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A glossary of terms important to IBM mainframe machines
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A4: The most common of the European standard paper sizes, 210 x 297 mm, and the one closest to the North American standard of 8.5 x 11 inches.
AAL: ATM Adaptation Layer. A layer of the ATM architecture that defines services required by the higher ATM layers. The classes of ATM adaptation layers correspond to types of higher network traffic such as, data, voice, or video. See also ATM2
AAS: Authorized Application Specialist. Obsolete term for an independent software vendor whose products IBM had agreed to sell. The greatest number of AASs were in the CASE and application development market, a traditional IBM weakness. Today, everyone is an IBM Business Partner of one type or another.
ABA1: Annual Billing Agreement. An IBM customer contract.
ABA2: Art Benjamin Associates. The first independent endeavor of Canada’s most famous IBMer, Art Benjamin. Art left IBM to pursue his dream of building the perfect prototyping tool after IBM Canada refused to fund it. The result of several million dollars and 1.5 million lines of Assembler was ACT/1, a VSE/ESA CICS, z/VM CMS and z/OS CICS and TSO tool that did a nice job of prototyping but failed to sufficiently simplify the task of putting the prototype into production.
ABARS: Aggregate Backup And Recovery Support. Disaster recovery feature within DFSMShsm for automatically creating files containing backups of critical data. The main use of ABARS is to group all the datasets relating to a particular application together.
ABE: Agent Building Environment. An experimental IBM architecture that provides an open environment in which agents can be added to existing applications, and agent parts, once developed, can be reused across many applications.
ABI: Application Binary Interface. Generic term (also used specifically to refer to Unix ABIs) for an interface that would, in theory, enable application writers to write applications to a single interface and run the same binary code on a variety of systems, without having to re-compile or re-link. Application binary compatibility is the holy grail of the independent software vendors working in the Unix, PC-DOS, and OS/2 arenas, and it ain’t there yet! The ill-fated ACE was a formal attempt to create an ABI, as was the IBM-supported PowerOpen.
Above the line: In z/OS, z/VM and VSE/ESA, above the line refers to virtual/real memory locations with an address greater than 16Mbytes. The 16Mbyte limit was created by the fact that early versions of MVS (pre-MVS/XA), VM (VM/SP and prior) and VSE (pre-VSE/ESA) only supported 24-bit addressing.
Abuse: Any behavior violating security procedures.
ACA/ISCF: Automated Console Application for Inter-System Control Facility. Also known as 3090/ACA/ISCF. Basically it was a tailored version of ISCF for the 3090 environment consisting of a set of NetView command lists, panels, and a command processor to enable remote operation of 3090s running MVS/XA or MVS/ESA. Announced April 1989. Replaced by TSCF April 1991.
ACB: Access Control Block. The control block used to tie an application program to a VSAM dataset – the two are connected by the DDNAME.
Access control: Enforcing rules governing use of computer resources by restricting both the use and type of use to authorized individuals and the computer resources they are responsible for.
Access method1: An IBM-specific bit of jargon for software which moves data between main store and I/O devices. Access methods create channel programs and manage system buffers, and have implicit file structures. IBM access methods include TCAM, BTAM, VTAM, VSAM.
ACDEB: Data extent block in VTAM.
ACE: Advanced Computing Environment. A standard sponsored by a consortium of 22 vendors (including DEC, Microsoft, Compaq, Silicon Graphics, SCO, and MIPS, although IBM declined to join in the fun) in mid 1991. The intention was to create a set of standards to exploit RISC architectures by defining a set of target environments for RISC chip builders to design to. Thus software designers would build products for the Unix or NT environments, and the standard would ensure hardware and network compatibility. By the middle of 1992, ACE was dead.
ACF: Advanced Communications Function. A once popular prefix for IBM software that uses SNA, such as NCP, SSP2, TCAM, and VTAM. It originally indicated versions of software capable of multi-host support to distinguish them from earlier versions. Today, ACF is still occasionally used, but most SNA software is part of Communications Server.
ACF/TAP: Advanced Communications Function/Trace Analysis Program. An SSP program service aid that assists in analyzing trace data produced by VTAM, TCAM, and NCP and provides network data traffic and network error reports.
ACL: Automatic Cartridge Library. Synonymous with ATL. Also used to mean Automatic Cartridge Loader, a fairly low-level device which keeps a few cartridges in a loader and runs through them sequentially, typically for archiving a disk.
ACM: Association for Computing Machinery. Founded in 1947 in the USA, ACM was established by mathematicians and electrical engineers to advance the science and application of information technology. It is the oldest and largest international scientific and educational computer society in the industry.
ACO: Automated Console Operations. Automated procedures which replace or reduce the number of actions that an operator takes from a console in response to system or network activities.
AConnS: Application Connection Services. OS/2 and mainframe feature which enables a workstation user to think that he/she has direct connection to a VM or MVS mainframe resource (e.g., a printer). Pre-requisite for some cooperative processing programs (e.g., Delivery Manager, Asset Manager/MVS). Announced June 1991, withdrawn December 1993.
Active Directory: Microsoft’s new distributed directory service, which complements Windows 2000 and COM+.
Active MWC: An AIX1 feature that helps ensure data consistency on logical volumes in the event of a system crash during mirrored writes. AIX 5.1 added Passive MWC for better random write performance on mirrored logical volumes. See also MWC.
ActiveX: A reincarnation of Microsoft’s Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) technology, geared specifically for Windows-specific Web and networking scenarios. Object-based and closely related to Microsoft COM. In the context of Web-to-host, ActiveX is often a direct competitor to Java applet-based solutions, although ActiveX solutions are always restricted to Windows-based clients using the Internet Explorer browser.
ACU: Automatic Calling Unit. A dialing device that allows a computer to automatically dial calls over a network.
AD/Cycle: IBM’s all-embracing repository/CASE-based application development framework originally intended to see users through the millennium and beyond. Announced September 1989, it was a reasonable try at getting together a set of standards and interfaces to help speed up application development; these included a view of the application development life-cycle, tools supporting the life-cycle, software services for application development, and the much derided Repository. Long dead.
