The IDz development team spends a great deal of time working with IBM’s z/OS R&D team – as well as leveraging recent IBM mainframe hardware/software efficiencies in the IDz product algorithms. One such area has been Remote Systems access – including Remote Search – which is one of the most common AppDev routine. Let’s look at one frequent use case: Library (PDS) searching for a content string – within a filtered member list.

In the past (RDz v9.x) it was recommended to utilize the Remote z/OS File Search –when searching through large PDS/libraries.

Figure 1 – Remote z/OS File Search

 

Remote z/OS File Search file-tailors JCL and is submitted as an MVS SuperC Utility in batch.
As shown in Figure 1, Remote z/OS File Search is accessed from the Search toolbar menu. With RDz if you were looking through libraries that contained greater than 1K members for a text or a string pattern this was the recommended (fastest & most efficient) approach.
But as of IDz v14.1 – if you are searching through a large PDS for string-patterns/texts and filtering the member list, the Remote Systems View’s (“Java-powered”) Search off of the Context Menu (Figure 2) is both fast and requires fewer keystrokes.

Figure 2 – Remote Systems Search – Context Menu Action

 

How much faster? We decided to put the Remote Systems Search to a simple timed-response test. We selected three medium sized libraries and searched for a text pattern within a subset of the Library PDS Members filtered with a name pattern (TR*) similar to what you’d use in ISPF SearchFor.

Figure 3 – z/OS Java Search through 26,500 members in mainframe PDS Libraries

 

From Figure 3 note that we used the Remote Systems/Java Search to look for the string “sqlca” in three libraries. These host-based libraries contained a combined number of members totaling over 26,500.

The total number of B* library members containing the string “sqlca” was 15 and the search operation finished in under three seconds – which included rendering the hyper-linked results from all 15 found/sqlca records back to the record in the originating file.

Figure 4 – Remote Systems Search through 26,500 members using a Regular Expression

 

We then decided to time-test another common use case – looking through the same libraries with multiple Member Name Patterns (Figure 4). To do this, we used a Regular Expression:

BN.*|TR.*|C.*


This technique searched through all members of the selected libraries where the member name started with BN – or TR – or C.

Notice that this search returned 566 results (each result is a hyper-linked line to the source file). The search completed in 16 seconds. The first 33 results were made available (opened in the Search Results view) within 2 seconds. The remaining results were then built out iteratively in the Results view until the search completed.

Note that if you’re not filtering at the Member/Name level you should continue use the Remote z/OS File Search (Figure 1)– when searching in large ( > 1K ) libraries. Note also that IBM makes no assurances or guarantees that you will achieve the same results – as your LPAR is configured and tuned entirely differently. In fact – if your shop is concerned with MIPS, using the Remote z/OS File Search is probably a better default for all remote file searching.

But given the workflow (ease-of-use) of Remote Systems/Context Menu searching, and given its productivity tooling options (Regular Expressions, Search Options for Offline Volumes, etc.) it’s nice to know that it is a quality alternative – beginning with IDz v14.

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