High Level Assembler Toolkit Feature Increases Programmer Productivity

Announcement Letter Number: A95-1432

Document's Table of Contents:


High Level Assembler Toolkit Feature is an optional priced feature that provides a powerful set of tools to improve application development, debugging and recovery on MVS and VM systems. The productivity-enhancing tools include:
  • A powerful and sophisticated symbolic debugger that simplifies and speeds the development of correct and reliable applications written in Assembler and other languages.
  • A complete set of macro instructions that implement the most widely used structured programming constructs (IF, DO, CASE, SEARCH) to simplify coding and eliminate errors in writing branch instructions.
  • A flexible disassembler that helps in understanding programs in object format as well as helping with recovery of lost source code.

Reference: IBM Programming Announcement A95-36, dated January 26, 1995.
Planned Availability Date: December 15, 1995.
Program Number: 5696-234 High Level Assembler



High Level Assembler Toolkit Feature supports productivity enhancements by providing:
  • A powerful and sophisticated symbolic debugger
  • A complete set of macro instructions for structured programming constructs
  • A disassembler.


The High Level Assembler Toolkit Feature is an optional priced feature that contains three items: a debugger, a set of structured programming macros and a disassembler.

  • The :q.High Level Assembler Toolkit Feature Interactive Debug Facility:eq. (IDF) supports a rich set of capabilities that speed error detection and correction:
    • IDF is designed for debugging Assembler Language programs on MVS and VM systems, and it can also be used advantageously to debug programs written in most high level languages.
    • IDF provides multiple selectable views of a program, including separate :q.windows:eq. for address stops, breakpoints, register displays, object code disassembly, storage dumps, language-specific support, register histories, non-traced routines and other information. These views can be used in any order or combination.
    • Execution of a program can be controlled by stepping through individual instructions, or between selected breakpoints or routines.
    • When source code is available, IDF can display source statements as the program is executed.
    • At any breakpoint, control can be passed to exit routines written in REXX or compiled languages to determine subsequent actions.
    • Instruction executions can be counted, and an instruction :q.execution history:eq. can be maintained.
    • Storage areas and register contents can be modified dynamically during debugging by simply typing new values on the displays.
    • A powerful interface to the REXX language allows user-written functions to capture, analyze and respond dynamically to program conditions.
    • IDF supports a special class of conditional breakpoints called :q.watchpoints:eq., which will be triggered only when a specified condition has occurred.
    • A command-level record and playback facility allows a debugging session to be re-executed automatically.
    • Extensive tailoring capabilities allow the end user to establish a familiar debugging environment. Most debugging actions can be easily controlled by PF key settings.
  • The :q.High Level Assembler Toolkit Feature Structured Programming Macros:eq. simplify the coding and understanding of complex control flows, and help to minimize the likelihood of coding errors in managing branch instructions. These macros support the most widely used programming control structures without having to code explicit branches:
    • Execution of one of two blocks of code depending on a true-false condition (IF-THEN-ELSE macros)
    • Executing a block of code repeatedly until some limit is reached or some condition is satisfied (DO, DO-WHILE, DO-UNTIL macros)
    • Executing one or more blocks of code selected from a set of such blocks, based on a computed numeric value (CASE macros).
  • The :q.High Level Assembler Toolkit Feature Disassembler:eq. selects control sections (CSECTs) from object or executable modules, and converts them to Assembler Language statements that can be assembled to generate the same object code.
    • A rich variety of control statements can be supplied in the primary input stream to the disassembler, or can be saved in a library and invoked by a COPY statement.
    • Control statements can specify that certain areas of the module are known to contain data only, instructions, only or are uninitialized.
    • Other control statements can define data structures (DSECTs) and assign user-specified labels to designated positions in the program.
    • Symbolic resolutions of halfword base-displacement storage addresses can be requested by supplying control statements giving base addresses and registers to be used for addressing.
    • Registers are given symbolic names, branch instructions use extended mnemonics where possible, and supervisor call (SVC) instructions are identified when known.
    • The disassembler listing provides a full summary of the inputs and outputs of the disassembly.

    When the disassembler-generated statements are assembled by High Level Assembler using the ADATA option, the resulting SYSADATA file can be used as input by program analysis and understanding tools.

Together, these tools provide the programmer with a powerful set of capabilities to speed application development, diagnosis and recovery.

Education Support

The appropriate curriculum will be updated, as necessary, to include the enhancements in this announcement. Descriptions of IBM Education and Training courses are contained in IBMLink and on the Internet at http://www.edu.ibm.com/canada. For access to IBMLink contact your marketing representative.

