ETJ First Impression: T-REX V7.2

 T-REX V7.2 from Dino-Software Further Aids Catalog Management

By Denny Yost, ETJ Magazine (5-minute read)







Chances are good that when it comes to working with VSAM files or catalogs you have been there, done that and don’t have fond memories of the experience. For example, do you cringe anytime someone mentions the need to mend a VSAM broken index that occurred in the middle of the night or having to use IBM’s Access Method Services (IDCAMS) utility for just about anything? Or, what about untimely processing failures because you weren’t aware that a BCS had reached the maximum number of allowable extents?  It would be easy to mention many other VSAM and catalog management headaches that would quickly give you negative memories. Has anyone done anything to ease these and many other VSAM and catalog management headaches?

One company that took on this challenge years ago is Dino-Software with its T-REX product. T-REX is a proven mainframe utility that analyzes, diagnoses, reorganizes, reports, backs-up and repairs clusters and assists with the overall maintenance to ensure continuous operational capabilities of the ICF catalog components in a z/OS environment.

Monitoring and maintaining catalog and VSAM cluster health can be tedious and time-consuming. T-REX provides invaluable assistance to those professionals tasked with ensuring the ICF environment and VSAM clusters perform with consistency, accuracy and reliability by delivering:

• Reduced downtime by ensuring optimal cluster and catalog health at all times

• Extensive use of multitasking to improve throughput for T-REX processing

• Improved data availability and recoverability by allowing more frequent back-ups

• Allows easy and quick repair of cluster and catalog index errors

• Complete support for the re-cataloging of multivolume data sets

• Easy REORG of catalogs while open and being processed by online and/or batch systems

• Detection of hardware changes and dynamically adjusting performance parameters to ensure optimal processing

• Two powerful facilities, DRIMPORT and SCRUB, for disaster recovery processes

• HSM CDS auditing and reporting • Identification and repair of discrepancies between cataloged tape data sets and your Tape Management Catalogs (TMCs)

• Support for all the main TMCs on the market today (e.g., CA 1, Control-T, RMM, etc.)

• Easy to use reports.

In regard to easy to use reports, T-REX provides standard reports emulating IDCAMS LISTCAT output but provides a much higher degree of selectivity coupled with high-speed performance. In fact, almost every attribute and characteristic of a cataloged data set entry can be used as selection criteria, including “Boolean” operator support for variable values. Additionally, the T-REX LISTCAT command provides customizable reports displaying only the information of interest.  With a proper plan for implementing proactive diagnostics, T-REX provides a viable mechanism for detecting and reporting errors before there is a negative impact to production operations.

T-REX V7.2 Further Increases Its Capabilities

The V7.2 release elevates the product’s solution set through z/OS 2.2 support, along with support for Extended Generation Data Groups, and enhanced batch commands and ISPF panel improvements. Previous versions of z/OS also continue to be supported.

Batch commands provided by T-REX have been enhanced, delivering four new capabilities, including the:

ANALYZE BCS command, which identifies VSAM Cluster Sphere records with unique volume references nearing the execution time limit of 59

INTEGRITYCHECK OBJ(CS) FOCUS(VOL) command supports the new keyword BYAPSSIAM to flag unexpected BCS record Type-C returned for non-VSAM data set entries found on DASD volumes with an informational message rather than as an error

INTEGRITYCHECK command, which executes in SIMULATE mode with the AUTOFIX capability

MODIFY command, which allows GDG Base modifications for PuRGE, NOPURGE, LIFO and FIFO.

Two new T-REX ISPF panel improvements make performing key catalog and record tasks much easier.  These improvements are the:

• Option 4.1 Catalog View providing logic to “Define” user Catalog Aliases for selected catalogs

• Option 6.3 VTOC Record View providing the capability to “scratch” Data Set Control Blocks from the VTOC.

T-REx was developed by the original Softworks developers who devised the Mechanic and later Catalog Solution over 20 years ago. The developers applied their collective experience to incorporate modern design methodologies and technology to produce the latest, state-of-the-art catalog management product available. Additionally, the technical support staff is comprised of seasoned veterans of z/OS and the ICF catalog environment. T-REx can repair any VSAM object (BCS, KSDS, and Variable RRDS) with a broken index within minutes. The product complements and enhances IBM’s IDCAMS utility and provides additional flexibility through keyword options and new functionality. This z/OS batch facility can multi-task many of its commands, and provides complete object support. It is fast, smart, strong and most important, it’s proven.

To learn more about T-REX, contact Dino-Software at 703-768-2610 or visit their website, ETJ


About Dino-Software

Dino-Software Corporation develops enterprise-wide solutions for the management, analysis, protection, and repair of complex z/OS mainframe environments.  Dino-Software has long been acknowledged for its superiority in ICF catalog management and technical support, helping organizations ensure their business-critical assets remain online and recoverable in a disaster.  Learn more about Dino-Software and its z/OS mainframe storage solutions at

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