Sunday, 16 January 2011

Virtual IMS user group

With so much of IBM’s software now in its 40s, it’s no wonder that using it requires quite a lot of knowledge. And many people have developed a whole range of nifty tips and tricks that they can use when things go wrong or to help make things work better. That’s where user groups come in. A user group provides an opportunity for people to share their hints and tips with others, and, in return, learn some tried-and-tested new ones.

One problem that managers sometimes have with staff going to user group meetings is that they are unavailable at work should there be a problem. In addition, there is often a cost associated with going to meetings – travel costs, meals, parking, subsistence, etc. That’s where the Virtual IMS user group scores. Not only do members get all the benefits of user group membership, but there’s no need for them to leave the office – they just join the meeting through their computer (hence the ‘virtual’ part of the name).

And the Virtual IMS user group is going to be busy in 2011. If you’re not already a member and you’d like to be, then go to and sign up. User group membership is FREE. This year there is an exciting programme of presentations at the virtual meetings – using GoToMeeting – starting on 8 February at 10:30 CDT with a presentation by Fundi Software’s Jim Martin entitled, “Solving the problem when IMS isn’t the cause”.

Jim describes the presentation like this: “Users might report slow response times from IMS, but you suspect that other systems are responsible. For example, what appears to be an IMS performance problem could be a CICS, DB2, WebSphere, or z/OS performance problem. Your challenge is to correlate performance data in IMS with activity in these other systems in order to discover the cause of the slow response time. In this session, we discuss how to approach this type of situation, how to gather the necessary information from multiple subsystems, and then analyse, diagnose, and resolve the problem.

On 12 April the user group meeting includes a presentation from Ron Haupert, a Senior Technologist with Rocket Software. His presentation is entitled: “Simplify and improving database administration by leveraging your storage system”. Ron is a database professional with over 30 years of related experience. He has developed relational database software, implemented large database systems, conducted database design reviews, and consulted with companies around the world on various aspects of relational database technology, database management tools, and integrated data management solutions.

On 14 June Ronnie Parker from Logic Online talks about: “The ripple effect of making changes”. The session describes storage-aware data management tools. These tools integrate storage-based fast-replication facilities with database management systems to provide fast and non-disruptive IMS and DB2 backup and cloning solutions. Storage-aware data management tools improve database backup, recovery, and cloning solutions by using storage-based fast-replication facilities to copy data; saving time and host CPU and I/O resources. The session explores how storage-based fast-replication facilities offered by IBM, EMC, and Hitachi storage systems can be used to backup, recover, clone, and refresh IMS and DB2 systems.

And there will be more great sessions in the second half of the year.

The user group is very grateful to Fundi Software for stepping in to sponsor the group (in much the same way that BMC sponsors the IMS Listserv at Fundi Software is an Australian software product development company. Established in 1982, Fundi is today one of the leading providers of tools for IMS and CICS systems. Taken from the Zulu language, Fundi means “expert”.

The Virtual IMS user group is an independently-operated vendor-neutral group run by and for the IMS user community. The Web site contains an up-to-date list of IMS-related software that can be used with IMS; IMS news (information about new IMS products and new versions of existing products); a list of IMS consultant (let me know if your company needs to be added to the list); links to recent IMS articles that are available on the Internet; and links to IMS resources – in fact, it’s a one-stop shop for IMS professionals and other people interested in IBM’s Information Management System.

Find out more at

No comments: