The Myths of Mainframe Integration

by | Oct 21, 2021

Digital transformation has birthed complex IT systems, in which businesses are using multiple technologies and platforms to house their data and run operations. Despite claims in recent years that the mainframe is “dead” or no longer a useful tool, it remains foundational for many businesses. Along with the assumption that the mainframe is a relic of the past, there are several other myths perpetuated that exaggerate the perceived “cons” of using the mainframe and achieving sophisticated integrations.

We’ve identified five common myths about mainframe integration and will be discussing them in the coming weeks. Here, we’ll examine the first and debunk the misconceptions.

Myth #1: You have to write code to build sophisticated integrations.

This is perhaps the most common myth surrounding mainframe integration, in part because many solutions on the market require extensive amounts of Java and/or JavaScript code to accomplish even relatively simple integrations. Creating this code is time consuming – not to mention some companies may not have the resources to write it – and can stall the development process. Building integrations this way can take between six to eight weeks, assuming other factors don’t come into play that extend the timeframe.

In truth, there are low and no-code platforms that support sophisticated integrations. Let’s further define sophisticated: integrations that need to hit more than one application/system, include logical decision making in the integration, and require some kind of data manipulation. Believing code is required for sophisticated integrations is purely a myth, as we’ve seen low and no-code platforms become increasingly prevalent and capable over the past five years. That’s not to say there isn’t hesitation and skepticism around these platforms. Much of the battle bringing these solutions into the mainstream is proving to industry veterans they are capable of handling the complex integrations needed by their organizations. There are misconceptions that using this technology results in more resources and time spent, but the opposite is often true. Low and no-code platforms offer labor requirement reductions and allow users – even those with very little knowledge or experience building integrations and APIs – to build and modify data quickly.

Applications of low and no-code platforms in the real world prove their abilities and efficiency. For instance, in the merger of two large airlines, leadership needed to rapidly unify multiple aircraft maintenance and parts systems into one seamless solution for the maintenance and procurement teams to meet regulatory requirements. Using a no-code platform, the team was able to successfully generate a unified set of APIs, connecting multiple mainframe systems to power web and mobile front-end systems for maintenance and parts inventory. As a result, the airline met its regulatory obligations within a shorter timeframe and achieved significant cost savings.

In addition, we’ve seen success in many other industries including banking, insurance, manufacturing and government.