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Technical Information for Mainframe database and IDMS ® Users


New IDMS/SQL Site Under Preparation at Watch Out October 2009

IDMS_Database_Design.pdf IDMS Database Design Rel 15.0 Manual

IDMS_COBOL_DML_Reference.pdf IDMS COBOL DML Reference 15.0 Manual

IDMS Database Admin Vol 1 IDMS Database Administration Reference Manual Vol I UPLOADED 5th October 2009

IDMS Database Admin Vol 2 IDMS Database Administration Reference Manual Vol II

ADS Reference Vol 1 ADS/Online Reference Manual Vol I

ADS Reference Vol 2 ADS/Online Reference Manual Vol II

ADS Alive ADS Alive (Debugging of ADS)

ADS Users Guide ADS/Online Users Guide

Mapping Facility IDMS Mapping Facility

IDD Reference IDD (Datadictionary Online) Reference

DMLO Guide DMLO Users Guide

Old Car vs An Incomplete Car! Aug20, 2009

Java has been dominating the application market at least for the last 10 years. From applet to Servlet and then to JSP and EJB, it has been a remarkable journey for Java which was originally meant for devices (embedded language?). ...But recently one reads that EJB has become out of fashion! A book says "J2EE orthodoxy makes heavy work of many simple problems.Many—probably most—J2EE applications are over-engineered, with unnecessarily complex architectures.
Over-engineering can be very costly. J2EE developers tend to assume that increased cost up front will be more than balanced by reductions in future costs. Unfortunately, karma doesn’t apply to software engineering, and this is often a fallacy. Greater complexity up front means more code to write and maintain, more potential for bugs, more delay in demonstrating functionality to users: ultimately, greater chance of failure, and at greater cost.

J2EE over-engineering usually involves EJB. As I pointed out in Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development, EJB is often used inappropriately. This is a real problem, because EJB can introduce more complexity than it conceals. Some services provided by EJB are also overrated. Critiques of EJB have become commonplace since late 2002.Despite the significant problems that have emerged with EJB, it continues to be adopted too often largely
because of fashion and fear!! It goes on like this!!!"

How could this have happened? What was proposed as an easy and highly productive technology is suddenly not so! Though it is typical of current softwares to blame the immeditely preceding ones and claim 'we solve all those now', this criticism of EJB goes far beyond that! Several advocated features like Entity Beans, CMP (Container Managed Presistence) etc never worked it seems. And there is what they NOW call "impedance mismatch" between Java and Relational Databases (another failed panacea!)

IDMS/SQL feels that the industry has been fooled. We have been guided by Modern Ptolemys! We were forced to believe that the Earth is flat!

An old application made using IDMS and ADS in the mid eighties, obviously cannot be expected to have all the features of a web application of today. However, the old 3270 application was a complete application. It can be compared to a car of the eighties. It was a complete car with the fittings and engine features available then. No ABS breaks, no coalition cushions, no navigation screen, no DVD, but still a complete car, some of which are still running today. In comparison, the modern systems made using Java and related technology are like incomplete vehicles! They have DVD and navigation, but some basic features of a car might be missing- seat belt or seat itself missing? Engine gets heated fast etc. Forgot coolant? The "impedance mismatch" they are talking about is due to the inability of relational databases to represent real objects! To overcome this, now, Sun has come up with Persistence API in Java! Companies have come up with middle-layer products for ORM (Object relational Mapping- adding one more layer to the complexity) - Hibernate for example. In this scenario, one will be wondering who really is in charge of the COMMIT/SYNCPOINT/ROLLBACK of the databases ( Persistence if we use the modern terminology) - Application Server or Database Server ?? This sort of "incomplete vehicles" are abundant in today's software marketplace. So new vendors are always in the forefront trying to fix the holes and claiming to have the most modern vehicle!

If the language and key products are like this, then what about the tools around them? They are not different either! Each tool / framework claim to solve the problems created by the previous ones (or shortcmings of the previous ones), at the same time provide support or 'plug-in' for the old framework/tool and many others. For me, it is like (if) Toyota claims that their new car Avensis does have support for a little of VW, Ford and plug-ins available for many others. Yet again, as in the case above, what we get is an incomplete car!!! Made complete only when you add another car or cars!

We will have the very alst issue of IDMS/SQL coming out in October covering these topics! This will be last issue from Geocities Site!!

Geocities Closing - Deporable decision from Yahoo! (May 2009)

Yahoo informs that "We have decided to discontinue the process of allowing new customers to sign up for GeoCities accounts as we focus on helping our customers explore and build new relationships online in other ways. We will be closing GeoCities later this year."

