Attachmate targets mainframe reuse

Legacy integration specialist Attachmate Corp. on Monday rolled out a set of connectors that seek to expose mainframe data and logic in component form for use across the distributed enterprise.

MyExtra Smart Connectors are designed to let companies convert host-based information into XML, Web services, EJB, and COM+ components that can be integrated into new applications and business processes, according to Markus Nitschke, vice president of marketing at Bellevue, Wash.-based Attachmate.

The Smart Connectors are aimed at letting users leverage existing systems on an as-needed basis for faster ROI and shorter project timetables, Nitschke said.

"Getting business data out of legacy systems is very tough to do, so we want to make it more plug-and-play and easier for the developer," he said. "This is a small-step way for doing this. You identify the relevant tasks and start offering them as self-service applications."

The state of Kansas is using Attachmate's connectors to enable a new set of self-service Web- and voice-enabled applications that tap into pertinent data housed inside federal government mainframes systems, according to Nitschke.

End-users interactions with the Kansas Web site connect transparently back into mainframe systems via the Attachmate product to pull relevant data and business logic into new applications that are manipulated and managed by Microsoft's BizTalk Server broker, he added.

Attachmate is right in line with the current trend toward legacy logic componentization and reuse; other players in the host-to-Web arena, such as WRQ, are also pursuing this avenue, as IT users demand ways to extract from and capitalize on older technologies.

Last month, WRQ unveiled WRQ Verastream Host Integrator 5.0, which automates critical pieces of a business process that extends legacy data to new Web-based applications. The Seattle-based company said it is aiming to slash development time and help IT exploit assets that they already own.

Available now, Attachmate's myExtra Smart Connectors expose business logic from a variety of systems, including 3270 and 5250 IBM mainframe applications, UTS and T27 Unisys mainframe applications, as well as IMS and CICs systems.

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