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A glossary of terms important to IBM mainframe machines
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SAA: Systems Application Architecture. Yet another architectural edifice from IBM – vintage March 1987. This one was designed to provide consistent interfaces across the products which conform to it. At its simplest, it meant that programs written to the SAA standards would run virtually unchanged on the mainframe, AS/400, and PS2/2. However, the real function of SAA was to provide an infrastructure for distributed and cooperative processing, and for presenting the most complex system as a single system image. The four pillars of SAA are CPI (Common Programming Interface), CUA1 (Common User Access), CCS1 (Common Communications Support), and Common Applications. It did a lot of good in helping IBM and the mainframe industry rationalize its product lines and standards, and has now been allowed to gently expire. Bringing REXX to z/OS was also a big benefit to anyone who ever had to use CLIST for anything beyond saving a set of TSO commands.
SAA-compliant: Products which can internetwork with SAA applications are SAA-compliant. SAA-compliant products include IMS DB, CICS, VSE/ESA. According to IBM (June 1989) an SAA compliant product must: run in SAA environments; conform with the CUA1; use the CPI; use the CCS1; be structured for cooperative processing. However, the concept became very much watered down, and was often used (although not by IBM) to mean runs on an IBM mainframe or has a CUA front-end. See also SAA-conformant.
SAA Office: A widely used term for IBM’s set of office applications written around the SAA standards, which were designed to replace the mish-mash of ill-coordinated office facilities with a whole range of consistent, coherent, walk-up-and-use products. Announced in May 1989 as OfficeVision.
SAD: System Activity Display. Special display on mainframe system consoles providing dynamic details of processor activity.
SAF2: System Authorization Facility. A z/OS access control interface that that software can call to use system authorization services in order to protect access to resources without having to know which security software (RACF or a non-IBM product) is installed.
Salutation: Consortium (originally called SmartOffice) set up by IBM at the beginning of 1995 to develop and promote standards for connecting office equipment. The Salutation Specification (formerly known as the Smartlink architecture) is the consortium’s architecture (APIs and exchange protocols) for connecting photocopiers, PDAs, computers, fax machines, and the like.
SAM1: Sequential Access Method. Method of reading sequential datasets – from the beginning to the required record. Originally a collective term for QSAM and BSAM, when the situation applied to both. But SAM grew to include SAM-E in 1983 with the announcement of DFP1, now DFSMSdfp. See also ESDS.
SAM2: Software Asset Management.
SAM-E: Sequential Access Method–Extended. Souped-up version of the original SAM sequential access method. The main innovation is that it supports sequential data striping. Until 1983, SAM-E was a separate software product. After being incorporated into DFP1 (now DFSMSdfp), SAM-E lost its name and became simply SAM. See also SAM1.
SAMON: SNA Application MONitor. z/OS system which enables a terminal to monitor the status of all VTAM applications within a network. Announced January 1987. Replaced December 1997 with NetView Access Services as the recommended replacement.
Sandbox: This term is usually used in the expression system programmers’ sandbox to refer to a machine dedicated to systems development. It is unclear whether it is meant to refer to a child’s sandpit, or a cat’s sanitary facilities.
SanFrancisco: Cross-system, client/server object-based application development environment, delivered by IBM in August 1996, with a lot of help from business partners such as JBA in the UK and IBS in Sweden. Includes re-usable frameworks together with tools such as IBM’s VisualAge, plus third party offerings and PC-based tools to build business applications in the areas of logistics, finance, distribution, and manufacturing. Much of the development work for San Francisco was done by IBM and third parties with OS/400 expertise, but it currently runs in AIX1, HP-UX, Sun Solaris, Siemens Reliant Unix, OS/400 and Windows Server operating systems. The promised mainframe version has yet to materialize. It’s apparently called SanFrancisco (SF) because it’s about Shareable Frameworks (SF). The underlying model is CORBA-compliant. Java-based. There are application-specific packages including Ledgers and Supply Chain. Part of the IBM Framework for e-business and a member of the WebSphere Business Components family. Originally San Francisco, but the blank was removed beginning with Version 1 Release 3.
SAP1: System Assist Processor.
SAPR: Solution Assurance Product Review.
SAR: Solution Assurance Review.
SAT/400: Systems Administration Tools/400.
SATT: Software Analysis Test Tool. OS/2 tool providing test, measurement, and analysis for developers of application software for z/OS, z/VM, VSE/ESA, and OS/400 environments. Announced in September 1989 as part of AD/Cycle. Withdrawn March 1994.
SAX: Simple API for XML.
SBCS: Single-Byte Character Set. A character set in which a character is represented by a single byte (i.e., the character set has a maximum of 256 entries). ASCII and EBCDIC are SBCSs. cf. DBCS, MBCS.
SBS: Satellite Business Systems. IBM’s joint venture, originally with Aetna Life and Comsat, to provide a wide bandwidth, digital transport service for voice and data. Subsequently SBS was largely acquired by MCI, which was partly acquired by IBM. By July 1989 IBM had got rid of most of its interests in SBS when it sold its last three satellites to Hughes Communications, a GM subsidiary. (Times must be really hard when you have to sell your last three satellites to keep the wolf from the door.)
SCADA: Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition. Generic term for software that collects data from industrial shop floors, and uses it for applications such as simple control, monitoring, trend identification, and transfer of data to other systems. MQSeries Integrator (MQSI) allows SCADA devices to be connected into an MQSeries environment.
Scalability: The ability of an architecture to run across a number of different size processors. Unix is usually held up as being the most scalable architecture with its ability to run on small PCs/workstations and top-end mainframes. IBM’s z/Architecture doesn’t do so badly – it can run on mainframes across more than a 100-fold power range, including systems that are essential a PC with a low power z/Architecture processor card added. In fact, go back a few years and mainframes were slower than today’s home PCs. Scalability is a requirement for POSIX compliance.
Scalar: Within most programming languages a scalar is a number, or a variable which holds a number. Within IBM’s SQL, a scalar is a function which can be used to extract data from strings in a database. Scalar is also used to refer to computers which carry out a single arithmetic operation per computer instruction (cf. Vector).
SCE: System Controller Element. The part of the CEC which controls data movement between the processors and central storage, and to and from the ICE1. All data passes though the SCE, and the efficiency of the SCE at handling data transfers is what determines how well the processor complex handles multiprocessing. Built around an IBM-proprietary RISC processor, it has its own buffers, is highly intelligent and will probably play a major part in the automatic movement of data around the CEC. The SCE board may also have some main storage on it. cf. ICE1.
SCIF: Single User Console Facility.
SCLM: Software Configuration and Library Manager. Long a part of z/OS ISPF, SCLM includes a library manager and a configuration manager, and also provides change management and impact analysis. There is also an API for integration with other software, as well as user exits. Also a part of the IBM z/OS SCLM Suite. Integrated with Tivoli Information Management for z/OS (Info/Man) and WebSphere Studio Asset Analyzer for z/OS. See also Cloud 9 for SCLM for z/OS and Breeze for SCLM for z/OS.
SCO2: Special Conversion Offering. Yet another IBM name for a discount scheme. The SCO gives a special discount to people making a specific conversion, for example, from a non-System/3x machine to an AS/400. The latter SCO was made and then hastily withdrawn in mid 1990, apparently because too many 9370 users used it to trade their unloved 9370s for shiny bright AS/400s.
Screen Customizer: IBM SecureWay Screen Customizer for Host Integration. Creates GUIs for host-based 3270 and 5250 applications, without touching the host application: no source code changes, no recompiles, and no rebind of the load module. Replaced by Host Access Client Package September 2000.
Screen scraping: A programming technique for interacting with on-line host applications that generate text-only display output. The display output is read (scraped) right off a virtual screen by the workstation-based software and input generated on a virtual keyboard. What the user sees is quite different, and usually includes a GUI. It can be very effective in giving an application a new look. With enough analysis, it can also eliminate a lot of tedious interaction, assuming the host application had to some eliminate, of course. It’s a quick and dirty way of providing GUI solutions without re-writing the original TP program, but not recommended as a long-term strategy – it typically doubles the screen maintenance overhead. Easel and Mozart can be used to do this sort of thing. See also ECI.
