Support | Mainframe Dictionary | O
A glossary of terms important to IBM mainframe machines
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z misc.
If you don't find what you seek,
please let us know.
OAM: Object Access Method. Access method within DFSMS for handling storage, retrieval, and management of images and digitized data from magnetic, optical, and optical cartridge systems. Uses a DB2 directory/index of objects. Used by ImagePlus and supported within DFSMS.
Object: An abstract entity within a data processing system. Sometimes known as case2. Unlike entities such as paragraphs, charts, files, disks, etc, an object is independent of any particular implementation, which makes the user’s life much easier when it comes to changing hardware – object-oriented programs are very modular and their components highly reusable. System/38, AS/400 and iSeries 400 are object-oriented machines. IBM became terribly enthusiastic about objects so just about everything is object-oriented, in much the same way that everything became virtual in the 1970s. See also ADE1, C++, DSOM, Envy/400, GDMO, GMF, HighPoint, MO:DCA, ObjectStore, OCA2, OIDL, OOPS, Smalltalk, SOM, Taligent, VisualAge.
Object Design: US firm which developed the ObjectStore database. IBM bought a large lump ($27m worth) of Object Design in May 1993, and announced that it would be using ObjectStore for its future object-based application development, including the development of a repository for the Information Warehouse. These days, Object Design looks like a company in trouble and is currently owned by eXcelon Corp.
Object REXX: An object-oriented version of the REXX programming language that runs on Windows, AIX, Linux (Intel and mainframe) and OS/2. The Windows version comes in both Interpreter and Development editions.
OCA1: Open Communication Architecture. A 1986 vintage IBM architecture which now seems to have faded somewhat from view.
OCA2: Object Content Architecture. Architectures for dealing with the content of objects. IBM’s object-oriented architectures include MO:DCA, PTOCA, IOCA, GOCA, FOCA, FD:OCA. Mid 1990 they were all grouped together to become IIA.
OCCF: Operator Communications Control Facility. z/OS and VSE/ESA program product (running under NCCF) enabling one or more remote systems to be operated from a host system over an SNA network. In effect OCCF redirects operating system messages from remote sites to the managing site’s operating console. The z/OS version (see MVS/OCCF) became a part of NetView in January 1996, while the VSE/ESA version was withdrawn June 2000.
OCO: Object Code Only. IBM policy of issuing software products as executable code only, without the source code in either machine-readable or printed form. That irritated a lot of technical folk. Some, especially in z/VM, had been making changes to IBM code. But the vast majority of complainants used source code to take over where the manuals left off: to know exactly how a particular feature works, without trying to come up with some way to test it thoroughly. The truth was that OCO came right about the time that many were starting to see the productivity benefits of on-line viewing of source code as opposed to microfiche. For their part, IBM claims that OCO reduces the cost of providing support by eliminating the previous possibility of customer-modified IBM code (see Zap). In the long run, OCO has the merit of distancing the application from a particular hardware implementation which simplifies conversions. OCO was a critical (but not always recognized) part of IBM’s SAA strategy.
OCR: Optical Character Recognition. OCR software is used to convert scanned documents into machine-readable text files.
ODA: Office/Open Document Architecture. ISO standard for document formats. ODA describes a standard file structure capable of specifying text, graphics, and other data types in a single data format. Similar to IBM’s MO:DCA.
ODCS: Open Distributed Computing Structure. IBM architecture (vintage October 1993) which was to provide an infrastructure for distributed and client/server applications. Initially it was an IBM-internal thing providing interoperability standards and criteria for IBM product designers. Readers with long memories will recall that this was how SAA started out, and considering that nothing much is heard of ODCS these days, it may well have gone the same way as SAA.
ODF: Object Distribution Facility. SNADS-based System/36 and AS/400 software providing distribution services between a System/36 and another System/3x, or AS/400. It enabled users to send or receive spooled files, data files, job streams, libraries, etc. More interestingly it also allowed users to pass through to another system, run jobs on that system, and return output to their own system. ODF originated in the late 1980s but is little heard of today.
