From Mainframe to NoSQL – Part 2

So last we left off, I had described a scenario where a prospect had asked about how mainframe data (as described by COBOL copybooks) could be ingested into MarkLogic.  I described an approach involving combining Legstar (and its ability to translate copybook descriptions into XSD) with MarkLogic and the MarkLogic Java API.  Because I was using a prospect’s proprietary copybook, I didn’t have sharable samples at the time.  Now, thanks to some custom copybook creation, I finally have something to share that is more concrete. In the last post I also alluded to not only creating a mocked-up copybook but also needing to find an editor that would allow me to work with EBCDIC data.  After searching for something native for Mac, I had a small eureka moment and realized that I could use the same tools that I had used for the EBCDIC to ASCII translation in the first place (i.e. Legstar) to simply go in the other direction.  So instead of editing  things in an EBCDIC editor, I was able to created a quick and dirty conversation program. So in the full example download there will also be a sample program for generating the EBCDIC data.
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From Mainframe to NoSQL – Part 1

Many years ago, I left college armed with a Computer Science degree, a marked-up copy of a first edition K&R, a job offer and full expectation that my freshly minted C skills would soon be honed in the real world (yes plain old C, which was considered new and up-and-coming at the time). Like many things in life however, reality worked out somewhat differently from my plans and I quickly found myself on a project steeped in all things mainframe, including COBOL, CICS and JCL. While I eventually made my way to newer technologies, I spent a fair bit of my early formative professional years writing COBOL code. And while it’s true that at the time I was eager to move on to newer “cooler” things (and eventually did), looking back retrospectively I can’t help but feel thankful for the then-unwanted opportunity and now look back on those years with more than a bit of nostalgia.
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