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Main Teleprocessing Monitors for Third-Generation Computers in the USSR

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In the 1970s and 1980s, one of the main directions of the development of system software for computers of the third generation was the creation of multi-terminal software complexes that provided interactions of many users of remote terminals with a central computer in the real-time mode. These software complexes (systems) were known under common name teleprocessing monitors (or telemonitors). A teleprocessing monitor (also, transaction processing monitor or TP monitor) is a control program that monitors the transfer of data between multiple local and remote terminals to ensure that the transaction processes complete [1]. This article describes these teleprocessing monitors of the third-generation computers used in the USSR such as OB, PRIMUS, CICS, KAMA and DRIVER. The most popular of these, though, was the original Soviet telemonitor OB (OБЬ in Russian). OB was created in the secret scientific research institute “Monolith” (Secret Number R-6211) of the Ministry of Defense Industry of the USSR by a group of programmers led by the author of the present article V. A. Kitov. This article is based on the work of computer scientists, the analysis of technical documentation, the personal memories and archive of the author and his colleagues. In the 1970s–1980s, the ES EVM computers were the main computers in the USSR. The story of this development complicates the notion that the USSR simply borrowed architecture and software from IBM and other IT-companies in the 1970s and 1980s. In fact, adapting these systems for Soviet purposes proved to be frustrating, so innovation resulted. The development of OB shows a high level of Soviet programmers at the end of the cold war. OB was a large software package with over a million lines of code. Therefore, the history of the creation and use in the USSR of system software telemonitors is an important part of the history of Soviet computers, on the one hand, and important part of the world history of system software telemonitors, on the other hand. How pointed at [14] “CICS generated over $60 billion in new hardware revenue for IBM, and became their most-successful mainframe software product.” Soviet programmers created their own original telemonitor OB, which played a similar role as telemonitor CICS. In the Soviet Union more than 40 percent of Soviet ES EVM computers used this telemonitor OB. The experience of creation and practical use of the telemonitor OB was also important after the end of use of the third-generation computers in the USSR and in the world (in the USSR they were ES EVM computers). In the 1990s, the architectural solutions of the software of telemonitor OB were the basis for creation of the Russian system BAIKONUR for new computers of the next generation: RISC-servers.




Kitov, V. A. (2019). Main Teleprocessing Monitors for Third-Generation Computers in the USSR. In IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology (Vol. 549, pp. 127–135). Springer New York LLC.

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