What the heck is a DATA AREA?

An IBM i Data area is not the same thing as a file: it is a simple fast data storage area on the system.

There are two types of data area (a) a user defined data which we create and (b) a system defined data area that we cannot create but we can edit.

System defined data area is temporary storage area that means we can store data in that and if the data is retrieved  that retrieved data will expire.These data areas can not be created and deleted by user but the user can add data to these data areas,retrieve and display.
System defined data areas are of 3 types

1.Local data area (LDA): These are created automatically by each and every job(batch or interactive)

2.Group data area (GDA):These are created automatically by a group of jobs

3.PIP(program initialize parameter) data area(PDA):These are created for using at the time of starting a job from it’s abnormal termination

User defined data area is permanent storage area that means we can store data permanently it can be retrieved as many times we needed.These data area can be created,displayed,changed(edit),retrieved and deleted.For any data area retrieving is only possible by some programming only.

The commands to user Data areas are
1.CRTDTAARA :For creation
2.DSPDTAARA :For display
3.CHGDTAARA :for adding and editing
4.RTVDTAARA :For retrieving data
5.DLTDTAARA :For deleting the data area

Have you noticed the glaring absense of a command to view and interactively edit a data areas contents?

The Edit Data Area allows you view the data area contents while you change them. This is much simpler than having to mark the start/end positions of the data and using the CHGDTAARA command.

This utility also works for *LDA and *GDA.