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TPF evolved from the Airlines Control Program (ACP), a free package developed in the mid-1960s by IBM in association with major North American and European airlines. In 1979, IBM introduced TPF as a replacement for ACP -- and as a priced software product. The new name suggests its greater scope.
TPF delivers fast, high-volume, high-throughput transaction processing, handling large, continuous loads of essentially simple transactions across large, geographically dispersed networks. In this role there's nothing else like it. The world's largest TPF-based systems are easily capable of processing tens of thousands of transactions per second. TPF is also designed for highly reliable, continuous (24x7) operation. It is not uncommon for TPF customers to have continuous online availability of a decade or more, even with system and software upgrades.
TPF implements an API known as PARS. Many airline and financial systems are based on this API. TPF was traditionally a 370 Assembler environment for performance reasons, and many TPF assembler applications persist. However, more recent versions of TPF encourage the use of C. Another programming language called SabreTalk was born and died on TPF. One of TPF's major components is a high performance, specialized database facility called TPFDF.
It is common for TPF sites to also use other IBM mainframe operating systems, such as z/OS and VM, for offline and complementary processing. It is also possible to run a close cousin of TPF, called ALCS , atop z/OS rather than as a separate operating system. All these operating systems usually coexist on the same physical hardware since IBM mainframes feature multiple ways of partitioning, to handle mixed workloads.
IBM has announced plans to deliver the next release of TPF, dubbed z/TPF V1.1, in 2005. Most significantly, z/TPF adds 64-bit addressing.
- TPF (IBM)
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