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Trend Watch: Mobile

This is the third in a multi-part series with a focus on trends that are interesting and important with a focus on enterprise computing. In this post, I’ll continue my point-in-time analysis of trends with a focus on mobile devices and computing. reports that while smartphones are now firmly established as an important part of our lives, the mobile world continues to change rapidly as new types of devices, services and technologies emerge to support more an estimated 4.77 billion mobile users in 2017.

Mobile Computing Now

There are a huge variety of smartphones and tablets in the marketplace running a variety of OSs including Android, iOS, Windows 10 Mobile, Tizen, Sailfish OS and Ubuntu Touch. Although the industry is young, several OSs have already been discontinued (e.g., BlackBerry OS, Windows Mobile and Palm OS).

Running on these OSs are an enormous variety of new applications. As of June 2016, Android users were able to choose among 2.2 million apps whereas Apple’s App Store remained the second-largest app store with 2 million available for consumers.

Takeaway:  Mobile devices are everywhere and a convenient way to access applications 24 hours a day as necessary.

What about access to corporate applications on mainframe and midrange computers? How can companies make access available?

The Case for Mobile Mainframe

According to the authors of IBM Redbooks publication Securing Your Mobile Mainframe,  to achieve business goals today, systems of record that are serving transactional and data services must interface with systems of engagement that are increasingly represented by mobile devices. A big focus of this document is a discussion about the importance of securing the mobile device, mobile app, network and mainframe within the enterprise.

Mainframe and Mobile

Lets jump right into the technical details. In 5 Things to Know about z Systems Mobile Integration, a newly published IBM Redpaper publication, IBM z Systems Integration Guide for the Mobile and API Economy, is featured. The document is important as it helps IT architects choose between the many mobile integration architectures and solutions and make the right choice based on the specific requirements of their specific project.

Taken from that paper, here are five z Systems mobile integration solutions:

What? Why?
Provide a REST JSON interface to your mainframe with z/OS Connect z/OS Connect is gateway for REST HTTP calls to reach business assets and data on z/OS
Extend the reach of business services with REST and SOAP APIs with IBM API Management Expose z Systems assets as lightweight APIs that make use of powerful REST principals
Create a mobile security gateway with IBM DataPower Gateway DataPower product is used to securely expose corporate data, applications, and services to mobile apps
Build a strategic enterprise service bus with IBM Integration Bus Integration Bus provides a runtime for interpreting, transforming, and routing a wide range of message formats such as JMS, HTTP, native WebSphere MQ and others
Integrate with an adapter framework using IBM MobileFirst Server MobileFirst Server provides a runtime for adapters, analytics, push notifications and application hosting services connecting systems of record to mobile

These are some of the z System mobile integration solutions that are available. These five solutions give you exposure to the terms and infrastructure used to support mobility in System z: representational state transfer, HTTP, Simple Object Access Protocol, APIs, gateways, busses and adapters.

Takeaway:  Mobil devices are being used with mainframes. If you aren’t yet using mobile with mainframes, there are many solutions available to be incorporated to support mobile access.

Next Post

Next week, I’ll continue this point-in-time analysis of trends with a focus on modernization, which is an ongoing tactic for mainframes and all systems of record that are providing value to users.