ScreenView: The graphical interface to SystemView – announced September 1991. Supported connectivity to z/OS, z/VM and VSE/ESA, plus facilities for defining and manipulating icons and the like. Died with SystemView.
ScriptX: The much-delayed, hardware-independent, multimedia scripting language that had been under development by Kaleida. Version 1 was finally released in 1995 just as it and Kaleida were folded back into Apple. And neither have been heard from since.
Scrollable cursors: A DB2 cursor allows a program to remember where it is in a query result table, and to get back there at some future point. Scrolling allows the cursor to be moved, such as to the next row. Without scrollable cursors, applications have to cache all of the required data for later use, or reinvoke the query to reposition within the result table.
Scrubbing: Storage background scrubbing. Constant reading and rewriting of unused central and expanded storage (memory), and monitoring for errors, even soft errors where the data was successfully recovered, to ensure early detection of failures. A feature of eserver zSeries 900 storage arrays.
SCSE: SuperComputing Systems Extensions. Package for users of MVS/XA and MVS/ESA on 3090 and ES/9000 vector machines introduced May 1989. Included high-speed channel, Clustered FORTRAN and a new access method for high-speed I/O. See also Supercomputer, Virtual coupling, Wizard Adapter, HIPPI, SVE. Obsolete.
SCSI: Small Computer Systems Interface. A non-proprietary interface for microcomputers and their devices. Very fast parallel interface used for hard disks, backup tapes, etc. Typically used on servers and some client workstations in organizations, but EIDE has remained the interface of choice for the home and office Intel-based workstation. SCSI is standard for Apple’s Macintosh. See also Serial Storage Architecture.
SCU1: System Control Unit. The unit of the IBM mainframe hardware which executes the instructions.
SCU2: Storage Control Unit. Another name for a disk/tape controller.
SDB: Storage Descriptor Block.
SDDI: Shielded twisted pair Distributed Data Interface. A version of the FDDI standard that runs on shielded twisted pair (STP) cable. Since most companies already have miles of STP, SDDI is a very attractive option as it provides 100Mbps data rates without re-cabling. In June 1992, 11 vendors, including IBM, announced that they would support SDDI.
SDE2: Software Development Environment. IBM’s open CASE1 environment for AIX1 and the pSeries, announced January 1992. SDE uses technology licensed from HP (BMS). Replaced by C Set++ for AIX in January 1997.
SDF1: Screen Definition Facility. Began life as SDF/CICS: an application programmers’ tool for developing and maintaining CICS screen and printer formats. SDF II changed all that, becoming a versatile user interface (screens, maps, formats) tool covering the creation and maintenance of CSP1, VisualGen, IMS TM MFS, CICS BMS1, GDDM-IMD and ISPF panels. It can even convert from one to another. Programming languages supported include COBOL, PL/I, Assembler, C and RPG. Versions are available for z/OS, z/VM and VSE/ESA, though each is at a different release level, some older than others, and may not support all of the screen formats and programming languages listed above.
SDF2: System Data Format. A fixed length ASCII database format supported by dBase and other PC-based databases. Fields are filled with trailing blanks so that each column starts in the same character position for each row in a database table. Much as fields are stored in VSAM and other files used by mainframe applications. SDF is used as a data interchange format.
SDF3: Serial Data Field.
SDH: Synchronous Digital Hierarchy. European standard for fiber networks which has been put together specifically for technologies such as ATM2. Above 155Mbits/s it’s the same as the American SONET. cf. PDH.
SDK: Software Developer’s Kit.
SDLC1: Synchronous Data Link Control. IBM data communications protocol, used in SNA and covering the physical and link control levels. SDLC is, to a large extent, compatible with the HDLC international standard. SDLC is typically used over telephone lines (leased line or dial-up) and may include a multi-drop connection to several different devices.
SDLC2: System Development Life Cycle. A generic term for any organized way of planning and building a computer-based solution.
SDO: System Delivery Offering. Pre-packaged software, usually an operating system. For example, the z/VM SDO includes the z/VM operating system and other systems software products, all with current maintenance (fixes) applied. See also VM/ESA SDO.
SDRAM: Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory. So named because it synchronizes itself with the clock speed of the microprocessor’s data bus (aka system bus). Used in PCs.
SDSF: System Display and Search Facility. On-line tool for programmers and operators monitoring jobs awaiting execution in the JES2 input spool queues and, most commonly, viewing the printed output of batch jobs in the Held output spool queues, to save printing it on paper. Most users can only view their own jobs, but systems programmers and operators are normally allowed to view everything, making SDSF especially useful for monitoring jobs currently executing, or the rest of the output of that seemingly endless print job. Runs in ISPF or directly in TSO without ISPF. An optional, separately priced feature of z/OS.
SDSS: Software Diagnosis Support System. IBM expert system research project.
SDT: Start Data Traffic.
SDVT: Skeleton Destination Vector Table.
SDWA: System Diagnostic Work Area.
SE1: System Engineer. An IBM support person. Many users believe that the SE is extinct, but specimens are occasionally sighted on large sites. A good way of verifying whether they still exist in your area is to let your IBM salesman know that you’re inviting a PCM to tender for a new processor or that you’re planning to downsize, when they appear in droves – like lawyers round a Washington traffic accident.
SearchManager: Full-text storage and retrieval product based on STAIRS (for which it is a replacement). The z/OS CICS and z/VM CMS1 versions have interfaces to OfficeVision. There is also a Windows client. An AIX1 version, SearchManager/6000, was announced in May 1994 and withdrawn less than two years later.
SearchVision: Text management and contextual search software announced as an optional add-on for OfficeVision. By January 1991 SearchVision had become fully integrated into OfficeVision and lost its separate identity.
Seascape: Storage architecture based on the Serial Storage Architecture interface. Covers disk, tape and optical storage. Supports the range of eserver lines, from xSeries to zSeries 900. First spotted mid 1995, but not formally announced for another two years. Seascape implementations include Versatile Storage Server, Network Storage Manager (3466), Virtual Tape Server and Cross Platform Extension.
SeaStar: Code name for what became the 2105 Enterprise Storage Server family. Most notably a DASD controller replacing the 3990, which can be used to build fault-tolerant RAMAC clusters based on a ring architecture. The clusters promised to implement disk storage pools with multiple controllers which would off-load some processing from host systems and back each other up in the event of failures.
Seat: A slang term that refers to the number of licensed users of a software product, which is the same as the number of installations of the product.
Second-level cache: Type of memory which resides between high speed buffers and main memory. First appeared on the top ES/9000s. A similar feature was used on the top Hitachi EX processors where it was called Dynamic Working Storage. See DWS.
Secure Electronic Transaction: Developed by VISA and MasterCard in conjunction with IBM and others. SET provides a secure means for transmitting credit card information from customers, via a Web browser, to a merchant’s application and then on to a financial institution for processing. There are three important security benefits: a credit card number is never revealed to the merchant, a SET ID number is linked to the access software, and a second number is required to decrypt the information.
SecureWay: A common brand for IBM’s broad portfolio of security offerings announced January 1995 – no new products, just a new name. Mid 1996, a Single Sign-On and Internet firewall were added. After IBM acquired Tivoli, it became Tivoli SecureWay. There are a few exceptions, including IBM SecureWay Boundary Server, IBM SecureWay Directory, IBM SecureWay Firewall,
SecureWay Boundary Server: A package including SecureWay Firewall with ACE/Server (Security Dynamics), MIMEsweeper for SecureWay (Content Technologies) and SurfinGate (Finjan). Part of SecureWay FirstSecure. Withdrawn July 2001.
SecureWay Directory: IBM SecureWay Directory. LDAP cross-platform directory server intended to provided a common directory for all applications. Runs on AIX1, z/OS, OS/400, Sun Solaris and Windows servers.
SecureWay Firewall: IBM SecureWay Firewall1. Software that runs on AIX and Windows servers. Includes filtering, proxy and circuit level gateway. Based on technology introduced by IBM Research in 1985.
