The Joburg Centre for Software Engineering is to host a Master Class entitled "Developing mainframe applications, a 21st century approach".
The course will take place on 25 June at the SAB World of Beer in Newtown, Johannesburg. Applicants can register for the Master Class at http://www.jcse.org.za.
Jay Prag, one of South Africa's leading mainframe experts, will present the course.
"The class will help companies that have mainframe computers evaluate their legacy IT systems, renovate them and introduce innovation in order to extract maximum value from their investment," he says.
Prag adds the Master Class is suitable for CIO, CEOs and architects, who will look at the challenges of developing mainframe applications.
"The course offers possible solutions and how these solutions can be applied in large institutions including banks and government departments."
The Master Class also helps companies to understand how to reduce the cost of owning a mainframe system. "IT can be a major cost if you don't manage it properly. If the cost of mainframe applications comes down, so does the overall cost of ownership."
The content of the master class includes:
* How to develop applications for today's needs.
* The development lifecycle.
* The total cost of owning and operating a mainframe system.
* Cobol and Java integration in an environment where you have legacy applications.
* First National Bank as a case study.
* Q &A session with participants.
Prof Barry Dwolatzky, the director of the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering, says software developers working in the mainframe environment face a number of unique challenges.
One of the challenges is that mainframe software needs to co-exist with modern "new age" object oriented systems. The distinction between these two worlds is blurring as companies realise the value of both environments, he says.
Another challenge is that mainframes were predicted to be on the way to extinction.
Industry experts in the mid-80's confidently predicted that the last mainframe would be switched off in 1996.
More than a decade later, however, these so called dinosaurs of the information age are far from extinct, he says and they continue to offer value, serving a large and important community of users who have needs that cannot be met with smaller processors.
The challenge that companies that have mainframes face is how to extract maximum value out of them, protecting the substantial investments made into mainframes technology while ensuring the technology is still relevant and functional within the company, he says.