Latest Entries

The pressure of today’s on-demand business world requires IMS mission-critical databases to always be available. Customers needing access to their ATM accounts, partners requiring current inventory and shipping status, and vacationers wanting to know if their flight is on time are only a few of the millions of on-demand and time-dependent needs of businesses. Yet, databases require structural changes and conversions to be implemented in a fail-safe manner and to continuously meet the highly available needs required by the business. Structural changes and conversions require the database to be taken offline, thereby impacting the availability of the database and applications accessing it. The result is a negative impact on the business and its competitive advantage. The challenge is to find a solution that enables these key changes to be safely performed at any time without taking the database offline, and maintaining the highest availability possible…

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IT experts, like real estate consultants, often suggest that you should modernize to maintain the value of your investments. While giving a makeover to the mainframe has a nice ring, it’s not clear what that actually means. IBM is investing heavily in the platform, but that doesn’t mean you can sit back and assume your job is done. This article takes a look at your options, and how ongoing investment in your property can maintain, and even increase, its value…

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The IBM mainframe has a storied history dating back more than 40 years to the original System/360 (S/360), introduced on April 7, 1964. Over its evolution—from S/360 through System/370, S/370-XA (which, logically, should have been “System/380”), S/390, zSeries, and now System z—the mainframe has remained the backbone of information processing. Analysts estimate that 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies use IBM mainframes; this includes your bank, your airline, your insurance company, etc.

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One of the most useful features of programming languages is their ability to do conditional logic, which can be described conceptually as IF something, THEN something. Although IBM’s DFSORT isn’t a programming language, it has its own flavor of conditional logic for reformatting records. Appropriately called IFTHEN clauses, this feature can be used in a wide variety of situations and often makes it possible to replace multiple passes over the data with a single pass over the data. This article examines three examples that illustrate some things you can do with IFTHEN clauses and other new DFSORT features. Future articles will discuss additional features for manipulating data in various ways, including how to parse variable fields such as comma-separated values and delimited fields into fixed fields…

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Common modules are becoming, well, more common. These are generic modules that perform a certain function that can be called from a variety of applications. One example might be a module that retrieves name and address information for a customer. This module may be called from the customer support application, the accounts receivable application, or from a Web interface. This module may be executed from one of several online, batch, or distributed execution environments…

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When Rodney King pleaded, “Can we all just get along?” following the Los Angeles area riots in the spring of 1992, he had no idea the impact his words would have. Replayed countless times again on TV and reprinted in newspaper articles, these words became an iconic call for harmony— harmony in the face of the tension that can grow when groups with diverse backgrounds, challenges, and goals must learn to communicate, collaborate, and live together…

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IT Sense: Power Computing

Remember when we needed to carefully plan DASD utilization, lest we run out of floor space and need to build another building? Everything old is new again. This time around, the issue revolves less around space than around electricity. One thing that needs to be carefully considered as we plan IT facility growth and equipment acquisitions is how to guarantee the availability and reliability of electrical power. As we all know, equipment uses electricity and generates heat, and the more heat, the more you need to compensate with your Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) plants. The more HVAC capacity you require, the more electricity you consume ……

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