Guest Author: Alan Wynne
I am a great fan of the mainframe, however I throw my hands up in despair when I think of some of the limitations that the old architecture still has in force today that I don't believe should be there.
When am I going to be able to edit files directly on the mainframe without being limited to 48X80 screen sizes? When am I going to be able to cut and past large blocks of data (more than 48 lines at a time) into a file on the mainframe with the mainframe being able to accept it as seamlessly as if I did it in a text editor on the PC? And, when am I going to be able to do this and cut and paste from a PC into a mainframe file or from a mainframe file back onto the PC without having to FTP files back and forth? When am I going to be able to do this without expensive third-party products, but as part of the basic building blocks of a mainframe system?
When is IBM going to upgrade its standard 3270 interface into a much better, flexible GUI interface without the 3270 limitations? (Please don't talk about IBM's useless 3270 ISPF workstation GUI that just tries to put a GUI onto ISPF and fails hopelessly at it.)
What we need is a PC front-end that does just about everything ISPF does but on the PC with PC usability and flexibility without any of the 3270 limitations, but provides functionality on the mainframe such as submitting jobs, browsing job queues, editing files, copying files, etc., without the 3270 restrictions.
When all of this is in place, younger people will be keen to take on the mainframe as their existing PC skills will be transportable to the mainframe.
Alan Wynne is a Technical Specialist at Standard Bank in Bloemfontein Area, South Africa