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OfficeVision is an IBM proprietary office support application that primarily runs on IBM's VM operating system and its user interface CMS. Other platform versions are available, notably OV/MVS and OV/400. OfficeVision provides e-mail, shared calendars, and shared document storage and management, and it provides the ability to integrate word processing applications such as Displaywrite/370 and/or the Document Composition Facility (DCF/SCRIPT).
The advent of the personal computer and the client–server paradigm changed the way organizations looked at office automation. In particular, office users wanted graphical user interfaces. Thus e-mail applications with PC clients became more popular.
IBM's initial answer was OfficeVision/2, a server-requestor system designed to be the strategic implementation of IBM's Systems Application Architecture. The server could run on OS/2, VM, MVS (XA or ESA), or OS/400, while the requester required OS/2 Extended Edition running on IBM PS/2 personal computers, or DOS. IBM also developed OfficeVision/2 LAN for workgroups, which failed to find market acceptance and was withdrawn in 1992. IBM began to resell Lotus Notes and Lotus cc:Mail as an OfficeVision/2 replacement. Ultimately, IBM solved its OfficeVision problems through the hostile takeover of Lotus Software for its Lotus Notes product, one of the two most popular products for business e-mail and calendaring.
IBM discontinued support of OfficeVision/VM as of October 6, 2003. IBM recommended that its OfficeVision/VM customers migrate to Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino environments, and IBM offered migration tools and services to assist. Guy Dehond, one of the beta-testers of the AS/400, developed the first migration tool. However, OfficeVision/MVS is still available for sale, still supported, and is another migration option for OfficeVision/VM users. OfficeVision/MVS runs on IBM's z/OS operating system.
Earlier PROFS, DISOSS and Office/36
OfficeVision/VM was originally named PROFS (for PRofessional OFfice System) and was initially made available in 1981. Before that it was a PRPQ (Programming Request for Price Quotation),:321 an IBM administrative term for "not quite supported" software. The first release of PROFS was developed by IBM in Endicott, NY, in conjunction with Amoco, from a prototype developed years earlier in Poughkeepsie by Paul Gardner and others. Subsequent development took place in Dallas. The editor XEDIT was the basis of the word processing function in PROFS.
PROFS itself was descended from an in-house system developed by IBM Poughkeepsie laboratory. Poughkeepsie developed a primitive in-house solution for office automation over the period 1970–1972;:321–323 OFS (Office System), which evolved into PROFS, was developed by Poughkeepsie laboratory as a replacement for that earlier system and first installed in October 1974.:327 Compared to Poughkeepsie's original in-house system, the distinctive new features added by OFS were a centralised database virtual machine (data base manager or DBM) for shared permanent storage of documents, instead of storing all documents in user's personal virtual machines;:329–331 and a centralised virtual machine (mailman master machine or distribution virtual machine) to manage mail transfer between individuals, instead of relying on direct communication between the personal virtual machines of individual users.:331–332 By 1981, IBM's Poughkeepsie site had over 500 PROFS users.:340
PROFS and its e-mail component, known colloquially as PROFS Notes, featured prominently in the investigation of the Iran-Contra scandal. Oliver North believed he had deleted his correspondence, but the system archived it anyway. Congress subsequently examined the e-mail archives.
IBM's European Networking Center (ENC) in Heidelberg, Germany, developed prototype extensions to OfficeVision/VM to support Open Document Architecture (ODA), in particular a converter between ODA and Document Content Architecture (DCA) document formats.
Earlier ODPS in Far East
OfficeVision/VM for the Far Eastern languages of Japanese, Korean and Chinese, originated from IBM Office and Document Control System (ODPS), a DBCS-enabled porting from PROFS, plus document edit, store and search functions, similar to Displaywrite/370.
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IBM last week said some features originally scheduled to ship in OfficeVision/2 LAN will be bundled into the current release of the product, while others will be either integrated into OS/2 or delayed indefinitely... IBM's Workplace Shell, an enhanced graphical user interface, is being lifted from OfficeVision/2 LAN to be included in OS/2 2.0... The shell offers the capability to trigger processes by dragging and dropping icons on the desktop, such as dropping a file into an electronic wastebasket. Porting that feature to the operating system will let any application take advantage of the interface...
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