IBM last week introduced a new testing package designed to give S/390 users a cheaper system to develop e-commerce applications.
The S/390 Application Development Solutions (ADS) model, due out on November 26, offers a preconfigured mainframe with application development workstation software. IBM will license the system as a test environment for new applications.
`Batch windows do not exist anymore because e-commerce transactions are running and up all the time, so the opportunity for testing when offline does not exist,' said Mike Rhodin, an IBM software server executive.
The S/390 ADS includes five electronic-business templates to aid users in migrating data and designing clients, such as a Web browser or graphical user interface, for CICS applications and migrating from existing mainframe programs.
Analysts said the IBM package offers some leeway for companies with high licence fees to maintain mainframes for testing and production.
`IBM's biggest challenge is that all the e-companies are deploying not on the S/390, but on Unix NT,' said analyst Rob Schafer at Meta Group. `What has historically killed the 390 platform is not the [hardware] cost but the software is high-cost, in terms of operational production.' By Lee Copeland