HostBridge Version 4.0 Integrates CICS Data and Applications

New process automation engine provides powerful tool for integrating CICS with client, server or web-based applications.

Stillwater, Okla. – 18 May 2004 – HostBridge Technology, the provider of HostBridge software for XML-enabling CICS applications, announces HostBridge version 4.0. This new version includes the latest release of its flagship product, along with a new set of functionality called HostBridge Extended. HostBridge Extended (HBX) includes four new features, first among them a new, CICS-native process automation engine. Using the process automation engine in HostBridge Extended, non-mainframe developers can access data, run transactions and execute CICS commands using a single HTTP, SOAP, or MQ request.

The HostBridge process automation engine allows system architects, process designers and application developers to write simple or complex CICS processes using the industry standard ECMAScript language. Also known as JavaScript, ECMAScript is the most widely used scripting language in the world. HostBridge Extended includes a workstation-based Interactive Development Environment (IDE) that makes it easy to develop and test process automation scripts for CICS. The resulting scripts are compiled into native CICS code so run-time efficiency is outstanding. As a result, the HostBridge process automation engine provides run-time performance that is unparalleled in middle-tier environments; furthermore, the process automation capability of HostBridge Extended works with any middle-tier environment.

Direct Access to VSAM, DB2, and DL/I Data

Organizations frequently need to retrieve information directly from back-end CICS data sources as part of an integration process. HostBridge now reads and writes directly to VSAM files, DB2, or DL/I databases.

Using HostBridge, developers can choose to invoke a CICS transaction through HostBridge, or bypass the CICS transaction altogether and access the data behind the transaction directly.

Native WebSphere® MQ Interface

WebSphere® MQ provides guaranteed delivery of business-critical information between asynchronous processes running on disparate platforms. HostBridge now provides native WMQ support that can receive processing requests via a WMQ request queue, and will return the response in the appropriate WMQ response queue.

Enhanced Multi-Region Operation (MRO)

CICS Transaction Server 2.2 introduced the Link3270 Bridge interface, which HostBridge exploits. Link3270 Bridge requires, however, that all transactions executed under a single bridge facility run in the same application owning region (AOR). This is a serious limitation to organizations with complex and high-scaled multi-region (MRO) environments. HostBridge overcomes these limitations through its enhanced MRO support. This feature augments Link3270 Bridge and allows transactions to be executed in multiple AORs. For example, pseudo-conversational transactions executed via HostBridge can pass data between transaction legs executing in different AORs. HostBridge's enhanced MRO support is completely transparent to the distributed application requesting services from HostBridge.

“A common scenario where CICS applications are integration targets involves navigating through multiple CICS transactions to obtain the data required by a distributed application,” says Russ Teubner, HostBridge CEO. “Using the process automation in HostBridge Extended, the entire sequence can now be scripted and saved on the mainframe, much like a stored procedure. Client, server or web-based applications can then invoke the automated process using a single request. This alleviates the need for the middle-tier application to manage a complex flow of requests and responses. This approach simplifies the task of integrating CICS applications while providing tremendous run-time efficiencies.”

"HostBridge Technologies once again provides leading edge support for application integration and exploitation of industry standards such as XML, SOAP and JavaScript,” says Bob Yelavich, CICS industry consultant. “The process automation scripting facilities in version 4 keep HostBridge at the forefront of CICS integration. The addition of direct data access, a native WebSphere MQ interface, and enhanced Link3270 MRO support shows that HostBridge Technology not only listens to customers, but responds to them. HostBridge is truly the CICS Integration Company."

Availability

General availability of HostBridge version 4.0 and HBX are scheduled for July 19, 2004. Organizations wishing to learn more about the integration capabilities of this new version of HostBridge can register to attend a Web demonstration by visiting the HostBridge Web site: http://www.hostbridge.com.

About HostBridge Technology

HostBridge Technology provides software for IBM S/390® and zSeries™ customers with an ongoing investment in CICS applications. Using the HostBridge U.S. and E.U. Patent Pending software, any middle-tier application can securely invoke CICS transactions and receive their output as an XML document. By providing real-time XML access, along with high-performance process automation, HostBridge allows enterprises to take a quantum leap forward in integrating CICS applications into other business processes or offering CICS applications as Web Services. For more information about HostBridge, please visit: http://www.hostbridge.com.

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OS/390 and WebSphere are registered trademarks, and zSeries is a trademark of the IBM Corporation. HostBridge is a trademark of HostBridge Technologies. All other trademarks, registered trademarks, and service marks are the property of their respective owners.