February 2003 Technical Tip – Concatenated Datasets in ISPF
ISPF library names typically consist of three levels: project, group, and type. In many of the ISPF panels (such as edit, =2), you can concatenate up to four ISPF libraries with the same project and type, as follows:
In this example, ISPF would first search U9999.TEST.COBOL for member MYPGM. If the member was not found in that library, it would search U9999.PROD.COBOL for the member. I have the option of specifying two additional libraries to be searched.
Let’s assume that member MYPGM is not found in TEST, but is found in PROD.The edit session would then open with that member. Of course, you are looking at the PROD version, since the TEST version does not exist. (One potential source of confusion is that the dataset name shown at the top of the screen will indicate that it is in the TEST library.) When the member is saved, it will be saved into the TEST library. The PROD version of the member will remain unchanged. Of course, any subsequent attempts to edit the member will retrieve the (new) TEST version.
This ISPF feature can have many benefits, not the least of which is a quick and dirty system of change control, assuming developers have read-only access to the PROD library.
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