GT Helps Racing Company Stay Agile

Horse racing organizer France Galop, which manages six racing events, is using Atlanta-based GT Software's service-oriented architecture (SOA) platform to better utilize its mainframe-housed data and applications.

The racing company is using GT's Ivory Service Architect platform to service-enable its COBOL applications, as well as DB2 and CICS-based data silos. The mainframe-based code and data silos continue to run in their native formats.

Ivory creates services from legacy data sources and applications, without having to recode, according to an announcement issued by GT. The platform consists of two components: an Ivory Studio development environment and Ivory Server.

Ivory Server includes "a high-performance SOAP processor, a business service flow processor and a central repository for WSDL discovery," according to company literature. It can access IBM 3270 terminals, Customer Information Control System (CICS), Information Management System and data directly in each native environment.

More than 80 Web services were created using the Ivory platform, which features a graphical modeling development environment in Ivory Studio. The solution's modeling tool is easy to use, according to Rob Morris, GT Software's chief strategy officer.

"We require zero changes to the core data and assets that are on the mainframe that you assemble into services to plug into these new systems," Morris said. "The new wave of tools is so easy to use that we don't have a formal training class on Ivory because we simply don't need it," he added.

Ivory essentially is a mainframe tool for integrated service environments, Morris said. It looks and acts like a Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) tool, he added.

"The difference is that a BPEL tool in runtime is set up for the purposes of taking a set of services and assembling new services," Morris explained. "Ivory is set up for the purpose of assembling a set of mainframe artifacts into services. But architecturally, conceptually and even from a look-and-feel standpoint, it looks a lot the same."

Mainframe developers don't have to learn XML or Web services or write code to use Ivory, Morris said. They just assemble the services using pictures on the screen.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.