SecureWay FirstSecure: A framework for secure e-business by medium to large companies. Includes SecureWay Policy Director, SecureWay Boundary Server, SecureWay Trust Authority, SecureWay Toolbox. Withdrawn July 2001.
SecureWay Security Server: IBM SecureWay Security Server for z/OS. An optional, separately priced feature of z/OS. Security software that includes RACF, DCE Security Server, z/OS Firewall Technologies and LDAP Server.
SecureWay Wireless Gateway: AIX1 software that extends 5250 and 3270 Web-based client applications to mobile and wireless users. Replaced eNetwork Wireless Gateway and replaced by Everyplace Wireless Gateway for Multiplatforms December 2001.
Security APARs: A special type of APAR for reporting problems in existing security mechanisms where the problem descriptions do not meet the precise definition of system integrity, but which do constitute an exposure to the security of the system as a whole or to an IBM product which runs on the system. Security APARs are accepted for z/OS.
Security token: A collection of identification and security information.
Select: Select/MVS, Select/VM, Select/VSE, and Select/VM with VSE were pre-bundled packages of software which IBM introduced in April 1992 to try to inveigle users into the wonderful world of ESA. For the first year, you got the software and lots of help free.
SelectaDock System: A docking system for ThinkPads announced April 1996. Docking systems make it easier to use a laptop system at a desk by providing connections to a desktop style keyboard, mouse and monitor, as well as to a LAN.
Selector channel: An I/O channel that operates with only one I/O device at a time. Once an I/O device is selected, a complete record is transferred, one byte at a time. cf. Byte multiplexer, Block multiplexer.
Self-Timed Interface: A zSeries 900 high speed connection between I/O subsystem and the processors and memory. The Internal Bus (IB) was used for this purpose prior to the System/390 G3, but became a bottleneck.
Self-Voicing Kit: IBM software that provides speech output for Java applications.
SEMPER: Secure Electronic Marketplace for Europe. European Commission (EC) consortium (vintage November 1995) headed by IBM, which aims to develop protocols and standards to deliver secure Internet commerce. Part of the EC’s Advanced Communications Technologies and Services (ACTS) program.
Sequent: A so-called (for tax reasons) merger with IBM that began July 1999 brought the NUMA-Q into the IBM product line. The announcement of eserver on October 3, 2000, included a NUMA-Q in the xSeries line (Model 430).
Sequential detect: A feature introduced mid-1996 in the 3990-6 DASD controller that automatically distinguishes applications which process sequential records from applications which process randomly selected records, and optimizes processing for the structure of the data.
Serial number: Term used to denote the machine which you own today, which may be very different from the one you originally bought – in the 3090 range every single bit of technology was changed between the first 3090 and the final J model; if you upgraded it in a piecemeal fashion, you could end up with a computer with the same serial number as the one you originally bought but with nothing else in common. Preserving a serial number in this way may offer tax advantages (i.e., what, in effect, is capital expenditure may be treated as revenue expenditure for tax purposes), and can be helpful in certain very bureaucratic environments where buying a new box may be a very difficult procurement process compared to just upgrading an existing machine. See also Velcro Serial Number, VPD.
Serial Storage Architecture: IBM dual-port, full duplex architecture (vintage 1994) for connecting storage devices. Originally promoted by IBM in opposition to the parallel SCSI architecture, which it claims is not as fast, and is more complex to cable (SCSI cables have 50- and 68-wires, whereas SSA cables have just four). And successfully made into ANSI standard X3T10.1. Adapter cards for SSA became available early 1995, and the first fully-fledged SSA system (the 7133) in July 1995. Part of the Seascape architecture.
Series/1: IBM minicomputer widely used for special purpose communications. It’s now too late to buy one – they were withdrawn from February 1991, although IBM maintained them up to 1996. The withdrawal notice said there are no direct replacements... however, the IBM 9370, AS/400, RS/6000, and the PS/2 families of products offer highly effective alternatives for most Series/1 users which seems to confirm that the Series/1 was all things to all men, and nothing to anybody.
ServiceElect: A combination of hardware maintenance with other support services that generates a single monthly invoice from IBM.
Service Level Agreement: Generic term for an agreement between a user and the people providing a computer service. The SLA specifies such things as response time, availability, etc.
ServicePlan: Service contract introduced in the US January 1989 to replace all previous IBM service contracts. Basically the user picked a range of services from a limited selection to cover a specified amount of kit. The charge stayed constant unless the amount of kit increased above an agreed threshold. Not a bad idea – it simplified billing and budgeting, but at the expense of giving IBM increased account control. Unfortunately, about the only place you will see ServicePlan these days is in IBM trademark lists; ServicePlan Estimated Billing (EB) was withdrawn October 1999.
Service Point: A product at a node in a Tivoli NetView for z/OS network management system which acts as an interface between an upstream Focal Point and downstream devices which are not necessarily addressable directly from the Focal Point – e.g., they’re probably not SNA devices. Basically it’s the network management interface between an SNA network and a non-SNA network.
Service Update Facility: An Internet-based method for ordering and receiving z/OS, z/VM and VSE/ESA software service from IBM.
SESSEND: Session ended.
Session manager: A mainframe utility (usually in VTAM) which allows a user on a terminal to switch between mainframe applications without logging off and on again. The session manager typically gives the terminal user a log-on screen which does all the sign-on authorizations. Thereafter, the session manager provides full-screen, menu, and/or command line interfaces which allow the user to specify switches between the applications. Most session managers provide security support, and many include the ability to take the sessions from one physical terminal to another, and for Help Desk staff to monitor terminal activity. There are many session managers; two of IBM’s offerings are Tivoli NetView Access Services and NLDM.
SESSST: Session started.
SEU: Source Entry Utility. Full-screen syntax checking editor for program development on the System/38, AS/400 and iSeries 400. Powerful tool which uses the syntax checkers from the languages. Includes facilities for on-screen formatting appropriate to each language, copy, move, delete, scrolling, etc. Now part of ADTS.
Seven Dwarves: In the 1960s the computer industry was dominated by IBM and seven other companies, the so called Seven Dwarves. These were Burroughs, Control Data, General Electric, Honeywell, NCR, RCA, and Univac. However, the attrition of IBM’s little friends was heavy. GE sold out, and RCA merged with Univac. The remnants of the Seven Dwarves became the BUNCH.
SFS: Shared File System. Component of z/VM allowing file-sharing at the file level rather than at the mini-disk level. SFS files are held in pools and managed by a file server machine. Considered by z/VM buffs to be a great leap forward in storage management.
SGML: Standard Generalized Mark-up Language. The canonical markup language from which HTML and XML are derived. International standard for page make-up for electronic publishing systems derived from the IBM GML language, and fulfilling roughly the same functions as DCA. SGML is used in the US government CALS initiatives, and was at one time promoted by a number of companies, including IBM, as a standard for EDI1.
SHARE: IBM users association covering a lot of interest areas, but especially strong in z/OS systems programming. Began with five members in Santa Monica, California in 1955. Conferences have had as many as 6500 attendees. Has spread worldwide in one form or another under the auspices of the International User Group Council. See also GUIDE.
Shared stand-alone storage: A rumored enhancement to the System/390 architecture which separates the memory from a specific processor and makes it shareable among all the processors in a sysplex via the ICE1. The ICE is a key enabler for shared stand-alone storage, and should enable data to go from DASD directly into expanded storage without processor intervention, and without channel transfers. Shared stand-alone storage is also known as S**3 and SSS.
shdaemon: An AIX1 command function that provides a SMIT-configurable mechanism to detect system hangs and initiate the configured action. Actions include an error message (logged and/or displayed), high priority login for the system administrator, specific commands or a reboot. See also daemon.
Shell: Generic term with a lot of different meanings. Early Internet service often involved an interface, called a Shell, on a host computer, rather than a direct connection to the Internet. And there was the IBM DOS Shell, a menu driven interface to basic PC-DOS functionality. Shell is also widely used in the expert systems and Unix communities, to mean software providing a skeleton which can be customized to produce a specific application. For example, IBM’s The Integrated Reasoning Shell (see TIRS) provides a generalized problem solving tool, which users can modify to create an expert system to solve a specific problem.
