OfficeVision is an IBM proprietary office support application that primarily runs on IBM's VM operating system and its user interface CMS. Other platform versions are available, notably OV/MVS and OV/400. OfficeVision provides e-mail, shared calendars, and shared document storage and management, and it provides the ability to integrate word processing applications such as DisplayWrite and/or the Document Composition Facility (DCF/SCRIPT).
The advent of the personal computer and the client–server paradigm changed the way organizations looked at office automation. In particular, office users wanted graphical user interfaces. Thus e-mail applications with PC clients became more popular.
IBM's initial answer was OfficeVision/2, a server-requestor system designed to be the strategic implementation of IBM's Systems Application Architecture. The server could run on OS/2, VM, MVS (XA or ESA), or OS/400, while the requester required OS/2 Extended Edition running on IBM PS/2 personal computers, or DOS. IBM also developed OfficeVision/2 LAN for workgroups, which failed to find market acceptance and was withdrawn in 1992. IBM began to resell Lotus Notes and as an OfficeVision/2 replacement. Ultimately, IBM solved its OfficeVision problems through the Takeover of Lotus Software for its Lotus Notes product, one of the two most popular products for business e-mail and calendaring.
IBM originally intended to deliver the Workplace Shell as part of the OfficeVision/2 LAN product, but in 1991 announced plans to release it as part of OS/2 2.0 instead.
Users of IBM OfficeVision included the New York State Legislature.
PROFS itself was descended from an in-house system developed by IBM Poughkeepsie laboratory. Poughkeepsie developed a primitive in-house solution for office automation over the period 1970–1972; OFS (Office System), which evolved into PROFS, was developed by Poughkeepsie laboratory as a replacement for that earlier system and first installed in October 1974. Compared to Poughkeepsie's original in-house system, the distinctive new features added by OFS were a centralised database virtual machine ( data base manager or DBM) for shared permanent storage of documents, instead of storing all documents in user's personal virtual machines; and a centralised virtual machine ( mailman master machine or distribution virtual machine) to manage mail transfer between individuals, instead of relying on direct communication between the personal virtual machines of individual users. By 1981, IBM's Poughkeepsie site had over 500 PROFS users.
In 1983, IBM introduced release 2 of PROFS, along with auxiliary software to enable document interchange between PROFS, DISOSS, Displaywriter, IBM 8100 and IBM 5520 systems.
PROFS and its e-mail component, known colloquially as PROFS Notes, featured prominently in the investigation of the Iran-Contra scandal. Oliver North believed he had deleted his correspondence, but the system archived it anyway. Congress subsequently examined the e-mail archives.
OfficeVision/MVS originated from IBM DISOSS and OfficeVision/400, from IBM Office/36.
IBM's European Networking Center (ENC) in Heidelberg, Germany, developed prototype extensions to OfficeVision/VM to support Open Document Architecture (ODA), in particular a converter between ODA and Document Content Architecture (DCA) document formats.
IBM ODPS was developed in IBM Tokyo Programming Center, located in Kawasaki, Japan, later absorbed into IBM Yamato Development Laboratory, in conjunction with IBM Dallas Programming Center in Westlake, Texas, U.S., where PROFS was developed, and other programming centers. It first became available in 1984 for Japanese, and then was translated into Korean language by IBM Korea and into Traditional Chinese by IBM Taiwan. It was not translated into Simplified Chinese for mainland China.