SDS | Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where is SDS?

A: SDS is headquartered in Spring Lake Park, Minnesota, roughly 12 miles north of the center of Minneapolis, one of the founding cities of the computing industry. Product development and technical support are centered there.

Q: What does SDS do? What products do we offer?

A: SDS provides software tools for IBM mainframe computers. SDS also provides SDS E-Business Server® for data encryption and authentication at the enterprise-scale, for z/OS, Linux, Unix, and Windows platforms. Our products also provide:
  • Network performance monitoring for HPR and IP traffic on z/OS. See VitalSigns for IP
  • Performance monitoring for VTAM networks on z/OS, VM, and VSE. See VitalSigns for VTAM
  • Security and monitoring for file transfers to and from z/OS. See VitalSigns for FTP
  • File control for CICS, VSE, z/OS. See IPCP
SDS is committed to ease of use, low CPU utilization, and delivering high value for the customers’ investment. We focus on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of mainframe resources--hardware, software, and human resources.

Q: How long has SDS been in business?

A: SDS has been providing first-rate software solutions to the mainframe industry since 1982. Our development and customer support team provides deep and extensive experience, averaging 15 years work with mainframes per person.

Q: What is the future of SDS?

A: SDS is committed to the mainframe community for the long term. Fast, effective technical support is one of our chief priorities. Customer requests often guide our development schedule.

Q: How does SDS price its software?

A: The price of SDS software varies according to the MIPS or MSU of the environments will it resides. For details, call 763-571-9000 or write

Q: What Java software do I need for VitalSigns for IP, for FTP? What version of Java?

A: VitalSigns for IP and FTP display their data at web browsers by means of Java Applets. So browsers require a Java plug-in, also called a JRE (Java runtime engine). VitalSigns for IP and FTP Servers use JSP (Java server pages), so they need access to a Java SDK (software development kit). The Java software is free of charge and simple to install. For links, detailed information, and up-to-date Java version information, see

Q: How do I get emergency product-activation keys?

A: SDS software products require up-to-date “activation keys.” A key allows a given product to run on a given CPU for one year. When a key expires, the software stops working. SDS is happy to provide short-term keys for trials, testing, crisis recovery, etc. Please call SDS technical support at 763-571-9000, or write to