Align Your Computing Focus
CICS and System z help harness the power of SOA
Illustration by Adam Niklewicz
The mainframe has been around for many years and is still the center of most enterprise computing. Likewise, CICS* has been at the forefront of enterprise transaction processing for nearly 40 years and is the premier IBM* transaction processor. Present in most Fortune 1000 companies, its unparalleled qualities of service have ensured it’s not only remained vital to organizations all over the world, but that it’s also kept up to date with emerging technologies, such as service oriented architecture (SOA).
SOA on System z
SOA is an evolving architecture that IT departments are embracing to take their business processes to a higher level. SOA has evolved from experiences of past technologies taking advantage of developments and adoption of Internet-based technology and interoperability standards to offer significant business and IT benefits. Many definitions for SOA exist, but a consensus seems to arrive at the concept of loosely coupled business services that are provided in an interoperable, platform- and technology-agnostic manner to create business solutions.
SOA is an integration architecture based on the concept of services. Business and infrastructure functions that are required to build distributed systems are provided as services that individually or collectively deliver application functions to either business applications or to other services.
The System z* platform is a secure operating platform, with built-in capabilities to help ensure data privacy and secure processing for organizations whether simple or extended. Cutting costs is always high on management minds and IBM, through the System z platform, has introduced several special-purpose processors to assist in this, including the System z Application Assist Processor (zAAP) and System z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP), as well as the outboard DataPower* appliance. Forty years of innovation and enhancements have enabled the mainframe to offer many business solutions and remain as significant today as it’s ever been.
SOA and CICS
Since its introduction to the IBM portfolio of program products, CICS has been called a transaction monitor, a transaction processor, an application server and, in its current guise, a transaction server. In truth all of these terms are correct and it’s indicative of how CICS has moved with the times to reflect its role in enterprise computing as well as its inherent business value. In 2003, CICS introduced a SupportPac*, simple object access protocol (SOAP) for CICS, that heralded the first foray by CICS into what was to become the SOA landscape. The subsequent release of CICS Transaction Server for z/OS* in 2005 with its integrated Web-services support ensured that CICS remained four letters on which top businesses depend. Already, their core business logic, written in the past and tried and tested in production over long periods of time, was accessed by many users.
Now, using Web services, they could expose the same programming code to open up their businesses to new markets with little or no disruption to their business logic. With the System z platform and CICS, users can get high performance in availability, reliability and data integrity, with unparalleled security while adopting a standards-based interface. For the first time users don’t have to write their own application interfaces.
With the System z platform and CICS, users can get high performance in availability, reliability and data integrity, with unparalleled security while adopting a standards-based interface.
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