Short wavelength: One of two types of optical transceiver used for 1 Gbps Ethernet LAN. SX is the other.
Shrink-wrapped: IBMspeak for a stand-alone product. The rest of the world uses it to describe retail software products, because they are sealed in plastic to prevent consumer purchase, copy and return scams.
SIC: Serial Interface Chip.
SIE: Start Interpretive Execution. Firmware machine command originally introduced for use by VM/XA SP to initiate the execution of a guest system (to make it work, not start killing it). Makes some advanced facilities available and improves performance.
Sight and Sound: 17 inch monitor with flat square tube, integrated stereo speakers, and camera enablement. The 7091-7S1 was announced October 1994 and withdrawn April 1996.
Signature: Word processing package developed by XyQuest for PC-DOS, Windows, and OS/2. IBM acquired exclusive worldwide rights in March 1991, making it the heir apparent to DisplayWrite. IBM set up a Signatoires program to encourage independent software vendors to write Signature-compatible software, but it all ground to a halt later in 1991, when IBM took up with Lotus, and assigned the marketing and distribution rights for Signature back to XyQuest.
Silicon/germanium: Semiconductor fabrication technique which employs silicon and germanium (SiGe). Benefits include considerable speed increases compared with current generation silicon, higher densities than gallium arsenide, and the ability to use current silicon fabrication facilities for cost-effective production. To date, SiGe has been used mainly in embedded processors, especially for cell phones. Ironically, germanium was used in the 1960s as a cheaper alternative to silicon for semiconductors. Audio equipment using it had a characteristic white noise.
Silicon-On-Insulator: A processor technology that prevents electrical leakage from the processor chips. Copper and SOI account for the 20-35% processor performance improvement of pSeries 680 over RS/6000 S-series and iSeries 400 over AS/400e.
Silverlake: Common term for the project that produced the AS/400. IBM denies that Silverlake was ever an official code name, but admits that it’s the name of a man-made lake just outside the Rochester plant where the AS/400 was developed.
SIM1: Service Information Message.
SIM2: Strategic Investment Methodology. IBM technique for linking business objectives to a corporate business plan. Consists of structured meetings which produce a report advising the customer about its IT strategy.
Simon: IBM’s first foray into the PDA market, released in August 1994. It was a digital telephone with a few extra bits on, rather than a very small personal computer. Initially it was sold by BellSouth Corp, and not by IBM. Obsolete. See WorkPad.
SIO1: Start I/O. Mainframe machine-level instruction which tells a channel to begin running a channel program.
SIO2: Special Installation Offering. IBM marketing program which IBM uses either to knock out old boxes cheap, or to dig itself out of a hole when it can’t supply the boxes people want. For example, IBM introduced an SIO in which it offered to lend customers an interim model of the AS/400 until the model they really wanted became available.
SLR: Service Level Reporter. z/OS report generator cum job accounting package that works on system performance data. Although it’s an z/OS product, SLR can report on datasets created by z/VM and many individual pieces of system software, and seemed destined for loftier things when it was included in SystemView. Replaced by Tivoli Decision Support for z/OS December 1998.
SLU: Service Level Update. Installation materials for a software product with all current maintenance fixes applied. Each SLU has a number indicating how recent the included maintenance is.
SLUP: Secondary Logical Unit Program.
Smalltalk: Object-oriented programming system from Digitalk. Smalltalk/V is one of the enabling technologies for CUA 91, and has been used heavily within IBM for its own developments. There was a Smalltalk-based language for the iSeries 400 known as Envy/400 but it was replaced by VisualAge in March 1995. Today, VisualAge has been renamed to VisualAge Smalltalk and is available for AIX1, HP-UX, z/OS, OS/2, Sun Solaris, UNIX and Windows. It also supports Java platforms. See also CUA 91, Object.
SMAO: SystemView System Management Automation Offerings. SystemView software, announced August 1993, which allowed a focal point on a z/OS host to manage a network of pSeries or iSeries 400 systems. Withdrawn July 1995.
SMART2: Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technique. Standard for monitoring the performance of SCSI hard disks. Supported by IBM, and implemented in the UltraStar family of drives. Also spelled S.M.A.R.T.
Smart cache: IBM improvement to conventional applet caching, pioneered with Host On-Demand 5.0, where the older version of an applet is activated while a newer version of it is being downloaded in the background.
SmartCard Security Kit: Security hardware/software that prevents unauthorized access to a workstation. There was a desktop and notebook version. Announced September 1999 and withdrawn September 2000 (desktop) and January 2001 (notebook).
SME: Small to Medium Enterprise.
SMF: System Management Facilities. Function within z/OS which collects data on all system activities for use in accounting, performance monitoring, capacity planning, etc. SMF creates log entries (SMF records) of this data.
SMFF: SCRIPT Mathematical Formula Formatter.
SMI2: Synchronous Memory Interface.
SMIT: System Management Interface Tool. A component of AIX.
SmoothStart: SmoothStart Services. On-site implementation (installation, configuration, customization and integration) and training startup. Provided by IBM Global Services for a number of platforms, including z/OS and even some non-IBM systems, but not z/VM. Announced March 1996.
SMP/E: System Modification Program Extended. An element of z/OS that is used to install most software products. Applies the relevant parts of Change Management to the installation and maintenance of software delivered in executable (OCO) format, with no source code. Most notably, the ability to test a new version of software (or maintenance to an old one) on a production system while the old version is simultaneously being used by production applications.
SMP2: Simple Management Protocol. A re-naming of SNMP.
SMS1: System Managed Storage. The philosophy of letting the computer system manage the storage of data rather than having it done by a human data administrator. The key benefit is that it provides device transparency – i.e., it removes the need for the data user to know where or how the data is stored. IBM promised SMS for years but delivered little more than promises until DFSMS, which was a good deal more solid than earlier vagaries. Today, it is almost universally used in z/OS environments and some software will not work without it.
SMSDSA: System Managed Storage DASD Space Analyzer. Software that was used mainly by IBM SE1s to sell DFSMShsm but also freely available to customers. When run on a z/OS system, it would calculate how much DASD space would be saved by running hsm. Obsolete.
SMSSMA: System Managed Storage Storage Management Assessment. Software that was used mainly by IBM SE1s to sell SMS1 but also freely available to customers. When run on a non-SMS z/OS system, it would calculate the benefits of moving to SMS. Obsolete.
SMSVMA: System Managed Storage Volume Mount Analyzer. Software that was used mainly by IBM SE1s but also freely available to customers. When run on a z/OS system, it would calculate the benefits of storing smaller tape datasets on DASD. Obsolete.
SMU: System Management Utilities. iSeries 400 software (announced September 1990) which enables an iSeries 400 to control a network of other iSeries 400s, and also to act as a single focal point for the distribution of PTFs and the like. Replaced December 1991 by SAA SystemView System Manager/400, which, in turn, was replaced by the SystemView Operations Control Center for OS/400 withdrawn December 1998.
SNA: Systems Network Architecture. IBM’s data communications architecture defining levels of protocols for communications between terminals and applications, and between programs. For most of its life, which began in 1974, SNA was strictly host-based with VTAM providing all the network management functions except for path control which was provided by NCP in the communications FEP. More recently SNA has become less autocratic with control being distributed around the network nodes.
SNA/FS: SNA File Services. Subsystem within Tivoli NetView Distribution Manager which supports movement of files across a network. Operates on a store-and-forward principle so that the receiver and transmitter don’t have to be on-line simultaneously.
SNA/MS2: SNA change Management System. Subsystem within Tivoli NetView Distribution Manager that supports change management, including planning, scheduling, and tracking of changes to remote/unattended SNA nodes.
SNADS: SNA Distribution Services. An architecture which provides a general, de-synchronized (delayed delivery) data distribution facility for SNA LU6.2 systems. Originally developed for document exchange, but extended to cover data, image, and voice. Not a separate product as such – consists of software residing in SNA nodes. IBM seems to prefer to spell it SNA/DS these days.
