Posted by: Anthony Kesterton | April 10, 2012

Don’t be scared of the Mainframe

or should that be “z” (pronounced “zee” in the US and inside IBM).

Mainframe development inside large organisations seemed to be the ground you dare not tread on. The tools are different, the way of working is different, even the people seem a little different (often in a good way). However, over the last year or two – there has been more and more interest in integrating mainframe (and iSeries) development into Windows, Linux and Unix development. A few years ago, I recall a customer from South Africa pleading with IBM – “why can’t you just have one development environment to work across all these systems (Window/iSeries/z/etc)”. I realise that as of last year – we do!

RTC has been supported on the different platforms for some time – but 3.0 was the first synchronised release across all platforms. 4.0 will bring us build/promotion tools similar to the ones we have today on Windows/Linux/Unix and z. The development environments are all based around Eclipse – with a common look and feel. Add in the requirements, modeling and test management – there is no longer any reason not to have a consistent ALM toolset across all your environments. Even the Visual Studio folks can join in. And with the recent Worklight acquisition – this extends to mobile/app development too.

And looking inside IBM – the CICS team migrated to RTC last year. This is significant – CICS is one of IBM’s “must work” products otherwise most of the banking industry would collapse (no one would be able to transfer funds – anywhere). I read about their first steps , and know this has become an example to many other IBM development projects.

Time to tear down these artificial barriers between different platforms – and focus on delivery again.

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