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CICS Web Services - Using RDz for Application Innovation
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By Vijayalakshmie K. Ekanatha ,
Sr. consultant at Royal Cyber, Inc
- System z & Rational Enterprise Modernization.
Business applications exist for one purpose – and one purpose only; to provide application consumers with answers to business questions. Over time these answers have been delivered on increasingly modernized media; from paper to green screen to GUI and to native and hybrid mobile. But an obvious problem exists in business application development; “How to de-couple business answers from the media du jour. Over the decades a few different technologies have tried to meet this challenge – but it seems as though the solution the industry’s been waiting for is SOA – or Service Oriented Architecture.
A Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is the best way to leverage the power of existing tried and trusted legacy applications while presenting a brand new interface for the customers to access them. CICS and other mainframe applications can also be modernized using web services that enable us to invoke them on mobile devices using Internet standards.
To integrate today's emerging internet and mobile technologies and the existing legacy applications that are written in COBOL/ PLI and are accessed via ‘Green Screens’, web services can be created for the programs that make up the application. CICS Transaction Server supplies a utility namely, DFHLS2WS ( From Language Structure to Web Service Description Language) and DFHWS2LS (Web Service Description Language to Language Structure) to make this possible. Every online developer starting the task of creating web services from ISPF environment,
Further – there are numerous hard-stops for using these utilities, that would force reengineering – or duplicating production code if certain data structures exist that are not supported.
Rational Developer for System z makes the above challenges easier for a developer by making use of simple tools packaged within easy-to-run wizards that make program analysis easy by identifying inputs and outputs, generating web service artifacts quickly, and offering drag and drop support to deploy the web service artifacts. And RDz can automatically generate “wrapper-programs” that provide support for all COBOL data structures – so that no reengineering (or duplicate code maintenance) is necessary.
While creating web services with RDz, a developer can enjoy benefits like
RDz can help create web services using three approaches
Using the Bottom-up approach, a CICS program can be web service enabled using the following high level steps:
RDz provides a great set of utilities for SOA enabling your legacy applications. These utilities are easy to learn and consume considerably less time and resources in generating web services as compared to using ISPF and traditional manual development processes.