Tag Archive for cics

Executive Order: All US Government Agencies Must Deploy A Web API

Seal of the President
The Applications Programming Interface, that language-independent “exposure of functions to the outside world” as my CS prof once summed it up, is no longer an option for any of Uncle Sam’s many agencies.  All federal shops are, per executive order of President Barack Obama, now required to support a web API.

Government Mainframes To Open Up

Among other things, the order is meant to “ensur[e] the safe and secure delivery and use of digital services to protect information and privacy; requiring agencies to establish central online resources for outside developers and to adopt new standards for making applicable  Government information open and machine-readable by default;  aggregating agencies’ online resource pages for developers in  a centralized catalogue on www.Data.gov; and requiring agencies  to use web performance analytics and customer satisfaction measurement tools on all “.gov” websites.”

The order gives pause. Every government agency? Surely the NSA is not scrambling to grant remote public access to its considerable data holdings. Still, the order is plain, and one thing is for sure: www.data.gov is going to have a hell of a year.

The Year Of The API

Beyond this, I noticed that a landmark software patent lawsuit concerning API copyrightability was just lost by Oracle, and by extension, the boardrooms of big business.  I think we can declare 2012 the year of the API.  And in the mainframe world, that means good news for vendors plying the space between CICS and IMS, and more generally, the space between COBOL and Java.





The 3270 Terminal

Howdy.  I’m Blue.  I’ve been around mainframes — Big Iron — since around the Y2K scare.  Sure, that was overblown, but I tell you, we found some bugs. Nothing that would lose track of a billion dollars of course, but misnamed reports and columns, that kind of stuff.

Now the IT world at large might scoff, but I think we did great work.  Given the monumentally limited attention spans and woeful skill sets of the management people in FIRE — finance, insurance and real estate — aka the people that depended on these reports, we actually were saving the world back then.  These corner-office types are people for whom the slightest distraction could lead to millions in lost time.

I’m not the most grizzled veteran.  Hell, I’m not even grizzled generally, and the last COBOL I wrote was on punch cards in high school in the 80s.  But I do have an abiding respect for the high priests of Big Iron and I’m always learning.  That’s what Big Iron Works is about: learning and sharing mainframe systems knowledge.  And trying to figure out how the world is going to run its banks and governments when we’re no longer around to slap the hands of the clueless away from screwing everything up.

So subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter* and let’s get serious about Big Iron. Guerilla mainframe.

- Blue



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