Data residing in mainframes have been made available via CICS, ODBC drivers, COBOL programs or the more versatile SOAP and ReST web services.
In essence a traditional native (or hybrid) mobile app can invoke these web services and get the data in the app and do what it needs to with that data. Many of these web services have been written keeping “heavier” applications in mind such as reporting applications, web applications, Windows based desktop applications etc.. These services could be used by mobile apps as is but the app would incur the overhead of a heavier payload with extra data that it does not need.
Enter IBM MobileFirst Foundation (formerly known as IBM Worklight). MobileFirst Foundation integrates tightly and efficiently with the mainframe (no surprise here).
Let us take a case of a mobile app that needs to get data from the mainframe DB2 tables where the mainframe in on z/OS. And we choose to build this app using the MobileFirst Foundation platform.
The MobileFirst Server can connect to the mainframe DB2 tables using adaptors. The adaptor requires the DB2 connection information and once the connection to DB2 happens – the data is made available to the MobileFirst Foundation app. A configuration made on the MobileFirst Server using the adaptor is all that is needed. It is really that simple.
And now the most complex piece is choosing and using the mainframe data effectively in the app – which really is about building a great user friendly app.
So the effort required to build or use a web service to connect to DB2 is eliminated. MobileFirst does it under the hood – and does it very well too.
MobileFirst is no slouch when connecting to external data sources either. There are adaptors for most of the relational databases as well as support for ReST and SOAP APIs for 3rd party integration.
More on that in another blog….
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