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Modernization and SOA
IMS Transaction Efficiency IMS and SOA: Service Oriented Architecture SYS-ED IMS Training Service
Physical and Logical Database Design Courseware for Teaching Professional Distance-learning Service
IMS Implementation, Application Development, and Administration Grow Your Own IMS Programmers IMS and Web Enablement Training Program


CICS, DB2, IMS, Rational, VSAM, WebSphere, TSO/ISPF, and z/OS are registered trademarks of IBM Corporation.

Courseware for Teaching - IMS and Mainframe Training
Courseware for Teaching

Cloud Programing - 2018
Open Source Software

Application Maintenance and Repurposing Code

IMS Transaction Efficiency

Designed and brought to market in the 1970's, IBM's IMS hierarchal database system software continues to be used for processing and computation in high volume environments. IMS on the mainframe is known for its transaction efficiency and low cost per transaction. It remains well suited for applications that have structured data and access patterns and which must scale to volume with high availability: ATMs, orders, claims and assembly lines.

IMS DB system software provides a database environment which:

  • efficiently creates and manages data.
  • optimizes storage and retrieval.
  • ensures integrity and recovery.
  • implements security.
  • delivers excellent performance.
  • integrates with IBM WebSphere MQ middleware.

Although to a large degree supplanted by IBM's DB2 and third party enterprise relational databases, there is an inventory of IMS applications and code which needs to be maintained and evaluated for repurposing as part of a SOA: Service Oriented Architecture. In response to client usage and request, IBM continues to support IMS system software in order that advancements in mainframe hardware can be translated into improvements in price and performance through the leveraging of existing applications and data.

Rational Developer for System z is a IBM development platform to modernize software assets and deploy applications. It is used interactively to develop and test mainframe applications, low-level programming languages, and cross platform web technologies. Rational Developer for System z creates, maintains, and debugs IMS system-based code and SQL: Structured Query Language. Configuration files are created which enable an IMS SOAP Gateway to make web service calls to IMS transactions. Fault Analyzer integration is used to browse IMS abend reports.

IBM WebSphere MQ is the industry leading message queuing middleware platform. It is used in a SOA environment to route and transport messages among nodes and manage services in the enterprise. A message queuing infrastructure built upon and extended with WebSphere MQ is scalable and secure. Organizational enterprise with an investment in IMS applications are using IBM software and tools to evaluate the operational efficiency of its IMS software and develop a plan quantifying a return on investment.

IMS and SOA: Service Oriented Architecture

IMS assets contain business rules and billions of lines of legacy programming language code. Replacement of legacy code is economically unfeasible and results in loss of valuable business information. Within IMS mainframe installations, there is value in utilizing IMS assets and business logic in SOA: Service Oriented Architecture modernization. IMS leverages running back-end processes and provide reliable integration points to support new business requirements. The modeling of business processes can be used to identify points of integration and interface. Efficient and reliable IMS applications can significantly lower risk, cost, and time to market. IMS can be extended using web services and connectivity for SOA. 


The IMS adapter provides the capability for connecting a queue manager to IMS and for IMS applications to use the MQI. The WebSphere MQ IMS bridge enables applications to run an IMS application that does not use the MQI. The application programs and the IMS adapter run in the same address space. The queue manager has its own address space. When a WebSphere MQ event occurs, the IMS CSQQTRMN trigger monitor initiates the IMS transaction.

LPAR: logical partition location determines the utilization IMS Universal drivers: ODBA: Open Database Access or DRDA: Distributed Relational Database Architecture with IMS Connect. IMS Connect is the entry point for IBM DRDA. It is the TCP/IP gateway to IMS transactions, operations, and IMS data. IMS Open Database supports distributed TCP/IP access to IMS data both within an IMSplex or platforms other than System z.

EJB: Enterprise Java Bean components and JSP: Java Server Pages can be used to create web services with existing MFS-based IMS applications. New applications can be deployed to run on WebSphere Process Server.

