Natural Advanced Facilities - Introduction

This Dokument covers the following topics about Natural Advanced Facilities:

General Information

Natural Advanced Facilities consists of NATSPOOL, the spooling and report management system. NATSPOOL manages Natural program output, thus enabling the output (that is, a report) to be directed to a physical printer. NATSPOOL also supports the Natural hardcopy facility.

All reports are stored in the spool file. A report may be directed to the physical printer in one of the following ways:

  • automatically at the end of the program which generated the report; or

  • by using the corresponding NATSPOOL functions.

In BS2000 and IMS TM environments, the spool file must be an Adabas file. In CICS environments, it may be an Adabas file or a VSAM file (Natural for VSAM must be installed in this case).


This section explains the most important terms used in this documentation.

Allocation Table Describes an output destination and a form which can be assigned to a logical printer. The allocation table specifies the allocated physical printer(s) and optional parameters which are used to spool reports.
Application Describes a library which can be used from the NATSPOOL application.
Calendar Defines non-working and working days of a year. The calendar is used to compute the retention date for reports. A calendar can be assigned to logical printers.
Cluster A group of logical printers.
Header Page A user-designed page which can be assigned to an allocation. The reports spooled for this allocation will start with this page.
Logical Printer Describes the characteristics of reports. The logical printer is referenced as (rep) in a WRITE or DISPLAY statement contained in a Natural program. rep can be a value from 1 to 31.
Message Header Specific control sequences which are inserted at the beginning of each data block sent to a physical printer in a BS2000 environment (for example, to invoke a hardcopy function for printers connected to a terminal).
NTCC Table Describes the replacements for user-defined and standard attributes. The replacements are used to rework report data for printer-dependent spool output.
Physical Printer The alphanumeric name of a printer and the technical information which is used to build up a connection and to spool the reports.

In a BS2000 environment, this is the station name defined in the network (PDN, TCP/IP) or the name of an RSO device.

In a CICS environment, this is the TCT name.

In an IMS TM environment, this is the LTERM name.

Queue All reports created for the same allocation (Destination/Form).
Report Natural program output identified by a job number.
Spool File The physical file for all reports and objects. The database ID and file number must be specified either in the Natural parameter module or dynamically by using the Natural profile parameter FSPOOL.
User Profile A set of logical printers to be used during a Natural session. A user profile may be specified either in the Natural parameter module or dynamically, by using the Natural profile parameter NAFUPF.

If Natural Security is installed, the user profile can be specified for a library or user entry.


The following illustration shows the logical connections between NATSPOOL objects.

A maximum of 31 logical printers and one logical printer for hardcopy may be defined for one user.

A maximum of 16 physical printers may be allocated to each logical printer. In the above diagram, a total of 48 printers may be allocated to User 1, and a total of 16 printers to User 2.

Each logical printer requires 2 KB of storage, which is allocated at Natural initialization. Natural executes a 2 KB GETMAIN (REQM) command for each printer (n) where


If the thread size (CICS), the roll-slot size (IMS TM) or the MAXSIZE (openUTM) is not large enough, a Natural error message is issued and Natural is not initialized.

The BUS (buffer usage statistics) command can be used to obtain information on the sizes of the buffers allocated by Natural Advanced Facilities. The following information is provided:


which contains the buffer for printer nn.

Example - Active User 1:

A WRITE (1) statement issued by User 1 causes the report to be printed on Printer 1, a WRITE (2) statement causes the report to be printed on Printer 2, and a WRITE (3) statement causes the report to be printed on Printer 3.

Example - Active User 2:

A WRITE (1) statement issued by User 2 causes the report to be printed on either Printer 4 or Printer 5, depending on which printer is in FREE status. If both printers are in FREE status, the first printer in the allocation table is used (for example, Printer 4 in the above diagram).


Beginn der AnweisungslisteTo start NATSPOOL

  • Enter the Natural system command SYSPOOL.

The Natural Spool Administration menu appears with the cursor positioned in the Command line.

Time 11:25:12        *** Natural Spool Administration ***      Date 2002-10-22 
User SAG                            M e n u                    File 7/411      
      Administration                            Information                    
      10 Reports/Queues                         20 Cross-Reference             
      11 Devices                                21 Statistics                  
      12 Abstracts                              22 Look at Spool File          
      13 Applications                           23 CALLNAT Handling            
      14 Change Spool File                                                     
      Maintenance                               Control Functions              
      30 Spool File Properties                  40 Check Spool File            
      31 Objects                                41 Logging Data                
      32 Mass Update                            42 Create Test Reports         
      33 Hardcopy Allocations                   43 Delete Reports by Date      
      34 Transfer Objects                                                      
Enter function, mark with cursor, or press a PF-key.                           
Command ===>                                                                   
      Help        Exit  Repor Devic Flip  Abstr Appli Cross Stati Look  Canc   

The individual NATSPOOL functions are described in detail in individual sections of this documentation.

Invoking a NATSPOOL Function

Beginn der AnweisungslisteTo invoke a function, proceed in any of the following ways

  • Enter a command (and object type) in the Command line.

    enter a number in the Command line.

    select a function with the cursor.

    press the PF key assigned to a function.

Command Line

Command and Object Type

To invoke a function, enter a command (and object type) in the Command line.

For example, to display the device status (Function 11), enter DISPLAY DEVICE in the Command line.

To display a list of available commands, enter an asterisk (*) or a question mark (?) in the Command line. To display a list of all available object types for a specific command, mark this command in the list with any character.


On a selection screen or window, each function is prefixed by a number.

To invoke a function, enter the number of this function in the Command line. For example, to invoke the function Layout of Spool File, enter 30 in the Command line. The Layout of Spool File window will then appear.

In the Layout of Spool File window, each function is prefixed by a number and can also be invoked by entering the corresponding number. For example, to invoke the function Display Last Modification, enter 8 in the Command line of this window.

If you know the number of a function which is listed in a window, you can also directly invoke this function. To do so, concatenate the individual numbers with a period in between. For example, to invoke the above mentioned function Display Last Modification directly, enter 30.8 in the Command line.

Cursor Selection

To select a function with the cursor, place the cursor on the number of a function and press Enter.

PF Keys

Most functions are assigned to PF keys.

The PF-key lines at the bottom of the screen indicate which function is assigned to which PF key. To invoke a function, simply press the PF key assigned to this function.

For example, on the NATSPOOL menu, the function Reports/Queues is assigned to PF4.

The following PF-key assignments apply for most NATSPOOL screens:

Key Name Function
PF1 Help Invoke the online help facility.
PF2 Menu Invoke the NATSPOOL menu.
PF3 Exit Leave the current function and apply all modifications made.
PF6 Flip Switch to display of keys PF13 to PF24 and back.
PF12 Cancel Leave the NATSPOOL application.
PF13 %H Hardcopy function.