An early effort by IBM to use system integration services to assist in solving complex problems for commercial customers involved developing an image system for USAA, a large financial services association. USAA had well-defined and stringent requirements for a policy services application that required enhancements to existing products to provide the necessary function and performance. Key problems solved included managing a storage hierarchy to handle image size objects, the use of optical storage as a low-cost storage medium, and the capability to compress and decompress images rapidly at a workstation to allow high-speed paging through documents. Additionally, the registering and indexing of documents and management of work flow and recovery issues were undertaken. The effort was a good example of the new role of application solution development in that the solution was developed in conjunction with a specific customer, but has developed into a product. The particular solution described in this paper became IBM's ImagePlus™ MVS/ ESA™ product. Although the specific technical issues were different, the same methodology was used to develop ImagePlus for the System/36 and Application System/400®.
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