Here is list of most common Mainframe VSAM Questions and Answers for IBM Interview 2018. These questions are asked by every employer in the year 2018 and the sample answers provide for 2018. Please note these questions and collected from different forums, where recent job seekers have posted these Mainframe VSAM Questions and Answers for IBM Interview.

Also Read List of other Sample Practice IBM Questions and Answers for Interview.

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Sample VSAM Questions and Answers for IBM Interview Sample COBOL Questions and Answers for IBM Interview
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Sample IMS Questions and Answers for IBM Interview Sample MVS Questions and Answers for IBM Interview


Here is List of  Sample Mainframe VSAM Questions and Answers for IBM Interview 2018
Sample Mainframe VSAM Questions and Answers for IBM Interview 2018

NOMainframe VSAM Questions and Answers for IBM Interview 2018
1
What are the different types of VSAM files available?
ANSESDS: Entry Sequence Data Set
KSDS: Key Sequence Data Set
RRDS: Relative Data Set
2
What is IDCAMS ?
ANS
IDCAMS is the Access Method Services program. You run the IDCAMS program and supply AMS commands thru SYSIN. (examples of AMS commands are DELETE,DEFINE, REPRO etc..).
3
Can AMS commands be run from the TSO prompt ?
ANS
Yes
4
Syntax of AMS modal commands ?
ANS
Note: these can be used only under IDCAMS and not from the TSO prompt.
IF LASTCC(or MAXCC) >(or <,= etc..) value –
THEN –
DO –
command set (such as DELETE, DEFINE etc..)
ELSE –
DO –
command set
LASTCC – Condition code from the last function(such as delete) executed
MAXCC – Max condition code that was returned by any of the prev functions
SET is also a valid AMS command. SET LASTCC (or MAXCC) = value
The maximum condition code is 16. A cond code of 4 indicates a warning. A cond code of 8 is usually encountered on a DELETE of a dataset that is not present.
5Under IDCAMS , multiple functions can be executed, each of which returns acond code. What will be the condition code returned to the operating system ?
ANSThe maximum condition code generated is returned as the condition code of the IDCAMS step.
6What is Control Interval, Control Area ?
ANSControl Interval is analogous to a physical block for QSAM files. It is the unit of i/o.Must be between 512 bytes to 32 k. Usually either 2K or 4K. A larger control interval increases performance for sequential processing while the reverse is true for random access. Under CICS when a record is locked, the entire CI gets locked.

Control area is a group of control intervals. CA is used during allocation. CA size is calculated based on the allocation type (cyl, tracks or records) and can be max of 1 cylinder

7What is FREESPACE ?
ANS
Coded in the DEFINE as FREESPACE(ci ca) where ci is the percentage of each control interval to be left free for insertions, ca is the percentage of control intervals in each control area to be left empty.
8How do you decide on optimum values for CI, FREESPACE etc..?
ANS
CI size should be based on record length, type of processing. Usually CI is 4K. If recordlength is larger(>1K), chose 6K or 8K.
FREESPACE should be large if more number of insertions are envisaged. Usual values are (20 20) when heavy updates are expected. CI size can be calculated.
9Would you specify FREESPACE for an ESDS?
ANSNo. Because you cannot insert records in an ESDS, also when you rewrite a record, it must be of the same length. Thus putting any value for free space does not make any sense.
10
What is SHAREOPTS ?
ANSSHAREOPTS is a parameter in the DEFINE and specifies how an object can be shared among users. It is coded as SHAREOPTS(a b), where a is the cross region share option ie how two or more jobs on a single system can share the file, while b is the cross system share option ie how two or more jobs on different MVSes can share the file. Usual valueis (2 3).
11What is the meaning of each of the values in SHAREOPTS(2 3)? 
ANS
Value of 2 for cross region means that the file can be processed simultaneously by multiple users provided only one of them is an updater. Value of 3 for cross system means that any number of jobs can process the file for input or output (VSAM does nothing to ensure integrity).
12
What does a file status of 02 on a VSAM indicate?
ANSA VSAM file that has never contained a record is treated as unavailable. Attempting to open for input will fail. An empty file can be opened for output only. When you open for output, COBOL will write a dummy record to the file & then delete it out.
13How do you define a KSDS ?
ANS
DEFINE CLUSTER(cluster name) with the INDEXED parameter. Also specify the ds name for the DATA component & the ds INDEX component. Other important parms are RECORDSIZE, KEYS, SHARE OPTIONS.
14
How do you define an ALTINDX ? How do you use ALTINDXs in batch, CICSpgms ?
ANSDEFINE ALTERNATE INDEX. Important paramters are RELATE where you specify the base cluster name, KEYS, RECORDSIZE, SHAREOPTIONS, UNIQUEKEY(or  NONUNIQUEKEY), DATA(ds name for the data component), INDEX(ds name for the index component).

