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Use OS 2200 Release 13.1 to Break Out from Silo Behavior

 Author(s): Bob Vavra, Posted 04/13/12

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Do you see aspects of silo behavior in your application development and IT operations teams?

Does your mainframe team avoid talking with your Windows team? Is your web development team reluctant to make their project dependent on something from your COBOL development team? Does your enterprise architecture team view your OS 2200 system as untouchable? These examples of silo behavior can inhibit progress on critical projects and reduce the business value of the results.

With Release 13.1 of the ClearPath OS 2200 operating system, you receive several new features that can help your teams break out from their silo behavior without moving too far from their individual comfort zones. Release 13.1 includes the newest versions of middleware and development products that help multiple technologies and environments work together. Your OS 2200 experts will find ways to extend beyond the boundaries of the system using products they already know and love. Your experts in other systems and other environments will find familiar open technologies they can use for access to business data and business rules that reside in your OS 2200 systems. Mainframes actually are open systems – see the recent blog post by Peter Bye, What is an Open System?

Mobility! ClearPath ePortal for OS 2200 provides easy ways to make mainframe transactions available to new classes of users through web and mobile user interfaces as well as web services. Often with little or no change to the transaction programs. Put one of your web or mobile interface experts together with one of your transaction program experts, and see how quickly they can show you working prototypes on tablets and smartphones using ePortal.

Java! The OS 2200 JProcessor provides Java SE and Java EE capabilities running under control of the OS 2200 operating system. The OS 2200 IDE for Eclipse brings workstation-based development tools to the OS 2200 environment. Your Java programmers who have been deploying their programs on other system types can also write code for deployment on OS 2200 systems using familiar Java libraries and services. With a bit of guidance from your mainframe programmers they will be able to use our suite of JCA-compliant Resource Adapters to access databases and transactions on OS 2200 systems using familiar Java tools and calls. They can browse the schema and content of RDMS databases directly using SQL tools. They can access DMS databases through class files generated from the DMS schemas.

Websites! If your website developers are using PHP for some or all of their work, show them how they can use the ClearPath Database Extensions for PHP to access OS 2200 data in RDMS. If you currently are not using RDMS, consider extending some of your application programs to store significant data values in a new RDMS database at the same time they are storing the values into DMS, SFS, or FCSS. OS 2200 Step Control will coordinate the updates to all databases with a single commit point, and your website will have easy access to real-time data from the transaction system. The website team will have to talk to the mainframe team, but the SQL schema will give them a common language for the discussion.

SOA! If your enterprise architecture includes use of an Enterprise Service Bus, consider using message queuing to get onto the bus. The OS 2200 QProcessor and IBM® WebSphere® MQ Version 7.0 can connect your mainframe transactions and data to the rest of the enterprise. Your mainframe transaction experts will have to negotiate service interface details with other experts, but the ESB environment will give them definition tools to help with the discussion.

Green! You are probably using Enterprise Output Manager to handle “printer” report output from your OS 2200 systems, but how about the other system types in the data center? EOM can receive output from nearly any system type including ClearPath MCP systems, IBM zSeries and Power Systems, UNIX, Windows, and Linux systems. If you routinely print and distribute large reports from any systems, and suspect that many of them go onto a shelf unread, start routing the reports through EOM to cost-effective electronic distributions. Your other system administrators can easily learn how to save tons of paper using EOM, and if they are not too shy they might ask an OS 2200 administrator for a bit of coaching.

Release 13.1 includes many more features than have been described here. Watch a replay of the March 2012 webinar, Unisys ClearPath OS 2200 Release 13.1,  for more information, and find details in the ClearPath OS 2200: Software Release Announcement for Release 13.1.

If your experts on other systems are looking for a gentle introduction to OS 2200 capabilities, they can find dozens of short understandable video briefings on the ClearPath Channel at YouTube.

Expect holes to start appearing in those silo walls as your teams embrace OS 2200 Release 13.1!


The statements posted on this blog are those of the writer alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unisys.

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