IBM is unveiling software and resources Tuesday intended to educate the next generation of developers on how to build applications for the company's newly announced System z10 mainframe.
Featured are software products for turning Cobol applications into Web services and enabling access to mainframe applications via mobile devices.
Serving as an extension to IBM's $100 "Mainframe Simplification" investment in 2006, the new software will help developers, testers, and others more easily program and administer a mainframe and automate development and deployment of mainframe applications.
New software called IBM Rational Business Developer helps System z clients and developers shorten deployment cycles and allows for collaboration on higher-value technology solutions, IBM said. Developers do not need to be familiar with underlying middleware or platform technologies.
The software makes it easier to discover and transform existing Cobol and PL/I assets into Web services and generate clean Cobol or Java code. Mainframe developers also benefit from more automated business processes.
Additionally, IBM Rational Host Access Transformation Services (HATS) transforms green screen applications into Web services or rich user interfaces to allow users to access mainframe applications from a mobile phone, PDA, or other remote mobile interface. An insurance adjuster, for example, could access claim details while on the road.
New IBM Rational enterprise modernization products include IBM Rational Developer for System z, IBM Rational Transformation Workbench, IBM Enterprise Cobol for z/OS 4.1, IBM Enterprise PL/I for z/OS v3.7, and Software Configuration and Library Manager Advanced Edition for z/OS V1.2.
Programs offered by IBM include: System z for ISV, which offers training and marketing resources; destination z, an online community for business partners and software developers to build skills on System z application development technology; and Academic Initiative for System z, which helps colleges and universities teach and develop mainframe courses and degrees.
Also offered is System z Sandbox, which enables customers to access the IBM developerWorks Web site to try Rational offerings before deciding whether to buy. Tutorials and architectural guidance are featured.
System z Starter Packs, meanwhile, help clients get started evolving core IT systems. The starter packs include training, workshops, and a 90-day evaluation period.
Paul Krill is editor at large at InfoWorld.