Is IMS/21 right for your business?

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Librarian is the database which resides on the AS/400. The major benefit is the ability to integrate with existing AS/400 applications without programming. Spool files (reports/COLD) can be processed automatically and links can be established with our “Smart Panel“ technology permitting users to find lists of documents associated with the current data on any screen in any existing application you currently use. ALL with NO programming required.

Librarian is a pre-requisite for:

  • Image Clerk (Scanning and Image Display)
  • Bookworm (Report Data mining and analysis)

IMS/21’s Optical Storage Subsystem

Optical Disks are an increasingly common way to store large amounts of data. They come in several sizes and capacities, but the 12 and 5.25 formats are the most common. Although they look superficially like the Compact Disks used for stereo systems, they use a completely different recording mechanism and are incompatible with CDs.

There are two types of optical disks

  • WORM (Write Once, Read Many)
  • Erasable (Phase Change or Magneto Optical)

Erasable optical disks behave like higher capacity magnetic disks. IMS/21’s Optical Storage Subsystem (OSS) generally uses WORM disks since there is usually a lot of value in the fact that images, once scanned and stored, cannot be altered in any way. This makes them reliable, permanent records, similar to microfiche, but much clearer and more accessible. However, erasable disks are also supported.

IMS/21 will support one of several optical disk drives (each allowing any number of removable optical disks) and optical jukeboxes which provide virtually unlimited near on-line capacity. The performance characteristics of the various drives and possible configurations vary.

Once an image is scanned, IMS/21 stores it first in a Shared Folder on the AS/400. While images and other IMS/21 documents are active or likely to be active - that is, while they may be requested for viewing - IMS/21 keeps them on-line in the AS/400. If you have optical storage installed, IMS/21 copies the images to the optical. If an image is requested that is not currently in the Shared Folder Cache, IMS/21 automatically retrieves it from the relevant optical disk volume. It brings it into the AS/400 Shared Folder cache where it remains until it once again becomes little used and the system can use the AS/400 disk space for other IMS/21 documents. Faxes and other AS/400 documents placed in an IMS/21 folio are physically copied to an AS/400 shared folder cache and then to optical disk, duplicating copies stored elsewhere on the AS/400.

IMS/21’s OSS manages every aspect of storing and retrieving IMS/21 documents.

Sool file Support-

IMS/21 supports the storage of spoolfiles on optical disk, along with the ability to create documents out of spool files. AS/400 based output report information can be imported into IMS/21 by simply defining the report to use IMS/21 and processing the output queue using an IMS/21 function. The system will automatically select recognized reports by individual pages and store them in the appropriate folios.

Linking Documents to Application-

IMS/21 can immediately be used to link documents to any of your applications- with absolutely no user programming. ”Smart Panels“ (Panel/screen recognition), is the first stage of this linking process. A system administrator defines the specific characteristics which identify the screen. Next, they identify the fields unique to individual records (i.e., an invoice number, etc.) IMS/21 then recognizes the panel and identifies the key fields by which it index these documents, and a unique folio for them. The next stage is image indexing. Documents are scanned into IMS/21 and inserted into the correct folio, based on user-defined index fields. Finally, the systems document display facility allows anyone using that application to call up the document image by pressing a single key.

Support for PC’s and Dumb Terminals-

Once the links have been established, any authorized person can use IMS/21, regardless whether they are outfitted with PC or dumb terminal. This flexibility delivers maximum benefit from a superior imaging solution without making a substantial investment in new hardware and training. While Image Clerk provides for image display and scanning, Librarian can display COLD reports in a 5250 emulation session or on a dumb terminal. If Image Clerk is installed Librarian will automatically launch the Image Viewer provided the user is at a display capable of displaying images (PC, 3489, IBM Network Station, WYSE Terminal running CITRIX or any PC running Windows 3.11, 95, 98 or NT Workstation.


IMS/21 logically groups documents and images into directories called ”Folios,“ Making it easier to organize and manage them. Each folio has a user-defined name, description and folio subject. For example, a folio called ”Letters“ could group all your correspondence by customer, or another folio called ”Orders“ might group orders by customer and order number. Although an image is stored only once, it can be indexed and retrieved under many different keys and references through IMS/21’s Electronic Filing Cabinet facility, allowing you to access all of your images directly, independently of any particular application.

System Personalization-

Above all, IMS/21 gives you flexibility— to adapt to different situations, to change, to grow. You have complete control over the images you store and how you display then for individual users— tailoring the display, the application, and the particular panel being viewed at that time.

Other Applications

The following applications are designed to work hand-in-hand with Librarian:

"Librarian" is part of the IMS/21 line of products, developed by Vanguard Systems.

Related Products

The following software product lines are also offered by Vanguard Systems: