MacKinney Systems, Inc.

Automatic Dump Capture
Once started Dump Detective stores dumps automatically as they are produced by the CICS system. Dumps may also be stored on the CICS transactions dump dataset although Normally the writing of dumps to the CICS dump dataset is suppressed which conserves space but a system option permits a copy of the dump to be written on the CICS transaction dump dataset.

Duplicate Dump Suppression
When this option is selected, Dump Detective determines the cause of the dump request and matches the symptoms against dump that are already stored. If a match is found the duplicate dump is suppressed thus avoiding the storage of superfluous dumps and also conserving storage space.

Ease of Use
The Dump Detective system is easy to use being menu and PF key driven system with on-line help screens. All facilities are accessible from clear informative menus or by use of commands many of which are associated with function keys.

Point and Click
Wherever feasible commands are effected by positioning the cursor and then pressing an appropriate function key to cause a command to be executed. This technique is used on all menus to select a function, on source displays to select variables for display, on source and link data directories to select source or link data for display and on other displays to select items for expansion or deletion.

Menu Based Command Structure
All Dump Detective facilities are accessible via clearly informative menu screens. Each menu provides an indication of the functions available to allow easy use of them. Options may be selected from a menu by positioning the cursor on the appropriate line and pressing the ZOOM PF key. Alternatively the option number shown on the left of the option description may be typed into the command field that is present on every Dump Detective display.

Each line on the menu also shows the fast path id associated with the option. These fast path ids can be used by more experienced users to navigate directly to any Dump Detective display from any point in the system.


Directory of Dumps

The system provides a directory of the dumps that have been captured detailing such things as date and time, region, transaction ID, dump code program in error and problem description so that a programmer can easily select a dump for further analysis.

Source Level Analysis
Dump Detective captures compile and link data into its own source repository that may contain multiple versions of one program to enable analysis of dumps containing the same program at different version levels. This data is used to facilitate the display of program source and variables during the problem analysis procedure.

Source file data may be shared by Dump Detective and companion debugging products TRACK and XRAY thus avoiding duplication of data.

Automatic Association of Source and Object Program
During initial analysis of a dump, Dump Detective attempts to associate the object program in the dump with an appropriate version of the source. When an exact match is not found, an attempt is made to determine the nearest matching version of the source.

Point of Failure Analysis and Display
When a dump is first accessed Dump Detective identifies where the problem occurred, searches for the correct version of the program source and produces diagnostic information. Standard diagnostic information includes the command or instruction at the point of failure and the contents of relevant data fields or program variables. This provides the primary display when a dump is selected for analysis.

Dump Contents
All areas in the dump are listed by category via one or more dump contents displays. This facilitates the viewing of any program available in the dump and the various storage areas associated with the dump. Whenever a program is selected for display, Dump Detective attempts to determine the current point of execution within that program and displays the source and variables at that point.


Display Storage Areas

Storage areas or program variables may be displayed singly or collectively in a number of ways. The display may occur as the result of a direct display command, as the result of a variable being acted upon by the current program statement, as the result of a Group variable display command. The data may be displayed in various formats depending on the type of display command and user selected display format options.

For COBOL programs an expanded view of data structures can be displayed using the GROUP command. This gives a fully formatted display including all data types and subscripted areas.

Formatted Trace Table Display
CICS trace table entries stored with the dump are formatted and displayed showing the significant data fields associated with the entries. The trace display has the option to display data at three levels: all entries, a summary to eliminate irrelevant entries and CICS command calls only. The abbreviated formats enable the programmer to concentrate on the entries most closely associated with the commands issues in the program.

Session Personalization
Each programmer can personalize the way information is displayed by Dump Detective using the User Preferences functions available in the system. These settings are remembered and applied each time the programmer uses the system.

Contextual Help
Help data is available for all displays and all error messages. When the help key is pressed the information displayed relates to the currently displayed screen or error message if the latest command resulted in the display of a message.