ERBSCAN / ERBSHOW – A Parameter You Might Not Know

(Originally posted 2008-01-11.)

Very few people spend as much time as I do down in the guts of individual SMF records. But for those who do ERBSCAN / ERBSHOW is an invaluable tool…

  • ERBSCAN, issued in ISPF 3.4 against an SMF data set, presents you with a list of SMF records and some VERY high level information. Such as the date and time the record was cut, the SMF ID and the record type and subtype.
  • ERBSHOW nnnn, issued from the ERBSCAN record list, formats the record. For “non-RMF” records it basically formats the header and presents the record sections – with little additional information. With “RMF” records (equivalently those from BMC’s CMF) it does a fair amount more. This is because it knows the layouts of such records.

(Actually ERBSHOW knows about a few other record types.)

If, instead of typing “ERBSHOW nnnn” you type “ERBSHOW nnnn X” you get a better layout and more formatting…

Some key fields in the Product Section are translated.

SMF Type 70 Subtype 1 (CPU) records have two section types for PR/SM. One per LPAR (whether active or inactive) and one per logical engine. It’s a nuisance to work out which logical engine section belongs to which LPAR. The extra “X” parameter resequences things so that the logical engine sections for an LPAR immediately follow the section for the LPAR itself. Neat!

Thanks to Matthias Gubitz of RMF Development for sharing this with me. He mentioned it when I started going “wouldn’t it be nice if ERBSCAN and ERBSHOW…”

Actually, I took a look at the ERBSCAN / ERBSHOW code. They are a pair of REXX execs that sit in SYS1.SERBCLS. So I copied them into a CLIST library ahead of SYS1.SERBCLS for my TSO / ISPF userid. Then I started to fiddle with the code. It was VERY easy to understand it to the point where I could straightforwardly format an additional field in the record – the Sysplex name.

Modifying the code is, of course, completely unsupported. So I’m not sure I can recommend it. But I do hope to modify it some more – to make my job easier. And if I do I may try and give my changes back to RMF Development.

So, while I’m in the code, are there any enhancements to ERBSCAN / ERBSHOW that you would like to see? I can’t promise anything, of course. But I’m motivated to work on useful enhancements.

And, no, I don’t use ERBSCAN / ERBSHOW instead of serious performance analysis tools. But as the developer of some of these I often need to dump raw records, particularly if I’m trying to trouble shoot or extend our code to map additional fields. I appreciate not a lot of people are in this position. šŸ™‚

Published by Martin Packer

I'm a mainframe performance guy and have been for the past 35 years. But I play with lots of other technologies as well.

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