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SORT – How to use VB dataset (VLSHRT)

When you want the sort to present your input numeric field in a format that you want in your

A record in a VB data set looks like this:

RDW Fixed data Variable data

The RDW (Record Descriptor Word) is a 4-byte binary field with the length of the record in the first two bytes. Fixed data consists of data bytes that are present in every record. Variable data consists of one or more data bytes that may or may not be present in every record, so different records can have different lengths up to the maximum logical record length (LRECL) for the data set.

Please note the difference in the statements for FB and VB datasets.

If you want to sort bytes from 11 to 15 in ascending order

  1. FB Dataset

SORT FIELDS=(11,5,CH,A)

  1. VB dataset

SORT FIELDS=(15,5,CH,A)

Because first 4 bytes is RDW as described above.

In the above scenario for VB dataset, the control fields are from position 15-19. Suppose if few of the records did not have values in these control bytes, the SORT will fail. To avoid this, we can make use of option VLSHRT.

OPTION VLSHRT

SORT FIELDS=(15,5,CH,A)

VLSHRT tells DFSORT that you want to temporarily replace any missing control field bytes with binary zeros (the zeros are not kept for the output record), thus allowing DFSORT to validly sort or merge on the short control fields.

 

You might also like to look at:
Important SQL CODES and ABEND CODES
SORT JOIN – TO JOIN TWO FILES BASED ON A KEY
KNOW YOUR MAINFRAME
REXX – INITIAL SETUP
SAS – SAMPLE PROGRAM
SORT – CONVERT PD to ZD IN DISPLAYABLE FORMAT (ZDF)
SORT – Alphanumeric Tests for INCLUDE and OMIT
SORT – EQUALS Option
SORT – PARSE – REFORMAT VARIABLE FIELDS
SORT – FINDREP, IFTHEN and INREC
SORT – JUSTIFY, SQUEEZE and OVERLAY
SORT – LOOKUP AND CHANGE
SORT – CONVERT PD to ZD and BI to ZD
SORT – OUTREC – TRAN
SORT – OUTREC – INSERT ZEROES, BLANKS, STRINGS
SORT – OUTPUT DATASET DCB (LRECL,RECFM,BLKSIZE)
SORT – INCLUDE and OMIT
SORT – Process Order of CONTROL Statements
SORT – How to use VB dataset (VLSHRT)
SORT – EDIT MASK PATTERNS
SORT – EDIT NUMERIC FIELDS (I,T,S)
SORT – EDIT FIRST AND LAST RECORD
SORT – SYMBOLS
SORT – TO REPLACE A CHAR WITH ANOTHER CHAR – ALTSEQ
SORT – SET RETURN CODE ‘04’ IF OUTPUT FILE IS EMPTY
SORT – INREC, INCLUDE and OMIT
SORT – SKIPREC and STOPAFT
SORT – INREC
SORT – SUM FIELDS
SORT – REMOVE DUPLICATES AND WRITE THEM TO XSUM
DFSORT – Informational and Error Messages
SORT JOIN – UNPAIRED RECORDS INDICATOR
SORT JOIN – TO JOIN TWO FILES BASED ON A KEY
SORT JOB – SIMPLE COPY
SORT TIPS
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