A Z Data Tools template is a file that provides a particular interpretation of a data set. The template defines a logical view that you can use to view and manipulate the data in records as discrete fields. With a template, you can select and format records and fields when editing, viewing, copying, printing and creating data sets. Templates can be based upon a COBOL, HLASM, OR PL/I copybook or can be created dynamically. You can apply different templates to the same data, to achieve different purposes. For example, you might create a number of templates with different selection criteria in place, and then apply the template that defines the subset of records that you need for a particular purpose. Also, you can apply the same template to different data sets, provided that they have similar record and field structures.

The Z Data Tools Base, Db2®, and IMS™ components all use templates. However, these templates are not interchangeable. You cannot, for example, use a Base template in the Z Data Tools Db2 component. Dynamic templates are only available within the Base component.