Enterprise Architects’ Perspective on CICS Integration
Case Studies | How To| by Jerry Rackley

The HostBridge team regularly works with Enterprise, IT, Solutions, and Systems Architects on projects to integrate CICS applications with new apps they are developing for the cloud, web, or mobile platforms. We’ve collected feedback from many of them about how they use the HostBridge JavaScript Engine (HB.js) to facilitate integration through the creation of CICS web services. Presented here is a summary of some of the feedback we’ve collected from architects at financial services firms, insurance companies, healthcare organizations, and branches of the federal government about using HostBridge for their CICS integration projects.

Architects View of HostBridge

We asked them how they view HostBridge – what is HB.js?

  • “A JavaScript engine that enables development agility.”
  • “A mainframe app that accesses data and returns it via a web service. It can generate web services very quickly.”
  • “HostBridge sits in front of CICS transactions and exposes information from them as web services.”
  • “A system that makes legacy mainframe transactions and user interactions available to downstream systems via an API.”

What Does HostBridge do for You?

We asked: what kind of application or data access does HostBridge enable for you?

  • “Exposes data out of mainframe CICS as a web service.”
  • “Pulls info from the payroll system.”
  • “Exposes data from homegrown policy admin system as a web service.”
  • “Provides access to a suite of 3rd party policy administrative applications through a new business system used by agents.”
  • “Used HostBridge to put a hook into a policy admin application to eliminate agent rekeying of data.”
  • “Implemented HostBridge to enable client web queries about policy values.”

How Does HostBridge Provide Value?

We asked these architects to describe how they are getting value from using HostBridge for CICS integration:

  • “Exposes mainframe functionality to the internet/browser. It’s lightning fast and easy to train on usage. The speed of HostBridge creates value through a better customer experience, as it provides access to apps used by CSRs. The response time is 1.5 versus 18 seconds, with some screens coming back in milliseconds.”
  • “Agility in developing and deploying web services. A side benefit is better collaboration between web services and mainframe teams, where historically there’s been a wall between these groups. HostBridge blends both worlds, facilitating collaboration.”
  • “We don’t have to modify mainframe apps. It insulates the mid-range team from the mainframe, simplifying access. They get to work with data, not screens. With HostBridge, we just have to ask, ‘what data to you need?’ and they get it as a web service.”
  • “Access to legacy data and transactions, with minimal disruption to legacy code. Relatively quick turnaround to expose the data as XML or JSON. HostBridge is also much faster in terms of response time.”
  • “It bridges the gap between what’s new and current, and ugly ‘green screen’ legacy technology without having to reinvent it. CSRs get a consistent view, regardless of where the info came from. No response time issues.”
  • “HostBridge allows applications to easily interact with the ‘systems of record’ where the transactions are happening. It would have taken 2 or 3 steps to accomplish this without HostBridge. HostBridge provides immediate impact on downstream systems when they connect to systems of record by providing current data.”

Why HostBridge was Chosen

Most of the architects considered various solutions for CICS integration. Here are the reasons they cited for ultimately choosing HostBridge:

  • “Of the different products that could do what HostBridge could do, it was by far the best product. It is architecturally sound.”
  • “We got to know the HostBridge team and respected their expertise and knowledge of the mainframe, and felt like products would be solid and production ready. HostBridge was vetted through a batch-CICS project. We were also impressed with how quickly development could occur.”
  • “Wanted to modernize the payroll application, and using web services was more desirable than screen scraping.”
  • “We implemented HostBridge with two customers, and it was very successful. It was easy to configure and fast to process transactions. Both customers were surprised at the speed.”

Find out for yourself…

View a web demo of HostBridge, or contact the team using the form below for a free consult on creating CICS web services to integrate or modernize your CICS applications.

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