The Progress DataDirect Shadow team has recently released the latest update of its Shadow product, 7.2.1. In this podcast Trevor Eddolls provides his take on the new mainframe middleware product.
The podcast lasts for 3:27 and you may listen to the podcast here: http://blogs.datadirect.com/media/TrevorEddolls_Shadow7.2.1.mp3
Well, I mean, my first thoughts were that it’s a good thing for IMS users, so one of the things they put in the product announcement was that the latest release allows workloads for IMS databases and CICS files to be diverted from the GPP to the zIIP specialty engine, vector specialty engines again, which makes it good for IMS users. I mean, the other thing is that this latest version of Shadow really sort of stresses the importance of SOA, and why, you know, the fact that mainframe users need to expose their applications, it gives a very nice way, a very easy way for mainframers to do that, and to modernize their applications. And when you think about it, it’s quite important to modernize, because what you can do -- you can actually create mash-ups. These are things where you take maybe data from your mainframe, which you made available, and you mix it with data maybe from the internet, and you produce like a completely new web page, a completely new design, a completely new application, which is a mixture of different things, and by using SOA you can do that. Your end user is seeing something that’s really up to date, really modern, and very attractive for them.
Going back to the product, though, the very fact that you’re moving stuff to the specialty engine means that you’re saving on MIPS use, which means that you’re going to be saving on the cost of running the processor, and anything that makes mainframes more affordable has got to be a good thing. One of the features I particularly like is the Shadow Studio. As I mentioned earlier, it’s sort of very hard to use a mainframe cold, the way we used to use it back in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The fact that you’ve got these kind of visual studios make it quite easy to select components, to link components using the software development kit. It’s great, and the Shadow Studio actually does that. And when you produce your application, of course, that’s good, but what you need to do is to make sure it’s scalable. Scalability is really important. The fact that one thing runs might be OK, but the fact that you want to run it lots of times and maybe lots of things going on concurrently makes scalability very important, and one of the good things of other Shadow products is the fact it does that.
So just in summary, just to sort of look at the whole thing, what you’ve got is actually a very comprehensive piece of software, something that can do a whole lot of stuff for the end user in a way that can start to save you money. So it gets my recommendation.
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