AD/Cycle Alliance: Group of vendors supporting AD/Cycle. July 1993, there were nine members: Digitalk, Easel, KnowledgeWare, Micro Focus, Sapiens, Seer Technologies, Softlab, Synon, and Viasoft. The full name was International Alliance for AD/Cycle. As AD/Cycle faded into the sunset, the Alliance went west with it.
AD/Platform: The workstation development environment within the defunct AD/Cycle architecture. Components included workstation services, library services, repository services, and an information model.
ADA: Programming language much loved by the military (ADA is a US government standard), which uses it for writing systems for controlling guided missiles and the like. IBM provided ADA systems for VM, MVS, and AIX, and supported the language in various mainstream subsystems including IMS, DB2, CICS, GDDM, and ISPF/PDF. When it appeared to be gradually being replaced by C++, IBM let OC Systems take over the products. Withdrawn August 1994.
ADABAS Database for large applications. Designed to support thousands of users in parallel with sub-second response times.
ADCP: Application Development Common Platform. Set of services for application development. Includes object libraries, models, and an object repository (based on ObjectStore) conforming to the SOM, DSOM, and CORBA standards.
ADCS: Advanced Data Communications for Stores. IBM mainframe software for managing POS networks. Obsolete.
Address space: The virtual storage allocated to an executing task in a mainframe. Generally used within z/OS to mean the space used by one of batch job, system task, or TSO user.
ADE1: Application Development Environment. At one time ADE aspired to be an SAA environment/architecture analogous to the full CASE environments provided by independent vendors which would run across a network of PS/2s + AS/400 or mainframe, and would incorporate library management, change control, object-oriented methods, methodology support, etc. ADE specifications were made public to allow vendors and users to integrate their products into the IBM approved world. Also known as AD/SAA. Like AD/Cycle and SAA, ADE appears to have faded into obscurity.
Administrative domain: The combination of interconnecting networks, hosts, and routers that are managed by a single administrative authority.
ADPS: Application Development Project Support. Program Product developed by IBM in Vienna and sold in Europe to provide an application development environment under VM and MVS. IBM liked to describe it as the Common Process Manager within AD/Cycle – but that was in the days when it liked to talk about AD/Cycle.
ADS1: Application Dictionary Services/400. Dictionary product for the AS/400. Provides inventories of all the data on an AS/400 system. Announced February 1992 and withdrawn December 1995.
ADS2: Audio Distribution System. Defunct IBM voice messaging system from the early 1980s. Based on Series/1, and derived from the Speechfile product. Despite being highly regarded, was a market failure.
ADSL: Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. A derivative of DSL2 technology designed for applications where the client-to-server data flow is a fraction of the server-to-client data flow. This is appropriate for WWW applications or Video on Demand.
AdStar: ADvanced STorage And Retrieval. The San Jose, California, company formed early 1992, which for a short while made and sold IBM’s storage products – DASD, optical storage, tape drives, controllers, and storage management software. Although the original intention appeared to be to hive off AdStar as a completely separate company, by mid 1993, it had begun to lose its separate identity and was absorbed back into the body corporate, where it became the Storage Systems Division. The name lived on for a while in ADSM.
AD Strategy: The born-again AD/Cycle which appeared late 1993 and disappeared soon after. Combines the surviving bits of AD/Cycle with AIX CASE. There are two key differences between AD/Cycle and AD/Strategy: AD Strategy is based on the use of objects to build multi-platform systems, whereas AD/Cycle was firmly rooted in the mainframe-centric world and traditional development methods; and AD/Cycle was built on an attempt to create a set of commercial alliances, whereas AD Strategy is based more strongly on IBM creating common services (ADCP) which vendors may or may not wish to license. See also TeamConnection.
ADTS: Application Development ToolSet for the iSeries 400 environment. Includes a programming development manager (PDM), source entry utility (SEU), screen design aid (SDA), data file utility (DFU), advanced printer function utility, character generator utility and report layout utilities. CODE/400 was added in June 1995. Replaced by WebSphere Development Studio for iSeries July 2001.
Advanced 36: System/36 line introduced in October 1994 based on the AS/400 Advanced Series and includes 64-bit RISC technology, disk caching, remote operations, etc. It was launched to try to convert the vast numbers of System/36s to the AS/400. In February 1996 a second model was announced which used PowerPC technology. It could run SSP1 and OS/400 concurrently. Obsolete.
Advanced ClusterProven: A status reserved for application software, such as IMS1, that meets IBM’s ClusterProven certification, plus: failure recovery with no impact to application availability by the end user, application recovery with no loss of in-flight data or transaction, and reduction/elimination of downtime for planned upgrades.
Advanced Identification Solutions: The IBM business unit that is concerned with the development of biometric identification processes to combat fraud. The intention is to enable effective validation for everything from passports, welfare benefits, driver licensing, and citizen registries by measuring the physical characteristics of a person, such as a fingerprint, hand geometry, voice characteristics, and comparing this measurement against a version of the biometric taken previously from the same person. See Fastgate, FLASH algorithm.
Advanced Network & Services Inc: A non-profit corporation formed in September 1990, which included IBM, MCI, Merit, Nortel and others. It provided the NSFnet backbone, which connected regional networks serving research and education in the USA at a network speed eventually reaching 45Mbps (T3). In February 1995, ANS sold most of its assets and operations to America Online (AOL).
Advanced Series: AS/400s announced in May 1994. Include Advanced Portable, Advanced Systems, and Advanced Server models. There were a few new features: RAID as standard (not on the Portable), tower packaging, FSIOP on the Server, more I/O card slots, improved price performance, use of RISC PowerPC chips, and black paint on the outside.
Advantis: VANS set up by IBM and Sears in December 1992, with the aim of providing a complete network outsourcing service. Initially most of its work was supporting the SNA requirements of large users, but by mid 1993, Advantis was moving fairly rapidly to ATM2. IBM bought out Sears’ portion in 1997 and swallowed it into IBM Global Services, immediately losing the Advantis name.
AES: Architecture Engineering Series. RT PC, RS/6000, and PS/2 CAD software for architects. Bought in by IBM from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Withdrawn August 1997.
AFCOM: Association For Computer Operations Management. Originally formed for data center managers in 1981, but now attended by anyone interested in data centers.