ODM: Object Distribution Manager. Software for managing the flow of image objects among workstations and MVS/ESA servers. Uses CICS, LU6.2, VTAM, and has hooks into FAF, OAM, and the ImagePlus workstation software. Repeatedly replaced or renamed, beginning in April 1991, by IBM SAA ImagePlus Object Distribution Manager MVS/ESA, ImagePlus Object Distribution Manager for OS/390, IBM Content Manager ImagePlus Object Distribution Manager for OS/390, with a new name planned for the next release.
ODP: Open Distributed Processing.
OEM: Original Equipment Manufacturer. An OEM is a manufacturer who makes a product and sells it to another company which puts its own badge on it and sells it to the end user. The term is used as a verb with exactly opposite meanings, as follows: A OEMs B’s equipment either means that A buys kit from B and puts A’s badge on it, or that A sells kit to B who puts B’s badge on it. IBM OEMs in both senses.
OFFICE/38: IBM software providing office system support on the System/38. Facilities include administrative management, text management, and AME (Applications Made Easy). A product which never stirred great enthusiasm among users. Obsolete.
Office Facsimile Application: z/OS software which can send any RFT text (e.g., OfficeVision/MVS notes) to fax machines, route fax traffic across an SNA network, and generally manage computer fax systems. Withdrawn July 1991.
OfficeVision: IBM’s family of office products announced May 1989. It was a series of client/server products; server on OS/2, z/VM, z/OS or OS/400, and client/requester on OS/2 or PC-DOS (PRPQ2); the servers provided the user with one stop shopping for a range of useful services – e.g., library, archive, database, and e-mail. PC LANs pretty much did for it, and Lotus Notes rendered the coup de grace. Although there have been no new releases for years, OfficeVision/MVS and OfficeVision/VM are still available. OfficeVision for OS/400 was no longer available beginning with Version 5 of OS/400, announced April 2001. OV/2 and OV/DOS were withdrawn May 1994.
OfficeVision/2: OfficeVision/2 LAN Series. LAN server version of OfficeVision. It was originally designed to provide a range of services to connected workstations, including e-mail, correspondence processing, address book, file system, telephony, diary, decision support, electronic filing cabinet, on-line help etc. By June 1992, IBM admitted that OfficeVision/2 was never going to cut the mustard, stabilized the product, and made Lotus Notes and cc:Mail its preferred offerings. Finally withdrawn May 1994.
OfficeVision/400: Later renamed OfficeVision for OS/400. Version of OfficeVision using an OS/400 system as a server. Derived from AS/400 Office, which was derived from the office software on the System/3x. Provides document preparation, calendar, e-mail, decision support, and library services, with integration between the components. Unlike its System/3x predecessors, there’s also an API to simplify communication with other systems, and an SAA front end on the workstation. No longer available beginning with Version 5 of OS/400, announced April 2001. See also Current, JustMail.
OfficeVision/MVS: Version of OfficeVision using an z/OS system as a server. Built around existing mainframe products (STAIRS, DISOSS, PS/CICS, etc). Provides document preparation, calendar, e-mail, decision support, library services, and TSO access. Originally described by IBM as extending the usability of existing office products. Still available although there have been no new releases for years.
OfficeVision/VM: Version of OfficeVision using a z/VM system as a server. Provides document preparation, calendar, e-mail, decision support, and library services. Basically an enhanced version of PROFS with an SAA front end on the workstation. Still available although there have been no new releases for years. See also Current.
OGL: Overlay Generation/Graphics Language. Form creation software for AFP printers which can be used to create forms with text boxes, graphic areas, etc. Works with PSF. Announced October 1990, OGL/370 replaced OGL/MVS, OGL/VM and OGL/VSE with one product that ran on all three platforms: z/OS, z/VM and VSE/ESA. It is still available though it has not been updated since its original Version 1.1.0 release.
OHIO: Open Host Interface Objects. An IBM and Attachmate inspired object-oriented host access API for software implementing tn3270 and tn5250 protocols. Vendor neutral and submitted to the IETF in 1998 as an Internet standard. Supported by WebSphere Host On-Demand.
OIF: Office Interconnect Facility. Group of IBM products (announced October 1988) to manage document interchange with Wang and DEC systems using DEC and Wang protocols. OIF was ditched by IBM who signed up the products from Soft-Switch instead.
OLAP: On-Line Analytical Processing. A term due to database guru Ted Codd and used to refer to multi-dimensional analysis and reporting applications of the EIS2 and Information Warehouse ilk. DB2 includes an OLAP Starter Kit. See also ROLAP, and MOLAP.
