Understanding ISPF - How (and Why) to Write an ISPF Application

Well before mice and graphics ever appeared, ISPF applications provided everything needed for sophisticated menu selection, information display, table processing, reporting, and data manipulation. Even today, despite the availability of web interfaces and the encroachment of graphical functions such as z/OSMF, the basic tool used in many z/OS installations by system and application programmers alike is ISPF. The simplicity and ubiquity of ISPF tools and functions, and the record-oriented nature of z/OS datasets and ISPF tables, mean ISPF can still be a logical choice for mainframe data display. This month, we'll look at the basics of ISPF panels, tables, and functions, and how they can be combined into simple yet powerful panels and applications.

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