The fruition of a five year project to replace the ageing DMS II database management system used on the Unisys A Series mainframes is to be announced by Unisys tomorrow: development of the InfoExec series of data management products began at Burroughs Corp in 1983, and has resulted in a database system using semantic technology, […]
The fruition of a five year project to replace the ageing DMS II database management system used on the Unisys A Series mainframes is to be announced by Unisys tomorrow: development of the InfoExec series of data management products began at Burroughs Corp in 1983, and has resulted in a database system using semantic technology, claimed as an important technological advance over current relational database systems. A semantic database, according to Unisys system software manager Alan Balfour, allows a database programmer to reflect more of the complexities of real-life situations into the database something which is often impossible to map onto the collection of simple independent tables at the heart of the relational database model. In a semantic database, the relationships between the various entities can be described in greater detail. The work has been based on research carried out by Mike Hammer and Dennis McLeod at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is incorporated into a database management system called SIM for Semantic Information Manager. Advantages SIM include ease of use for the end-user, and automatic validation of data checks and referential integrity at data definition level, something that previously had to be carried out by low-level programming, according to Balfour. Other components of the InfoExec series include an Advanced Data Dictionary System, an Operations Control Manager for administrative support, and two inquiry and reporting facilities: Interactive Query Facility for advanced users, and Workstation Query Facility for use with a graphical, menu-driven interface, such as an MS-DOS or Unisys BTOS system. SQL is condemned as unsuitable for casual end users. InfoExec is to be implemented under OS1100 and on other systems over time: easiest route for DMS II users to migrate is via the Linc generator, which will enable the move to be made over the next two years, with no need to change programs or data. Essential InfoExec components SIM, ADDS and underlying DMS II cost UKP6,196 to licence on an A1, rising to UKP47,634 on an A17, with other modules extra.
Unisys Corp is also claiming that its A17H dual processor achieves a higher transactions per second rate than the four-CPU IBM 3090/400 using the IMS/VS Fast Path 2.2 OneKay benchmark, which Unisys says IBM developed to show its machines could do 1,000 transactions a second in point-of-sale, with 13m accounts and 2,000 stores. Unisys ran OneKay credit authorisation, credit limit and debit tests, and says for each, the A17H did 8% to 20% more transactions per second than the 3090/400 – and at a much lower cost per transaction.