OLE: Object Linking and Embedding. Microsoft-sponsored standard for moving and linking data and other objects between applications and systems in Windows (3.1 onwards), Presentation Manager, and Macintosh environments. Can be used to create compound documents (text, data, image, etc) on the fly. Used in DDE. By the mid 1990s, OLE had become very much the de facto standard, pretty much putting the kibosh on Taligent’s OpenDoc. The precursor of today’s COM and COM+. See also ActiveX.
OLTEP: On-Line Test and Execution Program. IBM engineer’s tool for analysis of hardware problems.
OLTP: On-Line Transaction Processing. Generic term for high-throughput, very resilient transaction systems. OLTP tends to be used to refer to systems with some degree of fault tolerance.
OMG: Object Management Group. A group of vendors responsible for standards for object management and interoperability including CORBA, UML, MOF and CWM. IBM allowed itself to be persuaded to join – with seemly reluctance – in June 1991.
OMI: Open Messaging Interface. An e-mail API standard developed by Lotus, IBM, and Apple. Announced October 1991. Provides directory, transport, and message storage and retrieval interfaces. See also VIM.
Omnibus: IBM Online Library Omnibus Edition. Manuals in BookManager format on CD-ROM. With software reader programs.
Open MVS provides access to z/OS USS (Unix system services).
All z/OS TCP/IP applications require access via OMVS.
OMVS segments are portions of RACF profiles that define user IDs for USS.
OMVS command is a TSO/E command that invokes the z/OS Unix shell.
The name OMVS derives from OpenEdition, the original name for z/OS USS.
OnDemand: IBM Content Manager OnDemand for z/OS, OS/400 and Multiplatforms. A comprehensive approach to capturing and storing computer-generated output, including indexing, compression and storage on disk, optical and/or tape for on-line access. The Multiplatforms version supports servers on AIX1, HP-UX, Sun Solaris, Windows Server operating systems. All three versions support Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP clients and administrative clients. Alternatively, OnDemand clients can be run on a Web server with Web browser clients, including administration. Tivoli is responsible for the z/OS version. See Content Manager.
ONDS: Open Network Distribution Services. z/OS and z/VM software providing store and forward distribution in OSI environments. Supports X.400. The z/VM version was withdrawn March 1995. The z/OS version was withdrawn October 1995, but the technology was licensed to DANET GmbH of Weiterstadt, Germany, but their replacement has also been withdrawn.
Onekay: An obscure performance measure originally developed by IBM. It measures a POS transaction. Not used much (if at all) by IBM these days.
Online Recovery Service: A separately priced facility for IMS1 that provides database recovery processing in an online IMS environment. Multiple database datasets can be recovered simultaneously. Image copies, logs, and Change Accumulation datasets are read in parallel. Announced August 1999.
OPC/A: Operations Planning and Control Advanced. Suite of programs for planning, controlling, and automating z/OS batch production work. Analyses the status of current system workload and submits jobs accordingly. Features include: automatic restart, real-time monitoring of jobs through the system, and output distribution. June 1993 release added catalog management, dataset triggering, and open network management. Replaced June 1995 by the AOC/MVS OPC Auto Feature (OPCAO).
OPC/ESA: Operations Planning and Control/ESA. Replaced by Tivoli Workload Scheduler for z/OS. SystemView-compliant, ESA version of OPC/A. Offers automatic dependency control, automatic job recovery, dynamic re-planning, and automatic restart on other processors within a system using XCF. Other features include audit trail, support for remote sites, and security through RACF. June 1993 enhancements included production workload scheduling for AIX1, OS/400, Tandem, Unisys, Unix, and OS/2 LANs.
OPD: Office Products Division. OPD used to be one of the three major product divisions in IBM (see GSD, DPD). Products originating in OPD included golf-ball typewriters, magnetic card typewriters, OS/6, and Displaywriter.
Open: Open is most widely used to denote systems designs built using architectures and standards which aren’t proprietary – i.e., owned by a hardware or software vendor, usually IBM. The word’s usually used in the same kind of piously self-righteous way that the more oppressive governments talk of democracy, freedom, and choice as they promote each attempt to impose their will on an unwilling populace – i.e., it’s just another case of hijacking a word with a positive connotation, and using it to promote self-interest. Open was originally used to refer to OSI systems which had standards but no products, but then switched to being used synonymously with Unix-based systems which have products but no standards – or rather so many standards that there might as well be none at all. Openness in the sense it’s used in the computer industry is actually a benefit to vendors, not to users, which, of course, is why vendors protest so much about what a good thing openness is for users. See Open Systems.
