a cura di Peter M. Horbach

The end of the Data- and Application-Lock-In.

Many companies look back on a long history of data processing.

My first assignment as an application programmer was in 1969 at a state authority with a large data center. The computer was housed in impressive cabinets and connected to an endless line of tape devices. About 20 data typists sat in a separate room, transferring perforated receipts to punched cards or punched strips.

This was a long, long time ago.

The data center still exists. Today everything is state-of-the-art. The computers are different, the peripherals have changed. The authority's task has remained the same, but has been expanded to include essential new tasks.

The heart of any data processing are the applications. Applications that were developed in-house in the early days of IT and were precisely adapted to the business processes in the company. They are the most important assets of a company, have grown over the years and are constantly adapted to the company's current needs.

The technology, hardware and software, IT has changed a lot in the last 40+ years. The applications also had to be adapted to the new technological requirements.

This is a big challenge. Another challenge is the fact that many application programmers who are responsible for the productive applications are either no longer with the company or are already retired or are about to retire. Young talent is hard to find because computer science education has changed a lot.

Companies are therefore often in a very difficult situation, which is also known as a Lock-In situation. There are also lock-in situations with dependencies on vendors. This is the case if purchased applications or databases are no longer updated to the current necessary requirements or no longer correspond to the currently available technologies.

What should be done in such a situation?

BOS Software already dealt with this topic in the mid-1990s with the tcACCESS solution.

tcACCESS opened up completely new worlds for application programming, for a number of customers and also for end users, as access to classic mainframe resources (VSAM, IMS, DL / I, PS / PDS, DB2, ADABAS, DATACOM, IDMS and many others) ) was now possible using standard SQL commands (SELECT, UPDATE, DELETE etc.). tcACCESS was probably the first product that enabled transparency in the integration of mainframe resources in Open environments and modern applications. For many companies it was also important to keep the productive data on the mainframe in order to continue to use the security and reliability of this platform. tcACCESS.

The technical innovations in the field of Open Systems continued to advance at the beginning of the 21st century, the new platforms became more and more reliable and more and more new vendors entered the software stage to offer their solutions. The generation problem of classic mainframe IT still exists or is getting worse. More and more companies are planning to migrate some of the applications to new platforms.

A number of negative experiences with changes and migrations had become known through so-called Big-Bang changes, whereby the day-to-day IT business was transferred from one platform to a new one on a specific date. This type of migration took a back seat in favor of a parallel migration, whereby the applications or data were kept in parallel for a period of time.

The time for tcVISION had now begun!

The original goal of tcVISION was to capture change data on mainframe resources (MVS, z / OS, VSE, z / VSE) in real time and to implement them directly in target systems on WINDOWS, UNIX and LINUX platforms. Over time, more and more databases in the open world were supported by tcVISION and the number of world-wide customers grew.

Companies could now implement their new applications, purchased or developed in-house, with care and slowly phase out the old, productive applications. B.O.S. is particularly involved in the field of bi-directional replication. Both participating platforms allow changes that have to be carried out on the parallel platform at the same time. The LOOPBACK procedure in tcVISION prevents the "foreign" changes from being captured and forwarded again. Particular attention was paid for the databases ADABAS and IDMS to this process in the initial phase by tcVISION. These databases use so-called identification numbers for their data records (IDMS: Dbnr, ADABAS: ISN). tcVISION automatically ensures that these ID numbers are synchronized and maintained on all platforms.

Over time, BigData platforms and Cloud Systems have been included in the tcVISION solution.

Cloud and BigData solutions are now an integral part of IT and especially companies that use a mainframe. After initial reluctance and many discussions about public, private, hybrid clouds and understandable security concerns, a trend reversal has now been observed. The increasing trend towards BigData solutions and large providers of Cloud solutions (Amazon, Google, T-Online etc.) means that transformations to the Cloud are being carried out more and more often.

Flexibility and economic reasons speak in favor of using these solutions. With fluctuating computing capacities, cloud infrastructures can be lucrative and useful. The performance can be adapted to the actual volumes.

Companies that want to use a cloud or big data solution, but are still dependent on their old applications, can also solve this Lock-In situation by using tcVISION.

tcVISION is ideally suited to connecting the traditional mainframe (regardless of whether the operating system is z / OS or z / VSE) with a Cloud or BigData.

Practical application experience at the customer and the BOS are available and there is great acceptance and demand. tcVISION offers support for a number of Cloud and BigData systems. You can find an overview of all supported input and output destinations here.

An overview of all supported input and output destinations can be found here.

Peter M. Horbach has been active in the area of data synchronization and replication with more than 40 years of IT experience. He manages the international partner business for BOS Software and writes for our blog.

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