Home > Articles > Software Development & Management > Management: Lifecycle, Project, Team

Accessing IBM's Information Management System

📄 Contents

  1. Accessing IMS from Application Programs
  2. Accessing IMS from Other Products
There are two major ways to access IBM's Information Management Systems. You can write application programs that tell IMS what to do, or you can use existing application programs that tell IMS what to do. This chapter explains how to do both of these things.
This chapter is from the book

In a broad sense, accessing IMS means telling IMS to perform work for you.

  • You can write application programs that tell IMS what to do.
  • You can use existing application programs that tell IMS what to do.

These application programs can run in many different environments. They tell IMS what to do by calling a number of standard IMS functions through standard APIs: DL/I and JDBC. [1]

In This Chapter:

  • "Accessing IMS from Application Programs"
  • "Accessing IMS from Other Products" on page 22

Related Reading: For information about writing IMS application programs, see Part IV, "IMS Application Development," on page 215.

Accessing IMS from Application Programs

Application programs that directly use the DL/I interface do so by issuing DL/I calls. Application programs that use the JDBC interface do so by issuing standard SQL (structured query language) calls.

Accessing IMS by Using DL/I Calls

DL/I is a standard interface to IMS functions that has been in place since IMS's inception. Most of the IMS application programs that have been written over the years are still providing the service for which they were designed. As business needs have evolved, these application programs have either evolved or have become a base for new application programs to meet the new business needs. In many cases, the application programs that run today's businesses are not individual programs, but are a number of layers of application programs that work together to implement the businesses' information technology (IT) infrastructure.

To illustrate how IMS business application programs have evolved, Figure 3-1 on page 19 shows a simple, hypothetical IMS application program that accesses a checking account database through DL/I. Assume that this application program was written 20 years ago, was written in COBOL, and was designed to support IBM 3270 (non-programmable) terminals. There are many such application programs that still run as originally written and provide this kind of support for the banking industry.


Figure 3-1 Example of a Simple Application That Accesses an IMS Database Through DL/I

Figure 3-1 illustrates the following processing models:

  • Traditional processing model: The objects on the left side of Figure 3-1 represent the traditional processing model that includes the following components:
    - DL/I: The interface to the IMS modules that access and manipulate the data in IMS databases.

    - Checking account application program: This program performs basic operations on checking account balances (such as queries and updates) and issues DL/I calls that cause IMS to actually query and update the checking account data that resides in the IMS checking account database.

    - Message Format Service (MFS): A service provided with IMS TM that separates the terminal device characteristics from the application program. For more information, see "Message Format Service" on page 182.

    - z/OS Communication Server: A communications package that is part of the z/OS operating system. In Figure 3-1, IMS is communicating with the Virtual Telecommunications Access Method (VTAM®) function within the z/OS Communication Server. [2]

    - Communications Controller: A device (hardware and software) that is part of the telecommunications network.

    - 3270-type terminal: Before personal computers (PCs) were invented, these terminals provided access to the mainframe computer&8212;a bank teller might use such a terminal. In general, these types of terminals have been replaced with PCs that run 3270-emulation application programs.

  • Updated traditional processing model: Figure 3-1 on page 19 also shows how the following layers of application programs and protocols have been added to the original application program to enable Web-based personal banking:
    - OTMA: Open Transaction Manager Access (OTMA) is an open interface to IMS TM. For more information, see "Open Transaction Manager Access" on page 179.

    - IMS Connect: IMS Connect is an optional IMS TM network component that provides high-performance communications for IMS between one or more TCP/IP clients (such as WebSphere Application Server for z/OS) and one or more IMS systems. For more information, see "IMS Connect" on page 187.

    - WebSphere Application Server for z/OS: A comprehensive, sophisticated, Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) and Web services technology-based application platform specifically designed to leverage the qualities of service inherent in the z/OS operating system. For more information about how IMS supports WebSphere Application Server for z/OS, see "WebSphere Application Server for z/OS Applications" on page 317.

    - Figure 3-1 on page 19 includes the IMS Resource Adapter, which is delivered with the IMS Connect function and IBM WebSphere Studio Application Developer Integration Edition.
    - Enterprise JavaBean: A user-written, object-oriented, distributed, enterprise-level application.

    - Web Browser: A client program that initiates requests to a Web server and displays the information that the server returns. The Web browser is the actual end-user interface with which bank customers can manipulate their checking accounts.

Accessing IMS Using JDBC

The IMS Java function provides IMS's implementation of the JDBC API. Application programs that use the JDBC interface to access IMS issue SQL calls and might run on a non-z/OS platform.

The IMS Java function allows you to write Java application programs that access IMS databases and IMS message queues from many different locations:

  • Within IMS
  • Any environment that supports the JDBC API
  • IBM WebSphere Application Server for z/OS
  • WebSphere Application Server running on a non-z/OS platform
  • IBM Customer Information Control System (CICS) Transaction Server for z/OS
  • IBM DB2 Universal Database for z/OS stored procedures

For more information about writing Java applications for IMS, see Chapter 18, "Application Programming in Java" on page 311.

Figure 3-2 illustrates an Enterprise JavaBean (EJB) that can perform work on the IMS checking account database. Notice that in Figure 3-2, IMS does not require an application program to issue DL/I calls.


Figure 3-2 Example of an EJB That Accesses an IMS Database Through the JDBC Interface

Figure 3-2 includes the following components:

  • DL/I.
  • DRA: The database resource adapter (DRA) is the bridge between ODBA and IMS.
  • ODBA: Open Database Access (ODBA) is the IMS callable interface for access to IMS DB.
  • IMS JDBC resource adapter: The IMS JDBC resource adapter that is deployed on the z/OS platform. The IMS JDBC resource adapter is delivered with the IMS Java function.
  • IMS Java EJB: One of two IMS Java-supplied EJBs is the host-side component that facilitates communication with and passes transaction information to the IMS JDBC resource adapter. These EJBs act as listeners for remote requests.
  • WebSphere Application Server for z/OS.
  • IIOP: Internet Inter-ORB Protocol (IIOP) is the protocol that can be used between WebSphere Application Server for z/OS and WebSphere Application Server running on another platform. IIOP allows the servers to exchange data. Data is securely transferred across the Internet using the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol.
  • IMS distributed JDBC resource adapter: The resource adapter that is deployed on the non-z/OS platform, which contains a type-3 JDBC driver and is delivered with the IMS Java function.
  • EJB: The EJB enterprise application that contains your business logic and is deployed on WebSphere Application Server.
  • WebSphere Application Server: WebSphere Application Server on which the client application runs.
  • non-z/OS platform: The operating system that hosts WebSphere Application Server.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020