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A full function ISPF VSAM utility for manipulating VSAM, sequential, and PDS datasets.

Four edit and browse formats include:

  • full screen
  • copycode
  • compressed copycode
  • hex

Use the links below to jump to a specific part of FileMarvel you are interested in, or simply scroll down through them.

What is FileMarvel?
File Marvel features?
What Datasets are supported?
How do I access FileMarvel?
How is an Edit or Browse session formatted?
Standard mode?
Format mode?
Compact mode?
Hex mode?
Can I edit/browse a subset of records in a dataset?
Can I search an entire PDS?
Can I do a "CHANGE ALL" on an entire PDS?
Can I define a VSAM file using FileMarvel?
Can FileMarvel provide a dataset selection lists?


What is FileMarvel?

FileMarvel is a VSAM utility to access and maintain data files. ISPF's edit and file manipulation utilities' emphasis is on source files; FileMarvel specifically addresses data files. FileMarvel uses the familiar ISPF interface to provide browsing, editing, reformatting, merging, copying, printing, sorting and defining datasets. It handles file organizations and record sizes not supported by ISPF, even tape data sets.

Edit or browse datasets using copycode to format the displays. Exclude copycode fields from the edit or browse session so only desired fields are displayed. Perform record selection using multiple criteria linked with AND/OR logic so only the selected records are displayed in the edit or browse session.

Search and change data sets using powerful FileMarvel commands within edit.

FileMarvel runs under ISPF and batch.

Large datasets are not a problem for this VSAM utility. It handles data sets too large to contain in memory without performance penalties.


File Marvel features?


  • Supports variable VSAM and Non-VSAM data sets, including ability to change the record length.
  • Supports record selection for Edit, Browse, Copy, and Print, including ability to specify multiple criteria using Boolean logic.

  • VSAM manipulation allows extracting dataset subsets to a VSAM or non-VSAM dataset or a PDS member.

  • Allows copying a dataset subset in edit.

  • Edit and Browse datasets using your copybooks to format the data. Edit and Browse provides four different screen layouts:

  • Standard, Formatted, Hex, and Compressed.

  • Supports COBOL and PL/1 copybooks.

  • Allows access to copybooks from a PDS member, CA-LIBRARIAN, or PANVALET.

  • Provides automatic copycode switching when moving from record type to record type in Edit/Browse.

  • Provides batch capabilities, including record selection.

  • Allows searching and changing records, entire data sets, or partitioned data sets.

  • Provides dataset selection lists to perform dataset maintenance. Selection list can be generated based on volume of data set name pattern.

  • Allows browsing a data set without exclusive control.

  • Interfaces with TOP-SECRET and ACF/2.

  • Performs well on very large data sets.

  • De-allocates all product data sets when the product is not in use.

  • Supports printing of VSAM and Non-VSAM data sets in three formats including copycode format. Record selection functionality provided.

  • Allows defining FileMarvel AUTOEXEC commands to perform often used tasks.


What Datasets are supported?


In addition to the files supported by ISPF, FileMarvel also supports:

  • Sequential files or members of a PDS with record sizes up to the disk track capacity

  • VSAM files (KSDS, ESDS, RRDS)

  • BDAM files

  • GDG files

  • Files of unlimited size (without monopolizing computer memory)

  • Files on tapes (mount authority required)

  • Non-standard files (via exit routines)


How do I access FileMarvel?

FileMarvel executes as a panel driven dialog under ISPF. It also has Batch facilities submitted via panels or from PDS members.

FileMarvel is accessed from any ISPF panel using the command FMV. Any FileMarvel function can also be accessed using FastPathing. To access any FileMarvel function directly, enter the command FMV followed by the function name. For example: FMV BROWSE.


Invoke FileMarvel browse.


Invoke the FileMarvel editor.


Display the utilities menu.


Copy entire files or selected records to other files, even across different file organizations.


Print entire files or selected records. Files are printed using a copybook to format the records. Select records to print manually or with multiple selection criteria.


Maintain the relationship between data sets and copycodes.


Maintain copybook specifications.


Sort files using their copybooks.


Enter a secondary menu of FileMarvel utilities.


Develop commands to execute on any FileMarvel command entry line.


Invoke the FileMarvel editor in a protected environment.


How is an Edit or Browse session formatted?



Similar to the ISPF edit/browse format. Added commands improve manipulation of data files.


Use COBOL or PL/1 copycode to format the records into fields to display. Field values may be changed by overtyping. The new value is placed in the record consistent with the field definition in the copycode. Fields that do not conform to the field definitions are marked as invalid.


Similar to Format mode except twice the number of fields are presented on one screen.


Present the data in the familiar "dump" format. Both the hexadecimal representation of the data and the printable characters are shown.


Can I edit/browse a subset of records in a dataset?

With FileMarvel you can specify multiple criteria connected by and/or logic to select only the records to edit/browse.

Record selection is requested on the Edit entry panel. Enter "Y" in the "Apply selection criteria" field to use the selection criteria on the Edit Entry panel.

This edit entry panel will provide an edit session with records 1 - 9 in the dataset. You will notice the additional ability to select records based on key.

For more complex selection criteria use the Extended Record Search Entry panel by specifying "E" in the field "Apply selection criteria" shown in previous example (Edit Entry panel). This allows multiple criteria connected with and/or logic.

The Extended Record Search Entry panel selects records to edit based on multiple criteria using a COBOL copybook.

FileMarvel can search a data set based on copycode field names and values. Multiple find criteria are entered in the panel above in the "Enter FIND Parameters" fields.

It is not necessary to know the copycode field names. The field selection panel (Copybook Record Selection Fields) is displayed by issuing the LC command in the previous illustration (Extended Record Search Entry panel) above.

From the copybook field selection list, select the fields to use by entering the "S" line command next to the desired fields.

The Extended Record Search Entry panel is redisplayed with the selected fields presented in the FIND parameters fields ready to complete with search values.

Complete the selection criteria and press the RFIND PF key to initiate the search and begin the edit session with the selected records. The Extended Record Search Entry panel selects records that contain an "A" in the field "M-STATUS-FLAG" and "I" in "M-IDENT-FLAG" field or the string "COMPANY" in columns 57 through 70. An edit session showing only records that match the search criteria is also displayed.


Can I search an entire PDS?

The Extended find capability also provides the ability to search PDS member contents. FileMarvel allows a "preview" of members containing specified search criteria.

Set "select Mode" to "L" to get the list form for PDS search results. 

The result is a Member Selection panel showing only members containing the search criteria. Below each member selection line, a portion of the member containing the search string(s) is shown. You can then scan through the selection list and select only the members you want to edit.


Can I do a "CHANGE ALL" on an entire PDS?

Yes. One way is to enter the CHANGE ALL command directly from the member selection panel shown on the above link.


Can I define a VSAM file using FileMarvel?

Yes. Define VSAM KSDS Datasets panel is used to allocate VSAM datasets. You can use an existing dataset as a "model" to prime the allocation parameters. FileMarvel also allows the storage of allocation parameters for use later.


Can FileMarvel provide a dataset selection lists?

Yes. Dataset selection lists of generic dataset names or of all datasets on a volume can be obtained. The Catalog Information Display panel is an example of obtaining a selection list via a generic data set name.

VSAM manipulation: Data sets may be processed using selection characters shown in the Data Set Level Directory.You can allocate, browse, delete, edit, browse, list, print, rename, scratch, uncatalog, view or obtain dataset allocation information.