SMS Debug & Audit

SMS Debug and Audit is a powerful testing, tracing, debugging and auditing tool for z/OS storage administrators. SMS Debug and Audit allows you to more effectively manage your installation’s critical DFSMS environment. SMS Debug and Audit includes facilities for:

  • ACS Routine Tracing – Easily see and understand the logic used by production or test ACS routines to locate errors and understand logic flow.
  • Test Case Management – Automatically generate and execute ISMF test cases using highly-accurate live-dataset input and side-by-side results comparisons.
  • Audit SMS Configurations – Compare ACTIVE configuration to SCDS or one SCDS to another to identify changes to SMS constructs and provide an SMF audit trail.

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.



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
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.

Understanding Your ACS Routines Jan 24
130 MB 66 Minutes
SYS1.PARMLIB: What is it? What’s important? Why? Sep 27
110 MB 59 Minutes
How to Back Up and Restore a Dataset in z/OS® Aug 30
107 MB 57 Minutes
Introduction to z/OS® Tape Management Systems Apr 26
96.5 MB 65 Minutes
Understanding IDCAMS
Mar 15
115 MB 67 Minutes
An Introduction to z/OS® Sort
Feb 15
95 MB 63 Minutes
An Introduction to z/OS® Utilities
Jan 25
113 MB 66 Minutes
We’ve Got a Problem: An Introduction to z/OS® Dumps and Debugging Tools
Nov 30
151 MB 62 Minutes
Secure Data for Everyone – Pervasive Encryption and z/OS® Storage Management
Sep 21
89.3 MB 60 Minutes
PDS, PDSE, GDG, HFS, USS and Other Strange z/OS® Animals Aug 24
111.50 MB 63 Minutes
Mysteries of the Storage Group – (part 4 of our series on “The Mysteries of SMS”) Jun 29
108.00 MB 61 Minutes
Mysteries of the Management Class and the Data Set Life Cycle – (part 3 of our series on “The Mysteries of SMS”) May 25
114.00 MB 61 Minutes
Mysteries of the Storage Class – (part 2 of our series on “The Mysteries of SMS”) Apr 20
117 MB 66 Minutes
Mysteries of the Data Class (and more) – (part 1 of our series on “The Mysteries of SMS”) Mar 23
101 MB 60 Minutes
Introduction to ISMF Test Feb 23
104.59 MB 61 Minutes
What’s a Manual Robot? Understanding System-Managed Tape Dec 08 2020 101.00 MB 62 Minutes
Using REXX with DFSMSrmm Oct 06
85.96 MB 51 Minutes
An Introduction to Traditional DASD Backup and Recovery with DFSMShsm and FDRABR Sep 15 2020 123.27 MB 60 Minutes
Take Control of Your SMS Environment – with SMS/Debug and Audit Jun 20 2020 59.00 MB 40 Minutes

How Accurate Is Your DFSMS Environment? Introducing SMSAUDIT New Function for SMS/Debug

May 7
64.31 MB 51 Minutes

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
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 Datasheet May 12 2021 631 KB
SMS/Debug Product Description Oct 08 2013 65.87 KB
SMS/Debug User’s Guide Mar 06 2017 364.76 KB
Product Installation Guide Nov 01 2018 1.04 MB
Rule Language Programming Guide May 24 2018 1.55 MB
SCC Messages Manual Nov 25 2018 1.02 MB


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.