The Enterprise COBOL for z/OS V6.2 compiler enhances the TEST compile option with the addition of the SEPARATE sub-option and you can now store the debug information for your application in a file separate from your load module. The IBM z/OS Debugger V14.1 is enhanced as well to support this feature.

Prior to IBM z/OS Debugger V14.1 and COBOL for z/OS V6.2 compiler, when you compiled your application with TEST, your debug information was contained in your load module, which resulted in larger load modules. Also, as the debug information could not be separated from the load modules, others could use the load modules to reverse engineer the code.

However, if you use the the new TEST (SEPARATE) option offered in the COBOL for z/OS V6.2 compiler, the following enhancements can be made:
• You can generate DWARF debug information into a separate side file, the location of which is specified with the SYSDEBUG DD.
• The size of the load module is reduced as the debug information is placed into a separate file from the load module.
• The confidentiality of the debug data is well protected as the debug information is not shipped with the load module.
• You can use the debug information in the side file to debug the load module at a later time as needed.
• You can also utilize this new debug side file functionality when you debug optimized code.
• The TEST(SEPARATE) sub-option is also available with the Enterprise COBOL V4 compiler which eases the migration to the new COBOL for z/OS V6.2 compiler.

In summary, storing debug information for your application in a debug side file instead of in the load module not only reduces the load module size and protects the debug data, but also provides a flexible debug side that can be used for various debug purposes.

For more information on how to specify the location of separate debug side files for IBM z/OS Debugger V14.1, see Remote debugging in standard mode.

For more information about TEST(SEPARATE), see Debug information changes with Enterprise COBOL Version 5 and Version 6 in the Enterprise COBOL for z/OS V6.2 documentation in IBM Knowledge Center.

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