Direct access to data and applications in a z/System environment from distributed environments, Cloud and Hadoop platforms.

The Starting Position

Mainframe users face a special challenge: Very often more than 70% of the transactional data resides on the mainframe – therefore the data is incompatible with direct processing from LUW, Cloud and Hadoop systems.

The Operating Principle

SQL know-how is basic knowledge for every programmer. tcACCESS allows the user or programmer to access not only DB2, but also all non-relational mainframe sources such as VSAM, DL/I, IMS/DB, Adabas1, Datacom/DB2, IDMS/DB, etc. with standard SQL commands, viz. from a relational view.

A tcACCESS “driver” enables read and write access to mainframe data via standard interfaces like ODBC, JDBC/J2EE or via .NET, C, C++, C#, OLE DB and Apache Sqoop or Apache Spark from a client/server application (LUW), a web server or Cloud environment.

Step 1 – Data Mapping: Intelligent Import Functions for any Data Structures

The data structures have to be specified in order to address the mainframe data via SQL – from a relational view – with the help of tcACCESS. Comfortable mapping functions are available to do so.

ODBC/JDBC Driver Support for the Following Data Sources
  • VSAM
  • DL/I
  • IMS/DB
  • Datacom/DB
  • Adabas


Automatic Identification of Data Structures in Copybooks

  • PL/I
  • RPG

Virtual Tables for

  • Multiple Fields (Adabas)
  • Periodic Groups (Adabas)

Refined Techniques for all Features

  • Automatic recognition of redefinitions for e.g. record types
  • Automatic analysis of IMS/DLI PSB and DBD for determining the ideal access strategy
  • Wizard supports graphical applications
  • Manual changes are possible during the data import
  • Supply of the META data to the global tcACCESS dictionary
  • The existing data structures are presented to the user in a relational view in the dashboard as result of the data mapping.

Stored Procedure Support: Calling Existing Mainframe Programs

Already existing application logic can be used for data accesses that require a special processing logic because of the task. This is implemented API driven via the tcACCESS solution. This function is called tcACCESS stored procedures. Therefore existing business logic on the mainframe can be easily called with the help of tcACCESS as middleware from any non-mainframe based application (Linux, UNIX, Windows, Cloud, Hadoop).

Data Exchange via Integrated Up- and Download Functions

Additionally to the direct access to mainframe data, the data can be quickly uploaded to LUW, Cloud and Hadoop systems via tcACCESS; It can also be transferred to the mainframe from there.

Revision Safety and Security

To secure the revision safety of all data movements, there are comprehensive tcACCESS monitoring functions available. The tcACCESS security or an already existing mainframe security (SAF interface) makes sure that users can only access data according to their authorization.

Direct SQL access with mainframe programs to data in distributed environments (LUW)

tcACCESS Open System Transparency

tcACCESS also offers direct access from the mainframe to data sources that reside on MS Windows, Linux or UNIX systems and can be addressed via ODBC/JDBC or directly called with Oracle and DB2 LUW. Data in an LUW environment can be processed by online programs (CICS, IMS/DC, etc.) as well as batch programs.

The tcACCESS Open System Transparency for mainframe programs provides true real-time integration, because it is not necessary to synchronize the mainframe and open system data sources.


With tcACCESS it is possible to edit data on an SQL server or in an Oracle database from the mainframe; That data can even be processed together with any kind of mainframe data (e.g. DB2, VSAM, IMS/DB, Adabas, etc.) through SQL syntax (Joins).

Overview of tcACCESS Performance Features

  • Comprehensive relational view on IBM mainframe data sources such as DB2, VSAM, IMS/DB, DL/I, Adabas, IDMS/DB, Datacom/DB, etc.
    ODBC/JDBC driver/server access (read/write) to IBM mainframe data without programming from client-server, web and SOA applications and also from Cloud and Hadoop platforms.
  • Support of Joins for the access to various data sources in one SQL query, e.g. VSAM and IMS/DB.
    Substitute for complex middleware solutions; Simple call of mainframe programs from client-server (LUW) and web applications via existing APIs.
  • Easy relational access with CICS/IMS programs to data sources in an LUW environment like Oracle, DB2 LUW, Sybase, MySQL, etc.
    Support of stored procedures for easy calls to existing business logic (mainframe programs) from client-server (LUW) or web applications and also from Cloud or Hadoop platforms.
  • Existing SAF interface: Mainframe security (e.g. RACF, TOP SECRET, ACF2) also works with the “new technologies”.
  • The SSL protocol is available for a secure data transfer.
  • Automatic SQL optimization with dynamic limitation of the processor load in the z/Systems environment.
  • The tcACCESS Global Language Pack allows for the SQL engine to additionally use multibyte and doublebyte code tables. Therefore all characters can be used for SQL statements and the returned data. The UTF-8 encoding is also supported.

Supported Environments:

  • IBM-Mainframe:
    • IBM z/OS, z/VSE, z/VM, Linux für z/Systems, LinuxONE
  • LUW environment:
    • Microsoft Windows 7/8/8.1/10, MS-Windows Server 2003-2016, HP UNIX, AIX, Solaris SPARC, Linux, all platforms with Java
  • Supported Connections:
    • Mainly TCP/IP, also the protocols TN3270, SNA, LU6.2 (APPC), LU2 (3270 terminal emulations)

Application Areas

  • Data virtualization: Presentation of data from different sources and systems as virtual data source
  • Data integration from mainframe to LUW based applications, e.g. Office applications such as MS-EXCEL, MS-Word, MS-ACCESS, OpenOffice and LibreOffice.
  • JDBC access to diverse IBM mainframe data from web applications and web application servers
  • Re-engineering of 3270 user interfaces
  • Mainframe application modernization
  • SOA integration of mainframe data and applications
  • Direct access to mainframe data from Cloud and Hadoop platforms with Apache Sqoop or Apache Spark
  • Easy and efficient up- and download of mainframe data e.g. to MS-EXCEL, MS-ACCESS or reporting tools


  • Quick reaction to new requirements in the field of analytics and reporting through direct access
  • Integration through standard interfaces like ODBC and JDBC drastically reduces or even nullifies the programming effort for data integration across systems
  • Significant time savings for data integration in heterogeneous system environments
  • Quick use of mainframe data with new technologies
  • High responsiveness to new requirements
  • No mainframe know-how necessary for working with mainframe data
  • Less coordination effort in projects across systems
  • No investment in middleware necessary
  • Ideal use of all resources
  • No training effort
  • Avoids redundancies
  • Automatization instead of manual intervention
  • More security and independence through standardisation instead of individual solutions
  • No limitation in the mainframe environment regarding the integration of new technology