Mainframes plug into SOAs

SOA Software has begun shipping its Service-Oriented Legacy Architecture or SOLA, a platform that exposes CICS mainframe apps as Web services. The company claims it’s the first to bridge the gap between mainframe databases and apps and the distributed world.

CICS is still the backbone of many mainframe systems, and common enterprise problems such as instability, high cost and rapidly shifting market conditions are exacerbated as users attempt to expose mainframe apps to the Internet in a CICS host environment. The company identifies this issue as “The Problem Space,” in which business users previously have had to move their applications off of the mainframe to enable them to participate in Web services.

SOLA runs as a set of mainframe apps focused on enabling an existing group of apps to participate in an SOA. By accomplishing this without any additional hardware, software or cross-platform skills training, the company claims SOLA can deliver high-performance Web services with minimal overhead, low, fixed development cost and reduced time-to-market.

Other key features include automatic documentation of services in a UDDI repository, a browser-based development environment that eliminates the need for a high-end workstation, and service hosting directly on the mainframe.

Merrill Lynch has been using SOLA successfully for more than 3 years to process more than 40 CICS apps and 1,000,000 CICS transactions daily. Version 5.0 is the first commercial release, adding support for key messaging and infrastructure standards including WS-Security, WS-Policy, XML-Signature and XML-Encryption. It can be deployed standalone, or as part of a comprehensive SOA infrastructure with the company’s Software Service Manager.

Pricing starts at $75,000. For further info, visit SOA's Web site.