5696-234 IBM High Level Assembler for zOS/ z/VM, and z/VSE

IBM Europe Sales Manual
Revised:  February 02, 2010.

Table of contents  Document options 
TOC Link Product Life Cycle Dates TOC Link Technical Description
TOC Link Abstract TOC Link Planning Information
TOC Link Highlights TOC Link Security, Auditability, and Control
TOC Link Description  
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Product Life Cycle Dates
Program NumberVRM Announced Available Marketing Withdrawn Service Discontinued
5696-2341.06.02008/06/242008/07/11 - -
5696-2341.05.02004/06/082004/06/11 2008/09/262010/09/30
5696-2341.04.02000/07/112000/09/25 2004/05/252007/04/07
5696-2341.03.01998/07/281998/09/25 2000/09/252003/10/06
5696-2341.02.01995/01/261995/03/24 1998/09/252002/03/31
5696-2341.00.01992/05/051992/06/26 1995/03/241995/12/31

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IBM High Level Assembler for z/OS, z/VM, and z/VSE V1.6 supports substantial improvements in usability, in programmer productivity, and in application reliability and maintainability. New features help with debugging Assembler Language applications, and with integrating the assembler into development environments.

IBM High Level Assembler for z/OS, z/VM, and z/VSE V1.6 is designed to provide:

  • Major product enhancements through functional enhancements, usability, availability, maintainability and installation improvements

  • Enhancements for more rapid and reliable development

  • Enhancements for more efficient object code

  • Improved efficiency of system management tasks via assembler code

The High Level Assembler's optional priced Toolkit Feature provides six useful tools on OS/390, MVS, VM, and VSE for support of Assembler Language applications:

  • A flexible disassembler that helps in understanding programs in object format, and in recovering lost source code.

  • A cross-reference tool that locates uses of symbol and macros, and finds arbitrary character strings in source programs.

  • A sophisticated workstation-based Program Understanding tool that displays program control flows within single programs and multi-program modules.

  • A powerful symbolic debugger that simplifies and speeds the development of correct and reliable applications written in Assembler and other languages.

  • A versatile file search and comparison utility capable of byte, word, and line matching, with special date matching features.

  • A complete set of macro instructions that implement the most widely used structured programming constructs, to simplify coding and eliminate errors in writing tests and branches.

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High Level Assembler is a high-function symbolic assembler providing significant usability and functional enhancements over all previous host assembler products.

The High Level Assembler Toolkit Feature provides a rich and powerful set of auxiliary tools to assist with many aspects of program preparation, analysis, debugging, and maintenance.
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User Productivity:

Many customers are heavily dependent on a critical core of applications or application segments written in Assembler Language. The skills needed to maintain and enhance these Assembler programs are critical to the stability and growth of the organization, and such skills are becoming increasingly rare. The High Level Assembler is designed to enhance the productivity of those key people with Assembler Language skills to provide considerable added value to the organization; enhancements can be made more rapidly and errors can be isolated and corrected more reliably and efficiently.

The High Level Assembler is designed to provide: extensive improvements in usability, several small but important performance enhancements, improvements in reliability, availability, maintainability and installability, and functional interfaces to permit adaptation to other tools such as librarians, cross reference tools, debuggers, etc.

Business Solutions

For those customers whose business depends on key applications written in Assembler Language, the new features and capabilities in the High Level Assembler are designed to permit more rapid and reliable development of new application enhancements, enabling the customer to change applications in response to changing business needs.

Growth Enablement

The High Level Assembler is designed to provide major functional enhancements, and extensive improvements in usability, that should improve productivity of Assembler Language programmers. There are also language enhancements which are designed to permit programmers to write more efficient code, and thereby improve the performance of Assembler Language applications.

Investment Protection

Many customer organizations are critically dependent on certain applications or application segments written in Assembler Language. The High Level Assembler helps to protect this investment by providing many enhancements that make it easier to correctly modify and maintain these applications.

Systems Management

Many organizations require the use of the Assembler to install, maintain, update and correct existing systems and applications. The High Level Assembler is designed to provide improvements in availability, maintainability, efficiency and usability of the generated assembler applications.

Routine maintenance tasks can be simplified by capabilities such as the new cross-reference and source-file catalog; these added features permit rapid problem determination and resolution in ways not possible with earlier assemblers. Facilities are also provided to enhance enforcement of organizational coding standards.
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Technical Description
TOC Link Operating Environment TOC Link Hardware Requirements TOC Link Software Requirements

High Level Assembler translates symbolic statements written in Assembler Language into binary machine code, suitable for execution on System/390 and zSeries machines. It expands symbolic macro statements into ordinary statements for assembly and provides diagnostic, summary and cross-reference information for programmers' use. Assembling is a standard, well known technique which has been common in the computing industry since its beginnings. For the most part, Assembler applications run faster than applications written in other high level languages, and may be the language of choice where performance is a high priority. Assembler Language is also frequently used to permit applications written in other languages access to special operating system functions that would otherwise not be available.

Operating Environment

Hardware Requirements

IBM High Level Assembler for z/OS, z/VM, and z/VSE will execute in a virtual storage environment on any IBM processor supported by the operating systems listed in the Programming Requirements section.

Software Requirements

IBM High Level Assembler for z/OS, z/VM, and z/VSE licensed program will execute under the following operating systems and their subsequent versions/releases unless otherwise announced by IBM.

  • OS/390* Version 2 Release 10 and later
  • z/OS* 1.2.0 (5694-A01) and higher
  • z/VM* V5.2 (5741-A05)
  • z.VSE* V3.1 and z/VSE V4 (5686-CF8)

The High Level Assembler for Linux on System z* Feature assembles programs in EBCDIC or ASCII on IBM Linux for System z, and produces object code in traditional formats or in the ELF format for linking on IBM Linux.

It is possible to assemble programs containing zSeries instructions on any of the above Operating Systems. However, these assembled programs can only be executed if the Operating System provides the necessary architecture support for the instructions used.
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Planning Information

Customer Responsibilities

Not applicable.


High Level Assembler for z/OS, z/VM, and z/VSE V1.6 is upwardly compatible with previous assemblers in producing identical object code for programs that assemble correctly, and which contain no dependencies on unsupported features or undocumented behavior of the assemblers.

Performance Considerations

No major enhancements in the base performance of the product. However, several enhancements are designed to improve the performance of the Assembler (for example, better memory management, shared code, I/O elimination).
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Security, Auditability, and Control

The program uses the security and auditability features of the Host Hardware or software. User management is responsible for evaluation, selection, and implementation of security features, administrative procedures, and appropriate controls in application systems and communication facilities.


(R), (TM), * Trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.

** Company, product, or service name may be a trademark or service mark of others.
 © IBM Corporation 2010.
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