Snapshot1: System Network Analysis Program Simulated Host Overview Technique. A proprietary IBM network simulator for optimizing network design. Not available as a product, but IBM will sometimes lend it to you if you ask nicely or promise to buy something.
SNA Server for AIX: Software (launched at the end of 1994) which enabled an RS/6000 to function as a high-end SNA server. September 1995 upgrade provided SMP3 support and better performance. Replaced by Communications Server for AIX1 June 1996.
SNMP: Simple Network Management Protocol (there appear to be moves afoot to drop the Network from its name, and turn it into the Simple Management Protocol). Unix protocol originally developed for management of TCP/IP networks, but now used for a variety of network types, including Ethernet, TRN, and OSI. SNMP has three elements: structure of management information (SMI); management information base (MIB); and the protocol itself, which carries the SMI to and from the MIB. SNMP provides a similar range of functions to CMIP1/CMIS, but is less resource-hungry. Supported by IBM passim.
SOAP: Simple Object Access Protocol. A lightweight form of middleware for accessing services, objects, and servers in a platform-independent manner. Carries a payload of XML on top of HTTP or some other protocol. A W3C standard originally developed by Microsoft and endorsed by IBM.
Soft-Switch: At one time, an independent software vendor specializing in communications between office systems. IBM sold Soft.Switch’s z/OS and z/VM software to users wishing to communicate between OfficeVision and non-IBM systems, as a replacement for the OIF software which IBM announced but which was never shipped. The formal marketing agreement terminated in February 1993. Lotus bought Soft-Switch in June 1994, then disbanded the product line, with support ending April 2002.
Software Delivery and Fulfillment: An area within IBM US that accepts and fulfills orders for software.
Software Inventory Utility: OS/400 software that autosenses what release it is being run on, outputs a report showing what software is currently installed and displays the software in different categories which indicate how it can be ordered.
Software Mall: Facility on IBM’s IN service, announced November 1991 for the US only, which enabled software vendors to run a range of support and sales services for users to dial in to. Obsolete.
Software Migration Project Office: IBM group formed in 1993 to help migrate customers from utilities software vendors (USVs) to IBM and Tivoli products. The Tivoli Migration Team specializes in z/OS. The DB2 Migration Team covers all platforms. The Software Portfolio Strategies Group (SPS) also focuses on the mainframe.
Software Server: Family of seven software bundles announced March 1996: Lotus Notes, Internet Connection Server, Database Server, Communications Server, Directory & Security Server, Systems Management Server, and Transaction Server. Available (but not necessarily all seven) for AIX, OS/2, and Windows NT platforms.
Software Subscription: Name for various, most notably OS/400 and AIX, flat rate fee offerings that provide the latest version/release of software without additional charge. See also Software Upgrade Assistant.
Software Upgrade Assistant: A Web-based tool that allows Software Subscription customers to directly order release upgrades based on the software subscription they have and the products they want upgraded. Requires registration through IBM Electronic Services.
SoftwareXcel: IBM software services program announced in the USA December 1989. The customer pays for a chosen level of support – Basic, Extended, Custom – ranging from remote database access up to permanent in-house IBMer. A key innovation is that it may include support of non-IBM products, although cynical observers have suggested that this aspect of SoftwareXcel is IBM’s method of getting customers to pay for its research into competitive suppliers. SoftwareXcel presages the end of IBM’s policy of bundled software support for mainframe users. August 1991 the program was extended to include installation of mainframe operating systems.
SoHo: Small office Home office. Generic term for the low end of the small business market. Even housing contractors use the term.
SolutionPac: Bundle of software and/or hardware providing (fairly) complete solutions for a specific application. Some of the SolutionPacs add value to their component products by providing some interfaces, and creating consistency, but otherwise the SolutionPac is just a bit of IBM marketing puff. Obsolete.
Solution Repository: Accessible via the Web, a consolidated inventory of eserver solutions and links to testing and integration centers, solution assurance processes, service offerings, and reports based on IBM, customer experience, and other sources.
SOM: System Object Model. Standard implemented first in OS/2 Version 2.0, designed to help users develop class libraries and object-oriented programs. Supports the CORBA standards. A distributed version, DSOM, was announced mid 1993, and an z/OS implementation (SOMobjects) in October 1994. AIX1 and Windows NT 4.0 versions were added later. The OS/2, AIX and Windows versions have since been functionally stabilized and no longer supported but are still available for free download.
SOMobjects: October 1994 z/OS object-oriented software which defines and manages binary object class libraries. Runs in the TSO, APPC, and batch environments, and there are developers’ toolkits for OS/2, AIX1, and Windows. Withdrawn September 2000.
Source routing: LAN bridging standard used by IBM for TRN bridges which describes how data frames are routed within complex TRN networks. Although it has the plus point of allowing workstations to be moved from one place to another without hardware or software changes, IBM’s source routing is somewhat intolerant of non-IBM devices, and there is a distinct possibility that IBM will ditch it in favor of a transparent bridging, spanning-tree approach.
SP1: Modestly parallel RS/6000, announced February 1993 – the first POWERparallel machine. Originally used 8 to 64 Rios RISC processors, and ran at up to 8 GigaFLOPS (64 processor version). Each processor ran its own AIX1, and there was a high-performance switch to coordinate tasks. It did rather well; it’s estimated that in 1993 IBM sold $338M worth, making it number 2 in the market after Cray Research. Replaced by the SP2.
SP2: POWERparallel machines, unveiled early 1994. Computing power for the first machines was twice the SP1’s, with four times the bandwidth, and eight times the memory. Connectivity includes ESCON, Token Ring, HIPPI, and differential high performance external input-output controllers via new MicroChannel adapters. System software includes enhanced systems management, full versions of AIX1 on each node, a parallel development environment, and various applications. IBM is keen to promote it for the commercial environment, rather than for the scientific market in which the predecessor SP1 flourished. Entry-level two-node system announced in October 1994, and improved floating point and price performance early 1995. Early 1996 IBM sold its most powerful parallel computer ever in the shape of a 472-processor SP2. Mid 1996, IBM decreed that the SP2 no longer existed, and was in future to be known as the RS/6000 SP – sans number.
SPAG: Standards Promotion and Applications Group. Predominantly European Organization set up in 1986 to help specify OSI standards, and carry out OSI conformance testing – similar to COS1 in the US. IBM was a member. Disbanded in 1994.
SPDL: Standard Page Description Language. International standard (ISO/IEC 10180) that defines a formalism for the description of documents in their final, completely typeset, unrevisable form.
SPEC: Systems Performance Evaluation Corporation (formerly Cooperative). A group of vendors, including HP, Sun, DG, DEC, MIPS, Motorola, set up in November 1988 to establish a set of benchmarks for performance of advanced computer systems – particularly workstations. SPECmarks (SPEC benchmarks) are widely used for comparing Unix systems. IBM joined SPEC in May 1989. See also TPC.
Special bid: IBMspeak for a confidential agreement in which a customer manages to cajole, beg, or bully a discount out of IBM; typically a special bid will include non-standard terms/conditions, very large volumes, products not included in standard VPAs, VWAs, etc.
Speech: IBM has long been involved in speech processing of one kind or another and was a pioneer in electronic PABXs (although not in the USA). After the setbacks of its relationship with Rolm, IBM introduced some innovative products around its CallPath architecture. See also 1750/3750, 9270/4, 7652, ADS2, AVC, CallPath, DirectTalk, Personal Dictation System, PhoneMail, Rolm, Speech Server Series, VCO, VoiceType, VTMS.
Speech Server Series: RS/6000 speech recognition product (vintage November 1992) based on an RS/6000 server and RS/6000 or OS/2 workstations. Has a vocabulary of over 20,000 words and supports free-text dictionary and command entry in French, German, Italian, and UK and US English. Includes special adapter card for speech decoding. IBM claims that a properly trained Speech Server can take dictation at up to 70 words a minute (provided you pause between words). May 1993 a PS/2 desktop version was demonstrated, which became the Personal Dictation System in November 1993. The Speech Server Series was withdrawn in December 1996.
