Attachmate Marries Enterprise Mobility with Mainframe, Legacy Assets
Attachmate Corp. is marrying mobile with the mainframe. The company’s MobileNow initiative, along with updates to Verastream, will help IT let smartphone and tablet users access valuable legacy and mainframe data, applications and more. IDN speaks with Attachmate execs about their MobileNow enterprise-class mobile solutions platform.
“MobileNow is a logical next step for us, as a leader in legacy and mainframe access.”
Attachmate Corp. is marrying mobile with the mainframe. The company’s MobileNow initiative, along with updates to Verastream, will help IT let smartphone and tablet users access valuable legacy and mainframe data, applications and more.
Attachmate’s move to extend its popular enterprise technologies to support mobile devices is proof positive that legacy modernization is increasingly embracing mobile users, said Tom Bice, Attachmate’s vice president of marketing and product management. “MobileNow is a logical next step for us, as a leader in access to legacy and mainframe. This means quicker time-to-market and lower costs,” Bice told IDN.
“MobileNow is designed to connect any device to critical legacy applications, putting the power and information in employees’ hands for access anywhere, anytime. And we do it without requiring expensive or complicated changes, such as refactoring, re-coding or long deployment cycles,” Ron Nunan, Attachmate’s senior product manager, added.
“We’ve done a lot of thinking about how this push for mobile impacts enterprises with mainframe and legacy, so we’re shipping a ton of features to make it a lot easier for IT and more productive for users.”
The list of Attachmate’s mobile-optimized capabilities across MobileNow, Verastream Host Integrator and VeraStream Process Designer is impressive: It includes:
- Allows IT to quickly design and support customizable mobile UIs for host applications, even those using the COBOL copybook. Users can even duplicate desktop user experience. Forms Overlay features will auto-generates a web form that Verastream created for a mobile user. There are input forms and result forms that ca be easily customized
- Embedded HTML5 support to offer web pages but with the functionality of native apps. Attachmate’s approach to HTML5 will even present a ‘terminal application’ to a mobile user, derived from the server. Nothing additional needs to be installed on the client.
- Simple-to-configure integrations to multiple backend legacy and mainframe resources, (including 3230, 3270, CICS).
- Customizable “hotspots” to develop shortcuts in UI that provide mobile users one-click activities on mobile displays
- Many security and management features, including data encryption and credential authentication to help protect data and avoid fraudulent use.
- Scalability for high performance and thousands of simultaneous sessions, thanks to a code rewrite/recompile for 64-bit
Scalability, in particular, was a key internal development focus at Attachmate. As mobile becomes more popular, IT will need to support not just a growing number of users, but an even larger number of simultaneous sessions calling mainframe resources, Nunan added. “We know some enterprise customers will need lots of scalability, We’ve updated our architecture to support six to seven thousand sessions or screen per second, and that’s a huge payoff in performance,” he said.
Attachmate’s MobileNow solutions approach also aims to address a current lack of in-house expertise in bringing mobile and mainframe together, Bice added.
“It is a challenge, whether native or HTML 5 development,” Bice told IDN. “On the native side it is hard to find deep experience. And supporting more than one platform via native is even more challenging. Even if HTML 5 is the chosen direction, in many cases it is not pure HTML 5. So learning new toolsets is required.”
To further support mobile-to-legacy integrations, Attachmate offers RESTful and JSON support. “For orchestration, a lot of our services are created as SOAP services, so there’s no reason to change at the moment because our orchestration tool automatically can pull them in,” Nunan said.
One Gartner analyst gave a thumbs-up to Attachmate’s steps to make legacy and mainframe resources available to mobile workers. “The ability to optimize or modernize existing mainframe and legacy applications for use with mobile devices is a quick way to tackle this challenge and is worthy of consideration,” said Dale Vecchio, research vice president at Gartner, in a statement. In addition, he suggested that any enterprises working on mobile projects should focus more on how they can leverage installed applications and business processes for mobile to find ways to cut costs and even improve business processes.