Does software life begin at 40? IBM updates IMS database
Mainframe transaction software still popular among very large companies
IMS is a combination hierarchical database and transaction system that runs only on IBM's zSeries line of mainframe computers (formerly called System/390).
IMS, which stores data in a tree structure rather than in the tables used in relational databases, was first used in 1968 for the NASA's Apollo space program.
IMS, according to a blog post earlier this year by database analyst Curt Monash, is one of the several niche databases that are "fine things to stick with until you have to change."
Bernie Spang, director of data servers at IBM, added that the database remains vigorous despite its age. It still runs in the back rooms of over 95% of Fortune 1,000 companies, and, Spang claimed, 80% of large retail banks in the United States, Germany and Japan.
Spang said that IMS's year-over-year sales growth today is also higher than the 2% rate reported in 2003 by then-IBM database chief Janet Perna, though he declined to be specific. He also said that IBM's customers upgraded to Version 9 of IMS, released in October 2004, faster than they upgraded to previous versions.
Despite the fact that it has a large, diverse portfolio of database products that includes the DB2 Informix and U2 lines, IBM continues to invest in and market IMS as its best high-transaction data processing solution, Spang said.
For software, age 40 "could be the new 20," Spang said. "We've seen the first 40 years of IMS, now let's see what next 40 will be like."
Because of its high-transaction competence, IMS is used by many large package-tracking companies, automakers and insurance companies, he said. For instance, Spang said there's a bank that transfers $3 billion a day using IMS. And one package-tracking firm, which he declined to identify, handles 100 million transactions a day using the database.
Version 10, which will start shipping on Oct. 26, focuses on strengthening the software's service-oriented architecture (SOA) features. They include new support for XQuery and enhanced support for XML and Web services, broader XML and Java tooling to encourage new application development, and enhanced database recovery control.
IBM offers IMS only through leasing programs. Pricing starts at $9,000 a month, a spokeswoman said. That excludes the cost of the zSeries server it runs on; IBM declined to reveal pricing for the zSeries server.
Read more about NOSes and Server Software in Computerworld's NOSes and Server Software Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All NOSes and Server Software White Papers | Webcasts