Open Connect Systems: Company which provided IBM with TCP/IP gateway software to connect VSE/ESA to heterogeneous networks in February 1993. Since 1996, their focus has been on the Web-to-Host market.
OpenDoc: Architecture from Taligent for creating multimedia documents by moving and linking data and other objects among applications. Similar to Microsoft OLE. Can be used to create compound documents (text, data, image, etc) on the fly. Its future looked decidedly fragile after the demise of Taligent, but things perked up in June 1996 when IBM announced the availability of a number of OpenDoc components. Today it has been pushed aside by JavaBeans but is still being offered as freeware for developers of advanced C++ applications.
OpenEdition DCE User Data Privacy: Curiously retaining the defunct OpenEdition name, OpenEdition DCE User Data Privacy is a no-charge z/VM feature used for controlling the export of the DES algorithm. When installed, this feature enables data encryption using the DES algorithm. Because this feature contains data encryption, it is therefore subject to special export licensing requirements by the Bureau of Export Administration of the US Department of Commerce.
OpenExtension Shell and Utilities: An implementation of the Unix within z/VM and part of CMS1. More accurately, it is those Unix elements that are contained in the POSIX standard. The OpenEdition Shell and Utilities had been a priced, optional feature of VM/ESA. It has been renamed in z/VM and is available at no additional charge.
OpenGL: Open Graphics Library. An API for developing complex 3D graphics applications. It began life as an initiative by SGI based on its SGI IRIS GL library. There is even an industry group, the OpenGL Architecture Review Board, that approves changes to the standard.
Open Group: The Open Group. A vendor- and technology-neutral consortium designed to let its nearly 200 members share knowledge, integrate open initiatives and certify approved products and processes.
Open LAN Manager Council: Group of 24 vendors, including IBM and Microsoft, whose objective was to ensure compatibility of Microsoft LAN Manager2 and LAN Server. Set up in April 1991, but little has been heard of it since.
OpenPGP: Open Pretty Good Privacy. Encryption technology that uses the public key approach. Messages are encrypted using a public key, but can only be decoded using a private key kept by the intended recipient of the message. See also RSA. OpenPGP is an open source standard. See RFC 4880, "OpenPGP Message Format," RFC 2440, "OpenPGP Message Format," and RFC 1991, "PGP Message Exchange Formats." Also see RFC 3156, "MIME Security with OpenPGP," and RFC 2015, "MIME Security with Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)." PGP™, on the other hand, is a trademarked product.
Open Systems: Computer systems that provide either interoperability, portability, of freedom from proprietary standards, depending on your perspective. For years the term was applied loosely to the many flavors of Unix. Since the emergence of The Open Group’s Single Unix Specification, any operating system that supports the Unix APIs (z/OS, for example) can reasonably be classed as an open system.
OpenView: Hewlett-Packard network management software for TCP/IP and OSI networks. IBM licensed bits of it in April 1991 for managing SNMP devices. OpenView licenses were taken up by a number of other major vendors, and it fast became an industry standard.
Operations Console: Windows software for all OS/400 platform management applications including 5250 console support, a remote control panel GUI and the Operations Navigator/Management Central platform management applications. Connectivity choices include null modem, cable-connected async communications, dial-up async communications and Ethernet/Token Ring LAN.
Operations Navigator: OS/400 systems management through a GUI including work management (active jobs, subsystems, job queues, memory pools), backup/recovery (BRMS GUI plug-in), simple two-node cluster configuration, and LPAR and DASD management, including disk balancing, compression, and management of disk pools and units. Integrated with Management Central to provide access to system values, including system comparison and update, distributed user/group administration, and licensed program and fix creation, distribution and installation.
Optical storage: Generic term for devices which store data in a form in which it can be read by lasers or other optical devices. IBM’s principal optical storage device is the 3995. See also 3363, 3995, 9246/7, magneto-optical, WORM1.
Optional: IBMspeak for a feature which is essential for a product but which costs extra.
