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IBM OfficeVision

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 IBM also developed OfficeVision/2 LAN for workgroups, which failed to find market acceptance and was withdrawn in May, 1994. 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.[1] 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), an IBM administrative term for "not quite supported" software. PROFS was originally developed by IBM in Dallas, in conjunction with Amoco.

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.[1].

OfficeVision/MVS originated from IBM DISOSS and OfficeVision/400, from IBM Office/36.

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.