In a previous post, I wrote about how enterprises around the globe have accumulated vast amounts of data in mainframe systems. Mainframes remain incredibly strong platforms for a variety of mission-critical workloads, including business applications, transaction processing, and big data storage. I talked about how bringing analysis platforms and tools like Spark and Jupyter Notebooks closer to this data would “unlock” it, providing data scientists new ways to extract value and in turn improving how humans make decisions. There’s another facet to this story: the API economy. Given that nearly 70% of all enterprise transactions touch a mainframe, developers need to find a fast, accessible, and scalable way to unlock mainframe data. In today’s increasingly interconnected world, APIs are becoming the digital reflection of an organization. To differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market, companies need to create digital capabilities for users and API experiences that set themselves apart in the minds of developers and the organizations they support. But how do we turn our z Systems platforms into API powerhouses? In the new developer journey Turn your mainframe into an API powerhouse, we show you how you can use IBM z/OS Connect, Enterprise Edition to make your mainframe fully conversant with REST APIs and put your environment at the center of the API economy. You’ll learn how z/OS Connect mobile and cloud application developers, whether inside or outside the enterprise, can incorporate z/OS data and transactions into applications without needing to understand z/OS subsystems. The z/OS resources appear as any other RESTful API. We cover CICS and IMS in detail in the journey, although you can also use DB2 and MQ. IBM z/OS Connect, Enterprise Edition enables the creation and deployment of APIs that reuse DB2 REST services. The REST client invokes an API using the interface that is shared in a Swagger document, as shown in the following diagram. The API mapping model of z/OS Connect EE interprets the request by inspecting the URI, HTTP headers, and JSON body, and then maps the request to a service. Similarly, you can also use MQ. IBM MQ is one of the most widely adopted connectivity patterns for messaging in the enterprise. The IBM MQ Service Provider supports HTTP GET, HTTP DELETE, and HTTP POST verbs that permit basic interaction with IBM MQ. By composing several of these verbs, you can make more complicated functions available. The IBM MQ Service Provider also supports the following distinct types of service:
  • A one-way service provides IBM MQ Put and IBM MQ Get support to a single destination.
  • A two-way service provides a request-reply capability in which some form of response is expected as a result of the initial request.
This z Systems Redpaper is a great source of information for details on these configurations. Please use the new developer journey, create winning API experiences for developers and consumers. and get your mainframes assets ready for the API economy!

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