AFI: Advanced Fulfillment Initiative. A two-pronged IBM initiative to manage its supply chain logistics to reduce inventory and prices. Achieves this by bringing its major suppliers into its own manufacturing facilities in Raleigh, North Carolina, and also by introducing more snap-in components for easier product assembly. Introduced September 1997.
AFP: Advanced Function Printing; briefly Advanced Function Presentation beginning in 1994. General IBM term for advanced printer software, notably the software to support 38xx and 39xx APA printers. Originally AFP was mainly restricted to centralized mainframe printers, but it is now used on distributed printers too. See also IPDS, PostScript.
AFP Unicode Font: Alternately the Unicode data can be spooled directly into AFP files to be processed by PSF/400 or Host Print Transform, using the AFP Unicode Font resource product (5799-GHJ) via a PRPQ available through your IBM representative
AFP Workbench for Windows: Windows software which allows the user to view AFP and ASCII files as they would be printed on an AFP device, and then add notes to the files, or extract bits of the files for use elsewhere.
Agent: Generic term for a software entity that can accept instructions from a human being or other software and carry them out independently, often over a distance.
Aggregate: Within the mainframe environment, a file which contains the names of other files. All files associated with the aggregate are considered to be a single entity for the purposes of backup/restore and archive/retrieve. Files within an aggregate cannot be accessed individually.
Aglets WorkBench: Based on Aglets technology, the AWB is a visual environment for building network-based applications that use mobile agents to search for, access, and manage corporate data and other information. AWB consists of the following components: Aglets, Jodax, JDBC, and Tazza, a visual GUI builder for Java.
AIM1: Advanced Information Management. IBM research project (at the Heidelberg research labs) for a non-relational database for unstructured data objects – text and graphics – as well as traditional structured data. Part of the project was based on the NF2 data model. The suggestion – at one time – that it was to be a replacement for DB2 is probably a bit far-fetched.
AIX/370: Version of AIX for the mainframe as a replacement for IX/370. Much delayed but eventually announced June 1989, although it ran only as a guest under VM (cf. Amdahl which offered a native Unix for its IBM-compatible machines, UTS). Superseded by MVS/ESA OpenEdition, now known as z/OS Unix System Services. See also AIX/ESA.
AIX/ESA: Version of AIX, based on OSF/1, for the 370/390 environment announced September 1991. Runs in native mode on ES/9000 under VM or in a PR/SM partition. Has OSF/1, Motif, and X/Open certification, and adheres to POSIX 1003.1. Withdrawn June 1996. Many of the components ended up in z/OS Unix System Services. See also AIX/370.
AIX1: Advanced Interactive eXecutive. IBM’s incarnation of Unix for the RT PC, RS/6000, PS/2, and mainframe (see AIX/ESA) – the AIX Family Definition. Basically it’s an enhanced version of Unix V. Started life as the user interface to the operating system for the RT PC (6150/1) CAD/CAM workstation. Since then, it’s gained POSIX-conformance, 52-bit addressing, enhancements in the areas of file reliability, TCP/IP, fault tolerance, NFS support, support for FDDI, support for symmetric multiprocessing, a new COSE-based GUI, and simplified installation and packaging.
AIX 5L: AIX Version 5 for POWER- and Itanium-based eserver pSeries systems. Announced April 2001 as specifically tuned for Linux. Supports concurrent running of both 32 and 64 bit applications. See AIX1.
AIX Connections: Extension to AIX which allows an AIX machine to act as a file/print server on a TRN or Ethernet LAN. Originally developed by Syntax Inc, and sold by IBM. Replaced by AIX Fast Connect January 2000.
AIX Fast Connect: AIX optional feature providing file and print services to Windows workstations.
AIX OSI Services/6000: AIX software providing support for X.400, file transfer, virtual terminals, TCP/IP, etc. Announced March 1994. Withdrawn December 1995.
AIX Toolbox for Linux Applications: The unsupported collection of software bits that comes with most Linux distributions.
AIX Viaduct: Interactive data bridge that enables AIX users to integrate their applications with AS/400 and DB2 databases. Uses LU6.2 to provide connection of AIX with OS/400 and MVS environments through SQL. The AS/400 implementation was replaced September 1993 by AIX AS/400 Connection Program/6000 which was itself withdrawn December 1993. The DB2 bridge was withdrawn March 1992.
AIXwindows: User interface to AIX based on OSF/Motif. Announced with the RS/6000 in February 1990. Incorporates IXI’s X.desktop manager, Silicon Graphics’ GL interface, OSF/Motif, X-Windows, and Display Postscript. Absorbed into the AIX operating system October 1995.
AIX Windows Toolkit: A collection of object-oriented C language subroutines that supplement the Enhanced X-Windows Toolkit. These are designed to simplify the creation of interactive client application interfaces. Obsolete.
ALB: Address Lookaside Buffer. Performance improvement feature for large mainframes, which works by reducing the machine time needed for address translation.
Alert1: A problem determination message sent to a network operator within an SNA and/or TCP/IP network.
Alert2: Access control package originally from Goal Systems. Provides security at the terminal, user, file, or transaction level. Includes menu-driven administration interface, and facilities for disaster recovery and auditing. Available in CICS, VM, and MVS incarnations. At one time sold by IBM for the VSE environment.
Alert Monitor: Obsolete NetView/PC application that collects network information from IBM, Rolm, and IDNX PABXs and sends it to NetView.
Algorithm: A detailed non-programming-language-specific procedure that can be used to solve a problem or perform a specific task.
Allen-Myland Inc: A refurbishing company whose claim to fame is that it got taken to court by IBM in mid 1990 for splitting dual processors in half and selling them as two single processors. Because the dual processor had less than the power of its two component CPUs, IBM sold the dual processor for less than the price of two separate CPUs (e.g., a 3090 400E was less than twice the cost of a 200E). AMI used this differential to try to earn a crust. IBM took AMI to court on the grounds that it had breached the firmware license. The court agreed with IBM, but the judge also suggested that IBM should charge a more reasonable price for the firmware if it were not to be in danger of breaching anti-trust laws (see Consent decree). In the end the judge decided that AMI had breached copyright and that it owed IBM several million dollars. Mid 1994 the case re-opened when a higher court questioned the evidence given earlier by IBM, and reversed the decision. See LIC1.
