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A glossary of terms important to IBM mainframe machines
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WABI: An attempt by Sun Microsystems to create a Windows clone under Unix. WABI works by intercepting calls from applications to the Windows API and converting them to X-Windows calls. IBM did take out a license for WABI, and announced it for AIX1 in April 1994, but withdrew it in September 1996. When WABI was announced, everyone thought that it stood for Windows application binary interface, but Sun now vigorously denies this (without saying what it does stand for – what a brilliant idea, perhaps?). However, Windows application binary interface (ABI) describes exactly what WABI does; one can only conjecture that Microsoft has got picky about this terminology. Sun finally laid WABI to rest when it announced a July 15, 1997, end of life date.
WAF: Workfolder Application Facility. Software on the System/36 and AS/400 within the ImagePlus image processing system. WAF manages scanned documents, and creates and manages interaction with workflow software. Originally developed by IBM for Citibank’s credit card correspondence. Replaced by IBM Content Manager December 1997. cf. FAF.
Walking drives: In the days of the pre-Winchester magnetic-disk drives, slight defects such as misaligned spindles or worn bearings could cause the devices to lurch forward. As a result these drives could gradually meander across rooms when running. This further emphasized their close evolutionary links with the Washing machine.
Wall follower: The term wall follower is derived from a technique used in robotics to develop strategies for escaping from mazes. The wall follower doesn’t have a terribly sophisticated intelligence; it just hugs the right or left wall, and backtracks and tries something else only if it gets into a blind alley. In IBMspeak, a wall follower is someone with a penchant for blindly following rules. cf. Tree hugger.
WAN: Wide Area Network. Generic name for a data transport mechanism which goes beyond the immediate locality, and therefore (usually) needs to conform to ITU-T standards at some level. Most SNA networks are WANs. cf. LAN, MAN.
Wang: Wang Labs. A minicomputer and PC manufacturer which failed to turn its outstanding success in the word processor market during the 1970s into a success in the small systems and office automation market. June 1991 IBM invested $25M in the struggling Wang, and set up a deal in which Wang sold RS/6000, AS/400 and PS/2 machines as replacements for its own Wang machines. During most of the 1990s, Wang specialized in imaging and workflow software, and had alliances with a number of vendors. In 1999, the company declared bankruptcy, continued briefly as a provider of network services, then was bought by the Dutch company Getronics.
Warp: OS/2 is fully 32-bit, and differs from earlier implementations particularly by being Internet-ready (i.e., incorporating TCP/IP, ftp2, telnet, and Gopher) and optimized for multimedia applications. It’s also finely wrought and visually elegant... and a pleasure to use. The campaign launching Warp was one of IBM’s most aggressive, with loads of knocking copy addressed at PC-DOS/Windows users – lemmings marching forward to adopt the world’s first 32-bit OS based on a 16-bit OS modeled on an eight-bit OS, etc. There were even demonstrations of OS/2 running Windows 3.1 applications faster than Windows 3.1 itself.
Warp Connect: Version of Warp announced May 1995 to compete with Windows for Workgroups. Includes built-in requesters for LAN Server and NetWare, peer-to-peer and TCP/IP networking, productivity software, and Web browser. Withdrawn August 1999, with service already ended in September 1997, with OS/2 Warp Version 4 listed as its replacement.
Warp Server: All-singing, all-dancing network operating system announced mid 1995 which combines LAN Server 4.0 with OS/2 Warp. It’s backward-compatible with previous IBM LAN Server clients. Supports gateway functionality to NetWare and Microsoft servers by allowing OS/2 Warp Server clients to access non-OS/2 Warp Server resources.
WASE: Workstation Aided Software Engineering (sometimes Workstation Application Support Environment). A loose agglomeration of products, now defunct, which was designed to provide a CASE1 environment on a PC. WASE was not a terribly important product – most IBM offices never got to hear of it!
Washing machine: Old-style (pre-Winchester) 14 inch hard disks in floor-standing cabinets. So called because of the large size of the cabinet and the top-loading access to the media packs which were set on a spin cycle. See also walking drives.
