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Review of Visualisation Systems

8.3 IBM Data Explorer

8.3.1 - Availability
8.3.2 - Support
8.3.3 - Information
8.3.4 - User groups

8.3.1 Availability

On WWW access to general information on DX can be found at: This also links to the ftp repository at Cornell, or can be accessed directly as:


DX is from IBM or any IBM Dealer. In the UK the contact is:

Andy Hey
IBM AIX Scientific & Technical Solutions,
1, New Square,
Bedfont Lakes,
Middlesex, TW14 8HB.

Tel: 0171 202 5266


DX is currently available on the following (colour) platforms:


8.3.2 Support

The UK based product specialists in IBM Hursley at no additional cost.


IBM run training courses as required, cost depends on student numbers location, length of and type of course (overview or detailed). Typically a 3 day course would cost approximately 250 per day.

8.3.3 Information


There are 3 manuals: The Users Guide, Users Reference and Programmers Reference
[25], [26] and [27].

The Users Guide includes how to use DX, its data types and the data importer. The tutorial to get new users started with DX is in Appendix A.

The Users Reference lists and describes the modules available.

The Programmers Guide describes how to write your own DX modules and includes how to use the module builder to automatically generate the template for new tools.

On-line Information

The on-line help for DX is very good. Help can be accessed on all aspects - including the modules, on using DX but also to get help on complete networks too. The help system uses hypertext so the user can navigate by selecting keywords from one item to the next until they find what they want (it automatically saves a history so the user can reverse the route back step by step). This was found extremely useful since looking at the entry for one module may require the user to follow links to related modules.

Network Information Services

Apart from the IBM and Cornell Theory Centre WWW pages, location given at the beginning of this section, Cornell also acts as a repository for news (see the directory or equivalent from the WWW) where up to date information can be obtained on various aspects of DX, this includes a Frequently Asked Questions file.

The Usenet group exists in

8.3.4 User groups

No formal user group exists but Birds of a Feather sessions occur at appropriate conferences, e.g. Visualization `94, and the usenet group gives a route to contact users in similar areas of work.

Review of Visualisation Systems
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