SYS-ED IMS Training Service

SYS-ED staff has first generation consultancy experience with IMS: logical and physical design, application development, administration, and system programming. SYS-ED's IMS curriculum has been developed by technologist entrepreneurs and practitioners: Shaku Atre, Jonathan Clarke, Tina Connelly, Joan McInnes, Franz Schneider, and Karen Schwartz. Their database design, program logic, examples, case studies, exercises, and skeleton programs served as a foundation for the IMS courseware. Case and point, if your organization outsourced its IMS coding and maintenance to consulting companies in the 1980’s, it more than likely was SYS-ED which trained the personnel who did the actual design and coding.

Physical and Logical Database Design

The SYS-ED IMS curriculum incorporates customer experience and best practices in multiple fields: automotive, commuter rail transportation, financial services, public sector government services, healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, and telecommunications. In conjunction with qualifying IMS training assignments at client locations, SYS-ED staff and CETi technology partners participated in the review and application of the structured methodologies to logical and physical implementations of the IMS database.

Structured Methodologies - Constantine, Yourdon-DeMarco, and Gane-Sarson

Structured analysis is the use of data flow diagrams and data modeling inclusive of implementation-independent graphical notation of documentation.

Structured design is a systematic approach to program design which includes the use of graphical notation for documentation, communication, and design guidelines.

Structured Programming are the techniques which impose a logical structure on application development. Large routines are subdivided into smaller, modular routines. Indentation is used in order to make loops and other program logic easier to follow.  SYS-ED provided industry standard and tailored private client-site IMS training for Amtrak, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, IMS Systems, State of Indiana, Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Systems, MCI Worldcom, McKesson Coporation, and United Parcel Service.

There are new methodologies associated with object oriented analysis and design; our staff also is experienced with these techniques and tools. This multi-generational skillset provides a privileged perspective from which to teach the modernization and repurposing of the IMS hierarchical database with WebSphere MQ middleware and Rational Developer for System z. We identify areas where inefficient processing is occurring and provide guidelines for developing applications with operational and diagnostic business intelligence.

The fast-track IMS courses that we teach in conjunction with legacy programming languages and as part of mainframe training programs are a premium training service. In order to teach new and better ways of writing code, our staff will review and analyze source client documentation and interpret the intent of the original system analysts and designers. It is for this reason, that SYS-ED receives training assignments and follow-up questions from system engineers with the major software companies: IMS control blocks, DL/1 coding, and architecture. Our staff has been called upon to provide training for IBM software developers evaluating Compuware's IMS File-AID which later became involved in the design of IBM Tools now serving as an alternative to Compuware and other third party software - CA: InterTest, CA: Endevor, and Serena Software Changeman. And for the record, we have first-hand insider's knowledge of installations where superb structured design and coding still has IMS outperforming DB2! Students are invited to submit the inevitable questions which come up back on the job.

IBM's information agenda is built on its commercial operating systems and system software. Its foundation is to simplify, collaborate, reuse, and standardize.

SYS-ED's industry standard IMS courses and mainframe training programs have been designed to correspond with and augment IBM's information strategy: 1- Implement information-driven strategies consistent with business priorities. 2- Use unified tools to competitive advantage for managing data and designing reliable data structures. 3- Assess and when warranted deploy FOSS: free open source software to leverage existing information assets. 4- Accelerate the return on investment associated with information technology projects. Few software or consulting companies know IMS and teach better IMS courses than SYS-ED.

Courseware for Teaching

SYS-ED's course handouts, sample programs, and exercises are highly respected. They provide the foundation from which to develop a skillset to become proficient and productive with IMS. The source vendor documentation is extended with diagrams which reflect a purposeful examination of the IMS architecture and program logic and code snippets and sample programs which demonstrate efficient coding and debugging techniques. With the hybrid implementations of open standards and IBM systems software, reference documentation which demonstrates and explains is important to an effective learning experience.

Given the scarcity of up to date industry standard IMS textbooks, SYS-ED has undertaken the responsibility to develop and maintain its own mainframe reference guides. When information technology professionals complete a SYS-ED IMS course, they have the documentation and training aids required to design, develop, and debug IMS applications.

The Computer Education Techniques courseware used in SYS-ED courses consists of student handouts, training aids, and industry-specific examples and exercises. The CETi knowledge base aggregates and analyzes information in the public domain. It also is a service for reviewing and answering questions. Content is selectively added to courseware. Our long term strategy is to have our courseware recognized as a NRV: Nationally Recognized Vendor.

