GCS brings mainframes into I-commerce era

As the processing demands for Internet commerce continue to scale off the chart, many of these applications are now entering into the realm of IBM mainframes.

Hoping to leverage that trend, Global Commerce Systems (GCS) in Boulder, Colorado, plans to deliver its Global Commerce Server Suite of 100 percent Java-based Internet-commerce applications, available on S390 series mainframes from IBM, by the end of the second quarter.

Originally expected by the third quarter of 1998, the delivery of the I-commerce application was pushed back to make sure that the port to MVS was based on a major new upgrade, company officials said.

According to GCS officials, there are approximately 30,000 companies running approximately 40,000 mainframes. As these companies look to embrace Internet commerce, these types of customers will want to leverage the business logic on those systems in a new generation of I- commerce applications.

In addition, as IBM delivers its latest wave of G5 processors for the 390 series, the installed base of mainframes should increase. In fact, IBM officials have recently stated that demand for mainframe-based MIPs is now at an all time high.

However, some analysts are not convinced that I-commerce companies will use the mainframe applications for more than legacy integration of information, or move from newer platforms.

"People are investing their resources in Unix and NT," said Vernon Keenan, an Internet analyst at KeenanVision in San Francisco. "It's convenient for middleware and legacy integration, but I see very little further use (for the Global Commerce Server Suite)."

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