SOA Software Extends Service Orientation to IMS

SOA Software, a provider of SOA management solutions, has launched SOLA for IMS transactions, a mainframe SOA solution. SOLA, an enterprise SOA platform, provides processes to expose mainframe applications as secure Web services, and enables mainframe applications to consume web services.

IMS is still prevalent at many sites, particularly at larger organizations, which also may also be running CICS. "There are whole areas of the marketplace that are IMS-only environments that we have, up until now, been unable to help," Jim Crew, vice president of SOA Software, tells 5 Minute Briefing.  "We're incorporating the ability to easily publish IMS transactions as reusable, documented, governable Web services, by extending our product SOLA to actually build in a new product, so that SOLA can now incorporate IMS transactions."

The SOLA runtime environment runs entirely on the mainframe, eliminating the need for middleware. Coupled with SOLA's Development Studio, the suite helps increase developer productivity, providing faster time to market and lower application development cost. The product is built for "very, very high performance" so that companies that run mission-critical applications on the mainframe can be comfortable that SOLA for IMS is the right choice for those applications, observes Crew.

"All of the capabilities that we already had in our CICS product have now been extended into the IMS product," he adds.  "We worked extensively with IBM on this solution. We took their guidance very much in the way in which we built the product."

With this release, the SOLA Developer and the SOLA runtime now support multiple IMS input and output segments, and the IMS transactions being service enabled can be written in COBOL, PL/I or Natural.  IMS transactions can also be service consumers by using SOLA's outbound engine. SOLA IMS offers multiple configurations to provide low cost execution of services built from IMS transactions, and much of SOLA is written in assembler language, so the SOLA runtime offers lower MIPS consumption and higher throughput than alternatives that use Java and rely on zAAP specialty engines.

With SOLA's support of BPEL, IMS transactions can participate in service orchestration, reducing the latency caused by multiple trips to the mainframe. Additionally, SOLA offers a Customizable Dictionary to convert Program Variables to Business Terms, enforcing corporate standards. SOLA is a Governed Service Platform, making it fully governable by SOA Software products such as Portfolio Manager, Policy Manager, Repository Manager, and Service Manager.

SOLA also provides mainframe end-to-end governance with WS-Security, WS-Policy, mainframe optimized registry, integrated monitoring, logging, auditing and scalability, the vendor says.  For more information on mainframe SOA for IMS or CICS, go here.