SpeechViewer: Software for PC-DOS and OS/2, which stores and analyses speech to help speech pathologists, teachers, speech therapists, and the like in their work. Windows 95 support was announced September 1996. A member of the Independence Series family.
SPI: Systems Programmer Interface. Low-level interface available for a number of products – the system software equivalent of the API. The SPI is usually invoked with a function code rather than by using the individual named entry points. The name notwithstanding, SPIs are also used by mere mortals.
SPK: Storage Protect Key.
SPM/2: System Performance Monitor/2. Announced October 1992. Withdrawn July 1997.
SPO: System Program Order.
SPUFI: SQL Processor Using File Input. z/OS DB2 Facility which allows ad hoc SQL access to DB2 objects via ISPF. A DP professional’s tool. Especially useful for testing SQL before coding it into a program.
SQA: System Queue Area. Storage area in z/OS.
SQL: Structured Query Language. IBM and ANSI standard (they diverge and converge regularly with the passage of time) for access to relational databases. Relational data language using English-like, keyword-oriented facilities for data definition, query, data manipulation, and data control. Supported by IBM in its DB2 family of products.
SQL/DS: Structured Query Language/Data System. Relational database system for z/VM and VSE/ESA environments. SQL/DS and DB2 presented a similar external view to the user, although there are significant differences in areas such as space management, logging, and recovery. Despite being treated like younger brothers to z/OS, always getting hand me downs, SQL/DS marked a departure from that trend, becoming the first IBM relational database, long before DB2. The two versions of SQL/DS were first re-named DB2/VM and DB2/VSE then DB2 Server for VSE and VM.
SQL Master/VM: Program offering announced June 1990 for z/VM and March 1996 for VSE/ESA, containing tools for database administrators (DBA) working with DB2. Developed by internal IBM end-users and then productized by IBM. Withdrawn April 2000.
SQL Server: Multi-user relational database system jointly developed by Microsoft, Sybase, and Ashton Tate, originally for the Microsoft version of OS/2, and subsequently sold for a number of platforms. Early 1994 Microsoft and Sybase went their separate ways. And Microsoft has been turning out new versions ever since. Mainly for Windows server operating systems, but also for Windows CE. Microsoft Access, a component of Office, is relatively compatible and often used as a user interface and sometimes as a development platform.
SQL transparency: The ability to process DL/I data through application SQL calls. SQL transparency enables new or changed applications to be run using an existing DL/I database. Compare DL/I transparency.
SRAM: Static Random Access Memory. Memory technology that is faster and more expensive than DRAM. SRAM also does not require the constant (several hundred times a second) refreshing of its current value by the processor that DRAM does. See also SDRAM.
SRPI: Server-Requester Protocol (sometimes Programming) Interface. IBM architecture supporting interactive access between workstations and servers – for example allowing a mainframe to appear as a file server to a PC-DOS network. Works by allowing a PC program to exchange buffers with a z/OS TSO or z/VM CMS1 program. SRPI was the basis of and pre-requisite for the obsolete ECF, for which it provided the API. Today, it is supported by Host Access Client Package.
SRT2: Symbol Resolution Table.
SRTD: Symbol Resolution Table Directory.
SRTE: Symbol Resolution Table Entry.
SSA1: System Service Amendment (or Agreement). Warranty and service agreement which replaces the previous Extended SSA (ESSA). IBM being IBM, the SSA has more things in it than the Extended SSA. Available at time of purchase only for one-time payment (or more commonly as part of a lease deal).
SSCP: System Services Control Point. SNA software within VTAM which handles network name/address conversion, device configuration, network diagnostics, and recovery. The SSCP is an NAU located on a host node in the network, and typically provides support for LUs and PUs with less capability. See also PU1.
SSD1: Solid State Disk (also known as SCD – SemiConductor Disk). Generic term for non-volatile (usually through battery backup) storage devices which emulate rotating DASD using stationary electronics. Historically used as fast paging devices, but now used to provide faster (but more expensive) equivalent of rotating DASD for any performance-critical datasets. Versions are available from a number of IBM plug-compatible vendors. IBM has spurned the technology, and prefers DASD Fast Write or expanded storage. The Fast Write feature of the IBM 2105 DASD controller may well be a more cost-effective solution for certain circumstances (notably applications which make intensive use of sequential and/or unformatted writes). Note that SSD, unlike expanded storage, is downstream of the channel, and still requires a channel operation to access data; expanded storage offers huge performance increases, since it does away with channel I/Os entirely, but it’s a lot more expensive than SSD.
SSI1: Single System Image. The idea that a system will appear to the user as if it is one system, even though it may be spread across a multiplicity of processors (e.g., a CICSplex). SSI was also used to describe MP configurations which saved license fees by using a single copy of z/OS on a MP configuration rather than multiple copies on discrete processors.
SSI2: Supercomputer Systems Inc. Company started up by supercomputer guru Steve Chen (he used to design Cray’s machines). IBM had a stake in SSI and stated that it intended to market Chen’s product, probably with its own AIX1 operating software. In January 1993 SSI went belly up.
SSI3: SubSystem Interface. z/OS interface to subsystems such as DB2, VTAM, and JESx which operate independently of the host operating system. Foolhardy users sometimes employ SSI to write their own subsystems.
SSL: Secure Sockets Layer. A security protocol, developed by Netscape and RSA Security, that allows the client to authenticate the server and all data and requests to be encrypted. In Web browsers, the use of SSL is indicated by a padlock icon in the status bar. URLs beginning https:// indicate an SSL request, but the padlock indicates it was successful.
SSL API: Secure Sockets Layer Application Programming Interface. A feature of TCP/IP in VSE/ESA and z/OS that is compatible between the two environments. In VSE/ESA, the SSL feature, like TCP/IP itself, has been licensed by IBM from Connectivity Systems Incorporated. See also SSL, API.
SSO: Software and Services Organization.
SSPD: IBM’s former Storage Systems Product Division.
SSX: In the early 1980s, a short-lived entry-level version of VSE/ESA (then known as DOS/VSE) supplied for low-end 43xxs. Inexpensive, especially with the OTC option that completely eliminated MLC and a big improvement in ease of installation and maintenance. In those days, DOS/VSE still required a SYSGEN with its error-prone coding of hundreds of Assembler macro1 parameters. Instead, SSX came pregenerated, with parameters files than could be easily changed as required. But, with serious limitations on size, presumably to prevent mass defections from DOS/VSE pricing. Software vendors were expected to create special format installation tapes, but not even IBM offered many of its own products that way. Thankfully, it was still possible to install them the standard DOS/VSE way. Although SSX was a flop, especially in convincing potential customers that the mainframe was technically easy, it did have at least two long-lasting results seen in VSE/SP: a change in name from DOS to VSE; and movement from SYSGEN to pregeneration and parameter files.
ST&A: Systems Technology and Architecture. Division of IBM created mid 1994 based in Austin, Texas to rationalize development across all IBM platforms. Veterans of the SAA era will have a déja-vu experience when they contemplate ST&A. Especially considering the fact that it didn’t even last as long than SAA.
Stabilize: IBMspeak for despatch to the knacker’s yard – e.g., The 8100 has been stabilized really means We’re not going to do any more development work on the 8100 software, we ain’t making any more boxes, and pretty soon we won’t be providing fixes either! Also known as functionally stabilize.
Stacking: Technique for automatically packing lots of small tape or cartridge volumes on to a single tape or cartridge to improve utilization and reduce the number of tapes or cartridges in use. Then, of course, you suddenly create the confusing terminology of logical volume and physical volume.
STAIRS: STorage And Information Retrieval System. Family of z/OS and z/VM products using full text indexing for storage and on-line retrieval of text. Long-established product, originally announced in August 1973, used mainly for information retrieval from a text database. Primarily for use by trained specialists – not the casual office automation user. STAIRS spent many years in the wilderness (there were no updates between 1985 and May 1989), tottering on the brink of stabilization – but it was given a new lease of life with lots of new APIs for use with OfficeVision, only to be replaced by SearchManager in March 1992.
