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VSAM System Software VSAM Training by SYS-ED Courseware for Teaching
Professional Distance-learning Service Industry Standard VSAM Training Service VSAM Components: Memory, Usage, and Allocation
IBM VSAM Integrated Mainframe Training Environment Mainframe Training Programs VSAM Training Services







VSAM, CICS, DB2, IMS, TSO/ISPF, and z/OS are registered trademarks of IBM Corporation.
Courseware for Teaching - VSAM Training
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VSAM Application Maintenance and Language Specific Performance Optimization

VSAM System Software

In the IBM mainframe environment an access method is required for an application program written in a procedural or low-level language to access data on a DASD: Direct Access Service Device. The role of an access method includes setting record size, determining available disk space for record storage, writing data to disk, locating data on disk, and retrieving data from the disk. Without a reliable access method, the programmer would be required to make calculations and write the code in each program. The VSAM code in legacy programming languages - primarily COBOL, Assembler, and PL/1 - is a component of operational infrastructure specific to the client's IBM mainframe operating system - z/OS, z/VM, or z/VSE.

IBM Mainframe Software Environment

VSAM - Programming Languages
IBM - VSAM System Software

In the late 1970ís IBM introduced VSAM: Virtual Storage Access as its new access method; replacing ISAM and BDAM. VSAM added functionality, device independence, and improved performance. It was also easier to use. There have been numerous improvements made to VSAM and it is still integral mainframe system software. VSAM is used extensively in the CICS Transaction Server environment to provide recoverability, data locking, and integrity to source data. Sharing of VSAM data among CICS regions is done with VSAM RLS: Record-Level Sharing; this adds record caching and record locking. Logging and commit processing remains the responsibility of CICS. This means that sharing of VSAM data outside a CICS environment will be restricted.

VSAM has been the workhorse access method for IBMís z/OS and z/VSE evolutionary operating system's and system software products: IMS, CICS, and DB2. Although the role of VSAM and its relative importance has changed with the emergence of DB2 and web enablement technologies, a knowledge of VSAM is important for optimizing performance and balancing the processing of input/output.

VSAM now uses some of the newer hardware technology to improve performance. In a multi-extent, multi-volume VSAM dataset processed in sequential access, processing does not allow for any type of parallelism for I/O operations among the volumes. This means that when an I/O operation is executed for an extent in a volume, no other I/O activity from the same task or same dataset is scheduled to the other volumes. In a situation where I/O is the major bottleneck and there are available resources in the channel subsystem and controllers, it is a waste of these resources.

Data striping addresses this sequential access performance problem by adding two modifications to the traditional data organization:

  • The records are not placed in key ranges along the volumes; instead they are organized in stripes.

  • Parallel I/O operations, in the form of control intervals, are scheduled to sequential stripes on different volumes.

Enhancements have been made to VSAM with the IBM z/OS V1.10 operating system. The VSAM CA: Control Area Reclaim capability provides applications which use VSAM KSDS: key-sequenced datasets with improved availability through minimizing outages required for data defragmentation and reorganization. Disk space utilization also is better. CETi technology partners are evaluating IBM product announcements regarding performance, which have been reported to be as high as a 44% improvement for VSAM-based workloads.

VSAM Training by SYS-ED

Since 1980, SYS-ED has been a leader in VSAM training and educational consultancy. We have a track record for developing the knowledge and skillset required by Fortune 1000 companies government municipalities, healthcare providers, and consulting firms to address specific operational objectives. If your organization outsourced the optimization of its VSAM coding to consulting firms in the 1980ís, it more than likely was SYS-ED which trained the personnel that did the actual work.

The sample programs and exercises were developed, updated, and tailored to teach VSAM in evolutionary z/OS and z/VSE environments with legacy programming languages. Our consultancy derived content and VSAM courses have served as a framework from which industry standard textbooks have been refined - subject matter, sample programs, and exercises - to ensure that they address work environment operational requirements. In addition to VSAM, we also provide training on the IBM and third party mainframe utilities and development tools inclusive of examples and integrated exercises on Compuware and Computer Associates software.

When information technology professionals leave a SYS-ED VSAM course, they have the skeleton programs, documentation, training aids, and supervised hands-on experience to efficiently code and maintain programs back on the job. Case and point, we encourage clients to provide us with listcats from their production systems prior to attending a class. We analyze and interpret that information and teach the concepts and techniques required to make VSAM performance optimization a reality.

The value added service to a SYS-ED VSAM course is the educational consultancy we can provide. Case and point, if your organization outsourced its CICS and VSAM coding and program maintenance to consulting companies in the 1980ís, it more than likely was SYS-ED which trained the consultants who did the actual design and coding!

CICS Transaction Server COBOL
DB2 Relational Database VSAM Performance and Tuning

IBM's information agenda is built on its proprietary operating systems and system software. Its foundation is to simplify, collaborate, reuse, and standardize. SYS-ED's mainframe course offerings, training programs, and software specific websites have been designed to add value-added service to this strategy and IBM's cloud computing initiatives.

