Synergy DBMS utilities

Fconvert, bldism, isload, and status are Synergy DBL utility programs intended to manipulate ISAM files from outside your programs. You can use these utilities to create, clear, load, and unload ISAM files and to retrieve ISAM file status. If you need to perform these functions from within your existing programs, you can chain to these utilities. We suggest, however, that for new development you follow these guidelines:



Instead of

Create ISAM files

The ISAMC subroutine or the OPEN statement with O:I and an XDL file


Clear ISAM files

The ISCLR subroutine

(not applicable)

Retrieve ISAM file status

The ISINFO subroutine (or the ISSTS and ISKEY subroutines)


Load files


The STORE statement or isload

The ipar utility is used to generate parameter file descriptions of existing ISAM files. These files can be used by fconvert or as input to bldism to create new ISAM files. (See Parameter and XDL files for a discussion of using parameter or XDL files as an alternative method of input for the bldism, isload, and status utilities.) Ipar can also be used to view attributes of an existing ISAM file quickly.

In addition to loading files, the fconvert utility also converts database files from one file type to another. Local or remote files can be specified using xfServer file specifications. This utility has been optimized to attain the highest file load/unload performance.

The isutl utility verifies, reindexes, and performs maintenance on Revision 4 or higher ISAM files. Maintenance includes recovery of corrupted files, reclamation of deleted record space, conversion to compressed or static RFA file types, ordering of data by a particular key, and index packing. This utility has been optimized to attain the highest file performance. The ismvfy and irecovr utilities are front‑ends to isutl.

The fcompare utility compares database files to a system catalog or repository.

The chklock utility (Windows and UNIX only) reports information about locks on a file.

The ctutl utility (Windows and UNIX only) controls change tracking parameters.

The most current version of select utilities may be available for download from the Downloads section of

Parameter and XDL files

The bldism, isload, and status utilities can accept input either typed directly by a user or from a parameter file that contains the input in the appropriate order. In addition, fconvert and bldism can accept input from a file that contains a valid FDL or XDL description. (See ISAM definition language for additional information about XDL files.) Parameter and XDL files can be useful when you’re creating an ISAM file or modifying the definitions of one; you simply modify or create the records in your file and then run that file through the utility.


If you’re creating a file from scratch for a new ISAM file, we recommend you create an XDL file rather than a parameter file. An XDL file is much easier to read and maintain, and the order doesn’t matter.

A parameter or XDL file can contain any of the file options available to bldism or the ISAMC subroutine (record type, compression, terabyte, density, and so on). For a list of these options, run bldism and enter “?” at the first prompt, or see File specification in the Discussion for ISAMC. For example, if you add “, TBYTE” to the file specification line (the first uncommented line) in a parameter file and then run the fconvert utility on that file, the file will be converted to a terabyte file. If conflicting qualifiers and settings are specified in a parameter file, the last one takes precedence.

You can also include comments and descriptions in your parameter or XDL files by preceding them with a semicolon; fconvert and bldism ignore all text following a semicolon.

To specify that input is from a parameter file, enter the name of the parameter file preceded by one or two “at” signs (@) at the first prompt displayed by the utility.

To specify that input is from an XDL file, enter the name of the XDL file preceded by one “at” sign (@) at the first prompt displayed by bldism. Input then comes directly from the XDL file, and bldism doesn’t prompt further.


Once you specify a parameter or XDL file, all subsequent input must come from that file. Any errors that usually require resolution by the user cause the utility program to terminate. Errors encountered from a parameter or XDL file are reported to you, but they cause abnormal termination of the utility program.

Parameter file example

Below is a parameter file named cusmas.par that we can use to create the ISAM file cusmas.ism, which we created using bldism in Sample bldism. Remember, any text starting with a semicolon is ignored.

; Parameter file cusmas.par used to create cusmas.ism
cusmas.ism, variable, compress          ;ISAM filename
2000                                    ;record size
4                                       ;number of keys
name/segmented                          ;primary key
                                        ;total key size 30
2                                       ;number of segments
15                                      ;length of segment #1
16                                      ;start position
15                                      ;length of segment #2
1                                       ;start position
n                                       ;duplicates allowed
a                                       ;ascending
company                                 ;first alternate key
30                                      ;key size
31                                      ;start position
y                                       ;duplicates allowed
y                                       ;insert at front
a                                       ;ascending
address/segmented/modify                ;second alternate key
                                        ;total key size 40
3                                       ;number of segments
20                                      ;length of segment #1
61                                      ;start position
10                                      ;length of segment #2
51                                      ;start position
10                                      ;length of segment #3
91                                      ;start position
y                                       ;duplicates allowed
n                                       ;insert at front
a                                       ;ascending
act_code/null                           ;third alternate key
r                                       ;replicating null key
32                                      ;null value
5                                       ;key size
101                                     ;start position
y                                       ;duplicates allowed
y                                       ;insert at front
a                                       ;ascending

If we wanted to use this parameter file as input to bldism, we’d enter the filename preceded by one or two “at” signs at the first prompt, as follows:

Enter name of the ISAM file to create: @cusmas.par

In our example, bldism uses the parameter file cusmas.par as its input and creates the ISAM file cusmas.ism without displaying any further prompts.


You can create a parameter or an XDL file that contains a description of an existing ISAM file using the ipar utility. See ipar for step‑by‑step instructions on using this utility program.

On Windows and UNIX, you can also redirect input from a parameter file as follows:

dbr DBLDIR:utility  <filename


One of the following utilities: bldism, ­isload, or status.


The name of the parameter file from which you want to get your input.

In our example, we can use the following command

dbr DBLDIR:bldism <cusmas.par

to create the ISAM file cusmas.ism using the parameter file cusmas.par shown in Parameter file example.