REVIEWER: Rory Day, database administrator (IMS and SQL) for Unigard.

BACKGROUND: Unigard is a property/casualty insurance company covering the western U.S. It was founded in 1904 as a mutual insurance company (owned by policyholders) and later converted to a publicly held enterprise. Currently Unigard is owned by an Australian company with a worldwide presence named QBE.

HARDWARE PLATFORMS: z/OS V 1.7 operating system running IMS V 9.0. SQL Server 2000 and 2005 run the PC side of the enterprise.

PROBLEM SOLVED: The gathering and viewing of statistical data from our production IMS databases was mostly a manual process. I wanted a method of doing this daily that could be automated so as to take minutes instead of hours.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: At this point in time, I only use this product to capture and view some of the IMS statistics possible. The process is all done automatically. The screens are easy to read and can be done everyday because it only takes a few minutes to gather the information I need.

STRENGTHS: The product can acquire a large amount of data and accumulate history. It is easy to read what is going on in my databases.

WEAKNESSES: There are more features than I can currently use because I haven't had time to learn them.

SELECTION CRITERIA: No other products were evaluated.

DELIVERABLES: The product generates reports on segment counts, space usage, I/O probability and more. It allows switching displays to table, line or bar graphs and pie chart forms. It will also generate JCL for Image Copy, Pointer Checker and database reorgs.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Vendor support from BMC has always been excellent for every product we have purchased from them. They are always accessible and responsive.

DOCUMENTATION: I don't keep a hard copy of the documentation for MAXM Database Advisor for IMS. We access BMC's Web page online to download or view what we need. It has usually proved adequate.

BMC MAXM Database Advisor for IMS
BMC Software
2102 CityWest Boulevard
Houston, TX 77042
(713) 918-8800

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