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IMS for the COBOL Programmer Part 1: DL/I Database Programming

by Steve Eckols
16 chapters, 333 pages, 129 illustrations
Published 1985
ISBN 978-0911625-29-5
eBook: $36.00
List Price: $45.00 Save 20%

This is the first and only edition of our classic IMS book. We published it in 1985 and it was the all-time best-selling IMS book. However, DB2 was rapidly passing IMS in popularity so it never made sense to update our IMS book.

If you're working on an IBM mainframe, though, some of the information in this book is still useful, especially when you're maintaining legacy programs. One reason for this is that IBM has always prided itself on the upward-compatibility of its software. And hard as it may be to believe, many programs that were developed in the 1980s are still running and still have to be maintained.

IMS for the COBOL Programmer, Part 1 was a lifesaver. I’d had your book for about 3 weeks when I was notified on Friday that I would take over as a project leader on an IMS project on Monday. I had never worked in IMS before. Because of your book, even my first IMS DB program went very smoothly."

R. B., Consultant, Springfield, Illinois

  • About this Book
  • Table of Contents
  • Reviews

Who this book is for

This book is for COBOL programmers on MVS or VSE systems who need to access and process IMS databases in their programs. That’s why this book assumes you have a COBOL background that’s at least equivalent to what’s provided by Murach’s Mainframe COBOL.

Note, however, that IMS also provides for data communications, or DC processing. And that’s what is taught in the second book in this series, IMS for the COBOL Programmers, Part 2.

What this book does

One part of IMS is the hierarchical (not relational) database management system that at one time was the leading DBMS for IBM mainframes. This book focuses on that portion of IMS, which is actually called DL/I (Data Language/I). Since DL/I runs on both OS/MVS and DOS/VSE systems, you can use this book with either type of operating system.

Section 1 of this book introduces the concepts and terms that you need to understand DL/I programming. Then section 2 presents the COBOL considerations. After you read sections 1 and 2, you can go to any of the advanced topics in sections 3, 4, and 5.

For instance, section 3 presents advanced features of DL/I processing. Then, section 4 introduces DL/I programming in an interactive environment. One way to do that, but only on an OS system, is to use IMS data communications (which is covered in the second book in this series). The other way is to use CICS. Both are treated in section 4.

The last section in this book is a technically complex treatment of how the hierarchical data of a DL/I database is actually stored. Today, you no longer need to understand database processing at this level, but back in the day, this section was a “Wow!”. 

What versions of IMS this book teaches

For OS/MVS systems, the programs in this book were tested using IMS/VS Version 1 Release 3. For DOS/VSE systems, the programs were tested using DL/I DOS/VS Version 1 Release 6. Needless to say, a lot has changed since those releases, but at the least this book gives you an idea of how the legacy IMS programs of today were developed in the first place.

Companion books

Since this IMS book assumes that you know how to develop COBOL programs on an IBM mainframe, Murach’s Mainframe COBOL is the ideal companion book. Beyond that, though, there’s a lot more to learn to be an effective IMS programmer. Depending on your assignments, then, here are other mainframe books that may be useful, and all of them work in combination with our COBOL and IMS books:

IMS for the COBOL Programmer
Part 2: Data communications and Message Format Service

This is the second book in our two-part IMS series. Note, however, that it isn’t an advanced treatment of DL/I. Instead, it presents the Data Communications facility of IMS that works in conjunction with DL/I. This facility lets you develop interactive programs for IBM mainframes that are running the OS/MVS operating system.

Murach’s OS/390 and z/OS JCL

This book presents the background skills that every programmer needs for working with an IBM mainframe. That includes using the operating system’s JCL (Job Control Language), working with VSAM files by using AMS (Access Method Services), and much more.

MVS TSO, Part 1 and Part 2

Part 1 of this book shows how to use the ISPF text editor to develop your programs. Part 2 tells you more about ISPF and the TSO commands that underlie it.

To view the table of contents for this book in a PDF, just click on the link below:

Table of Contents

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