Resolve COBOL file status 37 error (with Postal Reference Files or other files) in MailStream Plus

Product Affected: MailStream Plus™ 
Operating System: mainly z/OS or VSE, but can be on other Operating Systems



User received COBOL file status 37 error (Postal Reference Files or other files).


COBOL file status 37 means-
"An OPEN statement was attempted on a file that would not support the open mode specified in the OPEN statement. 
Possible violations are: 
1. The EXTEND or OUTPUT phrase was specified but the file would not support write operations. 
2. The I-O phrase was specified but the file would not support the input and output operations permitted. 
3. The INPUT phrase was specified but the file would not support read operations.
4. Under VSE, the EXTEND phrase was specified for a SAM file. "

This can happen in MailStream Plus™ (MSP) for example, if the MSP COBOL program expects the file to be VSAM sequential (such as the monthly Postal Reference Files), but the JCL or file attributes don't support opening it as a VSAM file.


UPDATED: May 14, 2019
Try reloading the files, using the database load JCL(s) that were provided with the MSP software installation.

For more information about installing the software and databases, Installation Guides are available at

The error can also happen if the file does not have the correct permissions to allow reading and writing to it (as needed.)