Ajax and REST enable the mainframe-web dialogue

Benefiting from new technologies within the mainframe platform and without any modification of the 3270 applications is possible.

Ajax and REST: technologies that make dialogue the mainframe and the web quickly and avoiding heavy migration

Whereas the mainframe and the web environments seem to have evolved in completely opposite directions, they can still communicate, provided with the right tools. Companies owning a mainframe platform who chose these tools avoided costly and risky migrations by rethinking their modernization projects, and consequently their existing applications were enhanced the fast and easy way.

These dialogue solutions are based on REST (REpresentational State Transfer) architecture which theorizes the World Wide Web’s structure (URL, resources, caches, XML, etc.). Reusing the web principles, they allow direct interoperability between applications by suppressing any need of an intermediate layer. In mainframe environments, these solutions establish a direct dialogue between System z platforms and web environments; however, this is only possible if the application server operates within the mainframe.

The REST and AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML) combination brings many benefits: AJAX technologies inject reactivity and ergonomics in the user interface rendering, whilst simplifying the development of web applications; associated with REST, they easily provide mainframe applications with modern GUIs, all the while avoiding expensive and heavy migration projects.

Why are AJAX and REST so successful as a modernization solution?

Applied to modernization solutions, AJAX and REST enable legacy applications (CICS, IMS, TSO) to communicate with web environments, without the slightest change to their original code and keeping all data and transactions on the System z platform, thus multiplying the user interface’s evolution and modernization possibilities. With this type of solution, the mainframe architecture benefits are fully preserved,by simply opening a dialogue between the system and any type of heterogeneous applications through a secured URL.

At a time when some companies considered a possible migration of their legacy applications, this solution has given them the capacity to modernize their applications and transform them into dynamic web apps without rewriting and especially without any performance loss.