Allicat: The basic HDA used in all first-generation IBM RAIDs and sold by AdStar into the OEM market. Consisted of a set of 95mm platters with capacities up to 2GB. See also Corsair, Starfire, Spitfire, UltraStar.
Alpha1: Name for the high-powered processor, and workstation built around it, built by Digital before they were bought by Compaq. Even though Microsoft offered a version of Windows NT 4.0 for Alpha, no one seems interested in the Alpha because it is not Intel compatible.
alphaWorks: An IBM combined on-line laboratory and World Wide Web site. The site gives visitors the opportunity to preview, use, and experiment with next-generation Internet technologies still under development. Launched August 1996.
ALU: Arithmetic/Logic Unit. The bit of the CPU which executes the instructions. Known as the execution element on the 308x and 3090.
AMASPZAP: z/OS batch utility which can be used to apply a fix directly to object code in situ. Often protected against unauthorized use because of its additional ability to make direct changes to disk. See Zap.
Ambra: Brand name of the clone PCs originally sold by ICPI, IBM’s short-lived clone vendor. Initially sold mainly in Europe: mid 1993, the Ambra machines were launched into the US market by the Ambra Computer Corp, described (unlike ICPI, which appeared to be embarrassed by its origins) as an IBM subsidiary. The name Ambra disappeared in Europe in February 1994 along with ICPI, and in the USA in July 1994. See also IPCC.
AMI1: Access Mode Interface.
AMODE: Addressing MODE. Attribute of z/OS programs indicating the length (in bits) of the addresses used in the program. Introduced in MVS/XA to differentiate between the new 31 bit addressing that expanded the addressable space from 16MB (24 bit) to 2GB. z/OS introduced 64 bit addressing.
AMRF: Action Message Retention Facility. A facility in z/OS that retains all action messages except those specified by the installation.
AMS: Access Method Services. z/OS and VSE subsystem for performing various data-related actions on VSAM and ICF catalogs, including defining VSAM datasets, and deleting and copying most dataset types. In short, a multi-purpose utility. Also known as IDCAMS because that is the program name you specify.
AMT: Address Mapping Table.
AN/DB2: DB2 modeling and capacity planning tool. No longer marketed.
ANA: Assign Network Address.
Anchor: Within a HTML document an anchor is the tag which associates text with a hypertext link. An anchor can either represent the destination of the link or the start of the link.
ANDF: Architecture Neutral Distribution Format. An attempt to create a standard to allow software to be ported between different incarnations of Unix. In effect, it appears to be an attempt to create a universal computer language. Supported by OSF.
A-Net: VTAM application which links 3270 users into non-IBM (TCP/IP and X.25) networks by enabling 3270-type terminals to pretend to be full-screen ASCII terminals. Developed by Teubner and marketed by IBM. Withdrawn March 1996.
ANO: Automated Network Operations. NetView software for automating network operations. Became available mid 1989 as a SolutionPac, and as a proper product in June 1991. Could be used to set up a single network control point (based on the interception of VTAM messages) which controls multiple domains, and displays relevant data in real-time. There’s an automated network recovery manager (ANRM) which brings an ailing network back to life again. ANO/MVS was replaced by AON/MVS in the early 1990s. See also LANAO/MVS.
Anonymous FTP: Internet servers known as Anonymous FTP (AFTP) servers allow guests to log in and access public resources. Normally users log in as anonymous, and the browser uses their e-mail address for the password string.
ANSI: American National Standards Institute. US standards body.
ANSI X.12: A generalized standard for EDI.
Anti-aliasing: Technique for improving the readability of characters on a screen (even a low resolution one). IBM has a proprietary technique for anti-aliasing which, it claims, increases readability of PC screens by 30%.
Anti-trust: A US term for legislation which prevents large monopolies abusing a dominant market position by restrictive or unfair marketing practices. IBM voluntarily agreed to refrain from such practices (see Consent Decree), but there are many who suspect that it finds the urge irresistible on occasions (see AMI2). Now that IBM has become altogether more humble (sic), all eyes are focused on Microsoft.
AntiVirus: LAN (Enterprise Edition) and shrink-wrapped retail stand-alone workstation (Desktop Edition) software from IBM for OS/2, DOS, Windows and NetWare. Announced 1993. IBM combined forces with Symantec in May 1998 and both companies sold Norton AntiVirus for a while. Unfortunately, IBM AntiVirus supported many workstation configurations that neither Norton nor McAfee could handle, at least initially. IBM stopped marketing Symantec/Norton anti-virus-related products in July 2001.
AnyLAN: LAN standard floated by IBM and HP in September 1993. Enables 100Mbps Ethernet and 100Mbps TRN to run over a range of wiring, including twisted pair. Note that it simply enables either type of network to run on the wiring – it doesn’t provide integrated LANs.
AnyMail: The AnyMail Mail Server Framework was added to OS/400 in October 1994. It provides messaging services to e-mail APIs included with Client Access/400 and Ultimedia Mail/400. POP3 and MIME support was added in June 1996.
AnyNet: Protocol conversion technology from IBM based on the MPTN architecture of the Networking Blueprint. Can be used to convert SNA to TCP/IP or vice versa. AnyNet gateways can also encapsulate IPX and NetBIOS traffic within SNA LU6.2 message units using software that IBM originally marketed as LTLW. AnyNet is available in stand-alone gateway form (e.g., IBM 2217) or as a feature within server software (e.g., OS/2 Warp and z/OS). Now primarily used to convert SNA traffic to TCP/IP, as a direct alternative to DLSw encapsulation of SNA.
AnyNet/2: Implementation of AnyNet under OS/2, announced August 1993. Allows APPC, CPI-C, and Sockets applications to operate independently of SNA and TCP/IP protocols. Replaced by Communications Server for OS/2 Warp.
AO: Automated Operations.
