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Mainframe User Shop Talk The place to share user experiences, inquiries for advanced techies
z & A > Mainframe User Shop Talk > Interested in an innovative and simpler way of developing system programs? View modes: 
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melanie - 2/28/2012 3:46:53 PM
Interested in an innovative and simpler way of developing system programs?
The Metal option of z/OS XL C/C++provides an option for people who have limited assembler (HLASM) skills to develop optimized system programs on System z using high level C language syntax.

The XL C METAL compiler option generates code that does not require access to the Language Environment support at run time. Instead, the METAL option provides C-language extensions that allow you to specify assembly statements that call system services directly. Using these language extensions, you can provide almost any assembly macro, and your own function prologs and epilogs, to be embedded in the generated HLASM source file. When you understand how the METAL-generated code uses MVS linkage conventions to interact with HLASM code, you can use this capability to write freestanding programs. You can learn more about z/OS Metal C from zTidBits at

zTidBits is a collection of condensed topics targeted to mainframe technology. They are used as cheat sheets to acquire rapid knowledge of a mainframe feature or z/OS function. For more zTidBits, see