IBM Screen Definition Facility II
Leverage an interactive panel development tool for enterprise transaction applications
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IBM Screen Definition Facility II is a software tool to interactively develop panel-based UIs for IBM zSystems™ applications.

Make transaction applications easier to navigate with IBM® Screen Definition Facility II (SDF II). It  is a versatile tool for developing and maintaining panels, panel groups, partition sets, AID tables and control tables for enterprise transaction applications. SDF II enables you to build and maintain user interface specifications— screens, maps, formats—to design, test, implement and maintain user interfaces for applications running on target systems. You can boost development productivity by converting screens developed for one target system to be used by another. SDF II supports COBOL, PL/I, Assembler, C and RPG. It also supports workstation-based application development under IBM z/OS®.

Benefits Improve usability

Design, test, implement and maintain user interfaces that help make IBM CICS®, IBM IMS, ISPF, CSP or GDDM applications easier and simpler to navigate.

Reduce future re-engineering

Review the flow of panels with the eventual application user before anyone writes a line of code to help minimize future re-engineering efforts.

Exploit transaction application services

Use Screen Definition II objects in applications developed with or that use CICS BMS, IMS MFS, ISPF, GDDM-IMD or CSP/AD.

Develop interactively

Develop objects that can be defined using CICS BMS macros, IMS MFS utility control statements, ISPF panel definitions, GDDM-IMD and CSP/AD. Import/generate objects for IMS MFS.

Panel and panel group editors

Use the panel editor to define the  data format and structure. Distinguish general characteristics from target-specific with SDF II. Use the panel group editor to define objects under CICS® /BMS, IMS/MFS, CSP/AD and GDDM-IMD.

Partition set editor

Define how the screen of an IBM 8775, IBM 3290 or IBM 3180 display device is split into a number of separately controlled areas.

AID table and control table editors

Map operator actions to values, which are returned to the application, with the AID (attention identifier) table editor. Use the control table editor to define a sequence of conditional operations and their associated control or branching functions.

Panels, panel groups and partition sets generation

Generate panels, panel groups and partition sets for the target system. Generate these objects with CICS BMS macros, IMS MFS utility control, ISPF panels, GDDM-IMD export data sets and CSP/AD export data sets or CSP/AD external source formats.

Application prototyping

Review the flow of panels, together with the eventual user of the application, before anyone writes a line of code. Incorporate early feedback into the design of the application before it is deployed.

Import utility

Import maps, map sets and partition sets defined with CICS/BMS macros and SDF; panels defined with ISPF V2; IMS MFS utility control; maps and AID tables defined and exported from GDDM-IMD, CSP/AD. 

Conversion utility

Convert SDF II objects defined for one target system to a format suitable for another target system.

Extraction utility

Extract information about a panel and its fields and pass that to a user exit, where further processing can be done.

Technical details

Software requirements

IBM Screen Definition Facility II runs in the following environments:

  • IBM MVS™/ESA, OS/390®, z/OS®
  • VM, VM/ESA, z/VM®

Hardware requirements

IBM Screen Definition Facility II runs in IBM Z® mainframes.

Related products IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS

Empower your developers to create applications in their language of choice with support for high-transaction workloads in a secure, scalable, cost efficient environment.

IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS

Maximize your IBM z/Architecture® ROI and improve performance of your business-critical applications by migrating to the latest version of Enterprise COBOL.

IBM Enterprise PL/I for z/OS

Optimize and modernize PL7I applications on IBM z/OS by leveraging the Enterprise PL/I compiler which provides essential processing and debugging tools.

IBM Graphical Data Display Manager (GDDM)

Add visual presentation to your host application with GDDM. Use these simple but powerful services for showing data on IBM display terminals and other devices.


Use IBM® Virtual Storage Extended (z/VSE®) operating system on z/OS for traditional batch and online transaction processing applications. It can be used alone, or in a heterogenous environment.

Next steps

Discover how to easily navigate transaction applications with SDF II. 

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