Web Services Programmers Talk JavaScript and Productivity

Organizations are finding ways to do more with their mainframes by putting CICS applications and mainframe data to work as part of their cloud or API-centric integration architecture.  When this strategy is implemented using JavaScript, web services developers and development teams are reporting significantly higher productivity: “3… 4… 25 times more productive” is the increase one HB.js user cites.


We asked three, real web services developers who are integrating CICS by creating web services with the HostBridge JavaScript Engine (HB.js) to talk about their productivity using JavaScript tool compared to other, more common tools:

  1. A veteran contractor-developer working for a large life insurance provider: “I’ve written lots of COBOL in my career. If I put a number on productivity using a JavaScript tool, I’d say 3 to 1 – I am at least 3 times more productive using a JavaScript tool for creating web services from legacy mainframe applications.” This programmer’s productivity really improved when developing web services that comply with the insurance industry’s ACORD XML standards. “For customizing the output of a web service to produce ACORD XML, I am 25 times more productive. ACORD XML is very tedious with something like COBOL and very easy with a JavaScript tool.
  2. An application development manager at a regional U.S. bank had similarly positive answers: “I have a lot of experience with FEPI and HLLAPI interfaces, and I’d say that this isn’t really a fair comparison. There’s no contest. As a novice with the JavaScript integration tool, I was at least 4 times faster at developing web services.” He then offered this compelling perspective on a long-term project. “In one of our projects, I was able to develop a ‘production-sturdy’ (not quite ready for production) integration application in just 2.5 months. The same application took someone else using conventional methods almost 3 years.” Accelerating deployment by 90% is dramatic, and achieving your business goals much, much faster by developing mainframe web services is an excellent outcome
  3. A production control manager at another regional U.S. bank broadened our view of JavaScript’s productivity benefits: “You’re asking the wrong question,” he said. “It’s not about the productivity of a single individual. Using a JavaScript tool, we now have entire groups of developers that have the skills and are excited about writing and supporting web services for the mainframe.” The JavaScript tool, he added, resolved a long-standing issue – how to maintain high job satisfaction among the mainframe web services team and keep his skilled, experienced people on the job.

These examples illustrate how the productivity benefits of a JavaScript-based integration tool extend far beyond the individual programmer. JavaScript is now a familiar and widely known programming tool among most development teams. JavaScript tools make it easier and faster to transform legacy applications into web services, while making developers and integration teams quantifiably more productive.

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