Mainframe applications increasingly need to exchange data with external Web Services:
third party archiving, digital signature, CRM feeding, compliance and rates checking,… This is where the legacy language COBOL, widely used by z/OS apps, shows limitations as it does not interact with APIs that are written in modern languages like Java or C++.
Call Out module from the Mainframe Integrator Suite transforms COBOL records sent by the mainframe into data that Web Services can understand and handle.
Mainframe and Web Services are then able to connect and exchange data, each in their native language.
The Call Out Designer generates COBOL Copybooks and Java encoding/decoding classes in order to enable calls to Web Services from a mainframe application through the Call Out Runtime.
There is an automatic EBCDIC<==>ASCII translation that transforms COBOL records into Java Beans.
The source information required by the Call Out is contained in a single file: a Web Service Description Language (WSDL) file. This XML file, which is used to describe and locate Web Services, contains key settings of each operation. The Call Out Designer parses this file, and is then able to generate the components used for the communication between the mainframe and the Web Services.
?between mainframe and runtime: TCP or MQ Series
?between Web Service and runtime: SOAP and REST (available soon)
The Call Out module also offers testing features. Post generation, and prior to deployment of COBOL copybooks on the mainframe, generated components can be tested in a real runtime scenario. The tester acts as a mainframe client that sends a request/receives a response via the runtime environment to/from the J2EE service.