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LongEx Mainframe Quarterly - Feb 2022


Old Technology, and Using It Today

Those of us working with mainframes spend a lot of time on 'old' technology. We work on COBOL programs that may be 20 years old; we use utilities like IEBGENER that have been around for decades. But although this technology is old, it doesn't mean that it isn't useful. And it doesn't mean that it isn't changing.

In this edition, we think about this older technology and skills, and some issues in using them today.

in our first technical article, we look at the latest COBOL compiler: do we still need 'old school' COBOL programming skills and techniques to maximise performance, or are these now obsolete? In our second, we look at an old technology that we still use today, but isn't that well documented: TSO TRANSMIT.

In our opinion article David Stephens argues that after 32 years he still doesn't know everything: he still needs to put in the work to learn.

Finally, at TechChannel, we look at hashes, and how they can be generated on z/OS.

We hope you enjoy this issue.

technical: Does the Latest Enterprise COBOL Compiler Eliminate Coding Performance Errors?

There have been a lot of changes to the IBM Enterprise COBOL compiler over the past five years. These include performance-related changes. In fact, IBM thinks that these changes are so significant, those with old COBOL code can buy the product "IBM Automatic Binary Optimizer for z/OS" to get these benefits with recompiling that old code.

So, here's a question: do we still need to think about performance when programming in COBOL, or does the latest Enterprise COBOL forgive everything?


technical: How to Use TSO Transmit to Package Mainframe Datasets

If you're using the IBM Security Identity Adapters, you'll need to upload an adapter package to z/OS. This adapter package is file of a type called XMI. If you want to grab free tools on the CBT Tape website, you'll find that most of them are also in this XMI format. And Broadcom's CA Test Data Manager packages their mainframe data in, you guessed it, XMI format.


opinion: My Reality Check: I Really Don't Know Everything

When I first started as a IMS Systems Programmer in 1989, my employer put me on to an intensive education program. I was sent on courses, watched hours of (boring) video courses, and read so many manuals. I even read Barry Merrill's book from cover to cover (you have to give it to me – that's impressive).



LongEx Quarterly is a quarterly eZine produced by Longpela Expertise. It provides System z Mainframe and z/OS related articles for management and technical experts. It is published every November, February, May and August.

The opinions in this article are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of any other person or organisation. All trademarks, trade names, service marks and logos referenced in these articles belong to their respective companies.

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