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AllFusion Gen r7.5 - benefits of the new z/OS runtimes

April 20, 2006

AllFusion Gen Customer:

In AllFusion Gen r7 and AllFusion Gen r7.5, the z/OS runtimes were structurally changed so that we could re -architect the intra-language linkage, which had been in place since the early days of IEF. The old archite cture was hampering our ability to exploit some of IBM's newer features such as Threadsafe operation into AllFusion Gen. These changes will require that you regenerate and rebuild your existing applications.

These structural changes include the use of DLLs for dynamic access to the runtime within AllFusion Gen. The use of DLLs, unlike the COBOL oriented DYNAM linkage, properly supports the multiple languages used in the AllFusion Gen runtimes and facilitate operation with full IBM Language Environment (LE) conformance. Using DLLs also provides the optimum technical solution, which will maximize flexibility for the future. Whichever method (DLL or DYNAM linkage) was used, the end result would have still required users to regenerate and rebuild their applications.

Now that we have completed these changes with AllFusion Gen r7.5, several benefits ensue:

  • Programs may be defined as "Concurrency:Threadsafe" in CICS. This may result in significant performance improvement for AllFusion Gen transactions within that environment.

  • Direct GetMain and FreeMain calls were largely eliminated and replaced by LE storage management. LE storage management should reduce the number of storage acquisitions and allow for local tuning of the process, further reducing CPU consumption.

  • TSOAE is now 100% 31 bit AMODE, with the few 24 bit functions relegated to three very small, 31 bit AMODE, 24 bit RMODE DLLs. Environments with below-the-line storage constraints should benefit from decreased 24 bit storage utilization with this update.

  • Because runtimes are no longer statically linked, module sizes are reduced, and redundant copies of code in storage can be eliminated. DLLs are LPA eligible.

  • The need to re-link to implement maintenance is significantly curtailed - DLLs may simply be replaced, and the change effected instantly for that environment.

Other benefits that may be realized with future releases of AllFusion Gen include:

  • The development of z/OS flows that would not be limited to 32K.

  • The ability of AllFusion Gen server managers to participate as Web Services.

  • The ability to deliver an external server interface (such as a COBOL proxy). This would allow programs written by external end-users or third parties to consume AllFusion Gen generated applications through a standard, supported interface.

We recognize that these enhancements may require some changes in the way that user applications are constructed - especially where AllFusion Gen applications call external programs or in the use of CBD techniques. However, the long-term benefits of the changes are real and worth the additional planning efforts involved. The expected efficiency gainsshould reduce operational costs, and the updated runtime positions customers to take advantage of future enhancements, often with no more than a DLL update.

We are currently working on a white paper, which will provide examples of techniques to ease the transition from earlier releases - a "bridging" function to allow non-DLL DYNAM modules to be called from AllFusion Gen r7.x during the release migration process. While this will require extra effort to implement, bridging will allow the sharing of modules from earlier releases with AllFusion Gen r7.x for those customers with that requirement.

For 20 years, AllFusion Gen has provided a development and runtime environment like no other. It has, to a great degree, isolated its users from the underlying technology, allowing business logic to remain constant in the face of massive change. Throughout all of this technological upheaval, the model remains the same. That same, unchanged model can be re-implemented to take advantage of technology that did not even exist when it was written... and that's the true value proposition of AllFusion Gen.