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The Mobile Mainframe

Mainframe Access from Handheld Devices with HostBridge WIRE1

Your business applications and data are on your mainframe; your users are everywhere. Now, with HostBridge WIRE, you can connect your mainframe to everyone everywhere – at home, on the road, in the call center, manufacturing plant, logistics terminal, customer location, medical office, or wherever employees, partners, and customers go. WIRE, the Web Interface Rules Engine from HostBridge, is a mobile- and Web-enablement solution that delivers mainframe application access from any client device – desktops and laptops, tablet PCs, Chrome notepads, iPhones, Android smartphones, and more. With WIRE you can mobilize your mainframe to work for anyone, anywhere, at any time.

HostBridge WIRE

HostBridge WIRiE receives data streams from mainframe applications – either XML from mainframe-resident HostBridge or TN32702 – and delivers the applications to any client device in styles appropriate to all your users:

Organizations use WIRE to easily and rapidly present mainframe applications for every user, wherever they live, work, or play. WIRE supports display on any client device – desktop computers, laptops, iPads, iPhones, Chrome notebooks, tablet PCs, Android smartphones, you name it. Thanks to WIRE, employees, partners, and customers can now interact directly with the mainframe. That means anywhere/anytime/anyone access to highly valuable data and business logic, enhanced usability for everyone, and dramatic improvements in customer self-service, team productivity, operational efficiency, and business agility.

WIRE offers a complete environment for rapidly developing and deploying Web and mobile interfaces for mainframe applications and data – without any change to the mainframe. Leveraging the object-oriented capabilities of the Microsoft .NET framework, WIRE also makes it easy to integrate data and logic from any XML-enabled resource, so developers can design interfaces however they wish, readily create rich, dynamic new composite applications and mashups, and take the user experience to new levels of Web 2.0 and mobile functionality and sophistication.

Business Case: Office Supply Company

At a manufacturer/distributor of office supplies, workers use tablets and smartphones to interact with CICS applications in real time from the factory floor, warehouse, shipping dock, on the road, at logistics terminals, from customers’ stores, corporate headquarters, and elsewhere. With a few screen touches, they are able to manage inventory, verify quality, place orders, check shipment status, access accounts, view purchase documents, retrieve sales data, and much more.

The image below shows a CICS application displayed on an iPad. On the touchscreen, an authorized sales rep or customer can select items for purchase, navigate deeper into the application, and place an order instantly.

The benefits are plain to see. Anyone who can leverage the value of mainframe data and business logic can interact with it from anywhere and conduct transactions at any time.

Putting the mainframe in any leading mobile device, and in the hands of any user, WIRE frees the mainframe in space and time.

Security and Performance

WIRE and HostBridge support and exploit all the robust mainframe security the largest organizations trust and depend on, including RACF, ACF/2, and TopSecret. In addition, we support SSL and digital certificates to ensure that data in transit is always fully encrypted and secure.

WIRE and HostBridge are also known as the performance leaders in the mainframe integration world. Installed on the mainframe, HostBridge delivers the sub-second response times demanded by mainframe enterprises. At HostBridge, we also understand that fidelity and reliability are key components of performance. HostBridge and WIRE are uniquely able to orchestrate and automate the most complex transaction processes with unparalleled fidelity to source applications. Our worldwide customers trust HostBridge and WIRE to handle millions of transactions per day without interruption.

Mobile Revolution

The possibilities of the mobile mainframe are almost limitless. Every mainframe application that people interact with – whether a manufacturing, logistics, banking, insurance, healthcare, or other app – is an opportunity to do more with your most valued resource. Put mainframe information and business logic in the hands of people who want to use it, and see its value climb.

A large bank with customers and employees around the world can put CICS application access into the hands of millions. With WIRE and HostBridge, their users can update customer data and account information, and perform mainframe-based financial transactions. From home in Manhattan or a hotel in Mumbai, a customer can access and interact with her accounts instantly and securely from her Android tablet or iPhone.

A health insurance/healthcare cooperative can provide anywhere access to health records, policy information, insurance records, and much more. Their “mainframe in a handheld” service can be available for physicians and other care providers in medical offices, hospitals, and emergency rooms; emergency responders; insurance agents and support personnel; other medical product and service providers, as well as patients and customers.


The history of the mainframe is the story of increasing accessibility to critical transactional data. As access has evolved from dedicated terminals to terminal emulation on a desktop, then to Web browsers, mainframe applications and data have delivered ever-increasing value to employees, partners, customers, and enterprise organizations.

Today, with WIRE and HostBridge supporting the latest tablets and smartphones, the mobile mainframe can truly go anywhere and be everywhere – and change the way your mainframe does business.


[1]This paper is an update of an earlier paper entitled, “The Handheld Mainframe: Mainframe Apps on Any Client Device Using HostBridge WIRE.”

[2]WIRE also integrates TN5250 and VT data.

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Revision date: 8/3/2012


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