SOA on the System z

Blogger Anne Thomas Manes of the Burton Group declared SOA dead earlier this year saying:  “SOA met its demise on January 1, 2009, when it was wiped out by the catastrophic impact of the economic recession. SOA is survived by its offspring: mashups, BPM, SaaS, Cloud Computing, and all other architectural approaches that depend on services.”

Notice the “depend on services.” That’s SOA; it has always been about services. And it is far from dead, especially on the System z. To the contrary, it is coming to life in a big way. Notice his mention of SaaS, cloud, mashups—the z does that too.

And SOA on the z is getting cheaper. IBM recently announced its SOA edition for z . Officially called the System z Solution Edition for WebSphere, it combines System z technology with the WebSphere Application Server as a foundation for building, deploying, and managing a service-oriented architecture (SOA). Here is a bit more from IBM of the System z and SOA

With the SOA edition, IBM is bribing companies to try SOA on the z by cutting the price of key components. Here is how IBM says it more diplomatically: The Solution Edition offerings are designed to make the cost of deploying new workloads on System z price-competitive with alternative distributed systems… (SOA is just one of IBM’s Solution Editions for the System z in an effort to attract new and different workloads to the platform—dancingdinosaur will look at other Solution Editions is subsequent pieces).

Even before the SOA edition, organizations have been jumping on SOA on the mainframe. Con-way has been doing SOA and its forerunner, component-based development, on the z for a decade

Ball State University also turned to SOA and used it let student access CICS data on the z through Facebook.

So, SOA is far from dead, especially on the z. Companies are using services based on SOA protocols, particularly XML, to integrate logic and data that resides on the z with  the full range of distributed systems and applications. Where once the mainframe played the giant server in the emerging client/server architecture the z will now act as a giant services provider.

And just like client/server computing was utterly internalized by IT a decade ago (You don’t see people building monolithic applications anymore.),  SOA will be completely internalized as services a decade from now. Every application will be conceived, built, deployed, and managed a service.

Another sign that SOA is poised to thrive on the z is the emergence of a System z SOA ecosystem of complementary tools. For example, WebLayers has extended its distributed SOA governance platform  to the mainframe. Similarly, SOA Software now offers its unified SOA governance automation suite for WebSphere SOA, including z/OS.

It is still fashionable in some circles to routinely declare the mainframe is dead, almost like a Monty Python routine. Now it is becoming fashionable to say SOA is dead. (Maybe I should declare client/server is dead; long live monolithic applications.). The truth: neither the System z nor SOA is dead. Not even close.

One Response to “SOA on the System z”

  1. SOA Software Enables New Ways to Tap Mainframe Code | DancingDinosaur Says:

    […] approach has started to show its age. (Over the years, DancingDinosaur has written considerably on mainframe SOA and done numerous SOA […]

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