Sunday, 8 August 2010

Virtual IMS Connection user group - under threat

Virtual IMS Connection is a vendor-neutral, independently-operated, virtual user group for IMS (IBM's Information Management System) professionals. It can currently be found at It was launched at the beginning of November 2007.

Virtual user group meetings take place every other month and a guest speaker gives a presentation relevant to the IMS user community. The user group meetings last a little over an hour in total. Participation in meetings is free to members. The Virtual IMS Connection user group is also free to join.

User group members also get a bi-monthly newsletter. You can see the flip-book version here and the PDF version here.

The Web site contains details of future meetings, information about IMS-related articles (published elsewhere on the Web) and events, a list of IMS tools (software - the listing is free to vendors) and services, a list of IMS consultants, and a job bank (with resumes - CVs - and job opportunities).

New IMS products and new versions of existing products are always included in the News page. There's a link to the IMS-L listserv, where IMS professionals can ask questions and share information.

Members can access PDF versions of presentations and PDF versions of newsletters.

The idea was to create a one-stop shop for IMS professionals, where individuals using IBM’s IMS hierarchical database and transaction processing systems could exchange information, learn new techniques, and advance their skills with the product.

Obviously, there are sponsorship opportunities available to vendors of IMS-related products to help fund this work. Vendors can place banner adverts, etc. However, since its inception, NEON Enterprise Software has provided Web hosting for the site, and funded the WebEx technology that we have used to make the regular webinars possible, as well as meeting other costs. This is now coming to an end, and the Virtual IMS Connection user group is looking for a new home.

If your organization might be able to help keep this important user group running, please contact me on

You can also find the user group on Twitter at
You can become a fan on Facebook at

Let's hope that the Virtual IMS Connection user group can continue to share ideas, information, and skills into the future.

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