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Re: XML on OS/390

I would frame the question the other way:  are there benefits to using XML on the 390 that clearly outweigh the considerable costs of getting the environment to work.  I.e. would you lose much by doing most or all of the XML work on the NT box?  

Without pointers, objects or callback functions, COBOL does not seem well suited to XML work.  Of course, it is excellent for tabular work (searching, sorting, subtotals, etc.) for which XML isn't so great.   The best of both worlds might be to use a mainframe resident extract job that *generates* XML and delegates transformations to the NT box.  If you receive XML from the outside, you could validate and transform it into a straight data loader format on the NT box (.csv, fixed column, what have you) and upload it to an import job on the mainframe.   Depending on your environment, both mainframe jobs might be done w/ an off-the-shelf tool (i.e. no code).

If the answer is yes, then I second the Java recommendation because it has decent support from IBM and many tools should port very well.

take it easy,
Charles Reitzel

At 02:01 PM 5/7/01 -0400, Charles.Giguere@inalco.com wrote:

>We are looking at implementing the usage of XML in our systems and since 
>most of our legacy data and applications (written mostly in COBOL) are on 
>an OS/390 platform, we need to move data from it to an NT box (and 
>eventually to partners). 
>On the NT side we plan to use MSXML 3.0 from Microsoft since it's the most 
>advanced in terms of stability and conformance with the W3C standards 
>(XML, DTD, XSL).  But on the OS/390 side the solutions seems not so 
>We plan to use the XMLife vocabulary (developed by ACORD) and we have 
>these solutions in mind and I would like to know your comments about them 
>and your recommendations : 
>1. Create XML files directly from a COBOL application (it is simple and 
>easy, but it is difficult to ensure the validity of the XML generated 
>according to a DTD). 
>2. Use the XML4COBOL parser/generator product (from MAAS) (we don't know 
>if it complies with the W3C DOM specifications and if it is easy to use). 
>3. Install JAVA on the OS/390 to have access to the myriad of XML tools 
>available on this platform (we don't have any JAVA expertise, but it could 
>allow us to concentrate more on business logic than on the creation of XML 
>4. Convert the data from the OS/390 to XML on the NT platform (we are 
>limiting the benefits of using XML, since we cannot send an XML file 
>directly from the OS/390 to our partners, we must convert them on NT box 
>What do you think of these solutions ? Am I missing something ?  Which is 
>our best choice considering we have a considerable amount of data and 
>applications on OS/390 ? 
>Charles Giguère (charles.giguere@inalco.com) 
>Architecte des Systèmes / Systems Architect 
>Industrielle Alliance - Siège Social / Head Office 
>(418) 684-5000 ext. 4631 

take it easy,
Charles Reitzel