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Comparing the Output from Two Batch Jobs

Strictly speaking, this is not a JCL trick. However, it seemed too good to not pass along. It is often useful to see what is different between the outputs from two different batch jobs. This trick is aimed at those situations where the differences are few and far between.

First, capture the output from each job into two different datasets. My method is to go into SDSF, use the PRINT DATASET command to create a new output dataset with appropriate DCB attributes and then use PRINT to store the job output. Use a different dataset for each job. If you don't have SDSF, use your spool browsing product of choice or ISPF 3.8 if you must.

Now, use ISPF EDIT on the output from the first job. Then, in the command input area, type

COMPARE dataset.with.output.from.second.job

The differences between the two jobs will be highlighted and relatively easy to review. You can use the ISPF command

LOCATE NEXT SPECIAL to position to the next highlighted area.

You can also use the ISPF COMPARE utility to see only what is different, but I find that this way of comparing the two job outputs to be more useful.

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