Adabas Commands ... (A1, E1, others...)

I did not find in the manual how to use the commands (A1, E1, etc.)

How and where do I use them in practice?

When Adabas was first released, Natural did not yet exist.

In order to use Adabas, shops used what were (and still are) called “direct calls”.
For example, if you looked at a Cobol program that used Adabas files, it would look like any other Cobol program, except for the calls to Adabas.


Every call to Adabas requires a Control Block. This has basic information for Adabas, including what Command (e.g. A1, S1, etc) should be executed by Adabas.

The FORMAT-BUFFER and RECORD-BUFFER are used together for any Commands that will read or update records. The SEARCH-BUFFER and VALUE-BUFFER are used together for the “search family” of Commands (S1, S2, …etc)

The ISN buffer returned ISNs of records that satisfied a search.

This has been revised several times through the years, but the basics are still valid.

In Natural, you can issue direct calls using one of the USRs (forget the number offhand).


but it is still used because of natural or they are no longer used?

Hard question to answer.

First, not every Adabas shop has Natural. Such shops would use direct calls, or an intermediate product, Adamint, that is an interface between a Cobol program and Adabas.

That said, I would guess that the percentage of Adabas shops that use Natural is VERY high.

Second, there are Adabas commands that do not have Natural counterparts. So, you would find a Natural program issuing a direct call.

Third. The commands are ALWAYs used. For example, when you write a Natural FIND statement, it becomes a direct call to Adabas ( the S family of commands).

Adabas does not know, or care, whether a Call comes from a Natural program, a Cobol program, Fortran, etc.