5746-XXT IBM Screen Definition Facility II for VSE Release 6

IBM EMEA Sales Manual
Revised:  February 24, 2004.

Table of contents  Document options 
Abstract Technical Description
Product Positioning Planning Information
Highlights Publications
Description Security, Auditability, and Control
Printable version


IBM's Screen Definition Facility II for VSE Release 6 (SDF II VSE) is an application development tool that helps you to efficiently develop, maintain, and import screen objects. It supports definition and conversion of objects for various target systems such as CICS/BMS, CSP, ISPF, VisualGen.

SDF II VSE is a follow-on release of SDF/CICS VSE Release 5, designed to replace SDF/CICS VSE. However, for migration, both are available until otherwise announced.

SDF II provides better versatility and enhanced functions:

  • Exploitation of ESA environments
  • Independence from CICS interfaces
  • Compatibility with SDF II VM and SDF II MVS
  • Enhanced prototyping facility
  • Cross-system support (conversion utility)
  • Data extraction and modification utilities
  • Panel construction utility
  • Internal dialog manager
  • Improved user interface based on Common User Access architecture
  • Enhanced print utility
  • Support for emphasis classes, include panels, repeat panels
  • Improved editing

In addition, SDF II VSE screens developed for one target system can be converted to another target system. SDF II VSE produces data structures for Assembler, C, COBOL, PL/I, and RPG application programs. Its wide range of easy-to-use functions are common to those already provided for OS/390, MVS, and VM environments by SDF II MVS and SDF II VM, respectively. To use these functions for screen objects created by SDF/CICS they must be migrated using the included import facilities.
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Product Positioning

SDF II VSE complements the existing SDF II family of products for OS/390, MVS, and VM environments. It is designed to replace current SDF/CICS installations in VSE environments the same way as SDF II already replaced SDF/CICS in today's OS/390, MVS, and VM environments.

The common functionality of SDF II throughout S/390 environments can help users to create screen objects regardless of the environment on which they run SDF II. Also, SDF II VSE does no longer involve CICS interface dependencies for more flexibility concerning the environment.
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Benefits of SDF II VSE are:

  • Improved usability through user participation by using the test and prototyping functions of SDF II to verify your interface design with your users before any application code is developed.

  • Efficient re-engineering and migration, if you are porting your existing applications from one environment to another, because SDF II can help you port the existing screen objects.

  • Interfacing with development tools that use external source format, such as VisualGen and CSP/AD. You can import this format and add environment-specific properties to better exploit your target system.

  • Year 2000 Ready

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SDF II VSE is the follow-on release of SDF/CICS VSE Release 5. It is an online application development tool that helps you to perform the following tasks:

  • Creating and maintaining panels and other screen objects by typing panel text and defining fields where you want them to appear on the screen, and specifying each field's attributes.

  • Testing the layout and appearance of an object on the screen to test a panel while you are creating it. The SDF II test function displays the panel as it would appear in your application.

  • Generating screen objects for your target system using SDF II's common source format that makes them independent of target systems.

  • Building a prototype to validate the sequence and the layouts of your screen objects by following the panel flow of an application controlled by test data at an early stage of development.

  • Importing screen definitions into SDF II from a target system such as CICS/BMS, CSP/AD, and ISPF, or importing SDF/CICS dump data sets.

  • Converting screen objects imported from one target system for use in another target system.

  • Printing objects for documentation and review.

  • Extracting and modifying panel data to make it available to a user exit. The extracted data can be used for measurements or for automated translation, for example.

SDF II supports the following target systems and programming languages:

  • Customer Information Control System/Basic Mapping Support (CICS/BMS)
  • Information Management System/Message Format Service (IMS/MFS)
  • Interactive System Productivity Facility (ISPF)
  • Graphical Data Display Manager - Interactive Map Definition (GDDM-IMD)
  • Cross System Product/Application Development (CSP/AD)
  • VisualGen Developer

SDF II VSE supports IMS/MFS and GDDM-IMD only for object definition. To generate IMS/MFS or GDDM-IMD objects, import them into SDF II MVS Release 4 or later, and generate them there.

SDF II VSE can produce data structures for the following programming languages: Assembler, C, COBOL, PL/I, and RPG.

