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It can be done, quickly and relatively easily, according to IONA Technologies’ Senior Manager for CORBA Product Marketing Jody Hunt.

He explained how in the ebizQ webinar Strategies for Building Secure Web Services From Mainframe Transactions, part of the IONA- sponsored series, Reducing Complexity and Cost Through Standards-Based Integration.

Hunt spelled out how to use Web services to access mainframe (IMS and CICS) transactions and extend them out to the enterprise at large (“J2EE and .NET, or other enterprise applications”), with no changes to host applications.

“What we are speaking about,” Hunt says, “is extending host transactions to off-host applications, whether those are Java-based applications, C++, or other legacy-type applications that simply aren't running on the mainframe.

“We're talking about using Web Services' program-to-program connections; with Web Services being SOAP or XML for the message format; as well as using different transports, not necessarily just HTTP, but MQ or IIOP, as the way of moving those messages to and from the host.

“The goal,” Hunt continued, “is to access those critical business processes and that data from anywhere in the enterprise. And this is where Web services really give us a leg up. New applications need to be able to incorporate host-based business processes, and by doing so, increase your business's agility, while realizing significant return on the investment that you've made in your mainframe and your mainframe business processes.”

The way to do all that, Hunt asserted, is via IONA’s Artix family of products, particularly Artix Mainframe which, he says, “securely extends IMS and CICS transactions to the enterprise as Web services.

“There are many products on the market that enable in some form the ability to access CICS and IMS transactions. But there are in fact very few products on the market that enable CICS and IMS transactions as fully standard Web services.”

“What Artix Mainframe does,” Hunt explained, “is transparently manage the data conversions between XML and the native IMS and CICS formats. And it does this without touching the applications directly. It does not disrupt any of the ongoing operation, but manages this translation so that, from the IMS or CICS subsystem's point of view, it's simply being invoked the way it's always been invoked.


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