Oracle: Relational database software from Oracle Corp. Oracle dominates the Unix database environment, but mainframe and PC versions are also available. In 1996, the company introduced a version specifically designed for the Parallel Sysplex. Oracle 8 has brought object-oriented function.
ORB: Object Request Broker. A specialized object that allows other objects to communicate with each other to make and receive requests and responses. An Object Request Broker is needed to operate between machines across a network. Usually, an ORB is an implementation of CORBA. Also used loosely to refer to object-based middleware such as COM+.
ORBlet: An ORB, or ORB client, packaged as a Java applet. An ORBlet can be downloaded to a Web browser by issuing an HTTP request for the corresponding URL. Thereafter, the client computer can communicate with CORBA servers using IIOP.
Organizer: Lotus claims their venerable PIM is the world’s most popular, with 42 million customers worldwide. Concentrates on three areas: your contacts, your time and your information. Runs on Windows, Mac2, OS/2 and a wide range of handheld devices.
OS: Operating System. Historically, an IBM family of operating systems for large size IBM mainframes that began with OS/360 in mid-1960s. There have been many name changes over the years, and even a return to the OS name in OS/390, when IBM claimed it stood for Open Server. But it is z/OS today. MVS enjoys the honor of having the longest reign as its name, for two decades. Other popular names over the years have been OS/VS1, OS/VS2, MVS/XA and MVS/ESA.
OS/2: Originally a joint development project between IBM and Microsoft, OS/2 was the operating system announced by IBM at the same time as the PS/2. Despite being positioned as IBM’s key SAA workstation environment, IBM failed to capture a significant market share with the depressingly inadequate Version 1 (there were an estimated 750,000 licenses by mid 1991 as against 70 million PC-DOS licenses). Version 2.0 (see OS/2 Version 2.0) was marketed very aggressively by IBM with the clear intention of winning back the desktop from Windows 3.0. The later Warp version was aimed at winning the consumer and computer nerd market, which it largely failed to do – a great shame, since it is widely recognized as being vastly superior to Windows 95. Though OS/2’s fate was arguably sealed long before, Microsoft’s release of Windows NT 4.0, especially the Server version, ensured a rapid spiral into oblivion for OS/2. Still, there were pockets of use for years to come, most notably as servers in the banking industry. Why did OS/2 fail so miserably? There are many answers, most centered around how big a machine you needed to run it properly, but one that is often overlooked is that its much-publicized stability only existed when used with the HPFS file system. Most people evaluating it ran OS/2 with the FAT file system so that they could recover their data, if need be, from Windows and MS-DOS. With FAT, all but the latest versions of OS/2 failed more often than the legendary GPFs occurred in Windows 3.0.
OS/2 Extended Edition: OS/2 Extended Edition – the original full version of OS/2. Provided the communications interface, multi-tasking, relational database, etc. Note that OS/2 EE was a real operating system – IBM accepted APARs against it! Replaced by OS/2 Extended Services.
OS/2 Extended Services: Add-on goodies in OS/2 2.0 (launched October 1991 for delivery March 1992). Included enhancements to Communications and Database Managers, and support for 16- and 32-bit operation. In effect OS/2 with Extended Services was an all new version of OS/2 EE. Withdrawn August 1996.
OS/2 Image Support: IBM software which captures, manipulates, and prints images using a PS/2 with the appropriate hardware. Announced May 1989. Support ended December 1992.
OS/2 Lite: Stripped down version of OS/2 (Version 1.3) which ran in just 2MB of main memory. Its exposure to the public by IBM at about the same time as Microsoft launched Windows 3.0 had more than a touch of petulance about it – indeed Microsoft was so miffed, it refused to distribute the thing.
OS/2 Version 2.0: The version of OS/2 which appeared in March 1992. It was a complete re-write by IBM of the original Microsoft OS/2, and offered true multi-tasking of MS-DOS, PC-DOS, DR-DOS, CP/M, Windows 2 and 3, and 16- and 32-bit applications. It was chalk and cheese compared to Version 1.3, and is unambiguously designed for the corporate desktop, cooperative processing, and the like. IBM reckoned that by the end of 1993, it had shipped four million copies of Versions 2.0 and 2.1, though a lot of those were given away for free. See also OS/2 Version 2.1.
