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Mainframe Modernization with Enterprise Server and Reflection Desktop

by Micro Focus Employee in Application Modernization & Connectivity

One approach to modernizing mainframe applications by leveraging the power of Enterprise Server with Reflection Desktop.

Desktop, web, and mobile applications have become easier to use with advancements in application and UX development over the past several decades. In contrast, mainframe applications (many developed in the 1960s) are often perceived as more difficult to use and challenging to update.

Mainframe Challenges

What types of problem have companies with mainframes been encountering? First, mainframe applications are difficult to update as fast as business requirements evolve. Most companies didn’t care much about regulatory mandates, like GDPR, until recently. Of course, today, regulatory compliance is now one of the enterprise’s highest priorities due to various “incentives” including avoiding fines. Furthermore, due to evolving security mandates, organizations need to do a better job of securing mainframe applications without making code changes on the host side. Let’s take a closer look at one approach to addressing these problems.

Mainframe Application Usability and Security

Mainframe applications often don’t provide modern behavior that you’d see in web and mobile applications, like requiring end-users to fill out information that is critical to capture. If you’re using a web-based application and an input field is designated “required”, you’ll never get to the next step in the process until you populate the required field in the current step. Not necessarily so with the green screen applications created decades ago.

Further, let’s say a new regulation is established that ups the game on how applications are supposed to protect sensitive data. What’s the path of least resistance for an organization to ensure their mainframe applications adhere to these evolving data protection requirements, given that organizations typically do not want to make code changes to their mainframe applications?

Micro Focus Can Help

Micro Focus has a vision for assisting organizations with modernizing heritage applications. With the latest updates to Enterprise Developer, administrators can now designate fields in a mainframe application as sensitive—and therefore not viewable—within a Reflection Desktop green screen by end-users, customizable by role. Does a field in a mainframe application contain and display full credit card number information? Can the application be limited to showing only the last 4 digits of the number? The answer is now an emphatic yes!

The same goes for required fields on green screens. The Enterprise Developer administrator simply uses the BMS Painter Tool to designate fields as required and when end-users access the green screen with Reflection Desktop, they are required to enter data in these fields before proceeding.


Modernization can mean any number of approaches when it comes to mainframe applications. Our solutions provide tools to aid organizations in updating mainframe applications for the next generation of knowledge workers. The Micro Focus Application, Modernization, and Connectivity (AMC) group provides a broad range of solutions to protect your investment in mainframe-based applications. Whatever your current approach may be, using Reflection Desktop in conjunction with Enterprise Server can provide the functionality required to help your organization meet the requirements that preserve your investment in heritage applications. These are critical to your business and to help ensure you get the most out of your Micro Focus investment.

Learn More

For further information, please watch this video or click on the following link to see these new capabilities in action: https://youtu.be/4MnG4nblfKQ