Mainframe - More Than Just CICS and IMS

We all know that the mainframe is seeing resurgence in large enterprises; the SOA drumbeat has been loud and steady for a number of years now.

IBM and a strong base of ISV's have been marketing various SOA and the mainframe solutions; this is a good sign of the health of the mainframe ecosystem.

The troubling point is that most solutions for "service-enabling" mainframe transactions fall short of providing a complete offering.

They focus on CICS or IMS, or perhaps a database or two, but fail to understand the truth about mainframe-based enterprises.

Most mainframes at large companies have been around 20-30 years. Yes, these systems run CICS and/or IMS, but they also run other technologies and applications.

How about MQ Series, CORBA, packaged applications like Hogan Systems (CSC), or custom written applications? What about compression routines and encryption routines that is essential to the business?

As organizations evaluate their applications for inclusion in the SOA strategy, it is critical to properly identify the true scope of the mainframe's role in new SOA plans.

Enterprise architects and Web services managers quickly discover that the mainframe is not just CICS and IMS! As that happens, mainframer's need a strategy to address their entire portfolio - wherever there is value in reusing application and data logic, or they run the real risk of being marginalized in the broader SOA strategy.

This article has been contributed by Brian Anderson, Director of Product Management at GT Software. He has extensive expertise in midrange and mainframe systems, with particular focus on application and data integration technologies.