Then DEFINE PATH. Important paramters are NAME (ds name for the path), PATHENTRY (ds name of the alternate index name), UPDATE(or NOUPDATE) which specifies whether an alt index is updated when a update to the base cluster takes place.

Then BLDINDEX. Parameters are INDATASET(ds name of base cluster),OUTDATASET(ds name of AIX).

Using alternate indexes in batch pgms:

In the JCL, you must have DD stmts for the cluster and for the path(s). In the cobol pgm, SELECT .. ASSIGN TO ddname for base cluster RECORD KEY IS… ALTERNATE RECORD KEY IS..

Using alternate indexes in CICS pgms:

FCT entries must be created for both base cluster & the path. To read using the alternate index, use the dd name of the path in CICS file control commands.

15What happens when you open an empty VSAM file in a COBOL program for input?
ANS
A VSAM file that has never contained a record is treated as unavailable. Attempting to open for input will fail. An empty file can be opened for output only. When you open for output, COBOL will write a dummy record to the file & then delete it out.
16How do you initialize a VSAM file before any operation? a VSAM with alternate index?
ANS
Can write a dummy program that just opens the file for output & then closes it.
17How do you calculate record size of an alternate cluster? Give your values for both unique and non-unique.
ANSUnique Case: 5 + ( alt-key-length + primary-key )

Nonunique Case: 5 + ( alt-key-length + n * primary-key )

where n = # of duplicate records for the alternate key

????Any one who knows – can you explain ?
18 What is the difference between sequential files and ESDS files?
ANSSequential(QSAM) files can be created on tape while ESDS files cannot.
Also, you can have ALTINDEX for an ESDS while no such facility exists for QSAM files
19 How do you load a VSAM data set with records ?
ANS Using the REPRO command.
20 How do you define a GDG ?
ANSUse the DEFINE GENERATIONDATAGROUP command. In the same IDCAMS step,another dataset must be defined whose DCB parameters are used when new generations of the GDG are created. This dataset is known as the model dataset. The ds name of this model dataset must be the same as that of the GDG, so use a disp of keep rather than catlg and also specify space=(trk,0)
21Do all versions of the GDG have to be of the same record length ?
ANS
 No, the DCB of the model dataset can be overridden when you allocate new versions.
22How are different versions of GDG named ?
ANSbase-file-name.GnnnnnV00 where nnnn= generation number (upto 255).nnnn will be 0000 for the 1st generation.
23Suppose 3 generations of a GDG exist. How would you reference the 1 stgeneration in the JCL?
ANS
Use GDG name(-2).
24Suppose a generation of GDG gets created in a particular step of a proc. How would you refer the current generation in a subsequent step? What would be the disposition of this generation now?
ANSRelative generation numbers are updated only at the end of the job, not at the end of a step. To allocate a new generation, we would be using (+1) with a DISP of (NEW, CATLG, DELETE). To refer to this in a subsequent step in the same job, we would again use (+1) but with a DISP of SHR or OLD
25What more info you should give in the DD statement while defining the next generation of a GDG?
ANSGive (+1) as the generation number, give (new,catlg) for disp, give space parameter, cangive the dcb parameter if you want to override the dcb of the model dataset.
26Assuming that the DEFINE jcl is not available, how do you get info about a VSAM files organisation ?
ANS
Use the LISTCAT command.
27During processing of a VSAM file, some system error occurs and it is subsequently unusable . What do you do ?
ANS
Run VERIFY.
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