【Toshiba】 Operating Systems for the DP Series of Distributed Processing Computers

At a time when internal corporate online systems were being deployed on company-wide and nationwide scales, Toshiba developed the DP series of high-performance, feature-rich intelligent terminals to fit in with distributed processing-oriented networks and systems that eliminated the demerits of conventional centralized processing systems. Based on the DP series, Toshiba later developed a series of true multi-workstation office computers (TOSBAC System 15/60, TOSBAC System 45, TOSBAC System 65, and TOSBAC System 85).
The concept behind the DP series was to handle all processes that could be done at the terminal on the terminal side and to process on the host side only the functions that genuinely required the host’s computing power. The terminals were fully equipped with all the software necessary to efficiently develop business process systems and to operate easy-to-use systems with high throughputs.

The software system consisted of the following components.

(1)Control programs
i. System management: equipped with functions to efficiently execute multiprogramming and multiprocessing
  • Central management of system assets
  • Various sync controls for managing different kinds of programs
  • Communication management through interactivity with the operator
  • Job catalog analysis and control
  • Consecutive job processing through a job catalog sequencing function
ii. Data management: ensures installation independence through integrated management of all data and files subject to control
  • Support for three file organizations — sequential files, indexed files, and relative files
  • Access control for common files
  • Management over data I/O with workstations
  • Support for CODASYL-model network databases as the computer’s database system
iii. Message control: supported the construction of efficient online systems by incorporating a network control processor (NCP) that governed any online system connected via a communication line
  • Message queuing made possible by passing messages to the message control system (MCS)
  • Online programs could be created easily by using the COBOL SEND, RECEIVE, ENABLE, and DISABLE commands
(2)Processing programs
The DP series included the latest COBOL language specifications that were compliant with JIS COBOL standards. For example, COBOL programs were able to transfer data over external data nodes (i.e., able to define data fields shared between programs).
ii. ATLAS — a data entry sub-system:
The DP series was equipped with a sub-system that combined keyed entries and OCR entries for efficient entry of clean data (i.e., data free of errors).
iii. Online communication sub-system:
Included transaction processing, direct access control, time-sharing, remote job entry, and file transfers.
iv. SCOPE-2:
SCOPE-2 was provided as a simple business programming language that was developed based on SCOPE-1, which was loaded on the TOSBAC System 15 series (models 10, 20, 30, and 40).
(3)Horizontal and vertical distributed processing network software
DP series machines placed in different locations could be operated as one large system using DPNET, a network system with horizontal and vertical connectivity with a single interface between multiple DP series machines.