|Article 1: Addressing Design and Lifecycle Challenges of Mainframe Applications in an SOA Environment|
|Article 2: Managing Multiple Skill Sets to Support Mainframe/SOA Development and Maintenance|
|Article 3: Optimizing Mainframe Process Logic and Data Management Services in an SOA Environment|
|Complete Series (ZIP file)|
Service oriented architectures (SOA) offer a flexible framework for building business applications; mainframes have long been the center of transaction processing and are essential to fully functional SOA services. Bringing mainframe applications and data to SOA environments is challenging for both developers and managers. The Essentials Series: SOA and Mainframe Applications examines key aspects of SOA/mainframe integration projects and provides best practices for addressing common challenges facing application designers, developers, and project managers.
Mainframe and SOA applications are designed according to different development models. Both work well in their respective domains but making them work together presents challenges. This article examines the different architecture models and describes technical and management best practices for improving the development process as well as later stages of application lifecycle management.
Leveraging mainframe applications in an SOA environment requires both mainframe development and distributed application development skills. It also requires an understanding of constraints on both kinds of applications and how those constraints impact everything from service granularity to responsibility for different parts of the application. This article includes best practices for managers tasked with coordinating mainframe/SOA development.
Application designers face a number of challenges when devising a mainframe/SOA strategy, such as deciding the level in the application stack to integrate mainframe services. For example, low level data access provides direct access to data but sacrifices the ability to leverage existing application logic; screen level interfaces ensure application and data integrity but developers are justifiably concerned with the changes to those screens that are out of their control. This article describes different ways to use mainframe data and application logic and balance a variety of tradeoffs using best practices.
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