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Ten Tips You May Not Know about z/OSMF Desktop UI


Since its introduction in 2018 the z/OSMF Desktop UI has brought a modern look and feel to z/OS as well as integrating utilities that improve daily operations. For clients who are looking to get more from z/OSMF, here are 10 tips might help you to better leverage z/OSMF Desktop capabilities:

1. Quickly locate a task icon

By typing the first character of the task or icon name on the desktop, the icons starting with the characters will be focused iteratively. When you find the one you want, just hit the enter key and the task will open.

2. Type ahead searches of data sets, files, and directories.

The z/OSMF Search widget interacts with data sets and USS files. By inputting keywords in the search box, the type-ahead search results will be listed in the dropdown list to help you locate a data set or USS file or directory without having to remember the absolute name or path. All matched results are listed with the actions supported in the context menu of each item (e.g. delete, copy, etc).

3. The VS Code derived editor and syntax highlight of JCL, REXX, HTML, and XML

z/OSMF provides an editor that is derived from the code base of VS code editor, supporting editing a file or data set like in a modern IDE and afterward save the changes. Common actions that require special commands and operations in 3270 like copy, cut, paste, go to line, find all, move and etcetera, are much easier and do not require users to know the commands. The preview panel of the editor also gives a whole view of the content structure. In addition, the editor also supports syntax styling of z/OS native resources like JCL and REXX, as well as XML and HTML.

4. Creating a data set just by right clicking on the desktop

You can create a data set, data set member, USS file, and/or directory directly from the desktop. z/OSMF provides 5 default data set templates for you to choose from, including JCL, REXX, ASSEMBLE, SMF, and LOAD Lib. You can also create your own private data set template, or share it with other users. The UI also simplifies creating a data set by prioritizing the attributes, estimating data set size, cross-checking parameters, and other details to create a data set without having to input every parameter and understand the rules.

5. Filter data set, data set member, file, and directory.

Sort search results by clicking the column name or use the filter icon to easily find a search item. Choose between scroll and page depending on the number of results. The scroll view eliminates the need to page up and page down like on 3270.

6. Send frequently used data sets, data set members, files, and directories to the desktop.

For frequently used data sets, files or directories, you can choose to send them to the desktop or a folder on the desktop. A shortcut icon is created on the desktop or in the selected folder. This allows you to open the data set, member or file directly from the location that you sent it to without having to search for it.

7. Submit a data set or file as JCL and check job outputs.

When browsing a JCL, an option is provided to submit it from the search results or from the editor where a new window will prompt with the job output to check the status. If the job fails, you can go back to the JCL window, edit it, and submit it again. The Job Output task is also a lightweight tool where you can find all your jobs, check the status, or delete a job.

8. Pin frequently used task icons to the taskbar

Right-click on a task icon and choose “Pin to Taskbar”.

9. Minimize all the opened task windows with a double click on the desktop

To go back to the desktop, you can either double click any area of the desktop or click the “Back to Desktop” icon at the right end of the taskbar.

10. The z/OSMF Reference Center

The z/OSMF reference center is a collaboration of icons that contains helpful information including:

  • One-Stop Hub, publishes news of z/OSMF updates, videos, and links to important document materials.
  • z/OSMF REST APIs, launches the Open API document of z/OSMF REST APIs where you can try the APIs out.
  • Workflows Open Repository, is the place where people share and distribute workflow definitions.

Please refer to this video for Data set and USS file utility of z/OSMF Desktop UI.

For more information about z/OSMF, please refer to z/OSMF One Stop Hub.