Water cooler: The water cooler has two quite distinct meanings in IBM culture. Firstly, users of large IBM mainframes need one to stop their machines overheating. Secondly the water cooler, along with the coffee machine, is a forum for exchange of ideas and gossip in IBM offices. John Akers’ famous directive to his staff, Stop standing round the water cooler, was understandably interpreted in different ways. Many account managers, following the first definition, believed Akers was telling them to abandon mainframes and start selling Unix workstations instead; demoralized by the anticipated lack of commission, they immediately opted for early retirement. See Water MIPS.
Water MIPS: Industry speak for large, water-cooled computers of traditional mainframe type.
WCS1: Writable Control Storage.
Web: World Wide Web (WWW). But everyone just says Web. A loose, but constantly growing, collection of Internet servers, located worldwide, which support multimedia pages of text, graphics, sound, and video. Originally developed by the CERN particle physics laboratories in Switzerland, the Web’s commercial success in the mid 1990s was due mainly to the widespread availability of graphical front-ends known as browsers, which interpret HTML and allow the user to navigate easily from one site or page to another. The Web has been integrated with other Internet services, such as e-mail and file transfer. In early 1996 IBM decided that the Web was enormously important and announced products for just about every system it sells. See also HTML, HTTP, Internet Explorer, Netscape, WebExplorer.
Web.Data: A comprehensive architecture from IBM that promised to encompass all of the function of DB2 WWW while delivering additional benefits such as improved performance, access to ODBC data etc. Announced July 1996 along with a beta program for the OS/2, AIX1, and Windows NT versions of this product. These days, no one, seemingly not even at IBM, even remembers that Web.Data or DB2 WWW ever existed.
Web application: A traditional computer application that runs on a Web server. Instead of a workstation GUI or host terminal screen, a Web page is seen by the user through a Web browser. See also Web application server.
Web application server: An application server that is linked to a Web server. When the Web server receives an HTTP request that requires computation or other resources, it passes the request to the Web application server for processing.
Web browser: Software that runs on a workstation whose main purpose is to translate the HTML it receives into the Web page it represents. Netscape and Microsoft Internet Explorer dominate the market, though the word market is probably inappropriate for the free products that both are. Beyond HTML translation, Web browser functionality has expanded greatly, especially with the addition of plug-ins. Even without plug-ins, Web browsers have built-in Java Virtual Machines and ftp2 support.
Web Browser Intelligence: WBI or, in its more sickening form, Webby. IBM intelligent agent technology implemented on the client system rather than on the server. WBI is built as a generalized proxy server, but with plug-in intelligence and is suited as a general base for Internet applications. It is powered by intelligent agent user modeling technology from IBM’s Almaden Research Lab.
Weblicator: Allows browser users to selectively pre-fetch Web pages, search, categorize and work on them off-line and automatically update changes. From Lotus. Replaced by newer technologies including Lotus iNotes and Domino Offline Services (DOLS).
WebSphere: An IBM Internet software platform that supports e-business applications. The foundational products are WebSphere Application Server and MQSeries. WebSphere Foundation Extensions include: WebSphere User Experience, Interwoven TeamXpress, VisualAge for Java, VisualAge Generator, WebSphere Homepage Builder, WebSphere Transcoding Publisher, WebSphere Translation Server, WebSphere Everyplace Suite, MQSeries Integrator, WebSphere Site Analyzer, WebSphere Adapters, Versata Studio, WebSphere Studio Site Developer, WebSphere Studio Application Developer, WebSphere Business Components, WebSphere Voice Server, WebSphere Portal Server, WebSphere Personalization Server, WebSphere Edge Server, WebSphere Host Integration Solution. WebSphere Application Accelerators include: WebSphere Commerce Suite, MQSeries WorkFlow, Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) services, WebSphere Payment Manager, Lotus Domino, WebSphere Business Integrator, WebSphere Partner Agreement Manager, MQSeries Financial Services Edition.
WebSphere Adapters: Use open standards to connect WebSphere Applications Server or MQSeries applications to major packaged software products, typically ERP, from JDEdwards, Oracle, PeopleSoft and SAP2.