Stand-alone dump: A display of all used memory locations, typically stored on DASD or tape, created with a program that does not required the operating system to be functioning normally. z/VM has a Stand-Alone Dump Utility for this purpose.
Starburst: Starburst (also known as R-Star in a slightly different permutation) is IBM’s prototype distributed database manager. Developed at IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California, between 1984 and 1992, Starburst is an off-shoot of the same project that led to the release of DB2. Starburst is particularly strong in global optimization (selecting the most efficient location in the network for storing data). The optimizer from Starburst appeared in DB2 Common Server mid 1995. Starburst principal architect Bruce Lindsay dreamed up what became DB2 Extenders during the project. See also Net Search Extender, System/R.
Started procedures table: ICHRIN03. In RACF, a list of started procedure names and the user ID or group that RACF assigns to each, as well as a generic entry indicating what to assign to started procedures not listed in the table.
Start-stop: IBM’s word for asynchronous transmission, with each character delimited by start and stop bits. Not surprisingly it’s dreadfully slow and has largely been superseded by block-mode protocols such as BSC and SDLC1.
STAT: STorage Analysis Transaction. Storage analysis program in CICS which produces a report similar to that produced from IPCS1 for the dispatcher and storage manager domains, but also includes an overview of the z/OS storage in use. The real advantage is that the report is produced from a running system.
Statd: AIX1 status monitor. Provides a general framework for collecting network status information. Implemented as a daemon that runs on all NFS configured machines, the status monitor provides a protocol that allows applications to monitor the status of other machines.
Static SQL: Generic term for SQL implementations in which the SQL is compiled and then called directly from the application. The advantage of Static SQL over Dynamic SQL is that the compiler can construct the best possible access plan before the SQL is executed. The result is better performance and security, and for distributed applications, there’s less network traffic.
Store and forward: Communications technique in which data is sent to a node in a network, where it is held and then forwarded to the next node. Widely used in communications networks, because it allows connectionless communication. See also Asynchronous, Cut-through routing, DSU, LU6.2, Messaging, MHS, ONDS, SNA/FS, Teletex.
StorePlace: A pair of software package for the 468x and 469x family of POS1 terminals. Announced October 1994. With the release of Version 2 in June 2001, the pair was renamed Distributed Data Services (DDS) and 4690 Controller Services Feature (CSF) for Windows. Runs on Windows NT/200x/XP and only supports 469x.
STP: Shielded Twisted Pair. Type of cable originally thought to be suitable only for low data rate networks, but these days used for fairly high speed (up to 100Mbps) transmission too. Recommended by IBM for 4 and 16Mbps TRN. Shielded refers to the fact that the cable has its insulated wires (conductors) completely surrounded by braided uninsulated very thin wire that is grounded to prevent external interference (RFI). See also SDDI, UTP.
Strategic: IBMspeak for a product, architecture, theory, or concept that is currently in vogue, and seems likely to stay in vogue for a while yet. The reasons for a product being in vogue vary: it may be because IBM’s got a warehouseful of them and needs to shift them; because it thinks that a product will make lots of money; or because it actually thinks that a product is rather good. In the past, the effect of making a product strategic has been to create massive demand; the magic seemed to be wearing off throughout the early 1990s, and IBM was trying various other words (notably open) to see if they shared the mystical potency of strategic.
Subarea: The traditional, hierarchical portion of an SNA network in which the host provides services for the peripheral nodes. In subarea SNA, each SSCP/NCP combination in a network is assigned a unique subarea number which is used as part of the address of any Network Addressable Unit (NAU).
Subsystem Storage Protection: Feature announced September 1991, initially on ES/9000s, which can prevent CICS applications from overwriting system software and control blocks, and thus prevent a crashing CICS application from bringing the whole system down.
SuiteSpot: Netscape integrated server suite and the Netscape Web browser client software. Designed for the corporate intranet market with e-mail and groupware functions. Disappeared when Sun and Netscape created iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions as a one-stop shop for Net-enabling software which inherited SuiteSpot.
Summit: Internal IBM code name for what was going to be the successor to the 370 family of processors. The idea was to build a multiprocessor design (up to eight processors connected through an enhanced channel architecture), some degree of parallel processing, 47-bit addressing, single-level storage (supported by Jupiter), etc. The top ES/9000 models were to eventually differentiate themselves from the ES/9000 and turn themselves into true Summits. The process started mid 1992 with EMIF, Asynchronous Pageout Facility (APF2), and string assists, and continued in February 1993 with the data compression feature. The advent of the 9672 family of CMOS processors presumably spelled an end to this particular development, and IBM invented summit else: the 64-bit z/Architecture of the eserver zSeries 900. See also AMODE.
SUP: Service Update Package. A collection of fixes and supporting documentation, etc.
Supercomputer: Generic name for very high-performance computers, usually based on highly parallel architectures, and optimized to carry out complex mathematical calculations. IBM has typically based its supercomputer offerings on the big mainframes, although more recently, it made more of a song and dance about highly parallel systems built on the RS/6000, and now eserver pSeries, chip (see HPSS). See also Clustered FORTRAN, GF11, OSL, PPCS, RP3, SCSE, SP1, SP2, Virtual Coupling.
SuperJANET: Initiated in 1989, by the UK Computer Board, as a national broadband network to support UK higher education and research. The network has two parts, an IP data network and an ATM network. See JANET.
Supervisor State: A term used in performance measurement to indicate when the machine is spending time generally managing itself. The opposite is Problem State, when the machine is performing end-user work.
Support Element: The eserver zSeries 900 has a pair of integrated Support Elements (SEs). One is primary and the other is a mirrored copy that can assume the role of the primary. The primary SE controls and monitors the operation of the rest of the zSeries 900 system. It sends status hardware messages and operating system messages to the HMCs for consolidation and exception processing. The SE’s GUI provides access to exception-based real-time system status reporting, hardware messages, operating system messages, service support and full operation of the zSeries 900 system.
Support Line: A single source remote defect, usage and installation support for more than 5000 IBM and OEM software products. Provides voice and electronic access into the IBM support organization. For zSeries 900 software, it helps answer questions pertaining to usage, how to, and suspected software defects for eligible products. An offering of Integrated Technology Services within IBM Global Services Consulting.
SUS: Single Unix Specification. The replacement for SPEC 1170. Defines a range of APIs which, if incorporated into your system, will allow you to port and interoperate code with another SUS-compatible operating system. Like SPEC 1170, SUS has 1,170 APIs.
SVC1: Single Version Charging. IBM pricing structure introduced July 1989 in which users only have to pay one license fee for multiple versions of the same software running on the same machine – i.e., you only pay one charge when you’re parallel-running a current and new version of the software. The charge is based on the cost of the most recent, which is usually – no doubt coincidentally – the most expensive version.
SVC3: SuperVisor Call. An interface to operating system functions that is used to protect the operating system from inappropriate user entry. It can also refer to the SVC Assembler mnemonic or machine language instruction it represents.
SVE: Supercomputing Visualization Enhancement. Feature (announced November 1990) within SCSE which supports real-time animation and rapid inspection of large images. See also POWER Visualization System.
SVM: Service Virtual Machine.
SWAT: Skilled With Advanced Tools. Generic term, invented by James Martin, to refer to people who design and write code in RAD environments. The term is presumably meant to add a touch of glamour and excitement to what must be one of the dullest jobs in creation.
Switched line: Generic term for a wide area (WAN) communications line that is created when it is required – i.e., it is shared, and it is interruptible. Usually a switched connection will be dialed, hence its other name – dial-up line. cf. Leased line.
Switched Virtual Networking: IBM’s industry leading desktop-to-WAN model for switch-centric networks announced September 1995. Allows virtual workgroups to be created and lets administrators set up associations between users independently of geographical location. Presented by IBM as a way to move router- and host-based networks to end-to-end ATM2.