AOC/MVS: Automated Operations Control/MVS. NetView application which automates some console operation functions, including allowing operators to monitor MVS subsystems and local and remote MVS systems from a central location. Facilities include automated response to console messages, operator usability dialogs, real-time data store for automation, and operator-friendly interfaces for installation. Replaces ACO. Replaced by System Automation July 1997. See also AOEXPERT/MVS.
AOI: Automated Operator Interface. IMS/VS facility allowing programs to issue and action operator commands.
AON: Automated Operations Network.
AON/MVS: Automated Operations Network/MVS. NetView software, announced April 1994, which provides a library of ready-made NetView network automation functions, including automated resource monitoring, recovery, and tracking. Includes support for SNA, TCP/IP, subarea SNA, X.25, APPN, and TRN. Withdrawn January 2000.
AOR: Application Owning Region.
AP: Attached Processor. A second CPU attached to the memory of a standard uniprocessor to provide limited (it doesn’t have its own I/O channels) multiprocessor facilities. Not as resilient as an MP configuration. Obsolete concept in a parallel sysplex world.
APA: All-Points Addressable. Able to address all the points (pixels) on a graphic output device. Typically used to describe screens, and laser and other printers able to handle graphic output. IBM’s favored APA printer datastream is IPDS, although PostScript is also supported. Bit-mapped is often used more or less synonymously.
Apache server: Reportedly powering more than half of all Web sites, this freeware Web server was developed by programmers who volunteered their time. It implements HTTP 1.1 protocol and is supported by OS/400 and AIX, as well as being behind IBM HTTP Server within WebSphere Application Server.
APD: Applications Program Driver. Software which sits on top of OS/400 and acts as a sort of high-level JCL.
APE: Application Prototype Environment. APL-based system for prototyping applications in VM/MVS environments. Primarily an Information Center tool – notwithstanding IBM’s claims that it is appropriate for professional programmers. Obsolete.
APF2: Asynchronous Pageout Facility. Technique introduced into the new technology ES/9000s in June 1992, which allows processor execution to overlap with the transfer of pages from central to expanded storage. IBM reckons it speeds up paging and is particularly useful to numerically intensive applications (difficult sums, to you and me). Became available on 9121s as from February 1993.
APF3: Authorized Program Facility.
API: Application Program(ming) Interface. Documented programming procedures to access a given piece of software; typically an entry point name and parameter list. A generic – not IBM-specific – term. The API in one piece of software enables users/developers to hook one piece of software into another. APIs are the interfaces and protocols that turn a set of software products into an architecture – there are no strategic software products – only strategic interfaces.
API/CS: Application Program Interface Communications Services. The interface between NetView/PC and device-dependent applications. Obsolete.
APL: Programming language conceived within IBM by K E Iverson. Was used to promote the Information Center concept in the late 1970s, and formed the basis of a number of decision-support tools, including ADRS II, ADI, and IC/1. Although extremely powerful, APL uses up vast amounts of machine resource, is difficult to use, and requires special keyboards. It has had a mixed reception as a language, and is now largely restricted to enthusiasts.
APL2: IBM’s mainframe APL environment for z/OS, z/VM, Windows NT/9x/2000/Me, OS/2, AIX, and Sun Solaris.
APPC: Advanced Program-to-Program Communication. SNA facility (based on LU6.2 and PU12.1) for general purpose interprogram communications in the intelligent workstation market (not the 3270 world). Often used synonymously with LU6.2 (LU6.2 is the architecture, and APPC is the programming interface, complete with 130 verbs, to it).
APPC/MVS: Subsystem announced September 1990 which provides a range of APPC services (including DDM) across a network or across memory via cooperative processing primitives within the operating system. Callable by standard CPI-C procedure calls. Potentially it saves an awful lot of Assembler, VTAM, CICS and TSO programming, and gives much more flexibility in creating applications. APPC/MVS also provides a way for jobs to enter and be scheduled in an z/OS system. See also OLCP, RPC.
APPI: Advanced Peer to Peer Internetworking. An alternative solution to IBM’s APPN, initiated by Cisco with the support of various other router vendors. APPI offered similar functionality to APPN, but was built on top of IP (rather than SNA) protocols, and was consequently more open. It was announced in response to IBM’s decision to patent the APPN technology and make it available only under license. It all fell apart in Aug 1993, when Cisco took out a license to APPN, and abandoned the APPI Forum, which subsequently ceased to exist.
Apple: The owner of the second most successful proprietary desktop environment after DOS/Windows. Apple’s Macintosh environment has an intensely loyal following, and its user interface is still the standard against which all other desktop environments are measured. July 1991, IBM and Apple set up Taligent, a joint company to create a new object-oriented operating system, which was absorbed back into IBM some four years later. See also Pink, Kaleida, Macintosh, Motorola, PowerPC, Taligent.
Applet: Originally a very twee bit of IBMspeak, introduced with OS/2 Version 2.0, meaning a little application. These days it’s usually used to refer to a small program written in Java, which can be downloaded to a user workstation from an Internet server and executed by a Web browser. Applet security is defined in two ways: first, the applet cannot access the client’s file system; second, the applet’s network communication is limited to the download server.
Application Framework for e-Business: A cross-IBM initiative providing a set of open standards, services and products that allow the creation of platform-independent e-business applications. The framework’s architecture model is based on an n-tier distributed environment. Announced late 2000.
Application Layer: In the OSI Reference Model, the Application Layer provides a means for open systems applications to exchange information. It also contains the application-oriented protocols through which these processes communicate.
Application-level gateway: A firewall proxy server that performs a requested service for a client.
Application Mining: An IBM initiative in the late 1990s to interface existing on-line (especially CICS) applications, without modification, to graphical workstations, network computers or web browsers. See also CICS Transaction Gateway, CICS Universal Clients.
Application server: A computer dedicated to running one or more applications, which is able to receive requests from designated clients and return appropriate results. Analogous to a file or database server.
Application Tag API: This Workload Manager (WLM) function enables multiple instances of the same application to exist in different classes. Using Application Tag API, applications can enable automatic assignment of multiple instances of the same application in different classes.
APPLID: Application ID.
