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A welcoming to DataConnections from Gregg Willhoit, Chief Architect at DataDirect Technologies. This podcasts runs for 3:27.
You can listen to the podcast here: http://blogs.datadirect.com/media/GreggWillhoit_Introduction.mp3
Hi, I just want to introduce myself and welcome those who are paying attention to the DataConnections blog. My name is Gregg Willhoit. I’ve been in the mainframe business for a while, probably just like everybody else – 20 plus years. And I’ve been working for software companies, system software companies, building performance monitors early on in my career. In the very early 90s performance monitors, and DB2 catalog management products and things like that. In the early 90’s I was a founding member of NEON Systems, and we basically built the first direct ODBC to DB2 product for mainframes. From then on we expanded into all the other various subsystems like CICS and IMS, and we added things like web services and event delivery, also a native MVS based web server, and at this point our main focus is basically providing high performing, scalable, efficient access from a variety of platforms to mainframe subsystems.
So it’s a really interesting job. One of the neat things about it, well there’s lots of neat things about it, but as chief software architect I get to play a role and sort of the vision of where we’re going. And I get to decide how things are done from a design point of view. I do a little coding now and then, not as much as I’d like to; I think everyone in this kind of position has that lament. I think to be really effective as an architect it helps to really know the nuts and the bolts or the details – the DNA of the system if you will – in order to make good direction, product vision, technology type decisions.
Another one of the neat things about the job, or what we do here at DataDirect from a mainframe standpoint, is we interface with basically everything that’s on z/OS. That means I’ll be talking about basically everything on z/OS. Our product, Shadow, being middleware, providing web services and ODBC and JDBC type access to mainframe backend data, and also event publishing. It basically is a single point of control for all different types of clients coming into the mainframe, and then also all different backends. I mean all! There’s DB2 and VSAM – CICS VSAM – IMS/TM, IMS/DB, IDMS-DC, IDMS, Adabas, the list just goes on and on. And in doing so we also interface or utilize just about every interface there is in z/OS. There is probably some hyperbole going on there, but we’re using quite a bit of the pallet if you will to create our product.
We use all the basic low-level system interfaces. We use WLM in the product, we use XCF, we use RRS, we use the system logger. We use obviously all the various subsystem interfaces, so I’ll be talking about those as well. Like RRSAF, DRDA, OTMA, ODBA, DBCTL, EXCI, Transactional EXCI, VSAM, Transactional VSAM, everything.
The blog will be varied in its coverage. And really I welcome any questions or comments, and feel free to talk about anything. I’m especially interested in sports cars! If there’s any sport car aficionados out there, feel free to chime in. I have predilection towards German sports cars.
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