Upon completion of a instructor-led course at the client location, it is standard policy to organize content for future utilization in a web-based training infrastructure.

Distance-learning - Hands-on Mainframe Training Service

IBM IMS Hierarchical Database
IMS Fundamentals Programming Skills
IMS Programming IMS System Administration

Program Development
Assembler Language
COBOL Language and Development Environment
PL/1 Programming


Web-based Training Services


Distance-learning Service Web-based Training Services
IBM Mainframe Environment
Mainframe Utilities VSAM
DB2 Fundamentals DB2 Database Design
IBM Web Enablement Software
WebSphere MQ Java Language
WebSphere and Rational Development Platform

Grow Your Own IMS Programmers

Over the past year, we have had inquiries regarding whether SYS-ED still offered IMS courses for information technology professionals.

The typical comments were:
1. That it is extremely difficult to find IMS training which develops the specialized skills needed for application development and maintenance tasks.
2. That there is a scarcity of fast-track IMS courses, 5 or fewer days in duration, geared to Fortune 1000 corporations and their employees.
3. That a high percentage of IMS courses are cancelled.
4. That travel costs and living expenses in a majority of situations are a significant constraint when it comes to attending a IMS course.
5. That it is important to have a resource for asking IMS questions once the IMS training is complete.

In response to these questions:
IMS Training Services Yes, SYS-ED offers multiple levels of IMS training: Fundamentals, DB DL/1 Application Programming, and tailored courses.
IMS Training Services Yes, since 1980, SYS-ED has taught IMS programming and we offer fast-track IMS courses and IMS training programs.
IMS Training Services Yes, we have the flexibility and resources to conduct personalized training for small groups. We very rarely cancel IMS courses.
IMS Training Services IMS courses are available in multiple formats: classroom, distance-learning and blended web-based delivery.
IMS Training Services Upon completion of a SYS-ED course, our staff is available to answer IMS questions.

SYS-ED has been conducting courses in the public domain since 1980; however, there have been changes in the laws and regulations governing computer training in the state of New York. The schedule on our websites reflects a projected time frame for licensure with the New York State Department of Education - Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision and submission and approval of curriculum.

Professional Distance-learning Service

SYS-ED's distance-learning training service is 65% lecture with the remaining 35% of the service provided in the form of hands-on exercises, validation assessment, and interactive question and answer sessions with a subject matter expert.

Performance Learning Model Tailored Client-specific Training
Distance_Learning_Performance_Model Teaching Models - Adult Learning Theory

Enrollment is contingent upon the prospective trainee's been qualified by our Director of Education to have the appropriate background for the training and review of a checklist of items required for transmission of the service to the client location: bandwidth, firewall, base operating system, software requirements, web browser, and set-up of hands-on machine exercises.

IMS Implementation, Application Development, and Administration

IBM has extended the software products which can be used with IMS to model database schemas, streamline, development, and improve system and database performance. The software integrates with IMS Tools for managing system resources and real-time database management. Interaction with IMS Tools previously had been through ISPF interfaces and JCL. The IBM Tools Base Administration Console can be used to design and deliver graphical user interfaces.

IMS Training Services IMS Training Services Internet Programming - Java Platform and Open Source Software

IMS Transaction Server

SYS-ED Clients
IMS Hierarchical Database Banking and Financial Services
Healthcare Providers

Java and Internet Programming


IMS Transaction Manager - Hierarchical Database

  Installation and Operations   Application Development   Database Administration Tools  
      Development Tools and Administration      
  IMS Control Center   IMS Enterprise Suite   IMS Tools for z/OS  
  IMS Type-1and Type-2 Commands   IMS Batch Terminal Simulator   IMS Configuration Manager  
  TSO SPOC: Single Point of Control   ADF-II: Application Development Facility   IMS HALDB Toolkit  
  DRD: Dynamic Resource Definition   Rational Application Developer   IMS Library Integrity Utilities  
  CSL: Common Service Layer   IBM InfoSphere Data Architect   IMS Online Reorganization Utility  
  IRLM: Internal Resource Lock Manager   InfoSphere Optim pureQuery Runtime - zOS   IMS Sysplex Manager  
      IBM Data Studio      
      Backup and Recovery      
  IMS Recovery Solution Pack   IMS High Performance Image Copy   IMS Recovery Expert  
  IMS Database Recovery Facility   IMS DEDB Fast Recovery   IMS Cloning Tool  
  IMS Performance Solution Pack   Performance Management   IMS Performance Analyzer  
  IMS Buffer Pool Analyzer   IMS Problem Investigator   Transaction Analysis Workbench  

News for Immediate Release

Consulting companies recommend SYS-ED in conjunction with distance-learning products for z/OS mainframe programming skills, programming languages and web enablement training.

