IBM turns mainframes on to SOAs

IBM has introduced tools to enable users to run web services on its zSeries mainframes.

IBM has introduced tools to enable users to run web services on its zSeries mainframes.

The software removes the need for a separate web services platform and could reduce companies’ dependence on specialist mainframe skills, said Mark Lillycrop, an analyst at Arcati Research.

IBM has introduced tools for helping Java, Visual Basic, Cobol and PL/I developers create “services-ready” applications for the mainframe.

In particular, the 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.

This could be useful as many companies have a huge investment in legacy Cobol systems at the heart of the business and need 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 applications on other platforms and then trying to integrate the two environments,” Lillycrop said.

“It allows businesses to get at [their] 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 skillset.”


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