieves the latest pds name (in DSLIST - 3.4)

  • ACTIONS – Places the cursor at the Menu options

  • SWAP LIST – Opens the ‘Active ISPF Logical Sessions’ panel (from which you can switch to any of the screens opened in the session)

Multiple commands can also be assigned separated by semicolon. For eg. By mapping START INS;1; START SD;ST; START 3.4 to F11, you can open Insync in browse mode, spool, and Dslist (3.4) in one go by pressing the F11 key.

  • You can also assign Line Commands to PF keys; for this, prefix the line command with a colon (:). The colon indicates that it is a line command. Line commands are entered in the first input field on the line where the cursor is positioned when the function key is pressed. The colon is stripped off before processing.

  • For eg. You could issue a ‘copy block’ command by assigning PF4 as :CC and pressing PF4, after placing the cursor on the required line; or you could issue a Rename command on a member in a PDS by mapping :R; or Submit a Jcl in a (PDS member) by mapping :SUB.

  • The absence of a colon causes the command to be entered in the command/option field, regardless of where the cursor is positioned when the key is pressed.

  • The KeyList you edit and change, will be a Private Keylist specific to the user and session; but there are a number of Shared Keylists, which can be edited and used as required. To get a list of these Keylists, go to ‘Options’ in ‘ISPF Primary Option Menu’ and select ‘3. Keylists’.

  • To show/hide function key definition lines at the bottom of the screen, use the commands PFSHOW and PFSHOW OFF. (You can also use FKA and FKA OFF instead of PFSHOW and PFSHOW OFF respectively)

  • The PFSHOW TAILOR command changes the format of the function key definition lines which are displayed at the bottom of the screen when the FKA command is entered.

KR-203* Mapping TSO commands - 2

Continuing with mapping of commands to keys…

Keyboard Map Editor

We can assign a set of keyboard strokes to specific keys of combination-keys in the Extra! Client Settings. Select ‘Options’ -> ‘Settings’ -> ‘Keyboard Maps’. Choose ‘edit’ and you will be presented with ‘Keyboard Map Editor’. Using the Keyboard Map Editor, you can perform a number of tasks.

You can:

Assign a function to a key: Functions include sending keystrokes, running an application, a script, or a macro, and performing any function that appears on the menus, such as connecting to a host, navigating to a host screen, transferring a file, or printing.

You can make use of combination keys to send a list of commands- For eg. You can map <Ctrl+F> to send the command ‘F ALL XXXX 3’ or <Ctrl+D> to send the command ‘START INS;DB2;2’

Copy a function or character from one location to another on the working keyboard map. For example, if the ‘clear’ function is assigned to the ‘Ctrl+Delete’ key, you can change it to F2 by copying the function from the current location to the desired location (by clicking and dragging the key).

To see the command that have already been mapped on ctrl/alt combination keys, press ctrl/alt and you can see combinations already mapped. For eg. Ctrl+c will be mapped to command ‘Copy’.

You can see lots of commands you can map and make use of, under different categories such as ‘Edit’, ‘View’, ‘Tools’ etc.’

For more on Keyboard Map Editor, browse through the ‘Help Topics’ provided with Extra! Client.

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