Microsoft Corp. today unveiled the newest version of its industry-leading legacy platform interoperability solution, Host Integration Server (HIS) 2004, part of Microsoft® Windows Server System™ . With HIS 2004, enterprises can integrate their existing IBM mainframe and midrange systems with new Windows®-based solutions, enabling customers to use and extend their host assets at a significantly lower cost. HIS 2004 includes newly developed Transaction Integrator (TI) design tools that run in the context of the Visual Studio® .NET 2003 integrated development environment (IDE). The TI tools enable Windows developers to wrap existing host line-of-business (LOB) applications as XML Web services or Microsoft .NET server components that are usable in a service-oriented architecture (SOA) solution.
“Host Integration Server 2004 gives customers new ways to get more out of their existing IT systems in a cost-efficient manner. Customers have told us that they need technology that enables them to utilize their mainframe assets and expose those assets as Web services,” said Ted Kummert, corporate vice president in the Business Process and Integration Division at Microsoft. “We are now providing an opportunity for companies to integrate their mission-critical mainframe applications, data sources, and messaging and security systems through Web-service-enabled SOA solutions that are reusable and extensible.”
Faster Time to Market, Ability to Develop Web Services That Plug Into a Service-Oriented Architecture
Today enterprises are looking to expose their infrastructure components as Web services and build SOA-based solutions with the ultimate goal of reusing the components and reducing costs; however, the rigidity of many mainframes makes this goal unattainable for many companies. HIS 2004 gives customers the tools to build XML Web services, which ultimately can be consumed and reused in an SOA-based solution to reach this goal. In addition, Microsoft has made a number of critical investments in HIS 2004 that will bolster customers’ ability to integrate disparate applications and improve interoperability between IBM’s host systems and DB2 databases and Microsoft Windows Server™ and Microsoft SQL Server™ . Those investments include the following:
*Transaction Integrator. TI enables Windows developers to publish and extend business rules in mainframe Customer Information Control System (CICS), Information Management System (IMS) and AS/400 applications as XML Web services. Integrated with Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Framework, TI is a powerful enterprise development environment for rapidly building mission-critical applications that target any device and integrate with any platform.
*Managed provider for IBM’s DB2 database. The managed provider enables developers to publish vital data stored in IBM’s DB2 database as XML Web services and integrate DB2 data with solutions based on Windows Forms, Web Forms, Web services or Microsoft Office System productivity applications such as Excel and InfoPath™
*TI Host-Initiated Processing (HIP). HIP allows a Windows Server-based computer to function as a peer to an IBM mainframe and AS/400 computer, enabling customers to build truly distributed peer-to-peer applications and move portions of their host application logic and data to a more cost-effective infrastructure based on Windows Server and SQL Server.
*Enterprise single sign-on (ESSO). ESSO delivers a solution for authenticating security credentials between Windows Active Directory® and non-Windows systems, enabling seamless authentication between HIS 2004, BizTalk® Server 2004, IBM mainframe and midrange systems, and key IBM applications such as CICS, IMS, DB2 and MQSeries.
*IP-DLC (data link control) Link Service. IP-DLC Link Service supports industry-standard Systems Network Architecture (SNA) over IP routing so that branch-deployed and centrally deployed HIS 2004 computers can connect directly to z900 mainframes via high-speed IP networks. This means enterprises will not need to remotely administer branch cluster controllers, utilize expensive data link switching (DLSw)-capable routers, or maintain costly front-end processors. Instead, with HIS 2004, enterprises can continue to consolidate their network infrastructure while supporting the same level of SNA-compatible applications and services.
Strong TSYS Solution Built on HIS 2004
TSYS, the nation’s largest provider of electronic payment processing, needed to develop a more flexible solution for its 600-person call center, a solution integrated with mainframe systems that hold critical customer information. TSYS is now using HIS 2004 in its call center to further improve performance, integrating its mainframe resources with its Windows-based environment and creating an SOA-based solution so it can reuse the services its developers create.
“Our previous solution was sufficient in that it allowed us to access our data and information on the mainframe, but we sacrificed a great deal in terms of flexibility, manageability and cost. In the end, the solution was far too costly, far too rigid and far too hard to manage, given the technical advancements Microsoft offered in the form of Host Integration Server,” said Tim Kelly, director of distributed technologies at TSYS. “HIS 2004 represents a major leap forward in delivering connectivity to host applications and data. The ability to create SOA-based solutions around the mainframe will deliver significant value to our company.”
New Editions of HIS 2004 Available for First Time
Microsoft will now offer a Standard Edition and an Enterprise Edition of HIS 2004. Host Integration Server 2004 Standard Edition will have an estimated retail price (ERP) of $2,499 (U.S.) and will include core host access services in the form of network, data and security integration technologies. Host Integration Server 2004 Enterprise Edition will have an ERP of $9,999 (U.S.) and will include the same capabilities as the Standard Edition as well as the application integration capabilities in Transaction Integrator and the message integration functionality in the MQSeries and Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ) bridge. Both the Enterprise and Standard editions of HIS 2004 are scheduled to be generally available Sept. 1, 2004.