Today digital transformation is a common topic across the business spectrum. Smartphones - iPhones, Android - are a logical step in one's digital transformation journey. With well over ten billion mobile devices on the market - a figure that will only increase - and with CIO's making mobile initiatives a priority, the mobile application/smartphone market is one of the fastest growing industries today.
Years ago it was predicted the number of people accessing the internet from smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices would far surpass the number of users connecting via PC's/laptops from home or at the office. That prediction has since come to pass. It's been estimated that as much as 90% of mobile users keep their devices on their person 100% of the time.
So how do IBM Z® and smartphones fit together in today's rapidly changing environment given digital transformation, DevOps and more?
IBM Z® enables massive and simple scalability in a single footprint, to handle the work load of millions of devices worldwide. IBM has taken the ability to new heights with the announcement of the IBM z16® platform and IBM z/OS®3.1 operating system.
Millions of people worldwide use their smartphones to:
- Complete their banking transactions
- Get their boarding passes from airlines after doing in-depth travel searches
- Check traffic reports
- Purchase goods online
More likely than not, a mainframe made the transactions listed above possible! Who knew?
IBM Z® stores enormous amounts of data needed by organizations who have a worldwide remote work force. It follows that a logical approach would be keep the data on IBM Z®, and bring the mobile applications to the data. And this data can be secured end to end from mobile devices to the mainframe with robust security packages such as RACF.
Using Web and Eclipse interfaces, it is easy to add capabilities that not everyone considers possible with the IBM mainframe. At one time, 3270 terminal emulators ("green screens") were the only way to access the mainframe, but that could not be further from the truth today. The Web and Eclipse based interfaces are now the de facto standard for accessing information.
So what are some typical IBM Z® applications that are suited to a smartphone? IBM has an excellent Redbook covering exactly this topic: "System z on the Go Access to z/OS from Smartphones".
Example One found in this section "5.3 Accessing mainframe resources from native smartphone applications". In this section, IBM demonstrates an approach to develop a simple Android application to access a VSAM file that resides on an IBM Z® system. In this simple application, records are retrieved from a VSAM data set and displayed in an Android smartphone device. Of course, this simple example can be extended further to access a variety of mainframe resources including DB2, CICS, IMS and much more.
Example Two Another example can be found in section "5.4 Pushing information to smartphones" and section 5.4.1 "Scenario description: notification of abnormal job termination". Here, an IBM Z® system pushes information to mobile users to draw their attention when a job/application fails and terminates abnormally (abend) on a production system. Fault Analyzer for z/OS is invoked to analyze the situation and provides the diagnostic information. Interested parties (for example, application developers and system programmers) are notified as soon as a failure occurs on the system.
Example Three - Another interesting application on smartphones could be to receive events or alerts whenever there is a situation on IBM Z® that needs attention immediately. The IBM Tivoli Monitoring (ITM) interface enables you to integrate the web world with ITM so that you can exchange information between ITM on System Z and a smartphone.
The future - not to mention the present - is all about mobility. IBM Z® and smartphones work well together today to aid you in your digital transformation journey. As mentioned in the title - "Smartphones and IBM Z® - perfect together".
This blog was first published on the IBM Community.