"Is there a market for people who want to do mashups of parts catalogues, flight details, account balances, store inventory, share trades etc. with only cursory security, and what the issues are with data consistency, update etc." – Mark Cathcart
SOAP is one thing-but in many respects native XML is more interesting because it potentially enables more RESTFUL development and data access models. If I am a mainframe shop that wants to offer an online information service, its likely to get more consumers if I offer a more lightweight API, rather than forcing everything through SOAP. SOAP is anathema to many Web 2.0 developers, and IBM definitely needs to position z for Web 2.0. IBM needs to think more about XML data sources not just XML Web Services.
I got a little pushback from Mark, the guy that taught me much of what I know about mainframe architectures. So what’s the story?
I believe that developers are smarter than I am, and will find interesting things to do with data if its available.
Maybe Sabre Geek has some idea – Sabre probably does all kinds of weird stuff with its TPF data… what do the APIs look like?
The basic question, however is probably not down to grassroots developers but to large enterprises and service providers that have interesting data on mainframes. This is a data governance and innovation, rather than technical question. All in all though – I tend to think the eBay experience is salutary. You can bring a developer to your API library but you can’t make them wash their mouth out with SOAP.
Corporate development shops will be hobbling themselves, from an innovation perspective, if they only provide SOAP access to data for developers. I don’t think the mainframe is any different from other platforms in this respect.
In answer to Mark’s question about security and data consistency I was thinking primarily of read-oriented applications.
So what do you think?