Symmetric multiprocessing: A technique used for building multiprocessor systems. Basically you connect several identical engines to a common main memory, and allow each engine to access DASD and other high performance devices. Communication between the engines is done via the common main memory (which is why it’s sometimes called a shared memory design). A single copy of the operating system controls all the engines. Although the term only came into usage in the early 1990s in the Unix world, IBM has been building SMPs for years – notably the System/390s (including the 9672 CMOS boxes). IBM reckons that it’s a very limited technique and doesn’t scale above ten processors, when the overhead of managing the systems becomes unacceptable (see N-way performance ratio). Above ten processors, you need to break individual tasks up and run them in parallel. Symmetric multiprocessing systems tend to score very well on TPC-A benchmarks. IBM announced symmetric multiprocessing RS/6000s in October 1994.
Synchronous: A synchronous communications system is one in which there is a constant time interval between the events in the system. The time interval tells you when you’ve got to the end of the character (cf. asynchronous transmission in which start and stop bits mark the beginning and end of each character). In synchronous systems, timing bits are sent first to synchronize the receiving and transmitting nodes. In a synchronous call, the calling program is placed into a wait state by the operating system. Control is not returned until the result (or an error condition) is returned.
Syncpoint: A point in a transaction’s life when updates are committed. In a distributed environment, where the transactions may be across several databases, the syncpoint enables the commit to be delayed until all the participants can commit simultaneously. Syncpoint processing is supported by MQSeries.
SYSGEN: System Generation. The process of creating a customized version of an operating system. In the IBM environment this is a complex, error-prone and time-consuming process.
SYSOUT: z/OS output intended for a printer. The name comes from the JCL DD parameter SYSOUT, where SYSOUT=A means send the output to the JESx Class A spool queue.
Sysplex: System complex. A processor complex formed by loosely coupling System/390 processors together into a single unit (using channel-to-channel adapters or ESCON / FICON fiber optic links); the processors are synchronized using the Sysplex Timer , and can be managed as a single system image ( SSI 1 ). Storage (main and Expanded) may be shared among the processors in the sysplex. GRS and XCF are pre-requisites. Note that a sysplex is not primarily a way of building more powerful processors – it’s a way of building more manageable and resilient processor configurations; initially the main uses of the sysplex were for hot standby, and batch workload balancing. See Virtual coupling , Megaplex .
A TCP/IP stack configuration that re-directs inbound
TCP traffic to other addresses within the sysplex, typically, but not
necessarily, addresses at other stacks and systems.
Those other addresses are the targets of the distributor.
Sysplex distributors reside at their specified dynamic VIPA (DVIPA)
addresses. DVIPAs move from one stack to another in a sysplex as needed.
Typically, the primary stack handles traffic addressed to a given
DVIPA. If that stack fails for some reason, the failure is advertised
through the sysplex, and a backup stack assumes responsibility
for the address. Thus distributed dynamic virtual IP addresses (DDVIPAs)
provide multiple stacks and application instances to serve a single address.
They distribute the work load among the targets, and they provide redundant
backups to distribute requests. Sysplex distributors and dynamic VIPAs are
created in TCP/IP stack configuration, with statements named
For further information, see "VIPADYNAMIC" in the
z/OS V1R8.0 Communications Server, IP Configuration Reference.
System/23: Outdated and long-discontinued small business system from the now defunct General Systems Division.
System/3: Outdated and discontinued (at the end of the 1970s) small business system from the now defunct General Systems Division.
System/32: Outdated and discontinued small business system from the now defunct General Systems Division.
System/36: IBM system which took the small business system market by storm. The System/36 was the long awaited replacement and/or growth path for the System/34 user. Developed by an IBM laboratory with office systems expertise, the System/36 was promoted by IBM as its key departmental machine for sales to the mainframe user base where it was a sales disaster (as was the 9370, IBM’s next attempt). Although it was superseded by the low-end AS/400, in the IBM product line, IBM had great difficulty migrating System/36 users to the AS/400. Early 1993, there were rumors that there was a cunning plan to create a new System/36 using the PowerPC RISC, and the thing materialized as the AS/400 Advanced 36 in September 1994. See also 536x, AS/Entry.
System/38: The largest business system from the now defunct General Systems Division. Used a very advanced, non-370 architecture, and was regularly rumored to point to the direction of future IBM architectures. Superseded by the high-end AS/400.
System/390: Once a name for the IBM mainframe architecture, replacing System/360 and System/370 (whatever happened to the 380?). It was unclear at the launch of the System/390 that it was anything very different from the 370 architecture. The February 1993 announcement of the data compression engine was the first sign of a real departure from the 370. Replaced by the z/Architecture of the eserver zSeries 900.
System/3x: IBM term used as a means of pretending that there is more than a trivial relationship between the System/36 and the System/38 – collectively known as System/3x.
System/88: Minicomputer size fault-tolerant system at one time sold by IBM. Based on the Stratus-32 machines, and targeted at applications such as bank dealing rooms, retail POS1, continuous flow manufacturing, etc. Announced as an IBM product in 1985. Mid 1993, IBM announced that the System/88 would no longer be sold as an IBM product, but that local IBM offices would be happy to sell the Stratus machines to eager prospects. See 457x, 459x, FTX.
System/9000: IBM workstation using the 68000 chip. Launched mid 1984, lasted slightly longer than the Titanic but made rather less impact. Any potential it may have had evaporated when the RT PC was announced – and that wasn’t exactly an overwhelming success either.
System Automation: IBM System Automation for OS/390 (SA). Provides centralized control and automation in a parallel sysplex environment, promising to make operation of a parallel sysplex no more difficult than a single system. Announced September 1996, replacing AOC/MVS, TSCF and ESCON Manager. Exploits Tivoli’s z/OS event integration and can provide data for Tivoli Business Systems Manager.
System management: The umbrella term that encompasses the discipline of maintaining computer and communication systems. This covers performance analysis, change management, fault analysis, securing access, and accounting for resource usage. IBM has a strong presence in this arena with many of Tivoli’s software products.
System Manager: System Manager for iSeries 400. OS/400 software that provides remote operations or commands, change management, centralized problem management and ECS, and ISV software packaging and PTF support. The companion agent package, which runs on the systems being managed from the central site, is Managed System Services.
SystemPac: Packaged load and go version of z/OS available in either full-volume dump/restore format or dataset copy format. Includes IBM and third-party products. Installation is done via pack restore using DFSMSdss or FDR. Selective follow-on service tapes can be shipped at specified intervals and frequencies.
Systems integration: The business of selling a total solution (typically a hardware and software package, but possibly management and manning too – when it becomes facilities management). It’s been done for years in the mini and micro markets, but took a little longer to become popular in the mainframe sector. IBM identified system integration as a key area for growth and even created a Division to handle it. See also Outsourcing, Facilities management.
SystemView: Structure1 for management of the enterprise computing environment. SystemView included functions to manage six disciplines: inventory/resource, change, configuration, operations, performance, and problem. Used an SQL Repository plus software to provide a single point of control for the computing complex(es) and the network. The specifications are public (and include open and IBM proprietary architectures), and IBM had enlisted the support of third-party vendors to help provide a wide range of facilities. SystemView appeared to implement SMA. April 1996 IBM announced that SystemView was to be integrated with the Tivoli Management Environment (TME), after which the SystemView disappeared.
SystemView Series: An attempt, vintage May 1995, to revitalize the SystemView concept by assembling some system management products together into a series. The initial set of products consisted of various network and distributed system management utilities gathered together under a common launch panel on an RS/6000 or OS/2 system. Obsolete. Widely considered to be the first implementation of Karat.
SystemXtra: Two different IBM programs over the years (why let a perfectly good trademark go to waste?). Currently a combination of support services, software, training and financing for PCs. Originally, an IBM service program (announced December 1990) for first time users of RS/6000 and AS/400. Provided a total system solution for on-site maintenance, including single-point telephone support for hardware and software, project manager assigned to the account, and IBM coordination of multiple vendors. The AS/400 version was withdrawn June 1991 and the RS/6000 disappeared soon after.