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TSO REPRO for Recovery and Audit

We work with a number of system products which use VSAM as their DBMS, for example CA-ACF2. Many such products create a backup by REPROing to a sequential dataset. Such a backup is intended when it is necessary to restore the entire database. However, there are some situations where it may be desirable to work with a subset of these records. It may not be easy to interpret the data in the backup dataset.

The SORT utility can be used to extract one or more records from the backup if you have some knowledge of the key structure.

If you wish to examine a particular record from the backup and you have a test environment available to you, you can load it into the clusters in this test environment using REPRO IDS(indsn) ODS(cluster). You may need to specify the REPLACE option if the key already exists. Otherwise, a duplicate key will be bypassed.

This approach can be useful when cloning a small number of entries from a production environment to a test environment. You would not want to do this for CA-ACF2 in your production environment unless you are trying to fix a major problem. Because the security product is stopped, main console intervention is required for access to any protected resource.

This approach has also been useful when trying to examine an older version of information stored in a proprietary format. We had tools to interpret information in the active VSAM cluster but not in the backup format. This approach could also be used to look at older versions of ACF2 resources. This type of activity should be limited to a test environment.

This technique is quick and dirty. Proceed with care and make sure you can fall back to a good known version of the VSAM dataset in question.


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