To enroll on any Canadian or US IBM Education and Training course, contact IBM Education and Training by:

  1. Phoning 1-800-IBM-TEACH (1-800-426-8322), OR
  2. Sending a fax to 1-800-426-9006, OR
  3. Sending a note on-line via the Internet at ibm_education@vnet.ibm.com


Specified Operating Environment

Hardware Requirements

High Level Assembler Toolkit Feature requires the same hardware environments as IBM High Level Assembler for MVS &. VM &. VSE Version 1 Release 2. Requirements for 24-bit Virtual Storage are:

  • IDF: 600K bytes
  • Disassembler: 100K bytes

c.plus working storage depending on the application.

Software Requirements

High Level Assembler Toolkit Feature operates in all MVS and VM environments where IBM High Level Assembler for MVS &. VM &. VSE Version 1 Release 2 (MVS &. VM Edition) operates. The High Level Assembler Toolkit Feature does not operate in VSE environments. (While the structured programming macros may be usable under VSE/ESA, they have not been tested and are not supported in VSE/ESA environments.)

User Group Requirements

This announcement satisfies or partially satisfies 2 requirements from one or more of the world wide user group communities, which include Australasian SHARE/GUIDE (ASG), COMMON, COMMON Europe, GUIDE International, G.U.I.D.E. Europe, Japan GUIDE/SHARE (JGS), Guide Latin American (LAG), SHARE EUROPE and SHARE Incorporated.

  • CALANG93029 - 390 Structured Programming Macros
  • SALANG91615 - Provide Support for INSPECT in Assembler H

Planning Information


The High Level Assembler Toolkit Feature is planned to be included as an optional priced feature in the first release of the new OS/390 product for MVS customers, as described in IBM Announcement A95-1242, dated October 10, 1995.


High Level Assembler Toolkit Feature will be available on the same types of media as IBM High Level Assembler for MVS &. VM &. VSE.

Security, Auditability and Control

The announced program uses the security and auditability features of the host operating system. User management is responsible for evaluation, selection and implementation of security features, administrative procedures and appropriate controls in application systems and communication facilities.

How-To Support

Customers who acquire ES/9000 processors are eligible to obtain usage assistance through the IBM Systems Service and Support Centre for the warranty period of one year after the ES/9000 installation.

Customers who have purchased S/390 Support Line or SoftwareXcel Premium under the IBM Customer Agreement are eligible to obtain usage assistance through the IBM Systems Service and Support Centre until the end of term of their agreement for S/390 Support Line Services or SoftwareXcel Services.

Pricing for S/390 Support Line and SoftwareXcel Premium are calculated on a monthly rate by CPU model group size. S/390 Support Line is also available on a per call basis. Please refer to IBM Announcement Letter A94-1199, Charges section, for detailed information.

For further information, please contact the IBM Support Family Information Centre at 1-800-465-9600, Monday to Friday from 8AM to 5PM local time, except Canadian statutory holidays.


Orders may be placed by calling IBM Host Software Direct at 1-800-IBM-CALL.

If you are interested in this announcement, please contact any of the following:

  • IBM Marketing Representatives
  • IBM Authorized Business Partners:
    • Complementary:
      • IBM Agent - BP01
      • IBM Application Specialist - BP10
      • IBM Software Specialist - BP11
      • IBM Project Assistant - BP07
Current Licensees
This feature can be ordered as an MES for installed users of the MVS &. VM Edition of IBM High Level Assembler for MVS &. VM &. VSE. The charge type selected must be the same as the base program (one-time charge or monthly license charge).
New Licensees

Based on the customer requested arrival date (CRAD) and to allow for order processing, the first customer shipment will begin within three business days after general availability. For ordering information on the base program, IBM High Level Assembler for MVS &. VM &. VSE, refer to Programming Announcement A95-36 dated January 26, 1995.

Orders for new licenses will be accepted now. Shipment will not occur before availability date. Shipment will begin on the planned availability date. New users of IBM High Level Assembler for MVS &. VM &. VSE should specify: Type: 5696 Model: 234

Basic License

To order this feature for the basic license specify the program number and feature number 9001 for asset registration. Specify feature number A8QD for a monthly license charge or feature number A8QE for a one-time charge. Specify the feature number of the desired distribution medium shown below.

