Micro Focus extends Web services to mainframes

Micro Focus International will today unveil a version of its EnterpriseLink software which connects business partners to data on...

Micro Focus International will today unveil a version of its EnterpriseLink software which connects business partners to data on legacy IBM S/390 mainframes and AS/400 systems via Web services.

The Web services-enabled version of EnterpriseLink uses Simple Object Access Protocol (Soap) to enable an enterprise to expose legacy data to third parties. In addition to IBM's hardware, the software will function with data residing on IBM-compatible mainframes from Unisys and Fujitsu.

"What we've done is extended EnterpriseLink to provide a Web services interface for any Web services client," said Mark Haynie, vice-president of enterprise extensions for Micro Focus.

Using the product, users could open up legacy applications to partners, suppliers and customers through a high-speed, programmatic interface, Haynie said.

Functioning with clients developed with either Microsoft .net- or Java-based tools and deployable in Unix or Windows environments, the product enables companies to forge XML-based connections to "green screen" mainframe data.

Mainframe users could deploy Web services technologies in less than 30 days, the company claimed.

The latest version of EnterpriseLink enables customers to: capture host screens and relationships without analysing or modifying source code; construct Web services interfaces to those applications via a drag-and-drop interface, and allow access to the EnterpriseLink project via several client types, including Web browsers, Java applications and PDF files.

Previous releases of EnterpriseLink generated HTML over HTTP. The new version generates SOAP over HTTP, Haynie said. The earlier version required human intervention to enter data fields for Web access to legacy data. This is not a requirement with the Web services product.

EnterpriseLink for Web Services ships on 1 November and costs approximately $450 (£286) per concurrent user accessing a system. Production workloads can be scaled to as many as 10,000 users, Micro Focus said.

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