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IBM Distributed Office Support System, or DISOSS is a centralized document distribution and filing application for IBM's mainframe computers running the MVS and VSE operating systems. Its counterpart under VM is PROFS. DISOSS ran under both the CICS transaction processing system and the IMS/DS transaction processing system, and later versions used the SNADS architecture of peer to peer communication for distributed services.


DISOSS provided document library function with search and retrieval controlled by security based on user ID, along with document translation based on Document Interchange Architecture (DIA) and Document Content Architecture (DCA). The different systems that used DISOSS for document exchange and distribution varied in their implementation of DCA and thus the end results of some combinations were only final form (FFT) documents rather than revisable form text (RFT).

It supports document exchange between various IBM and non-IBM office devices including the IBM Displaywriter System, the IBM 5520, the IBM 8100/DOSF, IBM Scanmaster, and Personal computers and word processors.[1] It offers format transformation and printing services, and provides a rich application programming interface (API) and interfaced with other office products such as IBM OfficeVision.

A number of other vendors such as Digital Equipment Corporation, Hewlett-Packard, and Data General provided links to DISOSS.[2]


DISOSS was announced in 1980,[3] and "was designated a strategic IBM product in 1982."[2] It was a key part of IBM Systems Application Architecture (SAA), but suffered from a reputation as "difficult to understand" and "a resource hog."[4] DISOSS continues to be actively marketed and supported as of 2012.[5][6]

Version 1 of DISOSS was introduced in June 1980; Colgate-Palmolive was one of the first sites to implement DISOSS version 1, and reported dissatisfaction with the poor quality of the documentation and with software bugs.[7] IBM released version 2 in 1982, in which IBM claimed to resolve the issues which version 1 users had experienced.[7]

DISOSS was implemented by the city government of Long Beach, California during 1983–1984.[8]


  1. ^ Dix, John (September 22, 1986). "A T & T reveals new message blueprint". Network World. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Korzeniowski, Paul (November 17, 1986). "Despite itself, DISOSS use spreads". Network World. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  3. ^ Korzeniowski, Paul (May 12, 1986). "Disoss here to stay". Network World. 3 (10). p. 34. 
  4. ^ Raimondi, Donna (November 24, 1986). "Exec promises angry users IBM to improve office system". Computrworld. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  5. ^ IBM Corporation. "OfficeVision/MVS Details:". Retrieved September 20, 2012. 
  6. ^ IBM Corporation. "Supported product list (May 10, 2012)". Retrieved September 19, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Hoard, Bruce (11 October 1982), "DOSF/Disoss User Vexed by Documentation", Computerworld, IDG Enterprise, 16 (41), p. 7, ISSN 0010-4841 
  8. ^ McMillen, Sam (1984). "Office Automation: A Local Government Perspective". Public Administration Review. 44 (1): 64–67. doi:10.2307/975664. ISSN 0033-3352. JSTOR 975664. 

IBM Corporation: Document Interchange with DISOSS Version 3 (1983)

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