The universally accepted approach for accelerated innovation today is REST APIs. Based on the HTTP protocol and lightweight JSON to describe payload data, it’s the de facto standard for developing mobile, web and even portions of enterprise applications. With frameworks like Swagger and with supporting tools for developing, using and documenting APIs, it is easy to appreciate its popularity and acceptance by many developers today.
How about your mainframe?
The platform has been around since the beginning of computing history (50 years birthday a few years ago!), and it’s still going strong. During this time, we have seen numerous attempts for so called “modernization”. Have we succeeded yet? I don’t think so given we are still talking about this. After all, the term “modernization” can mean many things and it’s part of ongoing effort to ensure valuable assets are re-used, re-invented, and their user experience is improved as we transform the way we work today. “Modernization” can occur even in most traditional ISPF / green-screen environments. Listen to a replay of recent webinar by Bruce Koss of Wells Fargo Bank. The enhancement we delivered recently enlightened their 3,000+ ISPF users.
Back to REST APIs for mainframe assets. Why is this so interesting? Just imagine the Utopia world where all mainframe assets are accessible via consistent REST APIs and they are documented consistently in Swagger format. They can be exposed as callable assets along with any other assets you may have across your enterprise as well as APIs of your business partners and even customers. That’s very powerful and exciting.
Let’s face it. Outside the small community of mainframe professionals, consumers of the technology do not understand or are not willing to learn its lingo, value, and technology. It’s irrelevant transactions are controlled by CICS, data are stored in VSAM files, main user interface is green-screens, and jobs are controlled by JCLs.
The most important factor for accelerated innovation using existing mainframe assets is they are discoverable, clearly documented, and easily accessible by potential consumers of the assets.
Exposing mainframe assets can be a daunting task with years of incremental enhancements and customization. Talk to us, and we can work with you to unleash the value of mainframe assets using the latest Innovations.
Senior product Manager
Kenichi Yoshimura is Senior Product Manager at HCL Technologies. Responsible for driving strategy for HCL Z Innovation Offerings (ZIO) and IBM Z Systems Software products under IP partnership arrangement between HCL and IBM.