Latest Entries

With a 40 MIPS minimum entry-point, the 64-bit world provided by IBM’s zSeries processors is beyond the reach of most small VM and VSE enterprises, as well as z/OS developers. Pentium-based z/Architecture emulation addresses this gap and provides a lowcost, 64-bit solution for small environments. This article provides an overview of the FLEX-ES emulator architecture from Fundamental Software and discusses my company’s systems programming, performance, and compatibility experiences with FLEX-ES on a zDev server as part of IBM’s PartnerWorld for Developers (PWD) program.

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CICz: Enhancements You May Not Have Noticed

Is your site in the process of installing, or planning to install, CICS TS 2.2 but you are still running CICS TS 1.3? Well, this version contains several enhancements that were delivered since your site originally installed CICS TS 1.3. If your site is planning to run a great deal of business on 1.3 for a while, or if you’re interested in the new features since 2.2 was originally announced, here are some changes that have been delivered via the service process.

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z/Bottom Line: An “Old” Problem

Who would have thought that mainframe computers would stay active longer than their caregivers? Throughout the past 15 years, there has been an all-out assault on the viability of mainframe computing vs. network, nee client/server, nee LAN-based computing. Pitched on a myriad of IT panaceas, customers were told to move off the mainframe or face business death, or at least embarrassment at parties. “Can you believe it? Steve said they’re still using the (hand over mouth) mainframe in their shop!” It’s been well-chronicled in this column and others that mainframe computing continues to prove its worth on a variety of fronts despite the predictions. But there is a much larger problem looming that presents the greatest threat of all…

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CIOs are always interested in insights on how centralized and distributed servers will likely evolve over the coming years. Some pundits predict the imminent death of the mainframe, but growing indicators from Gartner research, surveys and client feedback point to continued investment in, and resiliency of, the IBM mainframe platform.

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TCP/IP Printing Protocols

We don’t often think of the z/OS system as a very large print server, but in some ways that is exactly what it is. The end result of many mainframe applications is information in the form of a report. In some cases, the report may be viewed and/or archived, but quite often the report needs to be printed on paper…

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z/Bottom Line:  Keeping an “Open” Mind

 BREAKING NEWS: IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) today announced the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has agreed to allow IBM to complete their acquisition of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT). The DOJ had previously brought an anti-trust action to block the transaction under Section 7 of the Clayton Act. In a startling development, the DOJ conceded that the transaction was in the best interest of the public at large…

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z/Data Perspectives: DB2 V7 B4 V8

Much excitement has been generated the past few months since IBM announced Version 8 of DB2 for z/OS. While this excitement is warranted, those of us here in the trenches still have to get production work done. V8 is not expected to become generally available until sometime late this year or early in 2004. In addition, many of us are just now coming up to speed on V7. So, let’s take a moment to highlight a few V7 features that we should be adopting before we become too giddy about V8…

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VSE TCP/IP PROGRAMMING

For many years, SNA has been the communications method for IBM mainframes. However, the IBM mainframe has been dragged — clawing and screaming — into the world of IP. Now application programmers are being asked to write TCP/IP programs to communicate with off-platform applications. These off-platform applications can be a simple customer balance inquiry or a complicated modeling tool. The primary IBM Application Programming Interface (API) for IP is the EZA interface. The EZASMI macro is used for Assembler while the EZASOKET High-Level Language (HLL) interface is used for COBOL and sometimes Assembler. Although additional options are available when using the macro interface, a programmer can easily write a full-featured IP program using the HLL interface. Examples in this article will discuss the HLL interface with the end result being a programming example designed for use in a CICS environment. However, the calls discussed here can also be used in the batch environment. There are actually three major methods to use IP: Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), User Datagram Protocol (UDP), and Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP). An application programmer would normally only use TCP, so this article will not discuss UDP or ICMP…

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