This is bad news for all free home pages. Geocities was the very first site to offer a free space of 2 MB very early in the history of internet. Geocities offered free email address even earlier than hotmail. GeoCities began in mid-1995 as BHI, which stood for "Beverly Hills Internet", a small Web hosting and development company in Southern California. On December 15, 1995, BHI became known as GeoCities offering home pages located at virtual 'cities' named after real cities! In January 1999, Yahoo purchased Geocities. Though Yahoo retained the existing features, they failed to convert Geocities into something of a matchwinner. The domain attracted at least 177 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a study.

It's all too familiar in the industry when the big companies become greedy and try to do something stupid. There are several examples from IBM OS/2 to from hotmail founder Sabeer Bhatia.

Though free home pages, geocities was recognized by Google and many Geocities pages appeared on the Google search on the first page itself. IDMS/SQL itself is an example.

This being the case, Yahoo's decision to close Geocities is unfortunate, unfair and deplorable. Here is Yahoo's statement.

We hope Yahoo will reverse the decision. Alternative arrangements will be made to keep the archives of IDMS/SQL News.

SQL Session Example

A Sample SQL Session in IDMS/SQL One last time!
Optimization in IDMS/SQL A look at the Access Plan!
SOA Hype The biggest circus in the industry today (after CASE flop and traditional client-server failures)
The Virtual Cullinet Site

Re-Inventing the Wheel

When CA took over Cullinet in 1989, it was predicted that by 1995 mainframe as well as IDMS would be obsolete. CA too never expected IDMS to stay alive for another 10 years. Doomsday predictions were there everywhere. "Death" of the product was reported several times in Computerworld, even IDMS/SQL already commented on this. If all these were true, we won't be even writing this note.

IDMS surivived Y2K, client-server Unix dbs and now even the Web applications. After Y2K sometime in 2003, the IT market was heading towards Offshore - typically offshore to India. Bangalore figured even in a Nobel Debate (1998).

IDMS support is no longer there from most CA offices. Clients are dormant or pretend to be dormant. Many applciations were classified for replacement "in the next 3 years"! Though such decisions were taken by many as early as 1999 or 1994 or 2001, the fact is that the client is saying the same thing now in 2007 - within the next 3 years we will replace IDMS! This had severe impact on the people who were 'experts' on the product. Many left the field for new technologies like Java or .net or Unix databases. This has created a vacuum at many sites - no one knows the product. THe impact is severe at sites where the application has grown, though the management refuses to admit it! There are sites where the 'free space' in a Giga DB became close to 1% (Guidelines for an active db is 30%!)

Indian sites have come up utilizing this 'vacuum'. Mainframe itself, though NOT unknown to India during the 70s and early 80s, was no longer a topic in the University curriculm in the last 20 years. Gone are the days when M.Tech Computer Science students were carrying books like 'Systems Programming by JJ Donovan' or 'Operating Systems by Madnick and Donovan' or IBM's own Principles of Operation (known as POP ).. One doesn't need a S/370 to learn about computers. That's the reality.

This being the case, one gets a surprise when IDMS/ADS Online issues are actively discussed in an internet based forum...emulating the old Tech support of Cullinet or CA! Are we seeing a TSIS like support system here?

Appearances are misleading though! A quick browse through the issues will reveal that most are novices and everyone is trying to re-inevnt the wheel in the most complicated way! This is not to discredit the guys in the form or the offshore guys who are doing a wonderful job when the vendor and the industry are missing the point! The problem is that real expertise is missing or coming in bits and pieces... More to follow

Ex CA Chief Sanjay Kumar sentenced to 12 years in prison

Sanjay Kumar, the former CEO of Computer Associates, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his role in a $2.2 billion accounting fraud at the software company. Mr. Kumar, who is scheduled to begin serving a 12-year prison term this month, will actually pay about $52 million over the next two years, the majority of his and his family’s assets. Most of the remaining restitution will probably never be paid, although when Mr. Kumar leaves prison the government will have the right to garnish 20 percent of his wages.

For readers of IDMS/SQL News in Scandinavia this is a time to recapture some unpleasant events which happened in CA Norway during 1998, approximately the same time Mr Kumar & Co were involved in huge financial scandal at CA headquarters in New York. One of the longterm employees of CA Norway was unceremoniously fired and was forced into a legal case with CA. The employee did not have the financial strength to wage such a battle with expensive lawyers and against a multi billion dollar company. The employee approached Charles Wang in Islandia, who did take interest in the case and deputed Mr Kumar to deal with the issue. The head of CA's European operations did meet the employee in Rome in 1998, but the meeting produced no concrete results. One Mrs C'lin in CA Islandia was talking to the employee on behalf of Mr Kumar until the last date prior to the court proceedings in Oslo.

