HostBridge Technology


Business Process Management (BPM) and CICS

Legacy CICS applications contain data and business logic that are critical to many business processes. To integrate CICS applications with leading business process management (BPM) solutions, many organizations turn to HostBridge. HostBridge simplifies and expedites BPM interactions with CICS by managing and automating navigation through sequences of mainframe screens, returning requested information either as XML documents or web services ready for consumption by BPM solutions or formatted for direct, actionable presentation to business analysts. Increasingly, BPM is mostly about managing web services. Architecturally, HostBridge is immediately compatible with most BPM software through its ability to respond to SOAP messages, inbound XML documents, or even text-based query strings. CICS web services generated and delivered through HostBridge can be immediately managed by most BPM software. While BPM software is designed to handle complex business processes, interacting with multiple databases and applications and sifting through a multitude of web services before concatenating data and returning results, it is typically not designed to handle integration with legacy applications, particularly the "micro flows" of terminal-oriented applications that might involve hundreds of interactions with CICS transaction screens. HostBridge automates these CICS micro flows, enabling the creation of a single service that manages all screen-to-screen navigation and interaction and that returns only the required information to the BPM software. Supporting industry standards such as HTTP, XML, SOAP, and JavaScript, HostBridge enables integration of critical mainframe data into larger business processes in the easiest, most flexible manner.

Business Activity Monitoring (BAM)

Business Activity Monitoring tools are used to check the health of business processes, detecting peak usages for capacity management or alerting users to bottlenecks and outages for managing SLAs. BAM software solutions operate at the level of the web services, but they can penetrate to the deeper systems or application level if there is some kind of resident monitor. Without those monitors, BAM tools can still track the performance and availability of web services, but when problems occur the ability to drill down for root cause analysis is lost. HostBridge allows organizations to take web services written for BPM software and reuse them with BAM software. Most BAM tools have interfaces to receive events and collect performance data. For each CICS transaction, HostBridge collects and returns abend codes, CICS response codes, and error messages. This data can be returned in any format required by BAM tools. By calling the same web services, the BAM tools monitor the processes from the same perspective as the business processes, and the status messages returned by HostBridge ensure that the CICS subsystem is operating as it should.

HostBridge Connectors for BPM

HostBridge offers a number of specialty connectors enabling integration with specific BPM and other technologies. For information, go to HB Specialty Connectors.