New Software Tool for z/OS Developers Announced by Arney Computer Systems

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Arney Computer Systems announces a new debugging tool for developers of software for IBM mainframes running the z/OS operating system. It uses the most advanced facilities of the System z hardware architecture to create a modern debugging platform surpassing the techniques used by older generations of debugging tools.

Arney Computer Systems is pleased to announce the general availability of its innovative new software diagnostic product, Trap Diagnostic Facility. TDF uses the most recent IBM System z hardware facilities and z/OS operating system services to dynamically monitor the execution of applications being debugged. Using the hardware TRAP facility rather than using software recovery exits provides many advantages. Among them, user recovery routines can be debugged just as easily as other user-written code.

TDF’s unique design provides features that reduce the manual effort required to debug a program, maximizing developer productivity. The Automatic System Breakpoint facility for example, inserts breakpoints automatically at key processing points within the program without any manual effort. The Single Step Range feature allows a range of instruction addresses to be specified for instruction tracing. This option prevents the developer from having to set many breakpoints in order to trace only a section of main- line code. Requiring less manual effort means the job can be completed in less time.

TDF does not require any code changes to the application being debugged. The system can be used to debug complex multi-tasking, server oriented software environments, as well as batch programs and ISPF applications.

The TDF Server is a 64-bit z/OS application utilizing memory object technology to maintain the needed data structures, trace data and buffers above the 2 gigabyte bar where they have no impact on the application being debugged. On z/OS releases that support code execution above the bar, much of the TDF code is relocated there to reduce the amount of traditional storage required. User written code being debugged can also reside above the bar. The Server is able to debug user code with any AMODE, any RMODE, authorized or not authorized, cross-memory mode or not. The code can be running in either TCB or SRB mode. Facilities are provided to debug code being shared between debugged tasks and non-debugged tasks of an address space and code shared between multiple address spaces such as PC routines.

The TDF user interface is an ISPF application through which the user can perform interactive debugging tasks. Menu driven panels can be used to perform debugging operations or the low-level command interface can be used to perform most operations. Breakpoints can be inserted, storage areas and registers displayed and modified, and single step instruction tracing performed. These facilities allow detailed inspection of the program execution at the single instruction level of detail. Extensive online Help information is available to assist the new user.

The Program Source facility allows TDF to process program source information for the debugged application. When performing instruction tracing or using breakpoints, the appropriate source program statement, complete with user data names and comments is displayed for the instruction, showing the developer his own source code. In addition, user data structures are obtained from DSECT information in the source, and storage areas can be displayed dynamically formatted to the application data structures.

About Arney Computer Systems:
Arney Computer Systems is a privately held computer software firm located in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Texas area. It specializes in creating system software products for the IBM mainframe. More information can be found at http://www.arneycomputer.com. Information for this product can be found at http://www.zosdebug.com.

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Chuck Arney
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