Friday, May 04, 2007


How come the mainframe is still a second-class citizen in an SOA?

You would think that with the popularity of mainframes that IBM would be doing a better job of enabling a mainframe to participate in an SOA. Here are eight things I would love to see IBM tackle...

  • The mainframe needs either open source and/or freely available code that would allow a COBOL application to emit XML.
  • RACF should be expanded to directly produce/consume SAML without requiring additional products.
  • RACF should also be extended to support the XACML specification.
  • Ruby on Rails should be ported to Z/Linux and Unix System Services with IBM leading this effort.
  • Support for a specialized card to handle XML processing such as what is offered by DataPower should be installable component within the mainframe and not require calling out.
  • Z/OS Administrators should be able to register an LPAR with Active Directory and have it appear as a computer in a Windows domain.
  • IBM needs to get better at championing open source for the mainframe environment and work with the likes of Sourceforge to get special build capabilities.
  • IBM should expose a small mainframe with self-provisioning capabilities to the Internet so that folks who want to do development can do so. It would be intriguing to see applications such as Alfresco, Intalio and ServiceMix certified on Z/OS able to directly integrate with existing mainframe applications.

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