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Most of the details of IBM’s two announcements yesterday had been fore-shadowed for this week or next in Computergram, and the only real surprise was that while the company is indeed taking strides to make VM/370 look more like a full-function production operating system to enable the 9370 to compete with DEC’s VAX with VMS, many of the essential new feat-ures won’t be available until late 1988 or early 1989. For instance, the long-awaited release of CICS/VM will take place in two stages. Part one, the development system, is due in June next year but the full version, enabling users to distribute CICS/VM applications to 9370 processors in departments will not be available until the second quarter 1989. CICS/VM, developed at Hursley in the UK, is not intended to be used without CICS/VS or CICS/MVS on a central mainframe. IBM warns it is designed to provide seamless integrity, rather than high performance. The new version of VM/SP, release 6.0, will not be delivered until Dec-ember 1988. When it comes, it will support shared files within a VM system or across multiple VM systems including those running on an SNA network. VM/SP 6.0 will also have LU6.2 support through an enhanced Advanced Program-to-Program Communication interface that enables the Transparent Services Access Facility, introduced in VM/SP 5.0, to connect via VTAM into an SNA network. A new high level language library, the Callable Services Library, which avoids the need for Assembler programming has also been added to VM/SP. A new distributed node executive pro-duct, VM/DSNX, will provide central VM sites with a limited way of down-streaming software and data file to remote VM processors until another new product, the Netview Distribution Manager becomes available. Then, NDM running centrally under either VM or MVS, will communicate synchronously with remote processors under a new release of VM/DSNX, allowing software distribution with little or no intervention required at the re-mote site. VM/DSNX version 1 is scheduled for March 1988 with version2 due in October 1988. VM/IS, the ready-to-go version of VM introduced with the 9370 this time last year, has also been enhanced. Three new modules, taking the total to nine, are now supported. The additions are transaction processing, support services and applications development under CSP, the Cross System Product. VM/IS 5.1 is due here in May 1988.

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