VTAM-Windows for VSE

Intelligent VTAM Multiple Session Manager



With VTAM-Windows you can open up to four windows simultaneously on one screen. Each window is fully functional and compatible with every type of on-line application. The windows may be thought of as being mini-terminals in that all of the windows have identical capabilities to the full screen. There is no need for any hardware changes, and software changes only involve table definitions.

  • Have windows on every mainframe terminal without any changes to hardware or software.
  • Have all users enter through a common gateway, whether they continue to operate in VTAM-Windows or not.
  • Have the information from several application systems (CICS, TSO, IMS, etc.) available on a single screen.
  • Easily transfer information from one application system to another since you may work with more than one application on the same screen.
  • Expand terminal capabilities by having up to nine virtual terminals on each physical terminal.
  • Have session management and windowing capability for thousands of terminals by using the combination of products, VTAM-Windows and CICS-Windows.
  • Eliminate the time consuming requirement of logging on and off when switching between application systems.

You may have up to 4 different window configurations opened simultaneously on the same physical screen. The effect is similar to having four separate physical terminals. You can instantly toggle from the window mode to full screen, and back again, using one keystroke.

With VTAM-Windows you can increase productivity by having your needed information simultaneously available on the same screen. At the same time, other applications, help screens, menus, prior transactions, editors, notepads, anything to which you may want to refer.

VTAM-Windows is very user friendly and easy to use. It operates by using one or more function keys. You have complete control over whichever application is currently selected, and you may easily move from one window or session to another, using only one keystroke. Or, if no function keys are available, there are commands provided to accomplish the same functions.


VTAM-Windows offers many features for increasing productivity both at the operator and system level. The product is designed to run as efficiently as possible in the VTAM environment, thereby allowing a large number of users on the system without impacting system performance.

The following list describes the major features of the VTAM-Windows product:

  • Up to nine virtual terminals per physical terminal allowing access to nine VTAM applications simultaneously. 
  • User-defined "Hot" keys for toggling between sessions. Any PF or PA key may be defined for moving forward, backward or directly between sessions. 
  • Terminal commands may be used instead of or in addition to the "Hot" keys. These commands are preceded by a user-defined control character and can be used to accomplish any of the toggling or windowing functions. These commands will not destroy any application screen data when used. 
  • Windowing support provides up to four full-function interactive windows on one screen. Any of up to nine sessions may operate in one of the windows. Each window may be sized for best fit of application data. Panning and scrolling commands and keys are provided. An individual window may be used just as if it were a full screen. 
  • Alternate screen size support is provided to take advantage of the largest possible screen size when in window mode. This allows larger windows for terminals which support alternate screen size. The individual applications in each session do not need to support alternate screen size in order to operate correctly in window mode. 
  • Application menus display all available applications which can be accessed by each user. The application ID plus a description of the application system is displayed. The user selects an application by selecting a menu item. Until a session has been established, the application menu will display in each virtual terminal. 
  • A security interface is provided which allows basic sign-on control to VTAM-Windows as well as interfacing with other security packages. 
  • Automatic sign-on to application systems is provided. This means that when you select an application system, a properly formatted sign-on transaction can be automatically routed to the application. You have complete control over the specification of and formatting options of the sign-on transaction. 
  • User command streams can be defined to initiate automatically when a session is first established, or they can be directly requested by the operator at any time. A command stream is a series of transactions and responses to be initiated and sent to the application system sequentially. This feature makes it possible to run a series of programs in the application system without entering any commands at all. One of the on-line help displays will display all user commands which are available, along with a description of each. 
  • Gateway processing allows you to use VTAM-Windows as a "pass-thru" processor. With this technique, all terminal operators can use a common entrypoint into the system. Those users who don't need to stay in VTAM-Windows can connect to an application and then drop out of VTAM-Windows. 
  • CICS-Windows Interface. For users of the WINDOWS/PLUS package (VTAM-Windows + CICS-Windows), operators can enter through VTAM-Windows, "pass-thru" to the desired CICS system, automatically sign-on to CICS and automatically activate CICS-Windows on their terminal. This gives CICS users session management and windowing without the overhead of the VTAM relay. 
  • A user customization table allows individual terminals to be configured for their particular needs. This table is also used to control various system functions. 
  • System console support is provided for status inquiries, shutdown commands, etc. 
  • On-line help screens make instructions for operating VTAM-Windows, toggling information, windowing instruction, accessible commands, etc. available any time. A PF key will immediately enter help mode from the application menu. Or, at any time, whether in a session or not, the HELP command can be issued to retrieve the necessary directions. 
  • Profile displays are always available, either from a menu or while in a session, to display the current configuration for this user. The current session number, the connected application for this session (if any), the available toggle and window keys, the number and configuration of windows and the connected application (if any) for each virtual terminal is displayed. The profile display makes it easy for the operator to check the current position plus remember the available function keys and the active sessions in each terminal. Profile displays may be browsed, showing the detailed configuration for every terminal, whether active or not. 
  • On-line profile changes allow the terminal operator to alter the choice of hot keys, add additional hot keys, change the window configuration, etc. The changes stay in effect until VTAM-Windows is recycled. 
  • The system display provides a quick overview of total activity in VTAM-Windows. Each active user, the connected applications in each virtual terminal, and some transmission totals by application is displayed. The system display may be browsed forward and backward, allowing the system programmer or other interested personnel to review the total activity. 
  • Cut and Paste makes it possible to copy individual fields or lines of data from one session screen and insert them into another. Cut and paste supports single field copies, multiple field copies, field propagation, line copies and full-screen copies. 
  • Session view allows an operator at one terminal to view the screen display of any session of any other terminal using VTAM-Windows. This feature can be very useful for remote debugging of operator problems or surreptitious monitoring of an operator's activity. 
  • A VSAM file is available for saving screen buffers. Use of the VSAM file significantly reduces storage overhead when many users are on the system.


  • Mainframe
    IBM z/Architecture and compatible
  • Operating System
    VSE/ESA 2.0 or later
    z/VSE 4.1 or later 
  • Host System
Are you looking for VTAM-Windows for a different operating system?

VTAM-Windows for OS390