Entry Support License (ESL):
To order this feature for an ESL license, specify the program number, feature number 9001 for asset registration and the applicable ESL one-time charge feature number. Also specify the feature number of the desired distribution medium.
                                      ESL One-Time Charge
 Program Number/Description             Feature Number
 --------------------------             --------------

  5696 234    High Level Assembler            A8QF
              for MVS &. VM &. VSE

Note: ESL machines can be determined by referring to the IBM Entry End User/390 Attachment (E0525).
Basic Machine Readable Material

To order, select the feature number of the desired distribution medium:

       Environment      Feature Number  Distribution Medium
  --------------------  --------------  -------------------
  MVS                      5820         9/1600 tape
  MVS                      5821         9/6250 tape
  MVS                      5822           3480 tape
  MVS                      6100         4mm DAT

  VM                       5830         9/1600 tape
  VM                       5831         9/6250 tape
  VM                       5832           3480 tape
  VM                       5834         1/4" QIC 120
  VM                       6101         4mm DAT

Customization Options: Select the appropriate feature number(s) to customize your order to specify the delivery options desired. These features can be specified on the initial or MES orders. Example: If publications are not desired for the initial order, and for future updates, specify feature numbers 3470 to ship media only and 3480 to ship media updates only. In the future if publication updates were required order an MES to remove feature number 3480 and the publications will ship with the next release for the program.


 Feature                 Description
 -------                 -----------

 3444                   Serial Number Only
                        (suppresses shipment of media and documentation)

 3470                   Ship Media Only
                        (suppresses initial shipment of documentation)

 3471                   Ship Documentation Only
                        (suppresses initial shipment of media)


 Feature                 Description
 -------                 -----------

 3480                   Ship Media Updates Only
                        (suppresses update shipment of documentation)

 3481                   Ship Documentation Only
                        (suppresses update shipment of media)

 3482                   Suppress Updates
                        (suppresses update shipment of media and

 9090                   Ship Advanced Documentation
                        (immediate shipment of unlicensed documentation,
                        media shipped by order request date)
DSLO License

To order this feature for a DSLO license specify the program number and feature number 9524 for a monthly license charge or feature number 9525 for a one-time charge. Ordering a DSLO feature will result in IBM maintaining a record of this customer location as a DSLO user only. All material for the DSLO license must be ordered by the basic licensee. If a user selects DSLO, no other feature numbers are valid for this order and no program materials or updates will be shipped.

Unlicensed Documentation

A memo and one copy of the following publications are supplied automatically with the basic machine-readable material:

    Title                                      Order Number
 ---------------------------------------       ------------
 High Level Assembler for MVS & VM & VSE       GC26-8709
   Toolkit Interactive Debug Facility
   User's Guide

 High Level Assembler for MVS & VM & VSE       GC26-8710
   Toolkit User's Guide

 High Level Assembler for MVS & VM & VSE       GC26-8711
   Toolkit Installation and
   Customization Guide

 High Level Assembler for MVS & VM & VSE       GC26-8712
   Toolkit Interactive Debug Facility
   Reference Summary

 High Level Assembler for MVS & VM & VSE       GC26-4944
   Licensed Program Specifications
Additional copies of unlicensed publications will be available for a fee immediately after product availability. These copies may be ordered from your IBM representative, through the system library subscription service (OSSPubs) or by direct order.

Displayable Softcopy Publications High Level Assembler Toolkit Feature manuals are offered in displayable softcopy form. All unlicensed manuals are included. The displayable manuals are part of the basic machine-readable material. The files are shipped on the same media type as the basic machine-readable material. These displayable manuals can be used with the BookManager(TM) READ licensed programs in any of the supported environments. Terms and Conditions for use of the machine-readable files are shipped with the files. Subsequent updates (technical newsletters or revisions between releases) to the publications shipped with the product will be distributed to the user of record for as long as a license for this software remains in effect. A separate publication order or subscription is not needed.

(TM) Trade-mark owned by International Business Machines Corporation and is used under license by IBM Canada Ltd.


The terms are unaffected by this announcement. Please refer to Software Announcement A95-36 dated January 26, 1995.


(For a description of terms, see Terms and Charges Glossary A95 - 1) GST, QST and Sales Taxes, where applicable, are extra.
ESL = Basic License
Program Number
                             Basic    DSLO
          Basic    DSLO      Monthly  Monthly
          One-Time One-Time  License  License
          Charge   Charge    Charge   Charge

          $6,920   $5,195     $144     $108

                                   One-Time Charge
Entry End User/390
  Entry Support License:               $1,060

Entry Support License One-Time Charge: One-Time charge authorizes use only on IBM Entry End User/390 Machines.
For additional information, refer to Program Announcement A95-36, dated January 26, 1995.