What is VSAM?

Virtual Storage Access method - ESDS, KSDS, RRDS & LDS. Basic direct access method, Basic sequential -, Queued sequential -, Basic partitioned -, Indexed sequential -, Object - access method.
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Anuj Dhawan
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What is VSAM?

Post by Anuj Dhawan » Fri May 17, 2013 10:09 am

The term Virtual Storage Access Method (VSAM) applies to both a data set type and the access method used to manage various user data types.

As an access method, VSAM provides much more complex functions than other disk access methods. VSAM keeps disk records in a unique format that is not understandable by other access methods.

Virtual storage access method (VSAM) an IBM disk file storage access method, first used in the OS/VS1, OS/VS2 Release 1 (SVS) and Release 2 (MVS) operating systems, later used throughout the Multiple Virtual Storage (MVS) architecture and now in z/OS. Originally a record-oriented filesystem.[NB 2], VSAM comprises four[NB 2] data set organizations: Key Sequenced Data Set (KSDS), Relative Record Data Set (RRDS), Entry Sequenced Data Set (ESDS) and Linear Data Set (LDS). The KSDS, RRDS and ESDS organizations contain records, while the LDS organization (added later to VSAM) simply contains a sequence of pages with no intrinsic record structure, for use as a memory-mapped file. IBM uses the term data set in official documentation as a synonym of file, and Direct access storage device (DASD) because it supported other devices similar to disk drives.

VSAM records can be of fixed or variable length. They are organised in fixed-size blocks called Control Intervals (CIs), and then into larger divisions called Control Areas (CAs). Control Interval sizes are measured in bytes — for example 4 kilobytes — while Control Area sizes are measured in disk tracks or cylinders. Control Intervals are the units of transfer between disk and computer so a read request will read one complete Control Interval. Control Areas are the units of allocation so, when a VSAM data set is defined, an integral number of Control Areas will be allocated. The Access Method Services utility program IDCAMS is commonly used to manipulate ("delete and define") VSAM data sets. Custom programs can access VSAM datasets through Data Definition (DD) statements in Job Control Language (JCL), via dynamic allocation or in online regions such as in Customer Information Control System (CICS). Both IMS/DB and DB2 are implemented on top of VSAM and use its underlying data structures


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