IMS Essentials

This course offers a comprehensive introduction to IMS for all those new to the IMS environment. It provides ideal cross-training for application support specialists from disciplines such as CICS, COBOL, JAVA, or Db2.

The course introduces and explains all areas of IMS databases in both the Batch and Online environments, including data access using the DL/I Language Interface and the maintenance of data integrity using the DBRC feature.
Written exercises reinforce the formal theory sessions. These include the analysis of sample applications and use of the procedures and utilities required to recover from various application and system failures.

This course is also available for exclusive, one-company presentations and on demand (minimum 2 attendees) for live presentation over the Internet, via the Virtual Classroom Environment service.

The next step

For all DBAs, systems programmers and technical support personnel the logical follow-on to this is the five-day IMS/DB & IMS/TM for Technical Support course.

Virtual Classroom Environment dates - click to book!

UK Start Times

25 March 2024 22 July 2024

What is a 'Virtual Classroom Environment'?


What do I need?

  • webcam
  • headphones with microphone
  • sufficient bandwidth, at least 1.5 Mb/s in each direction.

What you will learn

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • describe the architecture of IMS batch and online systems
  • analyse database and communication calls
  • identify appropriate logical and physical database design features
  • describe the structure of secondary indexes and logical relationships
  • use IMS utilities to backup, restore, and reorganize the database
  • discuss the facilities available in IMS to provide data integrity and system availability
  • trace the flow of a transaction through an IMS system.

Who Should Attend

All those working in IMS Applications and Database Development, or any systems and operations personnel who require an understanding of the IMS environment.


A general understanding of the IBM enterprise server (mainframe) computing environment and an appreciation of application development concepts is assumed.


4 days

Fee (per attendee)

£2250 (ex VAT)


This includes free online 24/7 access to course notes.


Hard copy course notes are available on request from

at £50.00 plus carriage per set.

Course Code



Introduction to IMS

Why Use a Database?; Database types; Hierarchical terminology; Processing path; Accessing data; Database implementation; IMS online environment; Message Format Services (MFS); Utilities; Logging; Operational responsibilities.

Introduction to Batch Programming

DL/I Language Interface; Program Specification Block (PSB); IMS Call Format; Function code; Record retrieval Workshop.

Advanced Database Programming

Update processing; Command codes; PCB Addressing; Boolean SSAs; Workshop.

Database Environment

Program Specification Block (PSB); PSB statements; PCB; PROCOPTs; PSB generation; ACB generation; PSB/program relationships; Batch JCL; Workshop.

Database Implementation - 1

DBD; Database Organisation and Access Methods.

Database Implementation - 2

Secondary indexing; Secondary data structure; Stand-Alone processing; Things to consider; Logical relationships.

Database Implementation - 3

An introduction to HALDB features and processing options.

Database Backup and Recovery

Logging; Image Copy; Reorganisation; Database Recovery Control (DBRC); associated tools and utilities.

IMS/TM Concepts & Facilities

IMS/DC configuration; Control (CTL) region; DL/I Separate Address Space (DLISAS); Database Recovery Control (DBRC); Message Processing Region (MPR); Batch Message Processing (BMP) region; Message scheduling; Logging.

IMS Online Programming - 1

Message Processing Program (MPP); Transaction codes & flow; Input message segment; Output message segment; IMS message calls; IO PCB mask; Common status codes; Workshop.

Message Format Services

MFS control blocks; DIF/DOF coding; MID/MOD coding; Attributes; Message management.

IMS Online Programming - 2

Alternate PCB; Using Alternate PCB; Transaction switching; Conversational programming; Using Checkpoint/Restart; Workshop.

Fast Path

General characteristics; Fast Path EMH; Data Entry Database (DEDB); Main Storage Database.

Online IMS System Recovery and Restart

Logging; Restart Data Set (RDS); Archiving; Contents of the Log; Normal restart; Emergency restart.

Sharing Data and Data Sharing

Sharing access - the problem; Sharing access - solutions; Control region / DLISAS; Program isolation; Locking; Deadlock resolution; Data sharing; Database-Level Sharing; Block-level sharing; DBCTL.

IMS Operations

Operational considerations; Operations planning; Starting IMS; Stopping IMS; Online change facility; Controlling IMS.

IMS Performance Management

DB performance; DB monitor; Database buffer pools; DC performance.

What the students say

Great course with very knowledgable instructor who was able to explain IMS concepts that were not necessarily coverded in the course material but were of relevance to me as a delegate.

Lead DBA

Barclays Bank plc

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