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connect to mainframe using applications

Posted on 2011-02-17
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I would love to hear from you all, is it possible for me to create an application (preferably in Delphi) that can interact with mainframe?

I am planning to implement,
(1) Basic login features
(2) Directory listing
(3) upload and download files etc..

It is highly appreciated if anybody can throw some light into this. Code samples or ideas are most welcome.
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Question by:jimsweb
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11 Comments
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:Thommy
ID: 34915371
Basically you can connect to any mainframe with Delphi.

But how to implement connection depends on the special kind of mainframe.

What mainframe do you want to connect to???
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LVL 8

Author Comment

by:jimsweb
ID: 34915642
Thank you.
Ours is an old one running OS 390.
What is other details you are looking for..?
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LVL 19

Accepted Solution

by:
Thommy earned 800 total points
ID: 34916294
I have no experience with IBM OS 390.

What I did is connecting to IBM AS/400 using third party component DELPHI/400 (http://www.systemobjects.com/products.html)
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Hypo
ID: 34916375
Can you use Telnet to communicate with the system today? In that case you might be able to use the Indy Telnet client component (TidTelnet) to connect and perform perform tasks on the mainframe...

the TIdTelnet component has a SendCmd function, with which you can send commands similar to what you are typing when using the Telnet from the command prompt.

That might be one way to get forward anyway...

/Hypo
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Hypo
ID: 34916447
I feel I must also add that I'm probably way off with my remark... I actually don't know anything about OS 390, but it sounded like an old system, and therefore I just came to think of Telnet... :)

/Hypo
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LVL 8

Author Comment

by:jimsweb
ID: 34916569
You are right. The OS 390 is almost 30-50 years old and used in mainframes. No one has ever imagined that this mainframe godfather would survive this longer. The truth is mainframes are still alive Today. :) And there are a number of large corporates (I can't name them, since it is a confidential info) who still use this mammoth architectures, because over 60% percent of their data and legacy code still reside in them. Can't even think about replacing or rewriting the code that is 30-40 years old. Cant imagine to migrate the huge historical data that they may have...

Thank you all for your invaluable comments. I can connect to mainframe using FTP ans well as telnet. So i guess this would be the workaround. I will give a try in 2-3 days using these components. Thanks again for your comments.
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LVL 12

Assisted Solution

by:Hypo
Hypo earned 500 total points
ID: 34916669
The indy component suite also has a FTP client... so if you can connect with an FTP-client today, then you could also use the Indy FTP-client component (TIdFTP) from delphi... I have used that component several times when I've written automated functions that get files from one of our company's FTP-server...

the TIdFTP1 component has functions like TIdFTP.Get(SourceFile : String; DestFile :String, ...) and TIdFTP.List...

You could probably get both files and directory structure from the server using that component.

I think that would be an easier way forward than using Telnet... :)

/Hypo
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LVL 16

Assisted Solution

by:AlexPace
AlexPace earned 200 total points
ID: 34916673
Remember that some of those mainframes use EBCDIC character set instead of ASCII so if you get some strange characters this is why.
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LVL 46

Expert Comment

by:aikimark
ID: 34921021
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LVL 57

Assisted Solution

by:giltjr
giltjr earned 500 total points
ID: 34922890
Actually OS/390 is is not that old, it is based on OS's that were originally developed in the 60's but OS/390 came out in the 90's.

If you happen to have TCP/IP you can use telnet, ftp, or rcp.  You can also go to:

     http://s390.nichols.de/ssh/index.html

and get SSH.

If you want to know the names of companies that use mainframes just look at the Fortune 500 to start with.  Every (and I do mean EVERY) major airline, bank, credit card, and insurance company use IBM mainframes running z/OS, z/VM, z/TPF, and/or Linux.  Yes, IBM mainframes and run Linux.

When running Linux on a mainframe the native character set is ASCII.  The other mainframe OS's (z/OS, z/VM, z/TPF, and z/VSE) do use EBCDIC nativity.  z/OS can also support ASCII for some functions.

If you connect to the mainframe using FTP, it will do EBCDIC-ASCII translation as need.  The company I work for still has uses them and I still work on them daily.
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LVL 8

Author Closing Comment

by:jimsweb
ID: 34977175
thank you.
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