Before PCs
ICL 1900
IBM 360
Facom M160-F
Canton System






Facom OSIV/X8 Operating System

This is some content from the Functions and Facilities brochure of 1979 -

The OSIV/X8 OPERATING SYSTEM is the most modern of the FACOM operating systems included in which are extensive services to address the computing environments of the 1980s. Through its services OSIV/X8 recognises

the diverse requirements of organisations particularly in relation to the range of processing modes, the types of system structure, and the variety of means to create new application solutions;
the increased capabilities of the new FACOM computers and communication networks;
the increasing importance of distributing personal facilities attuned to the needs of both technical and end-user personnel, particularly for powerful yet simplified usage;
the necessity to respond to rapidly changing demands swiftly, without disruption and without restriction,
the need to respond to the increasing rate of acceptance of computer productivity throughout the organisation;
the need to resolve the effective management of such widespread and powerful facilities.

Addressing Diverse Processing Requirements

OSIV/X8 makes available a wide range of concurrent services for different modes of processing, different system structures and different application development methods. These services are continuously available at the most effective locations.

The variety of processing modes is particularly broad with facilities for both centralised networks and distributed processing support is provided for both integrated and segregated application activities.

System structures are facilitated not only by specialised intelligent terminal devices, relay processors, host processors and peripherals, but also by X8 facilities. For OSIV/X8 provides for a complete range of system types including periodic batch, event transaction, online real-time, command-and-control, message switching, transaction data-entry, interactive development-execution, dialogue enquiry-response, remote lookup, remote stand-alone, and remote store-and-forward.

The development facilities for these types of systems is extensive — all the popular programming languages are available and conversational, multi-threading and structured programming facilities are included. For application development by more-powerful means there is RPG and STAFF/X — for programming by end-result specifications. End-users can also develop and execute their own systems using conversational STAFF/X and Display Query System (DOS) — for personal enquiry-response usage. Distributed processing environments are catered for with specialised facilities. These services address the need for batch, interactive, online, distributed, and design-code-and-go activities.

A major strength of OSIV/X8 and FACOM M SERIES systems is the powerful online data base transaction-processing system for both centralised and distributed processing requirements

Advanced Information Manager (AIM). This provides a CODASYL-based data base system and the basic elements of multi-user, multi-threading, multi-application, online systems. Included in which are facilities to overcome the programming of screen formats, data editing and message routing.

Programs developed are automatically re-entrant - able to provide service simultaneously to an unlimited number of different users. A major improvement in productivity and system development efficiency.

Acquiring Greater Productivity with M SERIES Systems

FACOM M SERIES systems distribute the various modes of processing throughout the organisation with the assistance of Fujitsu Network Architecture (FNA), the Network Control Program (NCP) and the Virtual Telecommunications Access Method (VTAM). These facilities remove the need for additional development effort. The network of processing services, which conform to individual user requirements through parameter specifications, is then in-place ready to execute a substantial and concurrent processing load.

This load is partly satisfied by the physical equipment capabilities represented by:

the speed of the particular processor model(s),
the external storage capacities, their speeds and the interconnecting parallel channels,
the speed of the various input-output peripherals and terminals.

Of equal significance in satisfying a given processing load is the job and task handling capabilities of the operating system.

The OSIV/X8 OPERATING SYSTEM meets this need by firstly accepting the numerous and competing demands for service. It then organises them by priority and criticality, arranges them for apparent simultaneous execution by the processor(s), and finally distributes the results to appropriate destinations. The system is able to handle 255 concurrently executing jobs. Each job can have 255 concurrent tasks and each job can also have an abundant virtual program space of 16 megabytes (16 Mb).

These facilities not only increase the total system throughput. They also maximise utilisation of the millions of execution cycles available by ensuring work is continually available for processing. They also ensure that problem solving space is not a restriction.

Gaining Personal Access

Personal access gives each individual apparent exclusive use of the immense problem solving power of the processor, the associated information storage and retrieval facilities, and the inventory of programs in the system's library.

These system facilities vastly improve the capabilities and productivity of managers, supervisors, staff, production operators, DP specialists, in fact, all persons throughout the organisation whose activities are supported by the library of application programs.

OSIV/X8 releases these facilities and the accompanying computing power through display and hard-copy work-stations with several alternatives:

On-line real-time "point-of-work" application systems —AIM (Advanced Information Manager),
Online M-SERIES operations and management - OSIV/X8 Enhanced Functions and GEM (Generalised Program Library Editing and Management),
Conversational enquiry and update — DQS,
Conversational system development and executionSTAFF/X,
Conversational application systems — FACOM's APPLY (Application Program Library) and acquired Public Domain application solutions,
Organisation-wide message switching and message exchange systemAIM/MSSP (Message Sending Service Procedure),
Conversational program development — AIF (Advanced Interactive Processing Facility),
Conversational development of online workstation usage —AIDS (AIM Interactive Display Support System),
Conversational development of DOS support—DOS.

Creating a "single-image" system with multi-central and multi-remote processors

Any authorised access via the various processing modes is virtually access to system-wide facilities and users. This is a major advance in system services and is made available by the advanced functions of OSIV/X8.

A range of facilities achieve the same system-wide services: the transfer of information/programs/ messages/files is facilitated between application programs, work-stations, intelligent controllers, distributed processors, relay processors and the host mainframe(s). The arrangement of the equipment conforms to the network architecture which establishes a hierarchical network structure.

Managing and protecting the facilities

OSIV/X8 facilities:

Provide a range of services to achieve dependable system performance, achieve authorised use of facilities and data, and achieve
recovery in the event of mishap.
Provide a range of services to achieve installation management and control, to respond to changing priorities and processing loads, to measure system usage and efficiency, and to achieve operational simplicity and efficiency.

Achieving a "change-sensitive" environment

OSIV/X8 facilities allow the various system components to be modified in response to changes in requirements, without major effort or disruption. Data processing specialists have the means to easily change, for example, the configuration of devices/processors in the network, the processing priorities, the structure of programs, the internal processing methods, and the data base information aggregate.

In summary, OSIV/X8 transforms the powerful M-SERIES devices into an extensive range of services and provides the means to extract optimum productivity from the high speed computer configuration.

OSIV/X8 provides these functions and facilities to answer the need for large-scale distributed processing environments emphasising personal computing support. An answer to the diverse requirements of major enterprises overcoming ever increasing demands.






Copyright © 2008-21 Brian Townsley. All Rights Reserved.