By Deepak Goel-Oracle on Oct 07, 2016
With all the technology advances and more and more apps moving to cloud, a vast number of mission-critical back-end apps are still running on mainframes. These applications are often the backbone of business as mainframes are seen as providing needed performance, reliability and scalability. With new UIs being developed using newer technologies in Java and many other programming languages and running on open systems, integration of mainframe applications with such front-end applications is a real problem. This problems needs a solution, which is at par, if not exceeds, the performance, reliability and scalability of mainframes.
Tuxedo mainframe transaction publisher is a solution which enables one to integrate CICS/IMS applications running on system Z with outside world. Integration is bi-directional: one can invoke external Web services, SOAP or Rest APIs, from CICS/IMS transactions or one can expose CICS/IMS transactions as Web services (again SOAP or Rest). In addition, TUXEDO MTP enables one to directly integrate with oracle Service Bus. Using this integration you can also use 2-phase commit XA transaction across the transaction life cycle and across the OSB, Tuxedo and mainframe.
The picture below describes the architecture of this integration:
Let’s consider a use case.
You have a requirement to access a CICS transaction, CustEnq, from a mobile app and your mobile app needs SOAP/http access to CustEnq transaction running on mainframe.
Let’s first look at what is in Tuxedo MTP. It consists of following three components:
Tuxedo: Tuxedo provides the core messaging infrastructure.
SALT: This is the Web services gateway for Tuxedo, responsible for communication with Web services clients and/or external Web services. All the conversion from XML and/or JSON to COBOL copybook format happens in this gateway. This gateway also interacts with TMA on the other side.
Tuxedo Mainframe Adapter (TMA): This is the mainframe gateway, which provides bi-directional connectivity to mainframe applications. There are two components of this adapter: GWSNAX runs on the open system side (i.e. on a Unix or Windows machine) and CRM, which generally runs on the mainframe where your mainframe application is running. CRM is a proxy for Tuxedo on mainframe and responsible for interacting with mainframe transactions.
Now, after you have gone through the installation Tuxedo MTP, the first step is to get the COBOL copybook for CustEnq and import it into Tuxedo Services Console. Using the console, you can identify which fields are needed in the request message and which ones are needed in the response message. If you need all fields from the copybook in both request and response messages, you do not need to anything. Based on the copybook definition, Tuxedo MTP generates a number of artifacts, including transaction definition, which is loaded in Tuxedo metadata repository. Once you specify a few other parameters such as Web service name, binding for Web service etc. , Web service definition and domain configuration are generated, which are loaded in SALT and TMA configurations respectively. A WSDL for the CustEnq transaction is also prepared, which can now be used by the mobile app. This is all that is needed to access CustEnq as SOAP/http Web service. No programming is needed whatsoever – not even for data conversion from/to XML or JSON. Similar steps are required to access CustEnq as Rest API or to access external Web services from mainframe transactions.
For detailed information about configuration, see Tuxedo documentation at: Mainframe Transaction Publisher.
Why you should use Tuxedo MTP as opposed to other solutions available in the market? Here are a few benefits of using Tuxedo MTP:
1. No coding required solution: Tuxedo MTP is a configuration driven solution. No coding is required whatsoever. This makes it simple and extremely quick to deploy this solution to extend reach of your mainframe transactions.
2. Tuxedo MTP has negligible overhead on the mainframe MIPS. We all know that mainframe MIPs are really expansive to use and increasing MIPs usage is the last thing you want to do. With Tuxedo MTP, the only component installed on mainframes is a CRM process, which acts as proxy. Almost all of the processing is done on the open system side by the GWSNAX gateway.
3. Built-in RASP features: With Tuxedo MTP, reliability, availability, performance and scalability come default with it. Tuxedo gateways can be easily configured for redundancy and for scale out/up. Tuxedo MTP can also be configured to work in sysplex environment.