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  1. Technology
April 20, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Perhaps the most startling element in the IBM announcement was the raising of Lazarus in the shape of a sud-den recollection that there really were still an awful lot of DOS/VSE users on 4361s and suchlike machines who would rather phone their friendly neighbourhood VAX salesman than migrate to VM on the 9370 or even consider what their personal IBM salesman has always assured them was a retrograde step moving over to the System 36 and 38 side of the family in the shape of the forthcoming Silverlake. Even IBM has the grace to be a little sheepish about its Road to Damascus conversion, introducing VSE/SP Version 3 Release 2 with the words IBM is reemphasising the importance of VSE/SP for System/370 mid-range products. This announcement demonstrates IBM’s commitment to continue the vitality of VSE/SP. In other words it’s dead, dammit, but it won’t lie down. At the UK launch, the company even said that CICS/VM was not really suitable for serious transaction processing on the 9370s and that CICS VSE was the appropriate environment. IBM says that VSE/SP 3.2 has been enhanced to support up to 9 address spaces with up to a maximum of 128Mb against 40Mb previously. The VSE/System Package includes ACF/VTAM 3.1.2 to improve networking functions. It also now supports the 3827 and 3835 Page Printers, the 6262 Printer and models AK4 and BK4 of IBM’s topend disk drive family. It is also going to be permitted to sully the topend 3090 mainframes, for it supports the PR/SM Processor Resource/System Manager feature on the 3090Es. It also supports PS/2 under PCDOS. Available December 1988 it is $2,608 a month or a onetime $29,315 on Group 10 processors small 9370s, to $102,740 on large 3090s.

Office Application Support Facility DOS/VSE on the 9370 suddenly becomes a primary office automation environment with the launch of Application Support Facility for the Office for CICS/MVS and CICS/VSE. It is described as the foundation product for building a consistent office solution within those environments. It replaces the IPDT Integrated Processing of Data and Text for MVS and VSE and is described as a restructure of Release 2 of that product, providing all the functions currently available in it. It provides integration of CICS/VS-based Office and Line of Business applications including access to Personal Services/CICS, DisplayWrite/370, and GDDM functions via tailorable navigation menus. Within the set of CICS/VS-based office products, Application Support Facility provides menu display and application navigation services; in addition, it provides a platform for CICS-based customer applications to be added to the office menus and permits data exchange with the office products. Text and data integration is offered via facilities based on DisplayWrite/370 and on DCF. And with an enhancement installable via a Program Temporary Fix, planned for June, Personal Services/CICS can be installed without DisOSS/370 for customers not needing full DisOSS. Application Support also offers custom tailorable menus and definition of customer applications; creation of user profiles from a common source. The DisplayWrite/370-based Document Writing feature (CICS) enables structured correspondence to be filed in the Personal Services/CICS file cabinet; incorporation of operational customer data in Personal Services/CICS documents; processing of structured documents in the same way as notes. There is a DCF based Document Composition feature for CICS and IMS that offers integration of text paragraphs with operational data full DCF formatting flexibility and can be under application or user control. The Application Support Facility Base Product provides menu and navigation services for and between user-written applications adapted to the Application Support Facility interface standards as well as integration of such applications with IBM office functions as provided by Personal Services/CICS Release 3, and DisplayWrite/370 CICS Release 2. For CICS/VSE, Application Support Facility complements to VSE Office Productivity Facility, also announced on Tuesday, which pro

vides assists for installation, maintenance, and customisation of CICS/VSE office products. The VSE base product is a one-time $4,380 to $17,520 from December.

600Mb 9332 disk can be shared

The low-end 9332 disk drive – which was launched at the same time as IBM UK’s 9335, honoured today with a Queen’s Award for Technological Achievement (see back page) – has been enhanced with three new models, including one that expands capacity 50%. All are for use with the 9370. Model 600 is a 600Mb formatted version of the 9332, and the Models 402, 400Mb formatted and 602, also 600Mb, offer dynamic switch capability, which enables those models to be attached to two Disk/Tape Subsystem Controllers. Capacities are a bit misleading, because the 9370 commandeers 32Mb for itself. The Model 600 has an average access time of 19.5mS and features dual actuators. All models of the 9332 can also be mixed on a single Subsystem Controller and the 402 and 602 can be shared by two Controllers. The 402 and 602 can be installed in either 9370 processor rack or in a separate secondary rack powered by either of the 9370 processors, but not both. They are available only in rack-mounted configurations and only with the IBM IPI-3 interface. The 402 is $16,000 and arrives in the US in July; the 600 is 17,200 and the 602 is 19,200, both from September. VSE support is intended for Models 600 and 602 and availability of support will be given by September.

Expansion units provide more ports The other new hardware product for 9370 users is the 9370 Input Output Expansion Feature, which enables additional workstation and communications boards to be installed on the 9375 Models 40 and 60 and the 9377 Model 90. Each expansion unit supports an additional 10 I/O boards, so that the current number of 17 on the 40 and 60 can be expanded to a maximum of 57 per system and the limit of 54 on the Model 90 can be extended to 114. There are also three engineering changes for the 9370 to support the 9332 Dynamic Switch Function on the new 9332 402 and 602, allowing them to be shared by two processors; the ability to control the level of microcode operational on the 9370; and the ability to to add, delete or alter lines on the Telecommunications Subsystem without having to reinitialise or IML – that’s Initial Microcode Load – the 9370. The 9370 I/O Expansion Feature supports the Workstation Subsystem Controller; the 6030 and 6130 Communications Processors, the Multi-Protocol Two Line Communications Adaptor; the Asynchronous Four Line Adaptor; the Token Ring Adaptor; and the IEEE 802.3 LAN Adaptor – that’s Ethernet. It will be available in the US from July 15, 1988 at $10,600.

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