Jacada Connects to IBM's WebSphere

Due to its versatility, IBM's WebSphere is fast becoming a popular application platform at AS/400 sites. Developers, however, still find it challenging to integrate WebSphere with existing applications.

That's why IBM recently teamed up with Jacada Ltd. (Atlanta), unveiling Jacada Connects, an adapter that provides integration between WebSphere and any AS/400 or mainframe application. "WebSphere gives you the ability to access the database, but, generally speaking, it does not provide you with the ability to access applications without making any changes," says Rob Morris, director of product marketing for Jacada. "Jacada Connects allows you to take an AS/400 application and integrate it with other applications."

Jacada Connects is compatible with all WebSphere products. The WebSphere Application Server for OS/400 allows users to deploy and manage Web applications, ranging from simple Web sites to e-business solutions. Jacada decided to make Jacada Connects compatible with the AS/400 after feedback from its customers, Morris relates. "Our sales force was talking with AS/400 users, and WebSphere was coming up more and more," he says. "So, it made sense for us to integrate the two products together."

Jacada Connects provides an open Java API that integrates with WebSphere. The API enables interaction with both mainframe and AS/400 applications from a single development and deployment environment, with no changes required on the original host application. "Reuse of existing functionality is essential to achieve rapid results from new development efforts," says Morris. "Customers who are implementing new e-business solutions using WebSphere can now use Jacada Connects to leverage their business logic in any mainframe or AS/400 application."

IBM and Jacada developed the tool at IBM's Custom Technology Center (CTC), where Jacada Connects was exposed to extensive testing, Morris says. "IBM's CTC has been trained in our technology, so an AS/400 user can use the center for the implementation if they want to."

WebSphere has rapidly become the linchpin of the IBM e-business strategy, says Paraic Sweeney, VP of WebSphere marketing at IBM. "A strong contributing factor is support from our alliances. IBM is pleased that Jacada Connects has been added to the portfolio of products."