Meaning of return codes in JCL.

OS/VS COBOL, COBOL II, Enterprise COBOL for z/OS. OpenCOBOL and OOCobol.
Previous topicNext topic

Topic Author
Ajeet Kohli
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:05 pm

Meaning of return codes in JCL.

Post by Ajeet Kohli » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:54 pm


I'm new to COBOL. Is there a page which lists the return-codes meaning for JCL steps? I'm coding and for one of the steps I got a return-code 16, I am not to figure out what does it mean! Where can I find it?


User avatar

Robert Sample
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 1379
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:22 am
Location: Dubuque Iowa
Zodiac: Virgo

Re: Meaning of return codes in JCL.

Post by Robert Sample » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:42 pm

There is no standard set of step condition codes (or return codes) on an IBM mainframe.

For COBOL compiles:
0 Informational messages only; no action required and program executes correctly
4 Possible error. The program PROBABLY runs correctly as written
8 Definite error. Compiler attempted to correct the error but results might not be what is expected. Correct the error(s)
12 Severe error. Compiler cannot correct error and program will not execute correctly.
16 Unrecoverable error. Compilation was terminated without completion.

0 Successful completion
4 Successful completion but one or more conditions occurred (see the manual for details)
16 Unsuccessful completion
20 Message data set missing
24 Unsupported operating system
28 Wrong entry name

Other utilities will generate different return codes. A given step condition code can range from 0 to 4095 and the specific meaning depends ENTIRELY upon the program / utility generating the return code.

Your return code 16 could be an unsuccessful sort, or an unrecoverable COBOL compile error, or something else entirely. Saying you got a 16 return code without specifying the program / utility gives us NOTHING to help you with.

Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 597
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:45 pm

Re: Meaning of return codes in JCL.

Post by nicc » Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:14 pm

The respective utility manual or programmer's reference for the language in question usually gives you information.


Previous topicNext topic

Return to “IBM COBOL, GnuCOBOL (OpenCOBOL), OOCobol.”