APPN: Advanced Peer-to-Peer Networking. Architecture derived from SNA/LEN (PU12.1), providing mainframeless, peer-to-peer networking with dynamic multipath routing; capable of supporting several hundred thousand nodes. IBM’s answer to the minicomputer suppliers’ networking solutions. Introduced on the System/36, and then the AS/400, APPN was announced for OS/2 EE and the 3174 early 1991, made available in MVS and the 3745 in September 1992, reached VM and VSE in January 1995 and is still going strong today. January 1992 IBM announced that it would sell licenses for network node support to other manufacturers. March 1992 APPN reached its apotheosis, when IBM announced that the APPN approach would supersede subarea SNA as the standard way of building SNA networks. See Networking blueprint.
APPN+: New version of APPN announced early 1993 which IBM positioned (not terribly successfully) as a rival to TCP/IP. 3 to 10 times as fast as standard APPN (achieved largely through reduction in the overhead at the network nodes), and with true dynamic alternative path routing. Designed to support multi-gigabit/sec systems, such as ATM2, as the corporate backbone. See also HPR.
APPNTAM: APPN Topology and Accounting Manager.
APR: Alternate Path Retry. Facility allowing a failed I/O operation to be tried on a different channel. The term is yet another example of the inability of the computer industry to use the words alternate and alternative correctly.
APS: Application Processing Services. Component of DIA, facilitating office systems, and supporting other DIA services, including changing a document from revisable to final form, inter-program communications, etc.
APT: Automatically Programmed Tools. A programming language for numerically controlled machine tools.
Aptiva: IBM’s computer family for the consumer market first announced in October 1994 to replace the PS/1. Replaced by NetVista September 2000.
APUNS: Adjacent Physical Unit Network Services.
AR: Access Register. Introduced as part of ESA, these special registers in processors are used in conjunction with General Purpose Registers (GPRs) to access more than the 2GB of data normally accessible in 31-bit addressing. cf. 64-bit addressing.
Arbre: Almaden Research Back-end Relational Engine. IBM database research project in multi-processor, highly parallel, query systems. Developed in a VM environment using bits of SQL/DS and DB2. Obsolete.
Architect: Those who believe that architect is a noun denoting someone who designs buildings are, of course, completely mistaken. In the wonderful world of IBMspeak, it’s a verb meaning conforming to a grandiose scheme, and it’s usually used in constructions such as an architected solution which means that it conforms to some marketecture or other: for example an SAA-architected product was one that contained the letters SAA in its name.
Architecture: According to the dictionary, architecture is the overall design of the hardware and software of a computer. Architectures and conceptual schemes are a particular strength of IBM, although sometimes (as with bits of SAA) there is more than a hint of retro-fitting the design to the status quo ante. IBM architectures include SAA, SNA, DDM, APPC, APPN, GTA, IAA, and a multiplicity of others. See also Marketecture, Architect.
Ardis: IBM/Motorola joint venture (announced January 1990) to build a US-wide wireless data comms network so that there would be no way of avoiding computers even if you couldn’t get near a telephone. Mid 1994, IBM pulled out and sold its stake to Motorola.
ARM1: ACRE/RETAIN Merge. A combination of ACRE and RETAIN data. Not of great relevance to man or beast except that it’s an instance of that rare animal, the three level acronym – the full expansion is ACRE (APAR (Authorized Program Analysis Report) Control Remote Entry)/RETAIN (REmote Technical Assistance and Information Network) Merge. Good, ennit?
ARM2: Application Response Measurement. An application programming interface that can be used to monitor the availability and performance of business transactions within and across diverse applications and systems. It was developed by a group of technology vendors, including Tivoli.
ARM3: Automatic Restart Manager. A recovery function in z/OS that automatically restarts batch jobs and started tasks after unexpected termination.
Armonk: The location of IBM’s Headquarters in Westchester County, New York State, about an hour’s drive north of New York. Urban myth has it that the headquarters were located outside of New York City because Thomas Watson senior thought that it was vulnerable to nuclear attack during the Cold War, and incidentally he did not like the commute. The first headquarters at Armonk were built in 1964 and were moved in 1997 to a new 280,000 square foot building.
ARPA: Advanced Research Projects Agency. The agency in the US Department of Defense responsible for creating ARPAnet. This agency is now called the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). See ARPAnet.
ARPAnet: Advanced Research Projects Agency network. The precursor to the Internet. Tradition has it that the network was developed in the 1960s as a military communications system designed to survive a nuclear assault. Unsurprisingly the actual reason which emerges is that it was developed for purely economic motives.
Artic: A Real-Time Interface Co-processor microchannel card originally designed for PC Network and TRN, and used for connecting (as a 3174 controller) real time devices, including programmable controllers, robots, and machine tools. These days Artic is increasingly being used as a pretty generalized family of add-in cards for off-loading I/O and other tasks from the main processor.
Artificial intelligence: Generic term for computer systems that use some kind of reasoning process akin to that allegedly used by the human mind. Knowledge-based, and expert systems are the most widely applied artificial intelligence applications in the IBM world. See Expert systems.
AS/400: Application System/400. IBM’s mid-range processor. Announced June 1988 and originally aimed at the System/3x replacement, and departmental and distributed machine market. By January 1994, the 250,000th AS/400 had been shipped (to Coca-Cola in Belgium). May 1994 the Advanced Series came out. Replaced by the iSeries 400 October 2000.
AS/400 NetServer: File and print server for Windows workstations accessing AS/400-managed data and printers.
AS/400 PASCAL: AS/400 version of the PASCAL programming language. Based on the ANSI X3.97-1983 standard. Withdrawn December 1997.
AS/400 Portable: Portable version of the AS/400 announced September 1993 – aka the Luggable Huggable. Full function, single user, attache case size, and capable of running all software that runs under OS/400. Requires a ThinkPad or similar notebook computer as a console. Initially sold through VARs who customized it and packaged it as an application-specific device. An Advanced Portable model was announced January 1995 with more memory, performance, etc. Withdrawn July 1997.
AS/400 Web Server in a Box: Internet Server package based on the AS/400 Advanced Server. Announced July 1996. Obsolete.
