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Ways to Overcome Common IBM Mainframe Challenges

Posted by Martin Bakal, Product Evangelist on February 05, 2020

Using microservices and APIs to leverage data and business logic locked inside IBM mainframes (z/OS) are often a slow and time consuming task. Mainframe application releases are more frequent these days, but no one is reaping the benefits because it usually takes too long to create, expose and deploy the APIs.

iStock-963131214Various challenges include trying to get backlog projects prioritized and aligned to the business needs, along with securing the proper skilled resources. Furthermore, tools like IBM’s z/OS Connect require dedicated liberty servers and IBM Z series certified engineers. Every time you deploy on another mainframe, this whole process is repeated.

Once you finally get everything installed, you need to build a facade for data translation and use middleware to transfer the data. Also, the resulting APIs aren’t truly cloud-native microservices or nodeJS functions, leaving the digital team to adapt them to their environment. The layers of additional complexity, platform upgrades, specialty resources and manual development clearly does not speed the primary objective, which is Time-to-Market.

The goal is to better leverage IBM assets by treating API development like a true factory where API requirements get put in at one end and the new API quickly comes out the other. The factory should scale for volume and require minimal, easily accessible team resources. To achieve the factory model, companies need easy installations of run-time adapters and automatic generation of cloud-native APIs. That way digital teams can access data and business processes as needed.

For example, the OpenLegacy platform automatically connects directly to the mainframe with pre-built connectors, and generates microservice-based APIs for deployment on-premises or in the cloud. The generation process quickly creates APIs and makes a true API factory model work. Now companies can extend their IBM mainframe as modern digital services, without complexity and middleware.

To read more about why customers are choosing OpenLegacy to solve their Z/OS challenges, please read our new case study called “Bank Hapoalim accelerates delivery of digital services by 30x with OpenLegacy.” Also, learn more on our IBM Mainframe solution page.

Marty Bakal has 25 years' experience in various facets of enterprise integration, agile and DevOps. As the Product Evangelist and Product Marketing Director for OpenLegacy, Marty's focus is on providing content to answer common questions about the legacy integration aspects of digital transformation.

Topics: Mainframe, Microservices, API Factory, IBM Mainframe, z/os