WebSphere Application Server: The software platform (along with MQSeries) for WebSphere. Provides the core software needed to deploy, integrate and manage e-business applications, from dynamic Web presentation to sophisticated transaction processing, whether they are custom-built, based on integrated WebSphere platform products or non-IBM software products.
WebSphere Business Components: Software implementation packages such as Order Capture, Text Analyzer and Bank Teller Business Components. Studio provides cross-industry support servers, including a starter set of components. Components Composer provides transaction components and infrastructure Java components. A WebSphere Foundation Extension.
WebSphere Business Integrator: A framework for creating, executing and managing business processes. Provides a complete and consistent model for both Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) and B2B integration. A WebSphere Application Accelerator.
WebSphere Commerce Analyzer: Software to analyze information related to customer e-commerce activities running on WebSphere Commerce Suite Pro (WCS/Pro). An entry version is provided with WCS/Pro. An advanced version (WCA/Adv) is also available.
WebSphere Commerce Suite: Integrated e-commerce, including content management, relationship marketing, order management and payment management for B2B, B2C and e-marketplaces. A WebSphere Application Accelerator.
WebSphere Development Studio for iSeries: A set of iSeries 400 host and workstation development tools. The host components are ILE RPG (RPG IV), ILE COBOL, ILE C, ILE C++ PRPQ2 and Applications Development ToolSet (ADTS). The workstation components are WebFacing Tool, WebSphere Studio for iSeries Professional Edition, VisualAge for Java for iSeries Professional Edition, CoOperative Development environment (CODE/400) and VisualAge RPG.
WebSphere Development Tools for iSeries: A subset of WebSphere Development Studio for iSeries for the iSeries 400, including WebFacing Tool, WebSphere Studio for iSeries Professional Edition, VisualAge for Java for iSeries Professional Edition, CoOperative Development environment (CODE/400) and VisualAge RPG.
WebSphere Edge Server: Provides local and wide area load balancing, content-based quality of service routing, and Web content filtering and caching for multi-vendor Web server environments. A WebSphere Foundation Extension.
WebSphere Everyplace Server Service Provider Offering for Multiplatforms: An integrated offering of middleware to connect Web applications to mobile and hand-held devices and Internet appliances. Announced June 2001 to replace WebSphere Everyplace Suite.
WebSphere Everyplace Suite: Extends the reach of e-business applications, enterprise data and Internet content to PDAs, cell phones, Internet appliances and other pervasive devices. A WebSphere Foundation Extension replaced by WebSphere Everyplace Server Service Provider Offering for Multiplatforms January 2002.
WebSphere Host Integration Solution: Extends host applications to the Web without any changes to the applications themselves. Support includes eserver zSeries 900, iSeries 400, UNIX, Windows server operating systems. A WebSphere Foundation Extension.
WebSphere Host Publisher: Consolidates multiple existing applications, without modification, to present an integrated view in a Web browser. Runs on AIX, Sun Solaris and Windows server operating systems.
WebSphere Partner Agreement Manager: Automates the interactions with suppliers, business partners, customers and e-markets. Electronic messages can be received from customers, appropriate internal business processes initiated and customers updated automatically. A WebSphere Application Accelerator that runs on Windows server operating systems.
WebSphere Payment Manager: Links merchants to payment service processors to support e-commerce transactions. Runs on AIX1, OS/400, Sun Solaris and Windows server operating systems. A WebSphere Application Accelerator.
WebSphere Personalization: Works with other WebSphere products to build a Web site, intranet or extranet that delivers Web pages that are customized to the interests and needs of each site visitor. Runs on AIX1, HP-UX, Linux, OS/400, Sun Solaris and Windows server operating systems. It also supports the Java platform. A WebSphere Foundation Extension.
WebSphere Portal Family: A product family comprised of WebSphere Portal Enable, WebSphere Portal Extend and WebSphere Portal Experience. Allows organizations to build their own custom portal Web site to serve the needs of employees, business partners and customers. Personalized Web pages for each user. Announced October 2001 as a replacement for WebSphere Portal Server. See also Corporate Portal.
WebSphere Site Analyzer: Analysis of enterprise Web site visitor trends, preferences, buying behavior, usage and content allows you to analyze visitor usage and Web site. A WebSphere Foundation Extension.
