Mainframe is a funny term here. Do you mean "server" in the hosted server sense, i.e., a UNIX or NT rack in a data center, which is either accessible on the WAN of the target company or is available outside their firewall? Developing and testing EAI solutions can be done on laptops, especially now in the age of XML and SOAP. However, even with heavier tools, the cost of the development envirnoment is secondary to the cost and testing of the production environment. For example, processing financial transactions will require a more secure and redundant run time infrastructure than aggregating sales reports.
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