"XML can give legacy systems a new lease of life," goes the headline for this latest article
in Computer Weekly. Now they're singing my tune. I think one of the most amazing, and untold stories, behind Web services and SOA is how they've saved the mainframe and midrange (iSeries) from certain phase-out.
Okay, there's plenty of action around deployment of Linux right on mainframes, as we're seeing on IBM's zSeries. But so far, it's been relegated to peripheral jobs, such as Web serving and email serving, not the big iron stuff such as CICS-based transaction processing. That's where XML and Web services have come in the picture, big time. Recently, in fact, IBM beefed up its ability to deliver CICS-based applications as SOA components
, as noted here in Data Center: Five-Minute Briefing.
The bottom line is that if implemented properly, Web services make platform choice irrelevant. Microsoft knows this, that's why a lot of its emphasis has shifted up the stack from Windows to .NET.
With mainframes -- the most highly available and reliable machines on the planet -- serving as data and application repositories within SOA/Web services infrastructures, we may be seeing these "dinosaurs" around for a long time to come.