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TPF Database Facility (TPFDF)


The TPF Database Facility (TPFDF) is an IBM licensed program product which provides database management capabilities for TPF or ALCS applications. Traditionally, TPF or ALCS database management functions are the responsibility of the applications programmer. TPFDF increases programmer productivity by providing centralized database handling routines so that application programmers only need to understand the logical relationships of data, not the physical characteristics.

The application program's independence of the physical database also makes it easier to enhance TPFDF applications. In addition, traditional files and TPFDF files can coexist in the same database, and applications can wok with both traditional and TPFDF files.

Application Programmer Productivity Benefits

Typically, in traditional database handling, there is no standard database organization. Therefore, there are no common routines for data retrieval, searches, sorts, or updates. Application programmers need to be aware of the physical size and location of data.

TPFDF enforces a standard for database organization. For example, it provides common routines to:

  • Add, delete and modify data
  • Read, sort and merge data
  • Display data
  • Read data from tape.

TPFDF provides high-level macros to act as an interface to these common routines. Application programmers only need to know the logical relationships of data, not the physical characteristics to code these macros.

TPFDF also provides functions to allow a C language program to access TPFDF file structures.

Database Administration Benefits

TPFDF enforces a centralized database structure that provides many database administration benefits. Because the definition of the database is centrally maintained, the database administrator can modify database characteristics without affecting application programs. This central maintenance, together with the utilities that TPFDF provides, means that the database administrator can

  • Check the integrity of the database
  • Optimize application program performance
  • Minimize application migration effort
  • Minimize application enhancement effort
  • Ease the migration process from a traditional database to a TPFDF Database
  • Easily implement the TPFDF Distributed Data Access feature (TPFDF/DDA).

TPFDF installations need a database administrator to implement and manage the physical database. It is the database administrators responsibility to interface with both application and database design.


TPFDF makes it possible to optimize application program performance. For example, it allows physical data to be organized to reduce direct access storage device (DASD) I/Os by:

  • Selecting optimum physical record sizes
  • Using an indexing method such as B+ Tree Indexing

TPFDF provides data collection tools for monitoring application program performance. These tools can highlight ineffective database design (excessive DASD I/Os, for example). The database administrator can modify the database definitions to optimize performance. One central change can improve the performance of many application programs without any program modification.

Application Portability

TPFDF makes it easier to integrate new and existing applications. Typically, when adding an application, there is some data that both the existing and new applications need to access.

Often, in a traditional database, the way the data is stored is not compatible between the two applications (for example, the data is held in different block sizes). This requires modification of each new program that accesses the data.

With TPFDF, no program modification is needed. Block size changes, and any other physical database changes, are transparent to the application.

The application programs independence of the physical database also makes it easier to enhance TPFDF applications.

Migration To TPFDF

TPFDF allows gradual migration from a traditional database:

  • Traditional files and TPFDF files can coexist in the same database.
  • An application can work with both traditional and TPFDF files.
  • TPFDF macros and functions can retrieve and manipulate traditional files.

This allows applications that use TPFDF to coexist with applications that use traditional database handling methods.

Other TPFDF Benfits

  • TPFDF is easy to install using TPF's System Initialization Package (SIP), or SMP/E in an ALCS environments.
  • Comprehensive hardcopy and softcopy documentation.
  • Education (as a separate priced option).

TPFDF Features

The TPFDF Distributed Data Access (TPFDF/DDA) optional feature allows data from TPFDF database to be propagated to a DATABASE 2 (DB2*) database using Structured Query Language (SQL) statements. The SQL data can be collected from one or more TPFDF files, and from one or more fields in each file.

The propagation process is transparent to the TPFDF application program and is defined by the database administrator in centralize database definitions.