Periodically, events or announcements occur that warrant an opinion from SHARE as an association. What follows is a statement from the SHARE Board of Directors regarding a recent announcement from IBM.
On February 26, 2019, in IBM United States Software Announcement 219-013 and other similar announcement letters for different geographies, IBM stated:
"Planned migration from JES3 to JES2
In Software Announcement 217-246, dated July 17, 2017, IBM announced that JES2 is the strategic Job Entry Subsystem (JES) for the z/OS Operating System and that JES3 would continue to be supported and maintained. To date, IBM has made significant investment in JES2 by delivering unique functions such as email support in JCL, spool migration and merge, and dynamic checkpoint expansion and tuning to make management easier. In z/OS V2.4, IBM plans to deliver in JES2 Spool Encryption and a new user exit alternative based on defining policies that allow exit programs to be implemented in a parameterized rule-based approach. To help JES3 to JES2 migration efforts, JES2 has added functionality, including dependent job control, deadline scheduling, 8-character job classes, and interpreting JES3 JECL control statements. For z/OS V2.4, additional function to aid in migrations is planned, including Disk Reader capability and enhanced JES3 JECL support in JES2 (ROUTE XEQ). Today, as a result of our strategic investment and ongoing commitment to JES2, as well as continuing to enhance JES3 to JES2 migration aids, IBM is announcing that the release following z/OS V2.4 is planned to be the last release of z/OS that will include JES3 as a feature.
If you are one of the clients who remains on JES3, IBM encourages you to start planning your migration. For questions, contact email@example.com."
SHARE's position regarding the announcement of IBM's withdrawal of JES3 after the next release of z/OS after z/OS 2.4 is that it represents a departure from the oft-stated mainframe value proposition to protect the customer's long term investment in mainframe technology. While IBM may have made "strategic investments" in JES2, JES3 to JES2 migration aids and other support, there are still customers who will be adversely impacted, in areas that include, but are not limited to:
- Automation identification and conversion
- Scheduling identification and conversion
- Training on new/changed environments and tools
- Problem diagnosis and remediation
SHARE would like to see IBM reconsider and reverse this decision. If IBM is unwilling to continue with the development of JES3, then consider finding a development partner willing to take on responsibility for JES3, or in the absence of a willing partner, enable a shared community model for further development and support.
If you have any questions, concerns, or comments on this position, please address them to Scott Fagen, Director of Industry Influence at firstname.lastname@example.org.