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Batch Modernization Redefines Application Development

Cross-Model and Cross-Platform Interfaces

Single-platform, single-system applications are rare today, and new programming models and skills have been brought to bear on application architectures. This means new applications are often developed using tools such as J2EE and other online interaction models. Providing ways for many of these to work and play well together is the reason for the z/OS Batch Runtime environment, which provides the most important parts of the IBM WebSphere* batch programming model. Programs written to this standard are often portable.

In IBM, the supporting infrastructure is called the WebSphere Compute Grid, which has now been incorporated into WebSphere Application Server and in z/OS V1.13, where it’s called the Batch Runtime environment. It defines a layer of abstraction application programmers can use to develop code that works well in current z/OS production control environments. On z/OS V1.13, it provides an envelope within which COBOL and Java* programs can interact with DB2* while maintaining transactional integrity by providing the container that manages the programs’ access to DB2. In z/OS V2.1, previewed in February, IBM plans to expand this function to provide support for PL/I within the container and interaction with Transactional VSAM (TVS) while adding other functions to the programming model.

To better support hybrid and cross-platform processing, IBM created new batch management interfaces. With z/OS V1.13 and the System z Management Facility V1.13, IBM introduced a set of REST-based job APIs that flow over HTTPS. A Web-savvy developer can submit z/OS batch jobs, get their status and retrieve their output from any platform over the network. This lowers the barrier for using z/OS batch services while maintaining expected levels of z/OS security.

In z/OS V2.1, a new notification service is planned to direct HTTP posts for completed jobs upon the submitter’s request. This provides the capability to notify waiting users and kick off dependent processes. Also, it removes requirements for driving repetitive queries on the status of jobs and balancing overall CPU utilization with elapsed time.

Gary Puchkoff is a senior technical staff member for IBM Z Strategy and Architecture.

John Eells is a former MVS and OS/390 system programmer who also worked in ServerPac design. Now a senior software engineer in IBM Systems, his current assignments include z/OS technical marketing, future release planning and strategy.



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