Mainframe Software Eases Development, Connectivity

SAN MATEO (03/03/2000) - TRYING TO STRENGTHEN the position of its line of mainframes for enterprise applications such as e-commerce and CRM (customer relationship management), IBM Corp. has beefed up its OS/390 operating system for the Web and has introduced new hardware-based security capabilities.

The updated operating system, called OS/390 Version 2.9, includes Java development tools such as the Websphere Application Server, which now supports Java Server Pages and Servlets. Developers can also use Websphere Studio and VisualAge for Java on the mainframe, making it easier to port applications to and from the mainframe.

IBM has also added enhancements to the OS/390 Unix Systems Services, making it easier to port C and C++ applications from Unix to IBM's S/390. Built-in connections allow users to access data contained in IBM's DB2 database through the Java DataBase Connection standard protocol.

"With the release, we are trying to give users a faster track to the Web by giving them the tools to integrate their existing applications and systems," said Mark Shearer, vice president of marketing for IBM's Enterprise Server group.

Users with front-of-mind concerns about better tying legacy applications and data to e-business applications welcomed the new enhancements.

"The added Java support for Websphere along with the C++ support eliminates one more how-do-we-get-there-from-here concern about extending some of our more important host applications to other platforms and the Web," said Josh McCabe, a network engineer with a large Chicago-based financial services company.

The release also features beefed up file and print server support for Windows workstations that better enables networking compatibility on the OS/390 server.

Consequently, administrators can now give users access to high-speed OS/390 attached printers. And by adding the Server Message Block protocol, that high-speed access is enabled without needing to manage multiple software programs located on individual desktop PCs.

Trying to assist administrators in better diagnosing a variety of systems issues related to Unix applications, IBM has enhanced the operating system's Hierarchical File System with new support to capture standard error messages in an HFS (hierarchical file system) file in a Unix environment.

New security features include support for the PCI Cryptographic Coprocessor, which is an optional feature in the OS/390 G5 and G6 Enterprise Servers, and supplements the systems basic cryptographic capabilities with additional functions and better performance.

IBM Corp., in Armonk, N.Y., is at www.ibm.com.

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