HostBridge Technology


Web Services and SOA Integration for CICS

As web services continue to prove their value, organizations are looking for solutions that enable rapid integration of their mainframe systems with other enterprise applications, web applications, and partner systems via service-oriented architectures (SOAs). HostBridge provides native support for web services so our customers can leverage the power, performance, and process logic of their most trusted systems as they ride the services wave.

Web services are platform-independent interfaces that allow application-to-application communication using standards-based Internet technologies such as HTTP, XML, and SOAP. They provide an opportunity for organizations to reduce the costs and complexities of application integration inside the enterprise and with partners anywhere.

The problem with traditional integration is the proliferation of point-to-point data conversions that must change as new applications are integrated or data formats change. The problem gets worse when you add business partners into the integration mix. Web services reduce the costs and complexities of performing data conversions internally and externally. By using standards-based technologies and widely available skill sets, web services allow companies to develop flexible integration solutions that can change as needed.

The diagram above shows three common web services interactions: a Provider (such as HostBridge) that provides the web service, a Requester that uses a web service, and a Broker that finds Providers for Requesters. The following steps are required to find and use a web service. (Subsequent requests do not require steps 1-3.)

1. Upload a WSDL specification to publish the HostBridge web service with a Broker.

2. The Requester queries the Broker for a web service by name or category.

3. The Broker selects a Provider and returns the Provider information to the Requester.

4. The Requester uses the information from the Broker to format and send a SOAP message to the HostBridge.

5. HostBridge returns a SOAP document to the Requester with the CICS data enclosed.

HostBridge is the perfect companion to enable CICS applications as web services. By supporting SOAP, XML, and HTTP, HostBridge makes it possible for applications to transparently invoke CICS transactions within a web services architecture and receive the resulting data as well-formed XML documents. For organizations that want to retain the value of their CICS applications, HostBridge and web services offer an ideal solution.