WebSphere Studio Application Developer: WebSphere Studio Site Developer plus EJB development and test environment, Relational Schema Center for advanced database application support, and profiling and tracing tools for optimizing application performance. Runs on AIX1, HP-UX, Linux, NetWare, OS/2, z/OS, OS/400, Sun Solaris and Windows server operating systems. Replaces VisualAge for Java.
WebSphere Studio Asset Analyzer for z/OS: Builds a model of z/OS applications, stores the model in a DB2 database and then performs impact analysis as changes are made to the applications. Accessible from a workstation Web browser.
WebSphere Transcoding Publisher: Dynamically adapts, reformats and filters Web content and applications for the mobile (pervasive) device realm, including PDAs, pagers and cell phones. Runs on AIX1, Linux, OS/400, Sun Solaris and Windows server operating systems. A WebSphere Foundation Extension.
WebSphere Translation Server: A computerized language translation system boasting speeds between 200 and 500 words per second. Runs on AIX, Sun Solaris and Windows server operating systems. A WebSphere Foundation Extension.
WebSphere Voice Server: Allows existing Web infrastructures to deliver voice-enable Internet applications to the telephone, whether it be a standard handset or a mobile cell phone. Uses industry standard VoiceXML and Java technology. A DirectTalk version also exists. A WebSphere Foundation Extension.
WFM: Withdrawal From Marketing.
Wheelwriter: IBM/Lexmark typewriter.
Whitewater: IBM plan to develop DB2 accounting software. The plug was pulled on the project early 1989 after it got in a mess and IBM’s pleas for help fell on the deaf ears of companies with which Whitewater was meant to compete.
WIBNI: Wouldn’t It Be Nice If...
WIDL: Web Interface Definition Language. Devised by WebMethods and submitted to W3C. Its purpose is to enable automation of Web interactions with HTML/XML documents and forms. WIDL definitions provide a mapping between Web resources and applications written in conventional programming languages. Disappeared due to lack of interest and industry acceptance.
Wildcard: A search specification where certain characters may have multiple values. The question mark ? often matches any character, so S?T would match SET, SAT, SIT, S-T, etc. The asterisk * is the other common wildcard character, referring to zero or more characters. As well as the values shown for question mark, S*T would match SOFT, ST, SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSTTTTTTTTT, etc.
WIMPS: Windows, Icons, Mouse, Pointer, Scroll bars. The P may also be used for Pull-down or Pop-up menus. Also seen without the S: WIMP. Generic name for systems which use windows, icons, mouse or similar pointing device, and the other things listed and normally associated with a GUI. The term no doubt came into popular use on the basis that real men don’t use mice. See also icon1.
Winchester: IBM name for a 1973 vintage disk drive, and a generic name for any hard disk. There are two explanations for the name: the first says it’s because the Winchester was developed near Winchester in the UK, where IBM has some research labs; the second says it’s named after the well-known .30-.30 rifle because the first Winchester device held 30MB on each of its two spindles. You pays your money, and you takes your choice!
Windows: PC software which started life as an add-on to PC-DOS that provided a GUI and allowed a PC to run multiple concurrent PC-DOS sessions. The success of Windows 3.0 was instrumental in Microsoft’s abandonment of OS/2 and all the resulting traumas in the IBM-Microsoft relationship. Beginning in the mid 1990s with Windows NT and Windows 95, it became a full blown operating system without PC-DOS, though Windows 95 was tied very closely to PC-DOS to ensure compatibility. Windows 98 and Me followed 95, dead ending the DOS heritage. Both Windows Me and Windows 2000, which replaced NT, were replaced by Windows XP, a new version of Windows 2000. The Windows server operating systems are Windows 2002.
Windows 2000: The workstation (Professional) and various server versions of the Microsoft operating system that was promised for years as Windows NT Version 5.0. Replaced NT 4 and replaced by Windows XP on the workstation and Windows 2002 Server.