1- Delivery of content through multiple delivery medium as part of a collaborative environment for integrating data at a business level.

2- Student handouts, reference guides, and validation assessment for training human resources that leverage existing investments in software infrastructure.

3- Application development accelerators in the form of industry and client-specific training aids, examples, templates, and data modeling.

4- Support services in the form of technology updates, knowledge base, answers to questions, and tailored documentation in hybrid and interrelated information technology.

The VSAM courseware and training aids that we provide as part of our instructor-led courses are highly respected. The content and diagrams reflect a purposeful examination of program logic, access methods services, and sample programs which have been validated on consulting projects. SYS-ED's VSAM courseware is updated with information from FAQ's frequently asked questions, technology updates, and CETi knowledge base. Given the scarcity of up to date industry standard VSAM textbooks, our courseware serves a valuable function as a reference manual.

Upon completion of a instructor-led course at the client location, it is standard policy to organize content for future utilization in a web-based training infrastructure.

Courseware for Teaching

The courseware used in SYS-ED courses consists of student handouts, training aids, and industry-specific examples and exercises. The CETi knowledge base aggregates and analyzes information in the public domain. It also is a service for reviewing and answering questions. Content is selectively added to courseware. Our long term strategy is to have our courseware recognized as a NRV: Nationally Recognized Vendor.


VSAM Training Services

VSAM: Virtual Storage Access Method
Mainframe Utilities and Development Tools
Programming Skills
COBOL Language and Application Development
Legacy Programming Languages

CICS Transaction Server Programming
IMS Programming
DB2 Programming

Web-based Training Services

Technology Driven IT Training Teaching Models: Return on Investment Web-based Training Services

Professional Distance-learning Service

SYS-ED's distance-learning training service is 65% lecture with the remaining 35% of the service provided in the form of scheduled interactive question and answer sessions with a subject matter expert, hands-on exercises, optional validation assessment, and submission of questions through our technology exchange websites.

VSAM Training - New York State Department of Education Standards

Enrollment is contingent upon the prospective trainee's having been qualified by our Director of Education to have the appropriate background for the training and review of a checklist of items required for transmission of the service to the client location: bandwidth, firewall, base operating system, software requirements, web browser, and set-up of hands-on machine exercises.

Alternative web-based and e-learning training is available: self-paced, or presentation through the client's authoring system. These tailored services are offered selectively.

Industry Standard VSAM Training Service

Selection of Delivery Medium Mainframe Environment Experience

Instructor-led VSAM Training VSAM Training Services
Delivery Medium and Private Courses - Alternative to Source Software Companies
Delivery Medium Alternative to IBM for Mainframe Training
COBOL Language Mainframe Utilities and Tools VSAM CICS Transaction Server IMS Transaction Server

Over the past year, we have had a number of inquiries regarding whether SYS-ED still offered VSAM training for IT professionals.

1.That it is extremely to find VSAM training for specific development and maintenance tasks.
2. That there is a scarcity of fast-track VSAM for Programmers and VSAM Performance and Optimization courses, 3 days or fewer in duration, geared to different operating systems and legacy programming languages.
3. That a high percentage of VSAM courses are cancelled.
4. That travel costs and living expenses in a majority of situations are a significant constraint when it comes to attending a VSAM course.
5. That it is important to have a resource for asking VSAM questions once the VSAM training is complete.

In response to these questions:

VSAM Training Services Yes, SYS-ED offers multiple levels of VSAM training: z/OS and z/VSE.
VSAM Training Services Yes, since 1980, SYS-ED has taught standalone VSAM courses and as part of mainframe training programs.
VSAM Training Services We have the flexibility and resources to conduct personalized training upon request.
VSAM Training Services VSAM courses are available in multiple formats: distance-learning, blended web-based delivery, and classroom.
VSAM Training Services Upon completion of a SYS-ED course, our staff is available to answer VSAM questions.

SYS-ED has been conducting courses in the public domain since 1980; however, there have been changes in the laws and regulations governing computer training in the state of New York. The schedule on our websites reflects a projected time frame for licensure with the New York State Department of Education - Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision and submission and approval of curriculum. It will be updated quarterly.

VSAM Components: Memory, Usage, and Allocation

VSAM tuning consists of providing a satisfactory level of service from a system at an acceptable cost. A satisfactory service is likely to be obtained by providing adequate buffers to minimize physical I/O and, at the same time, allowing several operations concurrently on the datasets. A knowledge of where the buffers are, how many buffers, size of the buffers, use of multiple index buffers and multiple data buffers are paramount in determining the best strategy for tuning VSAM database.

