Skip to main content

IBM Systems  >   z Systems  >   z/VM  >  

Description of SPOOLAID

Download count: 19 this month, 4705 altogether.

Downloads for SPOOLAID:
VMARC archive: v-91K

SpoolAid - Full-screen browser for spool file internals


SpoolAid is a tool which allows you to browse the internal structure of CP spool files. This tool is intended for use by application developers and system programmers who have a need to see the raw data in a CP spool file, normally obtainable by an application program via CP Diagnoses X'14, X'B8', and X'F8'. SpoolAid provides a full-screen, XEDIT-based display of the CP SFBLOK, SPLINK, and XAB control blocks. On a 370-based VM system (VM/SP, VM/HPO, or VM/ESA 370 feature), the SFBLOK and SPLINK represent data exactly as kept by CP. On an XA-based VM system (VM/XA, VM/ESA ESA feature, or z/VM), the SFBLOK and SPLINK represent data from the CP SPFBK and SPDBK control blocks as translated into VM/SP format by Diagnose X'14'.

SpoolAid can display any spool file which can be read via Diagnose X'14. You can have your choice of a formatted display (which is the default) or an unformatted display of the spool data. A formatted display is tailored to the type of spool area being viewed -- for example, an SFBLOK display will show the name and value of each SFBLOK field; a SPLINK display will show the name of each CCW encountered; an XAB display will show the name of each Output Processing Text Unit found (if the XAB was created by RSCS or PSF or an equivalent program). An unformatted display shows a hexadecimal and EBCDIC "dump style" view of the selected spool area.

SpoolAid should run on any version of z/VM. It should also run on any release of older VM versions, such as VM/SP, VM/HPO, VM/XA, and VM/ESA (both 370 and ESA features). In the 20 years since its initial release, SpoolAid has run on VM versions back to VM/SP Release 4. The current version of SpoolAid is developed and tested on z/VM Version 5 Release 2.0. The author does not have access to back-level VM systems for testing.

SpoolAid requires no installation other than placing the files in the package on an accessed mini-disk or SFS directory. If you desire to perform some tailoring of the display, you may copy the file SPOOLAID SAMPROF to SPOOLAID PROFILE and change it as necessary, guided by the comments in the file. Note that if you wish to use the default settings, you do not need the SPOOLAID PROFILE file.

SpoolAid can be invoked from the CMS command line or from within RDRLIST via the SA command. In order to get started, type

for a menu of help on various topics about the SpoolAid tool. Type
  SA ?
to go directly to help for the SA command. Detailed help for the SFBLOK, SPLINK, and XAB displays is available from the "HELP SPOOLAID" menu or via PF1 from within the SpoolAid displays for those control blocks.

SpoolAid is available as SPOOLAID PACKAGE internally within IBM on VMTOOLS and externally via the download package area on the z/VM pages on the web at Version 2.59 of SpoolAid is also shipped with RSCS Version 3 Release 2 as a service aid.

Any comments may be addressed to the author, Tom Klensk, at

VM:       KLENSK at GDLVM7
Lotus Notes: Tom Klensk/Endicott/IBM@IBMUS


Ver 1.00, 01/19/1985 - initial release
                     - I didn't keep track of the release content
                       for almost four years after 1.00 was shipped.
                       Fast forward now to 2.47!
Ver 2.47, 11/03/1988 - fixed missing 3800 X'37' opcode
Ver 2.49, 04/10/1989 - added HPO5 and ISF SFBLOK fields
Ver 2.50, 05/08/1989 - fixed missing 3800 X'07' and X'17' opcodes
Ver 2.51, 12/18/1989 - added B1 SPE SFBLOK field
Ver 2.52, 04/05/1990 - added support for XAB formatting
Ver 2.53, 07/05/1990 - added Secure Origin ID support
Ver 2.54, 06/14/1991 - internal restructure, SACMDS XEDIT replaces
                       PROFSA, SASFB, SASPLINK, and SAXAB XEDIT macros,
                       added SPOOLAID PROFILE support
Ver 2.55, 05/29/1992 - fix storage overlay problem in SADUMPER MODULE;
                       allow 5 digits for SFBRECSZ field (for VAFP)
Ver 2.56, 07/06/1993 - added new SFBLOK and SPLINK fields; added new
                       OPTUs in formatted XAB; added continued data
                       messages, updated announce and CMS HELP screens
                       (first release to IBMVMGAT)
Ver 2.57, 05/16/1994 - added new OPTUs; added new opcodes for RSCS
                       pseudo-opcodes used in S&F VAFP files; enhanced
                       CMS HELP screens
Ver 2.58, 10/27/1994 - added analysis, error messages, and logging for
                       all Diagnose instruction failures
Ver 2.59, 03/20/1995 - modern PF key arrangement; added new OPTU; add
                       'ONLY' to PFkeys to fix extra lines on stack
                       problem (from jva & dbk); added original CCW
                       length (if present) to formatted display;
                       (this release shipped with RSCS 3.2)
Ver 2.60, 09/16/2005 - added new SFBLOK fields (SFBCENT and SFBXSPT)
                       for VM/ESA 2.2.0; added fast access to end of
                       spool file via Diagnose X'14' subcode X'24'; new
                       summary messages for CP/origin/CMS/RECEIVE status
                       added to initial display; added SpoolAid HELP TASK;
                       added new OPTUs; added summary messages; improved
                       error handling for profile processing; detect no
                       rdr in SA EXEC; check for matching SA EXEC,
                       SACMDS XEDIT, and SADUMPER MODULE; updated HELP
                       text for SFBLOK and SPLINK displays