Hello everyone! We have been busily working on the updates to the PD Tools Studio, and I'm pleased to let you know that we have made two updates available in a relatively short period (v188.8.131.52 and v184.108.40.206). From our perspective, we recommend you check for updates regularly, so that you are always working with the latest and greatest set of the PD Tools plug-ins. As well as bug fixes, these contain new features.
People often ask me why they should be using the GUIs for PD Tools instead of the ISPF-based interface. After all, the ISPF-based user interface has been around for more than a decade and is now quite mature. It is a big task for us to match the capability of the ISPF-based interface (because of its sheer size and the fact that it has been optimised to meet the users' expectations). But we also want to produce something that is better. Simply put, it is harder than we expected! The good news is we are slowly matching the ISPF-based interface, and we are starting to have some features that are better or only available in the PD Tools GUIs.
In this blog entry and upcoming entries, I will introduce some nice features we have in the plug-ins which make them more useable.
In the example screen shot below, the user is currently editing the data set name to use as a template to format the data, using the File Manager formatted editor's options dialogue. In the current context, a valid input value is a member of PDS or PDSE which contains a File Manager template or a copybook.
If you are a power-user who remembers the fully qualified name of a template or copybook, you can always type the fully qualified data set member name. If you are not 100% sure, then the content assist is provided to look it up. In the example, the user pressed Ctrl + Space to look up members in a data set called KEEPER.PLUGIN.TEMPLATE. All members in the data set are displayed as valid options. You can also use this feature to look up the data set name as well (for example, type KEEPER.PLUGIN., then invoke the content assist. It will look up all data sets starting with KEEPER.PLUGIN).
The content assist is provided throughout the File Manager plug-in. You can use it to look up data sets, USS files, CICS resources, MQ queues, and DB2 objects according to the context when you invoke the content assist.
We typically provide more interactive dialogue to look up resource as well – just click on the magnifying glass next to the entry box. This is similar to what is provided under the ISPF user interface. I think the content assist makes the plug-in more useable because it requires less mouse-clicks and navigation of different dialogues.
Enjoy looking up resources more efficiently!