By Marcel Mitran – IBM Distinguished Engineer and CTO IBM LinuxONE

I recently had the distinct pleasure of co-presenting Discover an Application Development Revolution at USAA with Java on z Systems with Keith Wilson from USAA at InterConnect 2017. In his talk, Keith described how USAA is adopting Java on z across their batch, CICS, and IMS environments. Keith further discussed how Java is not only going to reduce MLC costs but also provide choice for application developers at USAA. Java on z will enable USAA to attract skills, leverage tools and ecosystems, and drive better agility, allowing mission-critical systems to participate in innovation across the broader IT landscape.

USAA is not alone in their endeavor to adopt Java on z.  A recent survey shows that of 95 z clients, 85% of them now have Java on z in production. Of these, more than 80% described their Java on z project as successful or very successful. Clients like Fiducia, DATEV, and DRV continue to be vocal about the advantages they gained from Java on z. This is not surprising given the significant investment that has gone into making Java a first class language on z. Java has been deeply integrated across the z-stack, including the addition of new facilities in four generations of z processors, zIIP offload engines, z/OS operating system, as well as the broad portfolio of mission-critical middleware including DB2, CICS, and IMS.

The trend for the adoption and integration of Java on z is consistent with a recent IDC study that examines The Connected Mainframe and emphasizes that modernizing on the mainframe means creating a platform that is integration ready within the datac enter and with the outside world and subsequent business innovation.

Not surprisingly, the study places Java at the heart of modernization and innovation of the mainframe.  What is it about Java that puts it in such an esteemed position?  First, Java continues to be a leading language of choice in the IT industry. Redmonk and other language ranking frameworks still consistently place Java at the top of the list of languages of choice for developers. With two decades of know-how, the Java language, its developers, tools, and ecosystem are mature and well-seasoned, making the language well positioned to meet the needs of the mission-critical enterprise.  Finally, Java sets the bar as a standardized, safe, and portable environment that enables true fit-for-purpose placement of workload.

As the USAA strategy exemplifies, Java on z means Java developers can develop for the mainframe bringing Java tools and ecosystem to the platform. In turn, Java-based assets can enjoy qualities-of-service that are unattainable on other platforms, which opens the door to new and exciting innovation for the data center and sets the stage for the era of the connected mainframe.

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