SORT file-1 ON ASCENDING/DESCENDING KEY key.... USING file-2 GIVING file-3.
USING can be substituted by INPUT PROCEDURE IS para-1 THRU para-2 GIVING can be substituted by OUTPUT PROCEDURE IS para-1 THRU para-2.
file-1 is the sort (work) file and must be described using SD entry in FILE SECTION. file-2 is the input file for the SORT and must be described using an FD entry in FILE SECTION and SELECT clause in FILE CONTROL. file-3 is the out file from the SORT and must be described using an FD entry in FILE SECTION and SELECT clause in FILE CONTROL. file-1, file-2 & file-3 should not be opened explicitly.
INPUT PROCEDURE is executed before the sort and records must be RELEASEd to the sort work file from the input procedure. OUTPUT PROCEDURE is executed after all records have been sorted. Records from the sort work file must be RETURNed one at a time to the output procedure.
The programming SORT is called as internal sort whereas the sort in JCL is called external sort. If you want to manipulate the data before feeding to sort, prefer internal sort. In all other cases, external sort is the good choice. Internal sort, in turn invokes the SORT product of your installation. (DFSORT). In the run JCL, allocate at least three sort work files. (SORT-WKnn => nn can be 00-99).
FASTSRT compiler option makes the DFSORT to do all file I-O operation than your COBOL program. It would significantly improve the performance. The result of the SORT can be checked in SORT-RETURN register. If the sort is successful, the value will be 0 else 16.
SORT SORTFILE ON ASCENDING /DESCENDING KEY sd-key-1 sd-key2 USING file1 file2 / INPUT PROCEDURE IS section-1 GIVING file3 / OUTPUT PROCEDURE is section-2 END-SORT File1, File2 are to-be-sorted input files and File3 is sorted-output file and all of them are defined in FD.SORTFILE is Disk SORT Work file that is defined at SD. It should not be explicitly opened or closed.
INPUT PROCEDURE and USING are mutually exclusive. If USING is used, then file1 and files should not be opened or READ explicitly. If INPUT PROCEDURE is used then File1 and file2 need to be OPENed and READ the records one by one until end of the file and pass the required records to sort-work-file using the command RELEASE.
Syntax: RELEASE sort-work-record from input-file-record.
OUTPUT Procedure and GIVING are mutually exclusive. If GIVING is used, then file3 should not be opened or WRITE explicitly. If OUTPUT procedure is used, then File3 should be OPENed and the required records from sort work file should be RETURNed to it. Once AT END is reached for sort-work-file, close the output file.
Syntax: RETURN sort-work-file-name AT END imperative statement.