Key Terms

• State: conveys the session status of interactions between two computing devices or between a computer application and a user ID, or a service and the service client. State refers to the degree of information retained and available about ongoing communications for the duration of the session.

• Stateless interactions: describe communications in which services don’t retain information, such as stored state variables or their values, between one event and the next. Each user-initiated action is treated as an isolated incoming application request with no extraneous information needed or kept.

• Stateful interactions: describe communications in which services retain certain information (or histories) between one event and the next, usually to track status and context in the application. For example, an application might let an authorized user ID perform multiple actions against it while maintaining a single continuous session with the user ID for the duration of the activities. —RN

The first mainframes were built for use in trusted environments. Security concerns focused more on ensuring proper application access than on locking down the network. That’s because the applications ran on platforms that were totally self-contained; the concept of a distributed environment wasn’t even on the horizon.

But today’s IT staffs are under increasing pressure to open System z and other host applications to various settings outside that original realm. There are many options for doing this. However, you must address significant security implications when you extend your legacy assets beyond their original use. This is especially important when opening a legacy application to a distributed and more open network infrastructure.

Mainframe Modernization Via SOA

In uncertain financial times, cost considerations drive many business decisions. IT decisions are no exception, which is why IT organizations worldwide are tackling mainframe modernization with an increasingly popular method: Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) enablement. SOA enablement is cost-effective, efficient, mitigates risk, and yields a rapid ROI; it also doesn’t require rebuilding or replacing legacy applications.

IT professionals considering SOA enablement of mainframe assets typically want to address concerns such as:

• How can I make mainframe data more useful without invasive changes to my legacy application inventory?

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