AS/Entry: Originally, the AS/Entry was the 5363, an entry level System/36 which IBM re-christened to try to pretend that it was really a pukka member of the AS/400 family – it wasn’t, since it couldn’t run the OS/400 operating system, just the System/36 SSP. Later versions of the AS/Entry included the option to upgrade to a proper AS/400 by a complete processor board swap. Obsolete.
AS1: Application System. An interactive applications development, decision support, and personal computing facility which runs under z/VM, or z/OS with TSO. Provides graphics, statistical functions, business modeling, and forecasting. Version 4.2 (Oct 1996) provides advanced client/server support for OS/2 and Windows workstations. Sold to ASTRAC and withdrawn by IBM in January 1999. See also Personal Application System.
ASA: Advanced Systems Architecture. At one time, a rumored top-end MVS operating environment.
ASAI: Adjunct/Switch Application Interface. AT&T’s published interface for linking computers and telephone switches.
ASCII: American Standard Code for Information Interchange. A modification of the international code which has become a de facto standard (except for IBM which uses the EBCDIC code) for transmitting data. Uses seven bits plus a parity bit, and includes alphanumeric and control characters. ASCII must be converted to EBCDIC for uploading to IBM mainframes. ASCII terminals is often used to refer to asynchronous terminals such as those used in the Unix environment. IBM’s main ASCII terminal family is the 3164.
ASC X12: Accredited Standards Committee X12. Comprises North American industry members who create EDI standards for submission to ANSI for approval or for submission to the United Nations Standards Committee.
ASD1: Application Software Division. Former division within IBM’s Information Systems Group, whose role was to ensure that IBM systems have lots of application software and that IBM can help customers to acquire that software.
ASD2: Automated Software Distribution.
ASF1: Application Support Facility/Feature. Mainframe software (announced April 1988) which was launched with a great fanfare with claims that it would provide a front-end to IBM’s office systems to enable MVS and VSE software products to present a common user interface to 3270 terminals. These days it’s said to be designed for the creation and processing of varied sized volumes of individual and structured documents and business correspondence. Withdrawn for VSE September 2000, but still available for z/OS.
ASGO: Annualized Software Growth Offering. A short-lived and long forgotten IBM discount scheme; you tell IBM how much you spent on software in the last year, and IBM agrees to let you have all the software you want over the next year for that amount of money. The day of reckoning comes at the end of the year, when you find you can’t do without all the software you’ve grown to know and love, and have to start paying the full price to keep it.
ASIC: Application Specific Integrated Circuit. A type of VLSI chip designed to carry out a specific task. IBM sells CMOS ASIC chips in the semiconductor market.
ASID: Address Space IDentifier.
ASIM: Automated Systems Information Management. MVS systems management products. Information/MVS or Info/Man are pre-requisites. Developed by Information Retrieval Co, and marketed by IBM until November 1994.
ASM1: Address Space Manager.
ASN: Abstract Syntax Notation. ASN.1 is a high level specification language used to define the X.400 protocols.
ASO: Automated Systems Operations.
ASP3: Average Selling Price.
ASP5: Active Server Page(s). A Microsoft architecture which allows dynamic commands, such as those necessary to retrieve database information, to be embedded in HTML pages. First introduced with the Internet Information Server (IIS) 3.0 Web Server, and now a popular server-side scripting scheme for creating dynamic, highly interactive Web pages and applications.
ASP Solution Pack: Lotus platform, based on Domino and WebSphere, for developing ready-to-rent web-based applications, and a system for hosting, managing and delivering web-based solutions to end customers.
Assembler: The language which allows the user to get closest to the hardware on IBM mainframes. Assembler statements correspond one-to-one with mainframe, machine-level instructions. (Strictly speaking Assembler is not the language, it’s the software that translates the language into executable code; in most cases Assembler means the language.) Specific to the mainframe; other platforms typically refer to their equivalents as Assembly Language. See also Assembler H, High Level Assembler.
Assembler H: A high level version of Assembler announced early 1992 for ESA environments. Supports ESA dataspaces, 31-bit applications, and other ESA features. Replaced early 1993 by High Level Assembler.
Asset Manager: Asset Manager/MVS. SAA and SystemView product announced September 1990, availability delayed June 1991, then withdrawn April 1992 prior to availability. Promised to manage enterprise hardware, software, and related resources (i.e., it tells you what hardware and software you’ve got), but I guess we’ll never know. The process manager component did show up a month later in Process Services but it was withdrawn March 1994. Customers were referred to Information Retrieval Companies, Inc. (IRC) for their inventory management needs. IRC was a member of the IBM International Alliance for SystemView.
Assist: Firmware and/or hardware which carries out functions formerly carried out by software. Used to provide enhanced performance for frequently-used functions; e.g., in June 1992 IBM introduced three assists on the ES/9000 to improve string handling. Assist is an example of a verb which has been nouned.
ASSIST/400: IBM support program for AS/400 users. Provides problem management, status tracking, and problem resolution for IBM hardware and software.
Asynchronous: An asynchronous (also known as start-stop) system is one in which there is not a constant time interval between the events in the system. Typically each character in an asynchronous system is de-limited by start and stop bits (cf. a synchronous system, in which bits are synchronized to a timer). Not surprisingly, asynchronous transmission is dreadfully slow and, in the IBM world, has largely been superseded by block-mode protocols such as BSC and SDLC1. Unfortunately the adoption of Unix, which supports asynchronous terminals (also known as ASCII terminals), seems to be slowing its demise. Note that asynchronous is also used to refer to systems with store-and-forward facilities where there is a time delay between events in different parts of the system (e.g., MQSeries); a better term for the latter is de-synchronized.
Asynchronous Data Mover Facility: Function (ADMF) introduced on certain ES/9000s to reduce CPU usage when large amounts of data are moved between central and expanded storage. Requires the appropriate subsystem software. IBM claims that it can improve elapsed time for DB2 queries by up to 20% and it was used by DB2 Hiperpools. Later advancements of the Move Page instruction matched the speed of ADMF, so the Fast Sync Data Mover Facility was invented to indicate to DB2 that Move Page should be used instead of ADMF.
