Appendix: IBM System z case study

As part of a storefront application, an existing IBM CICS application has been business process- and service-enabled. Web or RESTful services can be used to access the application for browsing and ordering products through a variety of interfaces. In this case, a mobile device application will use those services to access information to display to the mobile device user.

A second part of the application, enabling credit verification, is not yet service-enabled. Currently, it is accessed by internal staff who take a customer's credit card information and validate it by phone.

As one possible implementation, the architecture could combine these elements:

  • An IBM CICS application communicates with IBM DB2® database to get or store information
    • CICS COBOL services enable the browsing and ordering of products.
    • CICS basic mapping support (BMS) maps display and validate credit card input,
  • IBM WebSphere Application Server (running on IBM z/OS® or System z Linux (often called zLinux) hosting the Worklight server-based applications, supporting application interaction and automated updates
  • Communication between the mobile application, WebSphere Application Server hosting Worklight and CICS through RESTful services
  • Mobile UI application components reside on the mobile device
  • Select processing resides on WebSphere Application Server and CICS, with access to the DB2 database
  • Integration with green screen processing provided to mobile UI through Rational Host Access Transformation Services (HATS), which resides on WebSphere Application Server

The existing HATS mobile project can be transformed into a native mobile application using the IBM Worklight Studio plugins.

The illustrated prototype was developed with the help of IBM Worklight plugins installed on Eclipse 3.7 (Indigo) for J2EE applications and Android SDK.

Architecturally, the WorkLight Studio sits in between the WAS and the mobile client to transform any webservices queries back and forth.

This is to help the users with a direct link to their HATS application that runs on WAS from their mobile home screen or from application menu. While this is done, the existing HATS application is untouched, thereby serving other clients from desktop.

To achieve this mobile enablement, knowledge of Worklight APIs, HTML, CSS. XML and Java Script for rendering user interface are the skills required.

System architecture example
workflow diagram

An organization implements collaborative processing with these applications

  • Rational Developer for System z to support mobile development with linkages to COBOL and PL/I processes
  • Rational Team Concert supporting automated build, change management, and collaboration
  • Rational Quality Manager and Rational Test Workbench or Rational Integration Tester supporting automated testing in flexible virtualized environments
  • Rational Asset Analyzer supporting the finding and reuse of business processes

Return to the article: Considerations in opening the mainframe to mobile devices