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LongEx Mainframe Quarterly - May 2021


(Everyone's Talking About) Mainframe Modernisation

Mainframe modernisation is the latest 'thing' in mainframe marketing circles. So we would normally steer clear of it, and talk about something more interesting.

But when we've discussed mainframe modernisation with others, lots of issues and options have come up: from Zowe to mainframe retirement. The differences (and number) of opinions has intrigued us. So, in this issue, we're jumping into mainframe modernisation, but in our own way.

One thing that is different is that all our articles this issue are opinion articles. We don't see many 'absolutes' with mainframe modernisation: it's mostly opinion. Including ours.

In our first article, we take a step back and talk about what mainframe modernisation is, and some of the broad options available. In our second article, we discuss if replacing COBOL programs with something like Java makes sense. Finally, in our third article we list five ways we'd modernise our mainframe.

In March, we presented our session on our experiences implementing VSAM RLS at the Share Virtual conference. If you couldn't make our session, you can see a recording of the presentation in the Share website, or the presentation slides here

We've also been writing other articles. You may be surprised to see how important Websphere Application Server has become to z/OS: so important that is included in the base product. We talk more about this in our article on Planet Mainframe.

Finally, at TechChannel, we take a look at Node.js, and explore if this is a real language for z/OS, or just something you install to get Zowe running.

We hope you enjoy this issue.

opinion: What Is Mainframe Modernisation, And Should We Care?

I often chat with clients and other consultants about mainframe modernisation. These discussions go in many different ways, and discuss different things. One persom may talk about new features like Zowe; another focused on rehosting on a non-mainframe server. Others may talk up Java or RESTful APIs, while vendors get excited about new products and services.

But what do we really mean when we talk about mainframe modernisation? Let's take a closer look.


opinion: Should Mainframe Modernisation Include COBOL Retirement?

Sites looking at mainframe modernisation will be looking at options and direction for keeping their mainframe relevant. One possible modernisation option is to retire COBOL, replacing COBOL code with something more modern such as C, C++, Java or Node.js.

But is this a good idea, or madness? Let's take a closer look by reviewing some of the reasons why some think that COBOL has to go.


opinion: Five Ways I'd Modernise My Mainframe

I'm a z/OS systems consultant who has worked on many different z/OS systems around the world: big and small. My clients are very interested in mainframe modernisation, and they're not alone. Mainframe modernisation seems to be one of the most talked about mainframe topics today.

So, how would I recommend sites modernise their mainframe? Here's five ways I'd do it.



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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