AT&T: American Telephone & Telegraph Company. The parent company of most of the US common carrier companies, and many subsidiaries in the information industry, and the only company with the muscle to take on IBM. For years the general industry view was that, although it may have had the brawn, AT&T was short on the brain. However, AT&T’s success in persuading the world that its wholly owned Unix was actually less proprietary than MVS suggests that AT&T was rather brighter than most people believed, although the fact that it sold Unix to Novell just when it became flavor of the month may temper that view.
AT&T GIS: The re-named NCR, which was bought up by AT&T at the beginning of 1994. It became NCR again at the beginning of 1996.
ATAPI: Advanced Technology Attachment Packet Interface. A standard which allows the connection of a CD-ROM drive to an enhanced IDE adapter. This has considerably simplified the installation of CD-ROM drives.
ATC: Authorization To Copy. Scheme (restricted to PC software) in which users are allowed by IBM to make duplicate copies of IBM software (for a fee) for use by other users. The copier has to keep a register for inspection by IBM. In effect it’s a sort of site-licensing agreement, but one in which the user does all the work, and IBM gets all the cash. Replaced by DUA in October 1989.
ATCVT: VTAM Communication Vector Table.
ATL: Automatic Tape Library (also known as Automatic Cartridge System – ACS, tape silo, or silo). Type of mass storage system (MSS) in which industry standard (3480/3490) tapes are loaded by a robotic arm. Do not confuse ATLs with automatic cartridge loaders such as that on the 3490. After years of protestation that there was no place for an ATL in its scheme of things, IBM announced its first ATL in May 1992 (the 3495) along with SMS1 support, and introduced the rather more usable 3494 in September 1993. See also 3495, ACL, ACS2, Epic, MSS1, RMM, Silo, Tape silo.
ATM1: Automatic Teller Machine. Generic term for cashpoint/hole-in-the-wall and similar banking machines. IBM, with its customary terminological idiosyncrasy, knows them as Consumer Transaction Facilities. July 1990 IBM and Diebold set up a joint venture – Interbold – to market ATMs worldwide. See 3624, 1/LINK.
ATM2: Asynchronous Transfer Mode. Strategic Layer 2, ITU-T data transfer standard, derived from a 1988 initiative for Broadband ISDN (B-ISDN), that combines the constant bandwidth and consistent delay characteristics of circuit switching with the resource sharing and bursty traffic accommodating features of packet switching. The basis of ATM is the very fast switching of fixed-length, 53-byte cells that permits voice, video and data traffic to be supported across a given link at the same time without the voice or video traffic suffering any disruptive interruptions from other traffic. July 1993 IBM announced a whole strategy for ATM – Broadband Network Services. See also 8260, APPN+, Broadband Network Services, Frame Relay, Nways, PDH, Prizma, PTM, SDH, Switched Virtual Networking, TNN, Turboways 100.
ATMS III: Advanced Text Management System III. Mainframe-based text processing system in use for many years. Extensively used by technical writers for whom its user hostility was not a problem. Runs on the mainframe under VSE or MVS with CICS. Withdrawn January 1990 with migration to BookMaster or CALS recommended by IBM.
Attachable Media Manager: Automated system under VM for managing attachable devices such as drives, volumes, tapes. Maintains a database about the contents of media. Seems to overlap considerably with some of the functions of DFSMS. Withdrawn May 1994.
At Work: A Microsoft initiative in the mid-1990s to set standards for embedding Windows features in office products – photocopiers, faxes, printers, and the like.
Audit: A thorough and systematic review of procedures, their implementation and the results.
Audit trail: Detailed logging of individual security-related activities, allowing a specific event to be traced from beginning to end.
Authentication: A term which has a series of meanings in computer security, including the verification of the identity of a user, or the user’s eligibility to access a system. Sometimes it is used to indicate that a message has not been altered or corrupted.
Authentication service: A service in APPC that provides a method for generating authentication information on the originating side and verifying authentication information on the destination side. The authentication service is interfaced with the Generic Security Service Application Programming Interface (GSS API).
Authenticator: A hand-held electronic device (or software that emulates it) that can be identified because each device generates a unique set of characters at a fixed point in time.
Authority: The right to access resources, objects or functions.
Automatic Dump Analysis tool: An AIX tool that automatically examines a dump and pulls out (in text) relevant information for forwarding to support entities as an e-mail attachment. This avoids having to send the entire dump file.
Automatic Network Routing: The lowest layer in HPR’s Layer 2 routing scheme. A low-overhead, connectionless routing mechanism for rapidly switching message units along a predetermined path based on Routing Information Field (RIF) concept akin to that used by Source Route Bridging (SRB).
Automatic Reconfiguration Facility: A PR/SM feature that allows you to reset and reconfigure one or more LPARs and their related storage, then redistribute workload from the failed primary system to the backup system without operator intervention. Announced June 1992.
Automation script: A script in the IBM eNetwork Mobile Equalizer that performs certain operations automatically in response to system events or user preferences. For example, an automation script can determine which files to transfer based on the type of network connection, the bandwidth of the network connection, and the file size.
Auxiliary storage: All storage which needs a channel I/O to access it (basically cache, SSD, disk, tape, mass storage).
Availability management: The Tivoli management discipline that considers the collection and analysis of information regarding the operational status of an organization’s network allowing for the appropriate corrective action to be taken.
AVC: Audio Visual Connection. OS/2 and DOS software for creating presentations which mix video, text, and audio. Provides synchronization of audio, video and text, graphic manipulation, some ability to link images with text, and full motion video. AVC is designed for environments where a single master is produced by a professional, and distributed for play-back on lots of fairly low-power systems (i.e., it’s not something for the manager in the street to develop his own presentations). Typical uses would include development of a computerized mail order/parts catalog for use in showrooms/shops. Can be used in conjunction with KnowledgeTool. According to IBM, voice, stereophonic music, and the amazing visual quality of the IBM PS/2 all combine to make this the most amazing concept in Personal Computing – amazing isn’t it? Obsolete.
AVS: APPC/VM VTAM Support. The VTAM equivalent of TSAF for VM environments. Allows connection of APPC programs running in non-VM systems.
AVT: Address Vector Table.
Axiom: Software developed at the IBM labs at Yorktown Heights. Used for solving algebra, calculus, graphics functions, and for using as a calculator for very difficult sums.