IMS and Web Enablement Training Program

IT personnel will need to learn new skills for the z/OS environment in order to implement the next generation of technologies - WebSphere MQ, WebSphere, and IMS. In general these skills will be both a new and better way of doing something that they knew how to do before. Training will cut across generations - some very experienced people will be learning web enablement technologies; while first generation IT staff will be using ISPF, JCL, and “tried and tested” mainframe programming languages, such as COBOL and IMS systems software for the first time.

Training programs based upon the use of various training techniques have been chosen for suitability to the particular course material and audience as well as scheduling and class size requirements.

The following methods will be used for introductory material for personnel, most operations training, and programmer training on selected topics.

Program for Client A

  • Distance-learning will be used for introductory training for personnel, most operator training, and programmer training on selected subjects.
  • SYS-ED will be used for their 5-day IMS DB DL/1 Programming, 3-day VSAM for Programmers, 2-day IMS: File-AID Batch, and 3-day IMS Control Blocks courses.
  • IBM Education Center offerings will be used for specialized systems programmer training.

The plan is to have all the programmers and four or five people from technical support complete the distance-learning training and then take the SYS-ED instructor-led courses. Based upon feedback from this group, we will either confirm this mix or make adjustments as needed.

On a long range basis, we plan that all of the programmers and operators will be trained in both IMS and z/OS and the new web technologies during the period January through May or June. The exact schedule will depend on other workloads on various members of the staff. System programmer education would be mostly completed during this period, although specialized courses may be taken later in the year.

IMS Training Services

IMS Courses
SYS-ED's IMS courses are tough, but they're worth it. Our challenging hands-on IMS training provides a foundation and framework for Fortune 1000 companies, government municipalities, healthcare providers, software houses, and consulting companies to meet their IMS staffing requirements and acquire specialized IMS skillsets.1

SYS-ED's IMS courseware is highly respected. We draw upon our extensive library of courseware, sample programs, and case studies to explain, demonstrate, and teach the real-world IMS. Our IMS curricula include industry standard and consultancy derived content. We have the capability to provide tailored workshops and integrated training programs on z/OS and third party emulation workbench/platforms.

Teaching is Our Business
Most computer training companies are divisions of large software companies or consulting companies. Not SYS-ED. Our only goal is to provide quality IMS training for highly motivated IT professionals - no more and no less. Because we're independent, we're free to concentrate on teaching - and since 1980 we have been doing it very well.

Our Teachers Know How to Teach
SYS-ED instructors combine teaching skills with broad practical experience as consultants. Our instructors average 30 years of experience with IMS in the mainframe environment - operating systems, programming languages, 3rd party utilities/development aids, and system software. And they know how to teach it. We teach not only how to, but why, with insights into advanced subject matter. After a course, they are available to answer questions.

Enrollment - SYS-ED IMS Courses are Not for Everyone
No one is allowed to enroll in a SYS-ED mainframe course, without a consultation with our Director of Education. We review the operational objectives and project specifications for the organization evaluating whether to send its employee for the training. The employee is only allowed to register if they have the background corresponding to the appropriate learning path.

IMS Training - Distance-learning or at Your Office
SYS-ED IMS courses are provided over the Internet through a distance-learning delivery medium or classroom instruction on-site at the client location. Client location courses can include the identical workshops, case studies, and hands-on approach as the distance-learning service offered through the SYS-ED schedule.

Technology Exchange Websites

SYS-ED's websites compile, organize, and present software specific and established operational categorizations of information technology. They provide a framework for assessing knowledge transfer: web-based training, classroom instruction, technology updates, courseware, learning paths, and validation assessment.

Footnote 1:

SYS-ED’s core IMS and mainframe curriculum have been submitted to the New York State Department of Education - Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision for technical review and licensing.