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Application Development on z/OS
Pratin Ashtekar 2700046SAG email@example.com | | Tags:  appdev tim_hahn enterprise_modernization | 1,970 Visits
By Timothy J Hahn
CTO - Enterprise Modernization, Rational Distinguished Engineer .
I often speak to various groups of people with a wide range of backgrounds and skills in the area of computer programming, computer science, and information technology. It always amazes me at how similar so much of our computing infrastructure is and at the same time how much many people believe the differences are extraordinary. While it is true that there are very real differences in the level of capability in various computing environments in aspects such as raw computing power, I/O capacity, reliability, serviceability, performance, security, and availability features, it still remains that there is also much commonality between system environments. Here are just a couple of examples of such common characteristics: every system has some type of boot sequence and a way to control that boot process; every system has a system log of some sort; every system has a way to interact with the system, often at its base there is some form of command-line user interface; every system has a means to write application programs to run on that system, and often in a variety of programming languages.
What is frustrating though is that many people are still under the impression that some computing systems, mainframe systems in particular, are only accessible and programmable using aged and arcane user interfaces. Examples such as short cryptic single letter commands, unfamiliar programming languages, seemingly strange runtime environments and so on. The good news in this missive though is that this is simply a mis-conception and that if anything, mainframe application development allows programming teams to have their cake and eat it too. Not only can they take advantage of state-of-the-art capabilities and features of the mainframe, they can use application development tools, programming languages, application runtime environments, and toolkits which they are very familiar with and which make them super productive.
Application development on z/OS is, in reality, very similar to application development on every other system type, including, believe it or not, mobile application development, web application development, and Linux-on-the-cloud application development. How can this be? Here's some examples:
Yes, these are exciting times to be an application developer. The number of platforms, languages, and runtime environments available for providing solutions continues to grow. And at the same time, application development tools are available to allow these developers to move quickly between all of these environments, including z/OS, while still “staying in the zone”.
Here are some interesting links that you may like to visit around the areas I've mentioned above