Mr Kumar had the power to stop this case and do a settlement, but he did not move. Now after less than a decade, the man who could have ensured justice in Oslo, who had the sole power to do so, who could have made justice available in Oslo with a phonecall, whose name was misleadingly and erroneously used in Oslo, has met with his destiny in New York. IDMS/SQL is pleased to say 'JUSTICE WAS DONE'!

More on this Mr Kumar to pay huge damages and serve 12 years

IDMSDC - 177 days non-stop - crosses 200 million transactions

Since we reported the story below the IDMS region had to be taken down becuase of MVS IPL. But now that startup has beaten own record. The latest figures from 19th Sept 2006.

 CURRENT TIME 14:31:34.04      
 CURRENT DATE 06/262    < --------       
 STARTUP TIME 04:08:39.82      
 STARTUP DATE 06/085    < --------- 

         Current max tasks         65      
        Times at max tasks        744      
         Allocated DCE/TCE         65      
   Number of tasks abended      11579      
 Number of tasks processed  201391746      <------
    Number of tasks active         23      

On the other hand, now it is the age of third class systems. No one bothers about these. Not even the vendor! So if you want to keep up with the market, better start learning Java and Weblogic, or even better Ruby, AJAX, PHP and some 'xyz' database which you can download from the net!

Java for S/370 Guys

After a long break, this 'course' has been updated. We will put all the samples on the net shortly. This will be followed by a critical study of Java usage in real business (JSP, Servlet, IDE (Eclipse, Visual J++...), Application Servers ( Tomcat, Weblogic, Websphere..) etc)
Cover Page N E W - June 2005
FileIO.ppt N E W - June 2005
gui.ppt N E W - June 2005
Special.ppt N E W - June 2005

IDMS Release 16 and Two Phase Commit

A Webcast was there on 12th Jan 2005. Judy Dillman presented the Features and Judy Kruntorad, Orrin Stevens and Bill Abbott were present. About 50 particpated from around the world.
IDMS 16.0 Webcast snapshot

IDMS/SQL News 15.1 Summary Issue 2003-2006

(Summary of items appeared on the front page here)

IDMS/SQL Old Issues

While you are waiting we have recovered some of the old issues. Here are some of them. Issues are put unedited as we got it. Some of the links from the articles may not work. Unfortunately we do not have time to edit these now.

SQL News 1.1 From 1992!
SQL News 1.2
SQL News 1.3 First time on the Web!
SQL News 1.4 First time on the Web! SQL News 6.3
SQL News 6.4
SQL News 7.1 1998
SQL News 7.2
SQL News 7.3
SQL News 7.4
SQL News 8.1 The only issue of 1999
IDMS/SQL News 9.1 First Issue of 2000
IDMS/SQL News 9.2 Second Issue of 2000
IDMS/SQL News 9.3 December 2000 Issue
IDMS/SQL News 10.1April 2001 Issue
IDMS/SQL News 10.2 October 2001 Issue is finally released

IDMS/SQL News 11.1 It took a while

SQL Database Scripts for IDMS A real demo - N E W - Sept 2005

IDMS Related Sites Integrating Applications and Data from CA-IDMS into other RDBMS and Environments. This new site by Jeff Dunham, author of IDMS/DB2 Related Database Book and former ASG Consutlant. N E W - Nov 2003

Vegasoft Oy Provides client/serverbased IDMS Tools, ADS/DB2, ODBC, NT, TCP/IP based Webeserver for IDMS, Java Cleint for IDMS etc
FSC Finnish Support Center specializes in IDMS Development and Support, Client Server and multiplatform solutions
IDMS-L Newsgroup Farewell Note from James Bradshaw after serving 10 years

IDMS Links Other IDMS Related Links - Full List

Search Facility - key word search on SQL newsletters is available now!

Introducing Search

Now you have the possibility of searching the Site with keywords!


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IDMS/SQL is published quarterly on behalf of IDMS WatchDog Group, Scandinavia, Oslo-Helsinki-Hørsholm for free circulation among IDMS Users Worldwide. IDMS/SQL News is not a CA publication. CA-IDMS/DB, CA-IDMS/DC and CA-ADS are registered trademarks of Computer Associates International Inc. CICS, IMS- DB/DC, VSAM and DB2 are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. Technical examples are only guidelines and modifications might be required in certain situations and operating systems. Opinion expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the views of IDMS clients or related vendors. Permission is hereby granted to use or reproduce the information , only to IDMS Customers and Consultants, provided the material is distributed free of charge.

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