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The Arcati Mainframe Yearbook 2020

By Trevor Eddolls posted Wed February 12, 2020 01:38 PM


The Arcati Mainframe Yearbook 2020

I’ve mentioned the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook in the past, suggesting that, even though it gets downloaded by over 21,000 people each year, there are still many mainframer who are unaware of this hidden gem. And, importantly, the 2020 edition has just been published. You can download a free copy from


Sometimes mainframers are too busy at work to really spend time chatting to colleagues at other sites to find out what’s going on, what ideas they are kicking around, or what technologies they are beginning to kick into the long grass in favour of something new. That’s where the Yearbook really scores. It’s over 180 pages long, with useful information for both the newest and the more experienced mainframers around.


For many people, the highlight each year is the mainframe user survey. This illustrates what’s been happening at users’ sites. It’s a good way for mainframers to compare what they’re planning to do with what other sites have done.


This year, the results came from the 100 respondents who completed the survey on the Arcati Web site between 1 November 2018 and the 29 November 2019. Three quarters (75 percent) were from North America.10 percent were from Europe, and another 10 percent were from the Middle East/Africa. Five percent were from South America. And, unusually, we had no responses this year from the Asia/Pacific region.


The largest group of respondents were from companies with 0 to 200 employees worldwide (40 percent). Almost a third (30 percent) had over 10,000 staff. A quarter (25 percent) had 1001-5000 staff, leaving five percent of respondents with 201 to 1000 staff. No respondents, this year, had 5001 to 10,000 staff.


It was an interesting survey this year to see how various sites are adopting the new technologies that seem to come out every year and how the world of the mainframe seems to be integrating with the other IT platforms used by most organizations. Clearly, working with mainframes is an interesting way to spend your day – particularly as they are able to reach out to mobile devices and, with DevOps, they can speed up what was a very slow process of application development. CICS and IMS continue to have quarterly updates that add value to the product.


The mainframe strategy section contains articles by industry gurus and vendors on topics such as:

  • 10 Steps to True Mainframe DevOps: A Phased Approach to Cross-platform DevOps Success
  • Mainframe Data Management
  • Join a Mainframe Development Revolution in 2020 – Embrace Open!
  • Indicators of Compromise and Why It Takes Six-Plus Months to ID a Breach
  • Mainframe breaches: a beginner’s defensive strategy


The vendor directory section contains an up-to-date list of vendors, consultants and service providers working in the z/OS environment. There’s a summary of the products they supply and contact information. As usual, there are a number of new organizations in the list this year – indicating that this is still an exciting market place to be in.


One section provides a guide to sources of information for IBM mainframers. This includes information on newsletters, magazines, user groups, blogs, mainframe-related apps, and social networking information resources for the z/OS environment. Amongst the things it highlights are Enterprise Tech Journal, IBM Listservs, SHARE’s Five Minute Briefing from Data Center, Facebook pages, and LinkedIn discussions; as well as user groups such as SHARE and IDUG. There’s also a short discussion about mainframe social media and where to find the latest CICS and IMS blogs.


In addition, there’s the glossary of terminology section explaining what all those acronyms stand for, in a way that means you can understand them. Amongst the terms we’ve added this year are: AI, Data Privacy Passports, Db2ZAI, Fog computing or fog networking or fogging, Internet of Everything, Kubernetes, WMLz, zCX and z/OS Container Extensions.


The Mainframe evolution section provides a mainframe hardware timeline from 1952 to 2019, as well as a diagram showing mainframe OS development.


The no-charge Arcati Mainframe Yearbook has been the de facto reference work for IT professionals working with z/OS (and its forerunner) systems since 2005. It provides a one-stop shop for everything a mainframer needs to know.