OS/2 Version 2.1: Version of OS/2 announced in May 1993. Included support for Windows 3.1 applications, new graphics engine, new device drivers, Multimedia Presentation Manager, and loads of other goodies. See also OS/2 Version 2.2.
OS/2 Version 2.2: Version of OS/2 launched October 1994 as a pre-emptive strike against Chicago/Windows 95. Available in symmetric multi-processing, server, and client versions. The client version was a great improvement in terms of resource requirements – it ran faster than earlier versions but required less memory (it ran on a 6-8MB system). See also Warp.
OS/3: At one time a rumored new version of OS/2 from Microsoft which would take advantage of the 80386/486 chip (Microsoft’s OS/2 was designed for the 80286, which, unfortunately, is not powerful enough to run it properly). In effect OS/3 would have been OS/2 Version 2 with some degree of hardware independence. See also OS/2 Version 2.0.
OS/390: The replacement for MVS/ESA announced at the end of 1995. It was an attempt to repackage MVS in a way that allowed IBM to offer attractive pricing at the lower levels, encourage developers to write applications in a shorter period of time, and generally improve the image of an operating system that is still largely identified with big iron and huge IT budgets. It also reduced IBM’s testing costs dramatically because there was no longer a need to test every combination of supported releases of what were now components instead of separate system software products. This approach was first tested with DFSMS three and a half years earlier. In the longer term, OS/390 shielded MVS behind a layer of middleware that disguised many of the proprietary functions of MVS and provided users with common services across all the major IBM platforms. Replaced by z/OS on October 3, 2000, along with the introduction of eserver, including a complete line of mainframes called zSeries 900. Version 2 Release 10 was the last release of OS/390 and first became available September 29, 2000.
OS/400: The operating system for the iSeries 400, and the AS/400 that it replaced. Basically it’s a derivative of the System/3x operating system. It provides an interesting contrast with mainframe operating systems. Although it has improved in recent years, they have long been a great mass of bolt-ons, add-ons, and disparate bits and pieces. OS/400, by contrast, is an integrated whole; indeed the integration is such that charges of bundling have been raised against IBM.
OS/6: Office System 6. IBM’s long-dead first foray into screen-based word processing. Notorious for its silly little six-line screen offering little more than a thin window display at vastly more expense. Now of interest only to museum curators, or to those who take a sadistic delight in seeing how even large corporations can get it wrong.
OS/VS COBOL: The standard z/OS COBOL compiler for many years. Although VS COBOL II effectively replaced it, and then, in turn, IBM COBOL, OS/VS COBOL was still heavily used until Y2K work saw a lot of organizations finally make the change.
OSA/SF: Open Systems Adapter/Support Facility. Software for customizing and managing the OSA2, such as changing port parameters, and is required if anything other than the default TCP/IP address is desired. Has API and client GUIs for several workstation platforms.
OSA2: Open Systems Adapter. Processor add-in card announced for the 9021, the Parallel Transaction Server, and Parallel Database Server in November 1994. Enables FDDI, TRN, and Ethernet LANs to be directly attached to the mainframe. Includes a channel adapter, control unit, and LAN adapters. Supports SNA/APPN, TCP/IP, and IPX, and is described by IBM as being an addition to the IBM family of communications controller products.
OSF: Open Software Foundation. Consortium of vendors (including IBM, DEC, HP) who got together a version of Unix as an alternative to the official AT&T version. IBM’s AIX1 is the basis of OSF Unix. It was an attempt to wrest control of Unix away from AT&T, although in the end AT&T wrested control away from itself by selling Unix Systems Labs (USL) to Novell. November 1995, the OSF started cozying up to X/Open with the declared aim of making the two organizations appear as two sister divisions of a virtual corporation. The Open Group was the result. See also UII, Motif, OSF/1.
OSI: Open Systems Interconnection. Set of international standard protocols and services for communications systems; partially overlapping in function but incompatible with SNA. Despite IBM’s monotonously regular affirmation of its commitment to OSI, OSI products have emerged too slowly (from IBM and everybody else), and the consensus is that OSI as originally conceived is no longer important. The dramatic growth of TCP/IP has pretty much finished it off.
