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Advantage VISION:Inform IMS & CICS z/OS and OS/390

Product Information

Comprehensive Information Management and Reporting

IBM Platform Supported
IMS/TM & CICS for z/OSOS/390

Streamlining Application Development and Data Access

Product Overview

Advantage VISION:Inform is a data access tool based on robust and high-performance enterprise server software and easy-to-use, end user products, that provide rapid corporate data access, retrieval and reporting either directly by the 3270 user, as in the case of VISION:Bridge, or following conversion into any of a number of popular PC formats via Advantage Intraccess.

The Advantage VISION:Inform product family is grouped into two categories:

  • Server Software that gets the data on the enterprise server and manages resources.

  • Client Application Software that provides a user interface and addresses a business problem.

Advantage VISION:Inform requires a client application to access the server. Depending on the client platform, the customer will need one of the following client applications:

Since requested data may be contained in several different databases and formats, Advantage VISION:Inform's data extraction technology seamlessly handles retrieval requests swiftly and transparently. Knowledge of data location or database type is not required. Advantage VISION:Inform is especially beneficial for companies migrating to DB2 which need simultaneous access to several databases during the migration process.

Advantage VISION:Inform can query flat files, hierarchical and relational databases (such as VSAM, DB2, QSAM, ISAM, IMS/DB, DLI, ADABASE, SUPRA, SQL/DS, CA-IDMS/DB, CA-DATACOM/DB, Teradata) at the same time. With this ability for heterogeneous database retrieval, Advantage VISION:Inform can simultaneously access data stored in these databases.

Server Software

Using Advantage VISION:Inform, applications may be created that operate entirely on a single platform or in a client/server configuration, utilizing a variety of networks, a departmental mid-range system or an IBM enterprise server. Withstanding the test of time, client interfaces are still supported by the enterprise server engine component, Advantage VISION:Builder, providing simultaneous access for multiple users to enterprise server data stored in a variety of database managers including DB2, IMS, VSAM and other formats.

Returning Data in One Convenient Table

  • Advantage VISION:Inform allows data, requested from multiple databases to be concurrently extracted and joined into a single, combined data presentation table. Advantage VISION:Inform presents a combination of fields from records residing in different databases just as the user would logically want to view them, in a single, ready-to-use set of elements that is completely independent of both the database management structure and the physical storage on the enterprise server.

  • Users do not need to know anything about the complexities of database structures and the interactions of databases. The correct set of data with the relationships preserved is always returned to the user.

Managing Heterogeneous Data Retrieval

  • Advantage VISION:Inform provides full and flexible control of the user's view of the data by providing a facility called Definition Processor. The Definition Processor runs under TSO/ISPF, or an equivalent facility on a PC. Using the Definition Processor, the Database Administrator (DBA) defines the file layouts and customized combinations of databases, known as logical data views, in Advantage VISION:Inform's Definition Library. Logical Data Views define all the rules for combining your various database structures into the one integrated view you want. The Definition Processor also provides user access authorization controls.

  • The Definition Processor simplifies complex existing environments. It allows the logical data views to be customized to match the particular data viewing requirements of users. There is no need to reorganize or restructure databases, and therefore preserves the existing investment. This increases productivity and saves money.

Accessing Database Management Systems

  • The Generalized DataBase Interface (GDBI) provides the user with transparent access to literally any database management system.

  • The full power of Advantage VISION:Inform is available for processing with any type of file or database. GDBI permits selective processing of records and segments to maximize resource utilization and reduce unnecessary system overhead. With GDBI, there is application transparency if the database management system changes.

Providing Strong and Flexible Security Controls

  • Advantage VISION:Inform provides the Database Administrator with the vital security controls needed to restrict data access to properly authorized users by:

  • Enabling additional restrictions to be placed on individual users. These restrictions may be placed at the following levels;

    * Database/File
    * Segment
    * Record, based on key field value
    * Field
    * Command and keywords
    * Authority to create subfiles

  • These restrictions, along with a user password, become the user profile that is maintained in an online library.

  • Allowing the access to be limited through the process of restriction. The data definition available to a particular user may simply define a subset of the field actually on the database. Therefore, the user may only reference these fields.

  • Providing a user exit at logon time to allow the customer the freedom to specify such items as dynamic modifications of profile structure or password checking for consistency with ACF2, Top-Secret or RACF (in conjunction with a system modification).

  • Working with the major enterprise server security packages, including ACF2, Top-Secret or RACF (in conjunction with a system modification).

  • Advantage VISION:Inform assures data security to maintain a protected operating environment. Data integrity is achieved because this is a read only system. Users have a broader access to data because Advantage VISION:Inform can control what each individual sees at all levels of the database.

Allowing DB2 and IMS/DB to Coexist

  • Advantage VISION:Inform allows relational and hierarchical databases such as DB2 and IMS/DB to coexist in a useful, cooperative relationship. This provides automatic navigation with IMS, with DB2, and between the two. Advantage VSION:Inform's transparent handling of these databases is inherent in its basic design.

  • Users refer to data residing in a relational file or a hierarchical file in the same way. Therefore additional training and skills are not needed.

  • Advantage VISION:Inform can combine data from relational tables and hierarchical structures and present it a unified view, called a logical data view. Novices can handle complex environments.

  • Advantage VISION:Inform can flatten a complex database hierarchy into a simple table for use on a supported client platform that facilitates inter-operability.

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