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HostBridge Product Literature

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SOA and Web Services for CICS

HostBridge is mainframe-based software that allows mainframe applications and data to be accessed by, and integrated with, any type of distributed application. Mainframes continue to be the most reliable and scalable platforms for handling large amounts of data and large numbers of transactions, so staging integration engines on the mainframe is a good technical decision. HostBridge provides immediate access to mainframe resources as XML documents or web services. With more companies adopting Services-Oriented Architectures (SOAs), HostBridge support for a one-request/one-response model using mainframe-based process automation is a natural fit.

Integrate CICS using Web Services

Enabling your legacy applications as web services lets you deliver integration projects faster and cheaper because your legacy application groups and Internet groups use their existing knowledge to integrate the applications. By adhering to standards such as XML, SOAP, HTTP, and JavaScript, HostBridge allows integration developers to use Java, .NET, or any other development platform to build their integration infrastructure.

Figure 1

Figure 1. Combining data from applications and databases into a single response.

The nature of CICS applications makes them complementary to SOAs and web services technologies. Non-visual COMMAREA applications take one request and return data to the requesting application in a single step. This maps well with the SOA/web services model because a single SOAP request would yield the required host data. Meanwhile, the majority of terminal-oriented use a component of CICS called Basic Mapping Support (BMS). BMS essentially handles the presentation logic of the transaction and relieves the application developer from having to encode and decode 3270 terminal data streams. BMS expresses fields and data as name/value pairs, which can be converted to XML for consumption by web services.

HostBridge also supports CICS and non-CICS 3270 terminal applications, such as CAIdeal and IMS. Although these applications generate 3270 datastreams, HostBridge converts the datastreams into well-formed XML that is easy for integration developers to understand.

Combine Data from Multiple Sources

HostBridge allows developers to script transaction sequences and save the scripts on the mainframe using JavaScript in compiled form. Client, server or web-based applications can then invoke the automated process as a web service using a single request. HostBridge executes the micro-flows on the mainframe and eliminates the need for the middle-tier application to manage a complex flow of requests and responses.

Corporate data rarely resides in a single application or data source, and integration projects often combine data from multiple sources into a single application interface or make them available through a single business process. CICS-based JavaScript allows developers to execute CICS transactions, query databases, and combine the returned data into a single response for use by requesting programs.

Develop Integration Scripts Quickly and Easily

HostBridge includes a workstation-based Interactive Development Environment (IDE) that makes it easy to develop and test process automation scripts for CICS. The IDE compiles the scripts before saving them to CICS in a standard VSAM file so run-time efficiency on the mainframe is outstanding. As a result, the HostBridge process automation engine provides fast, efficient run-time performance; furthermore, the process automation capability of HostBridge works with .NET, Java, and any other middle-tier environment.

HostBridge uses JavaScript because most integration developers know JavaScript but do not know to existing CICS programming languages such as COBOL and REXX. And, while Java is available under CICS, it does not yet perform well, support from IBM is still limited, and the mainframe community has yet to embrace it. The HostBridge IDE facilitates the development of the scripts, but the result is not “generated code,” which means it is easily editable.


CICS-based web services reduces latency between the middle tier and mainframes, prepares CICS to participate in Service-Oriented Architectures, and allows developers to combine data from multiple sources into a single callable service or object. Using JavaScript as the integration language enables a broad set of Java and .NET developers to use their existing skills and knowledge to create integration objects that perform exceedingly well under CICS.

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Copyright © 2011-2015 by HostBridge Technology. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system, or translated into any computer language, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, optical, chemical, manual, or otherwise, without prior written permission. You have limited permission to make hardcopy or other reproductions of any machine-readable documentation for your own use, provided that each such reproduction shall carry this copyright notice. No other rights under copyright are granted without prior written permission. The document is not intended for production and is furnished “as is” without warranty of any kind. All warranties on this document are hereby disclaimed including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.

Revision date: 9/3/2008


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