    LSR: Local Shared Resources     NSR: Nonshared Resources     Hiperspace Buffers     RLS: Record Level Sharing    
    BUFFERS     INDEXBUFFERS     HSDATA     VSAM Server, Subsystem SMSVSAM    
    Strings     DATABUFFERS     HSINDEX     Sharing Control Datasets    
          Strings           Common Buffer Pools and Control Blocks    

The costs of assigning additional buffers and providing for concurrent operations on datasets are the additional virtual and real storage that is required for the buffers and control blocks. Knowledge of the different components and memory allocation associated with VSAM datasets will be important in implementing an efficient optimization of VSAM.

IBM VSAM - Integrated Mainframe Environment Training

Legacy Programming LanguagesTSO Xpediter Abend-AID COBOL Debugging with Abend-AID CICS Xpediter Premium MainframeTraining Service

VSAM - z/OS and Compuware File-AID Training

File-AID: Batch File-AID: TSO File-AID for Analysts File-AID: IMS File-AID: DB2 File-AID/RDX (DB2)

Mainframe Training Programs

SYS-ED offers tailored entry-level and fast-track mainframe training programs.

Standard entry-level training programs consist of z/OS operating system, programming skills, programming language, and system software. These programs have been developed and refined over a quarter century of consultancy and teaching and draw upon the SYS-ED courseware library.

Tailored fast-track programs are comprised of course modules selected by the client organization: topics, examples, workshops, validation assessments, and duration. Many clients also elect to incorporate an educational consulting component which reflects their standards and implementation strategy for project development.

Entry Level Mainframe Assembler Language COBOL Language
PL/1 Language z/OS Operations and System Programming CICS Transaction Server

Evolving IT - Interrelated Technologies

Information technology training for business enterprise is more complex and challenging than ever before. Organizationís have a huge investment in infrastructure and applications specific to their operations. There are new industry standard protocols and web enabled technologies which require development from scratch and/or integration with the existing system software and enterprise databases. There will be long term implications regarding the strategic mix of proprietary and open source software which is selected, along with decisions on whether to maintain and upgrade the existing legacy applications, many of which are now thirty or more years of age; while retrofitting and transitioning to the new technologies. SYS-ED trained a significant portion of the first generation of DP personnel. And looks forward to training their IT successors in the 21st century.

IBM Tools Maintenace Programming and SOA Enterprise COBOL

VSAM Training Services

VSAM Courses
SYS-ED's VSAM courses are tough, but they're worth it. Our challenging VSAM training provides a foundation and framework for Fortune 1000 companies, government municipalities, healthcare providers, software houses, and consulting companies to meet their VSAM staffing requirements and acquire specialized VSAM skillsets.1

SYS-ED's VSAM and mainframe courseware is highly respected in information technology. We draw upon our extensive library of courseware, sample programs, and case studies to explain, demonstrate, and teach the real-world VSAM. Our VSAM curriculum include industry standard and consultancy derived content. We have the capability to provide tailored workshops and integrated training programs for the z/OS, z/VM, and z/VSE operating systems.

Teaching is Our Business
Most computer training companies are divisions of large software companies or consulting companies. Not SYS-ED. Our only goal is to provide world class VSAM training for motivated IT professionals - no more and no less. Because we're independent, we're free to concentrate on teaching - and since 1980 we have been doing it very well.

Our Teachers Know How to Teach
SYS-ED instructors combine teaching skills with broad practical experience as consultants. Our instructors average 30 years of experience with VSAM in the mainframe environment - operating systems, programming languages, utilities and development aids, and system software. And they know how to teach it. We teach not only "how to", but "why", building a solid foundation in fundamentals and insights into advanced materials. After a course, they are available to answer questions.

Enrollment - SYS-ED VSAM Courses are Not for Everyone
No one is allowed to enroll in a SYS-ED mainframe course, without a consultation with our Director of Education. We review the operational objectives and project specifications for the organization evaluating whether to send its employee for the training. The employee only is allowed to register if they have the background corresponding to the appropriate learning path.

VSAM Training - Distance-learning or at Your Office
SYS-ED VSAM courses are provided over the Internet through a distance-learning delivery medium or classroom instruction on-site at the client location. Client location courses can include the identical workshops, case studies, and hands-on approach as the distance-learning service offered through the SYS-ED schedule.

Technology Exchange Websites

SYS-ED's websites compile, organize, and present software specific and established operational categorizations of information technology. They provide a framework for assessing knowledge transfer: web-based training, classroom instruction, courseware, learning paths, and validation assessment.


www.cicstrainingbysysed.us www.coboltrainingbysysed.us www.db2trainingbysysed.us
www.imstrainingbysysed.us www.mainframetrainingbysysed.us www.mfutilitiesandtoolsbysysed.us
www.mqseriestrainingbysysed.us www.programmingbysysed.us www.sastrainingbysysed.us

Footnote 1:
SYS-EDís core VSAM curriculum have been submitted to the New York State Department of Education - Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision for technical review and licensing.