Rocket Mainframe Data Service: Bluemix Meets Mainframe Data

This is part 1 of a five-part series on accessing mainframe data from your Bluemix applications.

  • Part 1: Bluemix Meets Mainframe Data (this entry)
  • Part 2: Installing Rocket Mainframe Data Service on Your Mainframe
  • Part 3: Mapping Your Mainframe Data for Access From Bluemix
  • Part 4: Building an Application in Bluemix That Accesses Mainframe Data
  • Part 5: Bringing Agility to Mainframe Data Access Using Bluemix

If you’re like me, you love to use your credit card’s mobile app to keep an eye on your expenses. But, have you ever thought about the technology that enables such an app? Where does the data that you engage with on your mobile app come from? Well, I can tell you that it most likely comes from a mainframe system, as that’s where most Systems of Record reside. In fact, all major banks and financial institutions use mainframes for their Systems of Record. All of them.

However, in the age of Uber and SnapChat–an age of transformed experiences and instant communication–organizations are always looking to enhance their customers’ experience by creating new cloud-based ubiquitous mobile systems, often referred to as Systems of Engagement. Obviously, such systems have an acute need to access the Systems of Record data for timely and relevant information. However, there has been no easy way to integrate with the mainframe. Developers have continued to struggle to bridge this gap—until now, that is!

Rocket Mainframe Data Service for BluemixRocket Mainframe Data Service, a Bluemix-enabled service from Rocket Software, allows you, the developer, to easily access mainframe data from Bluemix with very little friction. In fact, you can use your favorite stack to access the mainframe data without worrying about the internal mainframe formats. You can even access IT operational data on the mainframe without ever worrying about data layout or specialized mainframe languages. This is made possible by our proven Rocket Data Virtualization technology, which enables access to all mainframe data (VSAM, IMS DB, SMF, Physical Sequential files and even DB2 on z etc.) using SQL or MongoDB APIs. So, you can now develop in your favorite language, or use the MEAN stack and access data on the mainframe as if it was stored in MySQL or in MongoDB.

It’s easy to get started working with mainframe data in Bluemix. You can either select the Mainframe Data tile in the Integration section of the Bluemix catalog, or go directly to the Rocket website. Once you register for the data service you will get an email with complete instructions for getting started (we’ll go over these in the next few posts, so don’t worry—just have the email handy so you can follow along as we move forward).

Yes, I know you can’t wait to start coding and consume that mainframe data. We just have to get this house keeping done before you can access your data from Bluemix. In part 2 of this series, we’ll dive deeper into the installation of Rocket Mainframe Data Service and discuss how you can get it up and running on your mainframe (z Systems). Stay tuned!

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Azeem Ahmed joined Rocket Software in 2003 as a Software Engineer after having graduated from UT Austin. Over the course of past fifteen years, he has held many engineering and management roles. In his current role as Chief Technologist for Cloud, Azeem helps lead Rocket R&D around Hybrid & Public Cloud, is responsible for Rocket’s Cloud strategy, and leads Emerging Tech Research Group focused on Big Data Analytics & Cloud. In addition to this role, Azeem was instrumental in conceiving the Rocket.Build program – an internal hackathon for Rocket Engineers. He continues to direct that program every year for our engineers.

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