Windows 95: Windows 4.0, a true 32-bit version of Microsoft’s original Windows 3.x. Originally expected to go on general release at the end of 1994 or early 1995, but began to slip to around the middle of 1995, and ever onward. It eventually emerged on 24 August 1995 amid squirmingly embarrassing stunts and puffs. Prior to September 1994, it was called Chicago. See also Pegasus2.
Windows CE: A lite version of Windows 95 designed exclusively for pocket-sized, hand-held devices. It comes with scaled down versions of MS Word and Excel, and allows migration of files back and forth between a CE device and a PC. Based on the Win32 API set.
Windows for Workgroups: Announced October 1992. Integrated networking and workgroup functionality within Windows 3.1. The product supports electronic mail, group meetings, shared files and printers, shared calendars, and collaborative projects. It can provide networking capabilities on its own, or it can be used as a client on an existing local area network. Version 3.11 had improved support for Novell NetWare and Windows NT, I/O performance gains of more than 100 percent, and new capabilities for mobile computing such as remote access and built-in fax capabilities.
Windows NT: New Technology. Microsoft’s operating system – essentially a derivative of PC-DOS and Windows – offering pre-emptive multi-tasking and multithreading, OLE, DDE, etc, in a portable 32-bit environment. After years of pre-announcement, NT finally appeared in May 1993 in server and client versions, and was vigorously promoted by Microsoft as a server – rather than a desktop – environment. By early 1995, Microsoft claimed to have 25% of the server market, and by early 1996 it was giving Unix a run for its money. May 1996, IBM announced software which would allow NT applications to run on an z/OS mainframe. Version 5.0 was renamed Windows 2000 prior to release in February 2000. See also Cairo.
WindowTool/400: AS/400 software that enables you to create window-like interfaces on AS/400 dumb terminals. Obsolete.
Withdrawn: Marketing Withdrawn. In IBMspeak, and in this glossary, the date after which IBM would no longer sell you the product. Another important date is Service Discontinued in IBMspeak: the date after which IBM will not help you with the product and/or fix it. In this glossary, support ended is used instead of Service Discontinued.
WITT: Workstation Interactive Test Tool. OS/2 development tool that automatically records and replays interactive application test sessions. Supports OS/2 on the client, and z/OS, z/VM, VSE/ESA and OS/400 on the application server. Announced in September 1989. The X/WITT version supports AIXWindows clients. Replaced by VisualAge for COBOL Test for OS/2 October 1996.
WLM: WorkLoad Manager. Feature within z/OS SRM and AIX1 for managing system resources. Users define performance goals and assign priority to each. The system then apportions resources, such as CPU and storage, according to those priorities. In z/OS, collaborates with Intelligent Resource Director.
WOM: Web Object Management. Technology for creating, managing, and hosting content on both internal and external Web sites, often for high volume electronic commerce. A high profile use of WOM was at the 1996 Olympic games where WOM handled 188 million hits in 17 days – at the time the highest traffic ever experienced at a Web site.
WordPerfect: PC word processing software from the WordPerfect Corp originally recommended by IBM for PS/2s connected to the AS/400 – IBM provided software to turn the AS/400 into a file server for networks of PS/2s running WordPerfect. WordPerfect was purchased by Novell and then Corel. Barely surviving today against Microsoft Word.
WordPerfect Corporation: Software vendor specializing in word processing software, mainly on the PC although it has versions of its software on the AS/400 and mainframe too. Claimed to have two thirds of the US word processing market in 1992. June 1993, the company merged with Novell, and about two and a half years later all the products were sold to Corel.
Workflow: Generic name for the type of software which manages the flow of work – typically some kind of paper processing activity – through a system by providing computer support for tasks with a large human and/or manual component. The most widespread use of workflow software is in image processing systems such as IBM’s ImagePlus where the computer system is used to progress a document through the various people in the organization who need to work on it. See also MQSeries Workflow.
Workframe/2: OS/2 project-oriented development environment. Presentation Manager-based, and has an open interface which allows IBM or third-party editors, compilers, and debuggers to be connected. Replaced by VisualAge C++ for OS/2 September 1995.
WorkGroup: A portfolio of capabilities announced by IBM in November 1994. It provides group communications, information management, and work management within e-mail systems – including multimedia mail transfer, directory, scheduling and calendaring services, and access to OfficeVision systems. Much of the functionality is built on a backbone of the MQSeries messaging software. Withdrawn November 1996.
