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

by Steve Eckols
16 chapters, 398 pages, 117 illustrations
Published 1987
ISBN 978-0911625-30-1
eBook: $36.00
List Price: $45.00 Save 20%

This is the first and only edition of our classic IMS/Data Communications book. We published it in 1987, and it shows you how to use the Data Communications facility of IMS to develop interactive programs. However, because DB2 databases were quickly replacing IMS databases at that time, we never published an updated edition.

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.

When managing a large IMS project team last year, your IMS books were treated as if they were gold—maybe they were. Programmers wouldn’t share them because they didn’t want them away from their desks, requiring that I buy one for each specialist."

D. K., Consultant, Clay, New York

  • About this Book
  • Table of Contents
  • Reviews

Who this book is for

This book is for COBOL programmers on OS/MVS systems who want to use the Data Communications facility of IMS to develop interactive programs that work with IMS (or DL/I) databases. It assumes that you’ve already read IMS for the COBOL Programmer, Part 1, which shows you how to work with an IMS database in your COBOL programs.

What this book does

This book focuses on the Data Communications (DC) portion of IMS that runs on OS/MVS systems. This facility lets you develop interactive programs that work with the data in an IMS (or DL/I) database.

Section 1 of this book introduces the concepts and terms that you need to understand DC programming. Then, section 2 presents the IMS, COBOL, and MFS background you need for leaning the advanced material in the chapters that follow.

Section 3 presents the facilities of the Message Format Service (MFS). These facilities serve as an interface between your I/O coding and the screen I/O. In this section, you’ll learn how to use MFS to format user-friendly screens. You’ll also learn what tasks you can handle easily through MFS instead of having to code them in your DC programs.

Section 4 presents advanced IMS DC facilities like routing messages to alternate destinations and error handling. Last, section 5 shows you how use the Batch Terminal Simulator (BTS) to test IMS applications. 

What versions of IMS this book teaches

All of the programs in this book were developed using IMS/VS Version 1 Release 3 running under MVS 3.8. Testing was done with Batch Terminal Simulator 2.0. 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

This is the second book in our two-part IMS series, and it assumes that you already have the skills presented in IMS for the COBOL Programmer, Part 1. 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 DB2 books:

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
MVS TSO, 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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