High-Speed Dynamic Trace Facility for z/OS Software Developers Announced by Arney Computer Systems

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Arney Computer Systems announces a major new feature of its z/OS debugging product Trap Diagnostic Facility. The non-interactive software trace allows developers to locate errors in their programs by running the program at full machine speed while still collecting debug data.

Arney Computer Systems is pleased to announce the availability of the High Speed Dynamic Trace feature of its Trap Diagnostic Facility z/OS mainframe software debugging product. TDF provides this non-interactive trace to give software developers the ability to debug software code while it runs at full speed. Many classes of software errors simply cannot be debugged in interactive mode because of the time delays introduced during execution. The non-interactive trace quickly collects the needed debug data at specified points in the code and immediately allows the execution to continue without delay. The collected data is asynchronously written to a DASD data set by writer tasks within the TDF Server address space. The trace can be performed on multiple tasks and even multiple address spaces and requires no code changes to the programs being debugged.

The trace definition consists of identifying each task that will participate in the trace, defining each Trace Point, which are instruction locations and identifying the data to be collected at each Trace Point. Both the Trace Point and the collected storage data can be defined using the program’s ADATA so that when the program code or data structures are changed the new ADATA will automatically reflect the changes. The trace definitions can be saved to an external data set and used again for future traces. Using saved trace definitions along with the proper ADATA data set, traces can be developed and run on multiple versions of a software system.

After the trace is run, the TDF Trace Viewer ISPF application is used to view and analyze the collected trace data. The Trace Entries and their collected data is formatted and displayed by the application. The Trace Viewer’s Filter facility allows displays of only Trace Entries that match the filter criteria providing many different views of the data. The powerful Find facility can be used to locate Trace Entries with specific data patterns.

The trace facility can be used by the whole team. Its use is not limited to the software developer for locating bugs. Reusable traces and the trace data set can be useful to the Quality Assurance tester for comparing traces of old and new product releases. The trace data set can be analyzed by development managers to verify performance goals and standards compliance.

A copy of the white paper "Why You Need a Modern z/OS Debugger" can be requested at http://zosdebug.com/whitepaper.html.

The High Speed Dynamic Trace facility is available with release 1.2.0 of TDF which contains additional product enhancements such as the Automatic ADATA option that automatically takes care of loading a program’s ADATA information, and new interactive User Interface commands.

Complete information on these and other product features are available on the product website at http://www.zosdebug.com or from the company website, http://www.arneycomputer.com. No cost trial installations are available.

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 IBM mainframe installations.

All product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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Chuck Arney
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