Working set: The section (or sections) of a mainframe program where processing is concentrated. In paging systems the size of the working set determines the (approximate) main-storage requirements for the program.
Workload License Charges: A software licensing charge by required software capacity, not hardware capacity.
WorkPad: A pocket-sized PDA from IBM that exploits 3Com’s PalmPilot technology. It signaled the end of IBM’s efforts to produce a viable PDA of its own. Announced September 1997. See 8602, 2608, Simon.
Workplace: A term variously used to refer to the IBM Microkernel and to an architecture/initiative/set of standards to develop a common software base across all IBM platforms. The term was abandoned March 1995 and replaced by the IBM microkernel when it refers to the core operating system based on Mach, and by – well, nothing, really – when it refers to the set of standards.
Workplace Shell: The user interface paradigm for OS/2 EE based on CUA 91. Implemented in OS/2 Version 2.0 as a multi-tasking, object-oriented replacement for Presentation Manager. It was much more like Unix front-ends than its PM forebears. The name was dropped in early 1995.
Works as designed: A positive description of a design bug – usually corrected by a change to the documentation, which then reflects how the program actually works rather than how it should function.
Workstation Data Save Facility: SystemView facility which allows a z/VM host to act as a workstation server to enable users to backup, archive, and restore workstation files. Replaced by ADSM in April 1993.
Workstation LAN File Services/VM: May 1992 z/VM software providing workstation data storage and access facilities. Effectively turns a z/VM machine into a whopping great file server. Replaced June 1993 by LAN File Services/ESA.
Workstation One: Family of emulation programs designed to provide a consistent interface in a number of workstation environments, including OS/2, Windows, Macintosh, and AIX. Announced January 1993. Withdrawn February 1994. The product family really was The Wollongong Group’s (TWG) Pathway Access and IBM customers were given the option of a license for the equivalent TWG product.
World Avenue: IBM’s US on-line shopping mall which was launched with great fanfare in June 1996 and shut in July 1997. Poor sales figures which have plagued on-line malls were a primary factor in its downfall.
World Wide Web Consortium: The loose affiliation of bodies which define Internet standards.
WORM1: Write Once Read Many. Generic term for storage devices (e.g., the majority of optical storage systems today) used as permanent repositories of data. CD-ROM is the most widely known WORM device, although most end-user models are read only – the vendor does the writing. IBM offers the 3363, 9246/7, and 3995 WORM drives. An optical WORM medium is also used in the mainframe process controller for software updates. The term WORM is also used in a specific technical sense to refer to user recordable optical storage media and standards from ANSI committee X3B11.
WOSA: Windows Open Services Architecture. A set of APIs for the Windows environment to enable Windows applications to talk to other systems across a network (notably to a mainframe using SNA). WOSA was developed by a consortium of 20 vendors headed by Microsoft. IBM was a member, although initially it rather sniffily said that WOSA won’t be able to do much that you can’t already do from OS/2 anyway. By the mid 1990s, WOSA had created MAPI, SAPI, TAPI, among other standards.
WRC: Workstation Resource Center. Another one of those IBM concepts (cf. Information Center) in which IBM proposes ways in which the customer can organize his data center (which is another example) in ways which simplify the task of IBM’s sales force. The WRC provides IBM with a single reference point for selling workstation and communications products. Less cynically, it provides the user organization with a pool of expertise on workstation management. Long forgotten.
WSC: Washington Systems Center. Publisher of lots of useful technical material about IBM systems software.
WS-Inspection: Web Services Inspection. A joint IBM and Microsoft specification that defines how an application can discover an XML Web service description on a Web server. Especially useful for Web sites not listed in the UDDI registries.
WSP/2: WorkStation Platform/2. Workstation software (originally part of AD/Cycle) which was claimed to provide a consistent environment for the use of AD/Cycle tools. Gives access to libraries and services of ISPF under z/VM and z/OS. Withdrawn May 1995.
WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get. Generic term to refer to systems in which the display on the screen is the same as what you get when you print out a document.