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Mainframe (zOS) software is still very much in use right now. Many of the most critical applications of banks, insurance companies, airlines, global companies, etc are running on (good old) mainframes.

However, for companies that are in the business of developing and supporting mainframe softwares, it may be (terribly) expensive to have the required infrastructure for developing, testing and supporting such software.

What are possible solutions for developing and supporting mainframe software without paying fortunes for the required infrastructure (and spending all software revenue to it)?

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  • IBM is incredibly dense about letting small ISVs into the z/OS space. They fail to recognize that the entire System/360 and up ecosystem was built on the work of individuals. In many cases, they were systems programmers creating products to fit areas where IBM had not written software. They claim you can rent time at the Dallas Systems Center for $100/month but for me that's a lot of money. Their solution (zPDT) will cost you about $2000/year for licensing and over $1000 for a decent Intel platform to host it. There is also RDz (or whatever it's called now) but that's over $10K + $800/year. Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 3:18

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One possibility would be to find a 3rd party business owning such infra and selling on-demand usage/access time/connectivity to it as a service for more convenient expenses. For example Mathru Technologies (found through plain google search).

Another possible approach is to obtain such services from strategic partners or maybe even your very customers. Maybe even for free, depending on the quality of your relationship.

You could also ask the mainframe community for advice and/or leads in this direction.

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  • Merci for the Answer Dan! About those 3rd parties: the challenge (pricing) is quite similar. For strategic partners, in my experience, you've to be extremely careful (avoid dependencies you don't want). And customers is indeed an approach to consider (if you can sort out the legal issues that come with that). PS: which "mainframe community" do you mean?
    – Pierre.Vriens
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 16:26
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    @Pierre.Vriens I assumed there would some sort of community (a network) of those working in such environment or having some interest in it. I hope I wasn't wrong :) Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 1:36
  • The one place I'd go to first is the IBM-MAIN mailing list. I went to your website and I see you've worked with ChangeMan and Endevor, so you're familiar with the area. Another idea would be to hit social media. A random tweet with #mainframe and a few other items may solicit replies. I also have ideas, but I have been unable to get the financial assets to get into the area. Bonne chance, et s'il vous plaît, dites nous ici qui vous en découvrez. Vous n'êtes pas seul. If you'd like, email me at my user name at gmail, and we can discuss more offline. Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 3:26

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