Users of IBM’s zSeries mainframes can extend their investment by using new software tools from IBM to run web services on the mainframe instead of newer platforms.
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Arcati Research analyst Mark Lillycrop said the tools would also reduce users’ dependency on costly mainframe skills.
IBM's new tools help Java, Visual Basic, Cobol and PL/I developers to create "services-ready" applications for the mainframe. In particular, the new IBM Rational Cobol Generation tools are designed to help developers learn to write mainframe applications for service-oriented architecture (SOA) after only a few lessons.
Lillycrop said many companies had a huge investment in legacy Cobol systems at the heart of their business, and also needed to provide scalable SOA applications.
“With the mainframe's scalability and superior security, and recent reductions in cost, it makes a lot of sense to do the new development on the mainframe rather than building the new apps on other platforms and then trying to integrate the two environments," said Lillycrop. “It allows businesses to get at that vast reservoir of Cobol logic and package it up into services, so that they get the benefit of the mainframe's maturity without needing a specialist skill set."