Now just suppose that you run IMS on your mainframe, and you wonder what products are available that make using IMS easier or extend its functionality, where do you go? You could type "IMS" and "products" into Google and then search through 1,860,000 entries. But then you discover that IMS as an acronym is used for lots of different things including: Information Management System, IP Multimedia Subsystem, Institute Of Medical Sciences, Immunomagnetic separation, IMTEK Mathematica Supplement, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Industrial Methylated Spirit, Instructional Management Systems, Insulated Metal Substrate, Integrated Micro Solutions, International Musicological Society, Internet Map Server, Internet Medieval Sourcebook, Ion mobility spectrometer, Irish Mathematical Society, Irish Marching Society, Irritable Male Syndrome (what can they mean?), Insight Meditation Society, Iowa Mennonite School, etc. (Thanks to Wikipedia for the list.)
You could try searching on "Information Management System" and "products". Just 1,720,000 hits returned for that one.
You could simply try searching your favourite software vendors’ Web sites, but that won’t give you all the products that are available that work with IMS. It will probably only tell you about ones you already knew about.
But there is a solution. Try the Virtual IMS Connection Web site’s Tools page at www.virtualims.com/tools.html. This gets regularly updated and currently lists over 50 products from ASG, Attachmate, Attunity, BMC, CA, Circle Computer Group, Compuware , CONNX Solutions, Data Kinetics, DataVantage – Direct Computer Resources, GT Software, IBM, Iona, NEON Enterprise Software, and Seagull Software. Of course, if you know of an IMS product – and I mean Information Management System, not any of those others – then get in contact with firstname.lastname@example.org.
So what products are listed? Everything from Data Kinetics’ Accelerated In-memory data access for IMS to Compuware’s Xpediter/IMS.
The other part of the Web site that’s well-worth checking out at regular intervals is the News page – it’s at www.virtualims.com/news.html. This page not only includes a short description of any new or updated IMS-related products, but it also contains a link to the original press release, so you can read the announcement in detail (including all the "tall-talking" adjectives and adjectival phrases!).
If you become a member of the Virtual IMS Connection User Group, you also get free access to the regular User Group meetings, the Newsletter, and the e-mailed "updates".
So if you are an IMS professional and you haven’t found the site yet, it’s well worth taking a look. And if you are looking for a way to extend your IMS system, then the product list is an excellent starting point. For vendors, you get a free mention in the News and Tools sections, but you could advertise elsewhere on the site.