OSI/CS: OSI Communications Subsystem. Range of products (z/OS, z/VM, OS/400, OS/2) providing access to OSI. The products provide high-level language APIs (COBOL and C), data conversion, session layer interface, and network management (via NetView or LSO). It has been a long time since a new release came out for any of the platforms, but a few, most notably z/OS, are still available and supported. See also OSI/FS.
OSI/FS: OSI File Services. Mainframe and OS/2 program which provides exchange and management of files between IBM and non-IBM systems using OSI FTAM protocols. Can convert z/VM CMS files and z/OS sequential datasets into FTAM document types. Although it has been a long time since the last release, the z/OS version is still available and supported. See also OSI/CS.
OSI Layer: A layer within the OSI Reference Model for Open Systems Interconnection. The 7 layers, their names and functions are: 1 Physical – the physical medium (wire, fiber optic, etc). 2 Link – moving data reliably along the medium. 3 Network – creating connections. 4 Transport – ensuring end-to-end data integrity. 5 Session – session set-up and termination, coordination of interaction between applications. 6 Presentation – character sets/codes, screen displays. 7 Application – high-level application or systems functions.
OSI RPI: OSI Remote Programming Interface. VTAM feature enabling z/OS and z/VM systems to participate in OSI networks. Provides the same communications interface as OSI/CS, but saves users having to install OSI/CS on every machine in the network.
OSL: Optimization Subroutine Library. IBM linear programming software, initially for mainframe and PS/2 machines, callable from C, PL/I, FORTRAN, and APL2 programs. From April 1993, IBM started selling it for non-IBM environments, including SunOS, Solaris, HP-UX and Windows NT, and in June 1994 announced a parallel version; see OSLp for details. All by the mainframe and parallel versions of OSL were replaced by the IBM LP Solutions announced October 1997 and withdrawn April 2001. Part of the IBM Optimization Solutions and Library Family of Products. Runs on AIX, HP-UX, SGI IRIX, Sun Solaris and Windows. Because the mainframe versions were not replaced, OSL is still available and supported, though there have been no new releases in over a decade. Mainframe OSL runs on z/OS, z/VM and even AIX/370 and AIX/ESA.
OSLp: IBM Parallel Optimization Subroutine Library. A parallel version of OSL announced June 1994 for eserver pSeries: mathematical subroutines using parallel, rather than serial, algorithms. Version 1.3 was announced May 1996 and is still available and supported.
OSME: Open Systems Message Exchange. OSI electronic mail application for z/OS and z/VM using X.400 between OSI environments and IBM mail products (PROFS and DISOSS). Works directly with VTAM. Replaced by IBM Open Network Distribution Services (ONDS), which was later withdrawn.
OSN: Office Systems Node.
OSNS: Open Systems Network Support. VTAM application supporting use of the OSI network layer protocol. Pre-requisite for use of OTSS. Program product for z/OS, z/VM and VSE/ESA. Withdrawn January 1993.
OSS2: Operations Support Specialist.
OSS3: Open Systems Standards.
OSTA: On-Site Test Allowance. IBMspeak for free trial of equipment. OSTAs are often used by IBM as a discount scheme to shift difficult to sell hardware (the 9370 was a particularly notorious example). IBM has also used the expression try it, you’ll like it more or less synonymously with OSTA. Used within IBM’s BEST marketing program.
OTC: One Time Charge. An initial license charge. Caused a furor when the concept was introduced, but people seem to have got used to it now. At the beginning of 1999, OTC and GOTC options were dropped from any mainframe software product for which a monthly charge option was available.
OTF: Open Token Foundation. Consortium of vendors of LAN technology which tried to get control of TRN standards out of IBM’s hands into some kind of public domain. Not surprisingly, IBM resolutely refused to join the OTF, saying that it was far too busy. Death was not long in coming.
OTSS: Open system Transport and Session Support. Program product for z/OS, z/VM and VSE/ESA. Implemented layers 4 and 5 of the OSI model, and provided an access method interface to the session layer. OSNS was a pre-requisite. Withdrawn January 1993.
Outsourcing: The notion of contracting out part or all of your DP function to an outside organization. Used to be often used synonymously with Facilities management, although strictly speaking facilities management involves delegating responsibility for the whole service rather than just part of it. These days, it can refer to firing the janitor, accepting bids from firms, choosing the lowest bidder, and then blaming the dusty window sills on the building air conditioning. See also Systems integration.