Enterprise Storage Management Solutions


  • Introduction
  • Description
  • Benefits
  • Resources
  • History

ACS Debugging - SMS/Debug is a powerful testing, tracing, and debugging tool for z/OS installations. With SMS/Debug, storage administrators can more effectively understand and manage their installation's DFSMS environment. SMS/Debug includes the following components:

  • Extensive tracing facilities for Automatic Class Selection (ACS) routines. Tracing is available for both real-time production ACS routines as well as test (unactivated) routines. Up to 99 different sets of ACS routines may be tested.

  • Trace and display of the DFSMS volume selection process, including the display of the primary, secondary, and tertiary volume selection lists.

  • Display of the results of the Direct Access Device Space Manager (DADSM) pre- and post-processing exit return codes, showing each volume considered for allocation.

  • Automatic display of the DFSMS volume selection lists when an allocation error occurs.

ACS Quality Assurance - SMSDEBUG also contains an ISPF-based ACS test facility called ACS/QA. This facility can be useful in testing ACS routine execution and in performing regression testing when changes are made to the ACS routines. ACS/QA can be used to determine what the output of the ACS routines will be (including messages and exit codes), and can provide a side-by-side comparison of different pairs of ACS routines residing in different SMS control data sets.

ACS/QA provides a number of advantages over the native ISMF test facilities, making ACS routine testing much faster, more accurate, and more practical. These include:

  • Side-by-side comparison of the results of testcase execution. This allows the user to see exactly which constructs, exitcodes, and messages will change as a result of changes to the ACS routines. It is not necessary to save output from prior tests - ACS/QA shows the results of the testcase execution for each SMS control dataset specified and flags exceptions.

  • Optional ACS routine logic tracing as each test case executes.

  • Optional updating of the ACS read-only variables from the data class definition after the data class ACS routine executes. This allows much more accurate testing of the following routines, which unlike ISMF or Naviquest testing, will 'see' the correct values for the ACS read-only variables.

  • Optional one-line-per-testcase summary report

  • List of all ACS read-only variables that were input to each testcase

  • ACS routine exits (IGDACSxx) can be called, either the live system exits or ones loaded from a test load library. This allows testing of ACS routine exit code without the danger of affecting systemwide allocation and without the need for APF-authorized execution.

  • Control statement overrides for SMS construct names, job names, and other read-only variables input to each testcase, allowing the test administrator more detailed control over the tests.

  • Testcase execution can be limited to tests for particular jobs, datasets, or other criteria

Simple User Interface - When SMS/Debug is started, the product dynamically adds a JCL and TSO command extension to the system. The SMSDEBUG keyword parameter can then be used to activate the debug facilities on both batch and TSO data set allocations. For example, the following batch job uses the SMSDEBUG keyword to activate tracing.


Trace Output Returned to User - The trace output is returned directly to the user. For batch jobs, the trace messages are included in the JES output message log. If a TSO trace is requested, the messages are returned directly to the TSO user. For VSAM IDCAMS defines, output is returned to the SYSPRINT DD statement.

No Rules Language - Unlike most of the other DTS Software products, SMS/Debug does not require any installation setup or product configuration.

ACS/QA ISPF Interface - ACS/QA test cases can be created, updated, and executed from an ISPF interface. The ISPF interface allows the user to define new test cases in a testcase library, select desired test cases to view or alter, or interactively execute one or more test cases.

     TN3270 Screen

        ACS/QA SMSDebug primary ispf screen


Maximizes utilization of the SMS environment

Provides Tracing facility for:

  • ACS Routines
  • SMS Volumes
  • DADSM Exits


  • Installs from CD or web download
  • Trace facilities initiated using JCL extensions
  • Component of ACC

The marketing literature is available to all visitors. The product manuals are only available to registered customers and companies trialing DTS products - login is required. To request authorized access, please complete the Registration form. DTS customer support will review your request. Upon approval, you will receive access notification by E-mail within one business day.


ISMF Functions for Non-Storage-Administrators

Jun 15 2017 123.59 MB 57 Minutes

Tis the Season to have some fun with DFSMS - Testing and Tracing ACS

Dec 03 2015 80.21 MB 49 Minutes

DFSMS-ACS coding can still be confusing to say the least!!

Apr 23 2015 142.69 MB 63 Minutes

Everybody needs a little help sometimes with DFSMS and ACS!

Jul 29 2014 88.40 MB 52 Minutes

Owning and Understanding Your ACS Routines

Dec 17 2013 86.74 MB 60 Minutes

Quality Assurance and Debugging DFSMS ACS Routines - Simplified

Mar 28 2013 95.40 MB 52 Minutes

Managing Your z_OS Storage Environment More Efficiently

Oct 25 2011 99.80 MB 56 Minutes

SMS/Debug Product Description

Oct 08 2013 65.87 KB  

SMS/Debug User's Guide

Aug 21 2012 193.58 KB  

Product Installation Guide

Mar 28 2013 706.41 KB  

Rule Language Programming Guide

Jul 31 2013 1.11 MB  

SCC Messages Manual

Feb 20 2012 569.30 KB  

SMS/Debug is actually a feature that’s been available in ACC for many years. Not all companies need the power and sophistication of ACC, but many SMS installations are still struggling to debug ACS rules and figure out “Why did SMS pick THAT volume?”

In early 2003, DTS cloned the SMS debugging features from ACC and wrote a very short manual for a very simple product – SMS/Debug.