Writing REXX Programs for z/OS

Writing REXX Programs for z/OS


This course is aimed at operators, analysts, system administrators, and technical support personnel who have a need to write, understand, or maintain REXX programs.

Course material is applicable to z/OS, VM/CMS and TSO environments and can be adapted for Linux, UNIX and Windows environments.


Delegates should have some previous programming experience, or programming training, in any language.

For delegates working in the z/VM environment, the ability to create and modify files using the XEDIT editor is necessary.

For delegates working in the z/OS environment, familiarity with z/OS TSO concepts and the ability to create and modify files using the ISPF editor is necessary.


3 days. Hands on.

Course Objectives

REXX is a general purpose, high-level, procedural language used in interactive programs. It offers significant advantages over the older EXEC/EXEC2 (VM) and CLIST (TSO and NetView) interpreted languages. REXX is similar to PL/1 or Pascal in syntax and structure, but has quite a few implementation unique capabilities.

This class is available for z/OS and z/VM, but can be adapted to Linux, UNIX and Windows.

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Code REXX instructions with proper syntax.
  • Construct program logic using REXX control flow instructions.
  • Invoke and pass parameters to REXX programs.
  • Code REXX instructions to accomplish file and terminal I/O.
  • Describe the purpose and use of the data stack.
  • Write REXX programs that use the data stack.
  • Use REXX built-in functions to manipulate data.
  • Create user defined functions and subroutines.
  • Code REXX instructions that parse complex data strings.
  • Debug REXX programs using the REXX TRACE facility.
  • Identify the use of REXX command Environment.

Course Content

Background and history of the REXX language.
REXX position in Systems Application Architecture (SAA).
REXX Environment.
Structure and Syntax.
Control instructions.
Sub-routines and functions.
REXX Built-in functions.
Data Stack Management.
File Processing.
TSO/E Exploitation.
Extensions to the languages that are pertinent to each student's environment.

Students are encouraged to develop REXX programs in class that may be useful in their current work environment.

NOTE: For any of the following optional modules, please contact us prior to the course to confirm precise requirements:
• REXX & ISPF Edit Macros.
• REXX & Netview.
• REXX & z/OS USS.
• REXX in an Open Source Environment.

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