Data-in-virtual simplifies the writing of applications that use large amounts of data from permanent storage. Applications can create, read, and update data without the I/O buffer, blocksize, and record considerations that the traditional GET and PUT types of access methods require.

By using the services of data-in-virtual, certain applications that access large amounts of data can potentially improve their performance and their use of system resources. Such applications have an accessing pattern that is non-sequential and unpredictable. This kind of pattern is a function of conditions and values that are revealed only in the course of the processing. In these applications, the sequential record subdivisions of conventional access methods are meaningless to the central processing algorithm. It is difficult to adapt this class of applications to conventional record management programming techniques, which require all permanent storage access to be fundamentally record-oriented. Through the DIV macro, data-in-virtual provides a way for these applications to manipulate the data without the constraints of record-oriented processing.

An application written for data-in-virtual views its permanent storage data as a seamless body of data without internal record boundaries. By using the data-in-virtual MAP service, the application can make any portion of the object appear in virtual storage in an area called a virtual storage window. The window can exist in an address space, a data space, or a shared or non-shared standard hiperspace. (See Example of mapping a data-in-virtual object to a data space and Using data-in-virtual with hiperspaces for more information.) When the window is in a data space, the application can reference and update the data in the window by using assembler instructions. When the window is in a hiperspace, the application uses the HSPSERV macro to reference and update the data. To copy the updates to the object, the application uses the data-in-virtual SAVE service.

An application written for data-in-virtual might also benefit by using the IARVSERV macro to share virtual storage, when that storage is in an address space or data space. For information about sharing data in virtual storage through IARVSERV, particularly the restrictions for using the data-in-virtual MAP and UNMAP services, see Sharing data in virtual storage (IARVSERV macro).

The data-in-virtual services process the application data in 4096-byte (4K-byte) units on 4K-byte boundaries called blocks. The application data resides in what is called a data-in-virtual object, a data object, or simply an object. The data-in-virtual object is a continuous string of uninterrupted data. The data object can be either a VSAM linear data set or a non-shared standard hiperspace. Choosing a linear data set as an object or a non-shared standard hiperspace as an object depends on your application. If your application requires the object to retain data, choose a linear data set, which provides permanent storage on DASD. A hiperspace object provides temporary storage.