Benefit From Non-Disruptive Modernization With IBM API Connect

IBM API Connect

The Cloud Management Console is the administrator interface to monitor and manage servers and register the components that will be used at runtime. The Management Server is the API developer’s tool to manage and secure their existing API programs. This tool is also used to run analytics reports on API usage. The API Gateway is used to enforce API security and functional policies. All registered API applications send their requests to the API Gateway to access the APIs. The API Gateway can be a DataPower virtual or physical appliance or a Microgateway that can be run under Linux on z Systems.

The Developer Portal is where application developers locate, describe and test their APIs. The API Designer is an API developer toolkit installed on workstations to create and secure Node.js applications that use specific connectors to access host resources.

IBM API Connect and z/OS Connect

IBM API technology provides a compelling lifecycle solution for the API economy—it can create, compose, publish and run APIs in an environment where they can be securely managed. In 2015, IBM announced z/OS Connect Enterprise Edition, a strategic API gateway into z/OS. This gateway is a configurable, high throughput interface into CICS, IMS, DB2 and WebSphere Application Server. This product made APIs that could utilize data from CICS and IMS applications while requiring no changes to the application’s underlying COBOL or PL/1 code.

A Modernization Example

API programs can be created from a CICS application using the z/OS Connect gateway. To create an API with z/OS Connect:

  1. Generate bindings for your application using supplied JCL. Bindings involve the use of a language structures like a COBOL copybook definition of data fields like those found in a CICS COMMAREA. The generated bindings are captured in a service archive file that allows z/OS Connect to call your CICS application.
  2. Import the SAR file into a new z/OS Connect project making it possible to display the fields that are part of your application interface.
  3. Define the Universal Resource Identifiers (URI) that make up your API. You can then map fields from the URIs to the fields within the application interface.
  4. Once your API is ready, deploy it. The z/OS Connect EE tool has the ability to deploy your API directly to CICS.

Is That It?

There’s an art to non-disruptive modernization. There are new skills to grow after grasping the innovative ideas about exposing data and applications from CICS, IMS, DB2 and WebSphere Application Server. Once you master the technology, your biggest challenge will be organizing and prioritizing the work because the pent-up demand for inventive access to these systems of record is deep.

Joseph Gulla is the IT leader of Alazar Press, an imprint of Royal Swan Enterprises. Previously, he was an executive IT specialist at IBM ending his 28-year career with the company in August 2012.

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