Mainframe Propeller Head

Mar 17 2010   4:29PM GMT

Mainframe documentation shifts from Book Manager to Info Center format

Matt Stansberry Matt Stansberry Profile: Matt Stansberry

At the mainframe user group’s Share conference in Seattle this week, Geoff Smith, senior software engineer IBM said mainframers can start test driving a new documentation format called IBM Information Center.

IBM’s mainframe documentation currently exists in the Book Manager Library. Smith said modernizing the documentation format to the Information Center will help users more easily find the information they’re looking for.

“Everything is on the internet,” Smith said. “People want to be able to use Google and find their information and that is the biggest benefit. You can make things more interactive and Web-friendly.”

Smith said he doesn’t have a deadline to discontinue Book Manager for System z yet, but other related product areas are discontinuing Book Manager already like DB2 and CICS.

“Right now different products are in different pillars of documentation, DB2 in one Info Center, CICS is in another. We’re working on fixing developing some cross product documents,” Smith said. “One of the problems is that it’s funded across divisions – the way IBM is arranged now, DB2 is in the software group. But everybody understands the value of bringing this together.”

Mainframe users can check out the new Information Center format at the new zFavorites for System Z Website.

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  • Indoubt88
    This is dissapointing but expected (as they said, the program products have been moving this way for a while). I still wonder if the people making these decissions have supported actual production systems using Infomation Center and using Book Manager. I have and it is more time consuming and sometimes I just give up and move on. Book Manager isn't perfect but in my opion it is the best I have used to date (across all products and options) unless I want to print an entire book or large amount and then I use PDF but that's about all PDF is good for. I doubt this will ever get to the people it needs to but I am making the comment hoping it will. just my $1.02
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