Coding Sheet

The JCL coding sheet is a structure to identify from where each statement coding should start and how each one is different from other statements.

Coding Sheet
Columns Description
1& 2 ColumnsEvery line in the JOB should start with null indicator(//) except the input stream (SYSIN).
3'*' in the third column specifies that the line is a comment.
3-101-8 character Name Field (job-name/step-name/dd-name).
11One space to separate the Name and Operation fields.
12-15Operation (JOB/EXEC/DD).
16One space to separate the Operation and Operands fields.
17-71Reserved for Operands (parameters for the operation).
72Reserved for Continuation column (,).

Points to Note -

  • Every line should start with the null indicator (//) in first two columns that includes a comment.
  • Parameters should be separated by a comma(,).
  • No space is allowed in between parameters except comma(,).
  • The continuation character(,) can be coded anywhere between 17 to 72 characters.
  • If any statement continues more than one line -
    • The current line should end with a comma (,) immediately after the last parameter.
    • The following line should start on or before the 16th column.
  • If there is more than one space between the fields in a line, we can replace the multiple spaces with one.
  • Null indicator (//) alone represents the end of the job.
For example -

can also be written as -
Observe the alignment in the two examples; the change won't throw any error.
Info! We can ignore the coding sheet positions when coding a TEST JOB. However, the coding sheet should strictly follow when coding a PRODUCTION JOB in real-time.

Statement types -

Each line in JOB falls under two categories based on how they coded, and those are -

  1. JCL Statement.
  2. JCL comment.

JCL Statement -

JCL statement is an active statement (without '*' in the third column) that considers as an instruction to OS. One JCL statement means one operation (JOB/EXEC/DD) with all its parameters. JCL statements are three types -

  1. JOB Statement.
  2. EXEC Statement.
  3. DD Statement.

We will discuss about each statement in further chapters.

For Example - The diagram explains how the JCL statements are divided.

Coding Sheet

JCL Comment -

  • JCL comment is an inactive statement that provides information about the task or other JCL statements.
  • Comment should have a '*' in the 3rd column.
  • Comment text can start in any column, but the third column should have '*'. Otherwise, JCL tries to treat it as a JCL statement and throws a JCL error during the execution.
Note! If the null indicator (//) alone is coded in a line, it is treated as the end of the JOB.

For Example - The diagram explains how the comments are coded.

Coding Sheet