RPF, Rob's Programming Facility


RPF is a software product, which runs on a S/370, S/390 and z/Series mainframes. It is available in TSO under the operating systems MVS, MVS/XA, MVS/ESA, OS/390 and z/OS.
RPF is intended to be used by experienced people, who have a good knowledge of IBM mainframes and mainframe operating systems.
RPF is for use with 24-bit and 31-bit MVS operating systems (MVS 3.7 and above). RPF/E is for use with 31-bit operating systems (MVS/XA and above).
RPF is written in S/370 assembler. RPF/E is written in Assembler-H.

Roots of RPF

RPF was developed because in the 1980's we did not have a "state of the art" editor in MVS. IBM has a beautiful editor in TSO called ISPF. My employer did not choose to pay for ISPF because the standard editor was Roscoe. ISPF was too expensive and TSO was not used very much in those days.

When I started to work at this employer I had a TSO background for many years. So I felt that I needed a fullscreen editor in TSO and MVS. That was the reason to develop an editor by myself. I wrote the fullscreen editor (RPF) in the evening hours on my employer's computer. My employer permitted me to use the computer for this project.
After months of development and programming, the first prototype of RPF was available for testing. Many collegues tested RPF and reported bugs and suggestions to me. Finally RPF became available for production. For many years we worked with RPF continued to improve it in subsequent releases.
In 1984 MVS and TSO became so common that my employer decides to pay for IBM's ISPF product. Until the 1990's we used both RPF and ISPF. After a few years ISPF had replaced RPF and RPF was not used anymore. At that time I decided to stop the development of RPF.

In the famous year 2000, the S/370 and S/390 emulator Hercules became available. With Hercules you are able to run MVS and its successors on a PC platform. The first version of Hercules ran only in Linux. Later, the Windows version became available.
Suddenly I and many other "Herculeans" had the availability of a mainframe on our own PC's.
IBM decided to make MVS 3.8J available for common use, so you don't need to pay license fees anymore for the base MVS. However ISPF was not available for public domain use, because ISPF is still used and is a copyrighted product.
MVS/TSO without a full-screen editor is not a very good option, so I decided to make RPF available to Hercules users running MVS on their personal computers. Desiring to make a full-screen editor available for myself and these users, I restarted development of RPF.


Functions of RPF

RPF consists of two versions, RPF and RPF/E. RPF runs on all operating systems listed above.
Because MVS/XA, MVS/ESA, OS/390 and z/OS are not public domain operating systems, but expensive OS'es, I won't mention RPF/E anymore on these pages.
RPF is started in TSO as a command processor. After logon to TSO, the command "RPF" is sufficient to have all the functions of RPF available to you.
The functions of RPF are:

Installation of RPF


RPF is distributed on an AWS format tape. AWS is an Hercules emulated tape, that can be run on a Hercules emulated system.
The installation JCL can be downloaded
here. The zip file containing the AWS tape of RPF is here available for download.
You can also download the RPF User´s Guide

Current releases






September, 2 2008


RPF User's Guide


September, 2 2008


RPF installation JCL


March, 26 2006




December 2004


Note: Only RPF can be downloaded.