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HRECALL and DASD tapes

If the data is available in tapes, the usual way to browse data is to copy from tape to DASD and then browse. Does HRECALL command do the same on mainframes? Is there any way to browse data on tapes without having to copy on to DASD?

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HRECALL moves data sets that have been migrated by DFSMShsm from DASD to tape back to DASD -- as will an attempt to access that data set by other means -- but it does not move other tape data sets to DASD. You will still need a program or utility or ISPF-like function to browse the data set in any case.

Browsing a data set does not lend itself to tape data sets unless the data set is moved to DASD, because a tape data set is a sequential data set. If you wanted to jump from the start of a data set to somewhere near the end of the data set, you would have to sequentially read through all the intervening data on the tape, and if you then wanted to scroll backwards, you would have to read the tape backwards. Moving the data set to DASD makes it a direct access data set, and in the process makes it a much easier data set to browse, since you can go directly to the data you wish to browse.

This was first published in December 2005

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