CICS Integration is Not One Size Fits All
How To | Strategy| by Jerry Rackley

There are two key considerations for integrating CICS applications:

  • What type of CICS applications do you need to integrate?
  • What type of integration will do the best job?

Type of CICS Applications

Some CICS applications, such as BMS, were written for human use. They were originally designed for interaction via a 3270 terminal. Other types, such as COMMAREA, exist to execute a business process. They were not designed for human interaction. Many organizations have both kinds in their application inventory. They require different integration approaches.

Type of Integration

For terminal-oriented applications, what type of interface is desirable? In some cases, the requirement is “webifying” each 3270 screen to enable human interaction through a browser interface or other application. In our experience, it’s increasingly common that organizations want to expose these applications as callable web services via an API. Terminal-oriented applications often present the greatest CICS integration challenge. Organizations frequently attempt to use middle-tier, screen-scraping technologies to accomplish integration. They are almost always disappointed with the reliability and performance of this approach.

For business process applications, the goal is usually making their business logic available through an API. This type of CICS application represents the easiest, simplest integration to accomplish. This diagram summarizes the types of CICS applications and the integration options for each:

CICS Integration Scenarios

Choosing the Right CICS Integration Approach

Assuming that all CICS applications are alike for the purpose of integration is the root of many failed integration projects. The HostBridge JavaScript Engine (HB.js) simplifies exposing all types of CICS applications as callable web services. Using HB.js, you can create a secure API to integrate and orchestrate your CICS apps.

It’s easy and free* to prototype this web services approach: contact us to set up a free Pilot Application Workshop. We’ll provide the software, services, and training to help you develop an initial set of integration scripts. There’s no risk! Use the form below to start a dialogue with us.

* Free for U.S.-based customers. International customers just pay travel & living expenses.