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Modernizing Mainframe Applications

Modernizing Mainframe Applications

January 12, 2010 0 Comments

In this guest post Trevor Eddolls, CEO of iTech-Ed Ltd, shares his thoughts on why it is important to modernize mainframe applications.

The podcast last for 3:05, and you may listen to it here: http://blogs.datadirect.com/media/TrevorEddolls_ModernizingMainframeApplications.mp3

Trevor Eddolls:

OK, the thing is with any kind of application, when you conceived it, when it was first coded the environment was in one state, and yet over time that whole environment that it’s running on will change, and there are still loads and loads of sites that are running CICS applications that could’ve been written 20 years ago, and they’re doing it quite successfully, but there’s a whole lot of opportunities out there, and it’s to grasp these opportunities that mainframe applications need to be modernized. Now, if you talk to companies like Micro Focus, their idea of modernization of mainframe applications is actually to take them off the mainframe and run them on some alternative platform. And there may be good arguments for that, but for most people you want to keep the application running on the mainframe because you’re offered so many benefits of speed and reliability, et cetera. But what I’m suggesting is that you want to extend the range of the application to people, and the most often given example is people sitting down at a terminal, sitting down on the internet and wanting to get the benefit of that CICS application, for example. And this is very easy to do using things like SOA, and there are a number of companies like DataDirect that have got products that allow you to do that effectively. The application still runs on the mainframe, but it’s exposed to the user using their web browser, and from there they can actually run a very secure application and get the results back to their screen, perhaps using Ajax for the updates, et cetera. But it’s very successful, and by doing that, by updating the application what you're also doing is making sure that the company is more likely to stay in business because it’s making it much easier for its users to then get the information they need, and that’s likely to make them stay your customer rather than going after someone else.

So looking at that -- to summarize, what you’re doing is you’re taking the best of what you’ve got at the moment and extending it. You’re sort of making its arms and legs much longer so it can reach out from that mainframe to your customers, to your potential customers, whether they’re sitting down locally, whether they’re remote, whether they’re there between 9:00 in the morning and 5:00 in the evening, or whether they’re actually there on the other side of the world and logging in at midnight, for example. All these things make your organization stronger in the business sense.

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Trevor Eddolls

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