z/OS MVS JCL Reference
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JCL statement fields

z/OS MVS JCL Reference

A JCL statement consists of one or more 80-byte records. Start of change Each record is comparable to an 80-column punched-card image. End of change Each JCL statement is logically divided into the following five fields. All five fields do not appear on every statement; see Table 1 for the fields that can appear on each statement.
Identifier field
The identifier field indicates to the system that a statement is a JCL statement rather than data. The identifier field consists of the following:
  • Columns 1 and 2 of all JCL statements, except the delimiter statement, contain //
  • Columns 1 and 2 of the delimiter statement contain either /* or two other characters designated in a DLM parameter to be the delimiter
  • Columns 1, 2, and 3 of a JCL comment statement contain //*
Name field
The name field identifies a particular statement so that other statements and the system can refer to it. For JCL statements, code the name as follows:
  • The name must begin in column 3.
  • The name is 1 through 8 alphanumeric or national ($, #, @) characters. See Table 1 for the character sets.
  • The first character must be an alphabetic or national ($, #, @).
  • The name must be followed by at least one blank.
Operation field
The operation field specifies the type of statement, or, for the command statement, the command. Code the operation field as follows:
  • The operation field consists of the characters in the syntax box for the statement.
  • The operation follows the name field.
  • The operation must be preceded and followed by at least one blank.
Parameter, or operand field
The parameter field, also sometimes referred to as the operand field, contains parameters separated by commas. Code the parameter field as follows:
  • The parameter field follows the operation field.
  • The parameter field must be preceded by at least one blank.

See Parameter field for details on coding the parameter field.

Comments field
The comments field contains any information you deem helpful when you code the control statement. Code the comments field as follows:
  • The comments field follows the parameter field.
  • The comments field must be preceded by at least one blank.

You can code comments after the parameter field even though you continue the parameter field on a subsequent statement; see Continuing JCL statements.

For most statements, if you do not code any parameters, do not code any comments.

Table 1. JCL Statement Fields



JCL Command

//   command   [parameter] [comments]


//[name]  COMMAND ‘command command-operand’  [comments]


//* comments


//label   CNTL   [*  comments]


//[ddname]   DD  [parameter   [comments]]
//[ddname]   DD


/* [comments]
xx [comments]


//[label]   ENDCNTL   [comments]


//[stepname]   EXEC   parameter   [comments]


//name IF [relational expression] THEN  [comments]
//name ELSE  [comments]
//name ENDIF  [comments]


//[name]  INCLUDE  parameter   [comments]


//[name]  JCLLIB   parameter   [comments]


//jobname   JOB   [parameter   [comments]]
//jobname   JOB




//name   OUTPUT   parameter   [comments]


//[name]   PEND   [comments]

PROC (cataloged)

//[name]   PROC   [parameter   [comments]]
//[name]   PROC

PROC (in-stream)

//name   PROC   [parameter   [comments]]
//name   PROC


//[name]  SET  parameter   [comments]


//[name]   XMIT   parameter[,parameter] [comments]

Location of fields on statements: Code the identifier field beginning in column 1 and the name field immediately after the identifier, with no intervening blanks. Code the operation, parameter, and comments fields in free form. Free form means that the fields need not begin in a particular column. Between fields leave at least one blank; the blank serves as the delimiter between fields.

Do not code fields, except on the comment statement, past column 71. Columns 73-80 are ignored by z/OS® and are typically used for sequence numbers. If the total length of the fields would exceed 71 columns, continue the fields onto one or more following statements. Continuing fields is described under Continuing JCL statements. The comment statement can be coded through column 80.

Use keywords only for parameters or subparameters: Do not use parameter or subparameter keywords from any JCL, JES2, or JES3 statements as symbolic parameters, names, or labels.

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