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Remember when you got your driver’s license? That was a pretty big day. Now imagine that as the person at the DMV handed you your card, he or she also slipped you permits to operate a boat, drive a motorcycle and fly the Space Shuttle. Sounds crazy, right? Yet it’s happening in the world of mainframes every day thanks to new tools that make it possible to program and manage big iron in just about any language and on any platform…

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It’s no secret—the disparaging things we hear behind closed doors and in darkened IT lunch rooms, the rumors that the mainframe is dead or, at the very least, going the way of the Dodo. However, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, as it turns out, the mainframe may be the only resource we have to maintain the upward drive of mobile use and the associated data that accompanies it…

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Mainframe data, historically accessed via built-from-scratch COBOL applications, is now more likely to be accessed by newer Web and mobile applications. Developers therefore must constantly modify mainframe code to accommodate these non-mainframe end-user applications. This has resulted in faster, more frequent mainframe development cycles, but admittedly, the mainframe’s culture, tools and processes have not always been the most intuitive and agile, creating obstacles for modern DevOps teams…

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I’ve seen a number of great technologies come and go. Some are fun for a while, as they are the first to market, such as game systems, entertainment devices and lifestyle products. But without staying ahead of the competition, they soon become irrelevant. Others simply don’t solve a big enough problem to warrant spending money to become an early adopter, such as Google Glass, Amazon’s Fire mobile phone or HD DVD…

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Cynics have been foretelling the imminent demise of the mainframe since the early 1990s, but all the evidence continues to point to the contrary. Today, 96% of the world’s banks and 71% of Fortune 500 companies continue to run mainframes, generating 30 billion transactions every single day. If these figures weren’t convincing enough, the latest earnings from IBM clearly show the mainframe is still booming, with sales from its zSeries growing by 21% over the year…

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