In addition, objects created with the following IBM licensed programs can be imported:

  • SDF/CICS OS/VS Release 5 (5740-XYF)
  • SDF/CICS VSE Release 5 (5746-XXT)
  • SDF/CICS CMS Release 1 (5664-178)

Screen objects generated by SDF/CICS should be imported for future processing using the included import facilities.
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Technical Description
Operating Environment Hardware Requirements Software Requirements

IBM's Screen Definition Facility II VSE Release 6 (SDF II VSE) is an application development tool for developing and maintaining screen objects interactively. It supports definition and conversion of objects for various target systems such as, CICS/BMS, CSP, ISPF, VisualGen.

SDF II VSE uses an internal panel display manager, thus, full-screen mode is started and controlled by a CICS transaction in a dynamic or standard partition, and ICCF is not required. Also, it does not involve macro level CICS interfaces.

Screen objects created by SDF II are different to those created by SDF/CICS, thus, SDF/CICS screen objects have to be dumped and then imported using the included migration facilities for further processing by SDF II.

SDF II is enabled for translation into national languages by Translation Centers. Please contact your Marketing Representative for translation requests.

Operating Environment

Hardware Requirements

Development Environment

SDF II VSE runs on any IBM System/390 processor supported by Virtual Storage Extended/Enterprise Systems Architecture (VSE/ESA), and on all terminals and workstations supported by VSE/ESA. For IBM System/390 terminals, the minimum screen size is 24 lines by 80 columns.

Execution Environment

SDF II VSE supports the specification of screen objects for all terminals and printers supported in the system environments listed under Target Systems.

Software Requirements

SDF II VSE runs under Virtual Storage Extended/Enterprise Systems Architecture (VSE/ESA) Version 2 (5690-VSE) or subsequent releases, unless otherwise stated.
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Planning Information

Customer Responsibilities

Not applicable.


Due to its new functions, screen objects created by SDF II VSE Release 6 are not compatible to those created by SDF/CICS VSE Release 5. Thus, screen objects created by SDF/CICS must be migrated by the included SDF II import facilities, before working on these objects using SDF II VSE.


  • Maps cannot be password-protected
  • In block format maps, array elements must be equally spaced
  • The import utility omits array indexes
  • The import utility reorders the array elements of formats that contain array elements in a random sequence
  • SDF II imports arrays of structures as repeat formats
  • All fields of a repeat format must be entirely contained within the repeat format
  • The import utility rearranges array-of-structures lines that contain constant characters and puts them after the end of the array
  • SDF/CICS maps that have the same name but belong to different map sets are renamed in SDF II. The original names are retained for generation.
  • SDF II imports only the first specification of a partition set defined with more than one suffix for the same partition set device.


SDF II VSE Release 6 is particularly designed to work without any dependencies on CICS. This resolves dependencies on macro level CICS interfaces formerly required by SDF/CICS.
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One copy of the following publications are supplied automatically with the basic machine-readable material:

  • Memo to Current Licensees (GI10-0428)
  • Introducing SDF II for VSE (GH12-6314)
  • Licensed Program Specifications (GH12-6318)
  • Administrator's Guide (SH12-6311)
  • Run-Time Services (SH12-6312)
  • Primer for CICS/BMS Programs (SH12-6313)
  • General Introduction (SH12-6315)
  • Reference Summary (SX12-5012)
  • Program Directory (GI10-0424)
  • Bookshelf (SH12-6319)
  • Bookindex (SH12-6320)

Additional copies of unlicensed publications will be available for a fee after availability. These copies may be ordered from your IBM representative, through the System Library Subscription Service (SLSS), or by direct order.

Displayable Softcopy Publications

The SDF II VSE publications listed above are offered in displayable softcopy form. The files are shipped on CD-ROM, and are part of the following softcopy collection kit:

  • VSE Collection (SK2T-0060)

These displayable manuals can be used with the BookManager READ licensed programs in any of the supported environments. Terms and conditions for use of the machine-readable files are shipped with the files.
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Security, Auditability, and Control

SDF II VSE uses the security and auditability features of the VSE/ESA operating system.

The customer 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 2004.

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