Mainframe users to get more integration options

The decision by middleware supplier Tibco to buy mainframe integration specialist ObjectStar could give users a viable...

The decision by middleware supplier Tibco to buy mainframe integration specialist ObjectStar could give users a viable alternative to using IBM mainframe integration software, according to analyst group Gartner.

ObjectStar specialises in integration middleware and tools that run on mainframes. Its customers include retailer Marks & Spencer, which used the integration software to build a customer-facing application onto its mainframe. Other users include Tesco, Pearl Assurance, South African Airways, American Express and Coca-Cola.

Through the acquisition Tibco plans to offer mainframe users a wider selection of connectivity options. It said it would be able to provide native integration capabilities for CA-IDMS, Adabas and Model 204 databases to support users in financial services and government.

Traditionally firms wanting to link front-office applications to mainframes have used integration software on a separate server running on Unix or Windows. Gartner said this was inefficient because a business process needs to switch back and forth between the server and the mainframe.

Along with mainframe integration, ObjectStar offers software development tools that provide an interface to IBM Websphere MQ. This allows ObjectStar applications to manage message queues and create, send, receive and process messages. They also support web services.

Gartner said Tibco needed to clarify its long-term support plans for ObjectStar users. It could continue to evolve the application development capability of the product, or just retain the integration features.

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