Jacada Connects Microsoft COM API to AS/400

Positioning itself to support integration for a full range of e-commerce application products, Jacada Ltd. (Atlanta) has added a Microsoft Object Model (COM) adapter to Jacada Connects, enabling seamless integration between any Microsoft-based e-commerce solution and any AS/400 or mainframe application.

The latest addition to Jacada’s family of e-business solutions, Jacada Connects enables users to integrate e-commerce applications with existing AS/400 and mainframe applications from a single development and deployment environment. Because no changes are required to the original host application, Jacada Connects enables users to rapidly deploy their e-commerce applications.

“Implementing e-commerce applications and tying them together to the back-office applications is a thing that a lot of people are talking about,” says David Holmes, senior VP of marketing at Jacada. “We provide a way of getting at an existing AS/400 applications without having to reprogram it.”

When it was originally launched a year ago, Jacada Connects only contained a Java application program interface (API). Jacada soon realized, however, that Jacada Connects was not meeting the needs of a large percentage of AS/400 and mainframe users. “By our estimate, at least 50 percent of e-commerce applications are based on Microsoft technologies,” says Holmes.

Customers can now fully integrate COM-based e-commerce products such as Active Server Pages within Microsoft’s Internet Information Server (IIS) or IBM’s Net.Commerce, with existing back-end systems for complete end-to-end transaction processing and fulfillment.

With the addition of the Microsoft COM API, Jacada Connects contains APIs for two of the most popular e-commerce programming languages on the market, says Holmes. “By adding a COM API to the Java API, we can provide support for all e-commerce applications.”

Jacada Connects also has RPG capabilities, still a very popular programming language in the AS/400 circle. As long as the back-end RPG applications have a 5250 data stream, then Jacada Connects can integrate them with storefronts like Net.Commerce or ezMerchant.

Although Java and Microsoft COM can be considered the wave of the future, RPG remains the top choice for AS/400 users looking to build e-commerce applications. In fact, in a recent market survey, The 400 Group (Dedham, Mass.) asked AS/400 shops what programming language they planned to use for their Internet development projects in 2000. RPG was the most popular, cited by 62 percent, while 31 percent of those surveyed said they will use Visual Basic (Microsoft COM), and 33 percent said they will be building in Java.

According to Holmes, Jacada Connects solves one of the biggest problems companies face in e-commerce. “In most cases, the .com companies take orders over the Web and then someone has to manually type them into the back end,” he says. “However, Jacada Connects seamlessly integrates e-commerce applications with existing back-office applications, which eliminates any manual intervention on the order-entry side.”

The COM adapter is generally with the release of version 6.1. Jacada Connects pricing starts at $10,000 for a starter kit, which includes one Software Development Kit and a deployment license for 10 concurrent sessions.

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