Choosing the right fit

What is Node.js and how does it deliver value?

Node.js, often abbreviated to “Node,” is a server-side JavaScript runtime that is popularly used by developers to build scalable cloud, microservices, and mobile applications. You can accelerate application delivery with Node.js package management capabilities, which provide developers access to leverage over one million community modules and frameworks. Node.js’s cross-platform and open-source nature allows for easy integration across different platforms for all aspects of the application lifecycle, from development and testing to deployment.

How are clients using Node.js?

Node.js is a language of choice for new cloud-native web and mobile apps. Every week thousands of new users choose Node.js with greater frequency than any other language. This speaks to the ongoing emergence and broad popularity of Node.js with our enterprise clients, and its applicability to cloud-native and microservice architectures. By delivering first-class support for Node.js across public, private, and on-premises cloud environments, we are making it possible for developers working on apps and workloads of all types to leverage Node.js with scale and success.

How does Node.js work with IBM Z?

For z/OS®, SMP/E installations of the IBM® SDK for Node.js are available at no-charge via Shopz. Clients can simply take or develop their Node.js applications and deploy them on the mainframe. With the wealth of corporate data that either resides or originates on the mainframe, there's a strong likelihood that cloud or mobile applications and APIs built on Node.js will require access to data and services on IBM Z. With Node.js, clients can now expose the Systems of Engagement opportunities from Node.js and tie them with the trusted Systems of Records on the mainframe.

Can I try SDK for Node.js - z/OS if I don't have access to a mainframe?

Yes, see our cloud-based IBM Z® Trial, ready in 2 hours and available for 3 days. Run and deploy a Node.js web application with the LoopBack® framework and utilize the vsam.js npm module with Express® framework to connect to a VSAM dataset. IBM CICS® also has a Node.js scenario available on Z Trial.

How is IBM working with the Node.js community and OpenJS Foundation?

IBM has a rich heritage of commitment and contribution to important open source initiatives, including leadership roles in Apache, Eclipse, Linux, OSGi, jQuery, OpenStack®, Cloud Foundry, and many others. IBM has worked and will continue to work closely with and contribute to the entire Node.js community. IBM is a Platinum sponsor of the OpenJS Foundation, which will drive Node.js to the next level of adoption as the source of a stable release that enterprises can count on and the place for experimentation and innovation. We take an active role in the OpenJS Foundation by sitting on the Board of Directors and the Node.js Technical Steering Committee, contributing to its open source projects, providing resources to help shape and promote the organization, and allocating sponsorship funds for ongoing operations. IBM will continue to grow our technical contributions to the Node.js open source community and leverage Node.js within our portfolio of offerings.

What benefits do clients gain by running Node.js on IBM Z?

By deploying Node.js applications on IBM Z, clients gain all the strengths, security, and reliability of the mainframe. IBM Z’s fast general-purpose processors are well suited to the Node.js single-threaded processing model. The large I/O capacity of the mainframe also complements a strength of Node.js applications — the ability to scale and maintain thousands of concurrent connections. IBM Z can further provide an advantage to JavaScript applications that need to access enterprise data and transactions. npm packages are available to provide you with direct access to IBM Db2® on z/OS, RACF®, CICS transactions, and VSAM datasets. By accessing the true source of data, application architecture can often be simplified to avoid the complexities of data extraction and change data management.

What IBM products and services work with Node.js?

Node.js is a strategic and popular runtime for building cloud-native, enterprise, and open-source applications. Leverage Loopback framework and API Connect® to create, manage, secure, and monitor your APIs and microservices. On z/OS, CICS 5.5 introduces support for managing z/OS Node.js applications within CICS regions and provides locally optimized transport via the ibm-cics-api node module to call CICS services. Zowe™, an open source platform that offers modern interfaces to interact with z/OS, leverages Node.js to provide their desktop framework. The ibm_db node module provides connectivity for Node.js applications to Db2 on both z/OS and distributed platforms, leveraging the ODBC support within db2connect and IBM Db2 for z/OS. The racf node module provides authentication capabilities against the z/OS RACF facility and the zcrypto node modules provide interfaces for leveraging RACF keyrings, enabling you to create secure web applications.

How is Zowe related to IBM SDK for Node.js - z/OS?

The Zowe open source project offers modern, cloud-like interfaces to interact with z/OS. The virtual desktop component provides a browser-based UI written in Node.js, and deployed upon IBM SDK for Node.js - z/OS. Use the PAX version on the z/OS host where you install the Zowe Application Server.

What does the move to community builds for IBM SDK for Node.js mean for the z/OS product?

There is no change to IBM SDK for Node.js - z/OS. The deprecation of the distributed Node.js product only affects distributed platforms, which have moved to supporting community drivers. If you require support for Node.js on distributed platforms, IBM offers Support for Runtimes.

What's the difference between the z/OS UNIX installable PAX archive, SMP/E, and the version used in Zowe™?

They are the same software, just the packaging and installation are different. Zowe, co-founded by IBM, offers modern, cloud-like interfaces to interact with z/OS, and is built with the PAX archive version of IBM SDK for Node.js - z/OS.

Which version of IBM SDK for Node.js - z/OS is compatible with CICS Transaction Server?

Use PAX or SMP/E version 6.14.4 (released in 2017) or later. You can use the command 'node --version' to see what version you are running.

Getting started with this product

Can SDK for Node.js - z/OS be invoked by Started Task?

Node.js can be invoked within JCL using the BPXBATCH facility.


How much does SDK for Node.js - z/OS cost?

It is available with no license charge. Plus, overall costs to deploy on z/OS are reduced as workloads may be eligible to use the New Application Solution pricing model for new production workloads on z13 and later. Optional subscription and support (S&S) available.

Does Node.js for z/OS run on general purpose central processors (GP) or Specialty Processors?

Node.js applications are not IBM z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP)-eligible. However, you can use the Tailored Fit Pricing-New Application Solution to isolate Node.js workloads without impacting the MLC costs of existing workloads when deployed as part of an approved New Application Solution.


How can I get support?

Online documentation is available on Knowledge Center. You can also download the PDF format documentation for offline use. Paid world-class IBM support is available by opening a case. GitHub and Slack support are on a best-efforts basis.