New Release of Ivory Tailored for Best-Practice Mainframe SOA Development

GT Software's Ivory Service Architect features advanced support for XML standards to enable optimal "contract-first" service implementation

Atlanta, GA, August 16, 2006 -- Companies and organizations seeking to integrate their mainframe computers, software, and expertise into a service-oriented architecture (SOA) have a powerful design advantage with the release of Version 3.2 of Ivory® Service Architect from GT Software, Inc., a leading provider of rapid SOA development software for mainframe systems.

With enhanced support for XML standards, this latest version of Ivory Service Architect enables organizations to approach the development of mainframe-based Web services from the emerging best-practice perspective of business-process driven -- or "top-down" -- service design. In addition, streamlined usability features and added functionality mark the release as a significant advance in tools for making mainframes active participants in SOA initiatives.

"As our customers execute their SOA strategies, they are finding that adherence to certain standards is key to successfully integrating the mainframe into an SOA. GT Software supports those standards in Ivory Service Architect, giving our customers the ability to initiate mainframe service implementation from the WSDLs produced from virtually any environment -- BEA, Oracle, IBM, even handwritten," said Rob Morris, senior vice president, strategy, GT Software.

WSDL stands for Web service description language, an XML-based service description. In a business-process driven service development initiative, Ivory Service Architect's ability to support the WSDLs already in use speeds the development and deployment of mainframe-based services, and with built-in orchestration and assembly features, ensures that they will function according to user requirements in the broader SOA environment.

Enhanced Standards Support, Improved User Interface, Added Functionality

Ivory Service Architect's XML standards enhancement includes added support for XML Attributes and data types enabling developers to easily import WSDLs originating from any number of environments that are then used to initiate the development of mainframe-based services.

"Building business services with a top-down, process-driven approach is a critical SOA best practice," said Jason Bloomberg, senior analyst at ZapThink. "GT Software's Ivory exploits top-down service creation with a contract-first methodology, promoting the deployment of loosely coupled, reusable services, at the right level of granularity. Ivory thus enables mainframe organizations to realize the full benefits of SOA regardless of platform."

The latest version of Ivory also includes a productivity-boosting user interface that reduces the number of mouse clicks required for project steps, and has delivered documented productivity gains five to ten times greater than standard methods of mainframe service creation.

New and enhanced functionality within Ivory's modeling tool enables developers to combine functions in a single node, as well as delivering full control of COMMIT and ROLLBACK of transactions at any point during a process flow. Additionally, Ivory introduces a new node called SWITCH/CASE enabling developers to easily implement multiple possible paths in the model without coding, fully demonstrating Ivory Service Architect's unique capability to provide the power of a programmatic solution without writing or generating code.

Driving 3270 Applications Without Screen Scraping

With the 3.2 release, that Ivory Windows Server can now drive 3270 applications using the CICS LINK3270 capability -- without having to run anything on the mainframe -- thereby ensuring maximum efficiency and speed of execution. This new functionality enables developers to navigate 3270 screens without screen-scraping, and provides for full portability of Ivory projects across the Ivory Server on all platforms ensuring complete flexibility of deployment architecture, without sacrificing capability.

About Ivory Service Architect

Ivory Service Architect includes two key components -- Ivory Studio and Ivory Server --that work in tandem to enable mainframe developers to create services that actively participate in an SOA. Mainframe developers can now graphically orchestrate mainframe transactions, applications, data, and Web services into multi-step, multi-operation business services, with no formal training or consulting required.

Ivory Studio features a graphical IDE (integrated development environment) that enables mainframe developers to leverage any mainframe transaction, application or data, as well as Web services, to create a single- or multi-function composite service. This includes a drag-and-drop environment with powerful visualization and orchestration, so developers can define Web service inputs and outputs, and then model the multi-step process to implement the service. With Ivory Studio, it is possible to build mainframe business services with the right level of granularity, removing technical limitations from consideration in packaging services for maximum reuse.

Ivory Server consists of a high-performance SOAP processor, a business service flow processor, and a central repository for WSDL discovery. Ivory Server exploits both CICS and IMS processing routines as well as native data access capabilities, thereby eliminating the need for middle-tier servers and providing the flexibility to fully incorporate mainframe processing power within the SOA.

Ivory Server processes information published via Ivory Studio, accessing 3270, CICS, IMS, and mainframe data directly in each native environment. The server receives SOAP requests, invokes the business service flow previously defined in Ivory Studio to satisfy the request, and formats the SOAP response.

Full Integration with the SOA Ecosystem

Because implementing SOA in an enterprise requires tight integration between multiple IT platforms and services, Ivory supports key technologies that make any service instantly recognizable and usable within an SOA. This ensures that mainframe-based services perform as an active and integral part of the overall service architecture. In addition, GT Software is a benefactor of the SOA Leaders Council, a consortium of technology influencers and decision makers for large enterprises who have a strategic commitment to service oriented architecture and practical responsibilities for making the SOA generate results for the enterprise.

Pricing and Availability

Ivory Service Architect v3.2 is available immediately worldwide and starts at $25,000.

About GT Software

Founded in 1982, Atlanta-based GT Software (http://www.gtsoftware.com) is a leading provider of rapid SOA development solutions that leverage mainframe resources, making the mainframe an active participant in SOA initiatives. With GT Software's products, mainframe developers can quickly and easily model, automate, and extend mainframe processes for deployment as key components of an enterprise SOA solution.