SUGAR LAND, TEXAS (06/14/2000) - Large users looking to bring legacy CICS transactions into the Web-based e-commerce world may want to look at new software from Neon Systems Inc.
The company this week announced Shadow AutoHTML for CICS/TS, which will let users connect CICS-based transactions to Web-enabled applications or Open Database Connectivity interfaces. CICS is IBM Corp.'s multipurpose transaction monitor. About 60 percent of all mainframes run CICS applications, Neon claims.
Shadow AutoHTML simplifies the lives of mainframe customers by placing CICS transactions into an HTML wrapper without requiring the customer to tinker with the underlying application. The company says IBM is its major competitor, offering extensive development tools to be used with the IBM Websphere Net application server.
Shadow AutoHTML snaps in to Neon's existing S/390 connectivity products. Those include Shadow Direct, which offers LAN-based clients access to mainframe data and transactions; and Shadow Web Server for OS/390, which lets users tap in to their mainframe applications from a browser. AutoHTML creates an HTML wrapper around a CICS application transaction so an end user can use a browser to access the application instead of a 3270 screen typical of most CICS applications.
Once the CICS transaction is wrapped in HTML, Web users can then access the underlying legacy applications from their browsers, Neon says. The product can handle hundreds of thousands of Web-to-CICS transactions, depending on the size of the mainframe.
One Neon user urged CICS operators to consider Shadow AutoHTML for their shops.Wayne Seward, senior Web systems manager at Alaska Airlines, says although his data center doesn't have CICS applications, he is aware of Neon's new offering.
Seward has used Shadow products for three years and has found the software and the company reliable. Seward says he wrote a Web application using Shadow to open his mainframe so customers can check their frequent flyer miles, and "it's been a real hit" with 200,000 hits per month.
Shadow AutoHTML also contains diagnostics and monitoring tools to let users check the volume of transactions, as well as the number of transactions to be processed.
For high-volume sites, there is a failover feature that guarantees that a user logging on to a maxed-out server will be automatically rerouted to the most available mainframe.
Shadow AutoHTML for CICS/TS is available in beta form now. Pricing has not been released.