Bridging the Integration, Application Gap

With new upgrade, WRQ is aiming to help IT departments bridge the gap between integration, application developers.

Legacy application integration software maker WRQ Inc. will announce next Monday the release of its Verastream Host Integrator 5.0, with the goal of helping IT departments bridge the gap between integration and application developers.

Integration developers typically focus on extracting information from the legacy system, while Web developers emphasize the presentation and functionality of the final Web page or application, WRQ officials said.

The goal is to help both teams more quickly integrate host-based legacy systems with Web applications by adapting and reusing data and business logic through component-based integration software.

New Host Integrator Web Builder features provide a tool to automate each stage of the development process as legacy functionality is extended to Web applications.

With Host Integrator 5.0, integration developers can generate Web pages and applications automatically. Deployed as is or reformatted with any standard Web design tool, the resulting Web pages can simply change the look of a legacy screen or represent complete host functions from multiple screens, officials said.

Web Builder applications can also be used to test legacy components before they are passed on to Web developers for incorporation into new applications.

Customers can utilize three layers of abstraction and expand legacy-Web integration projects in incremental phases.

In phase one, host screens can be made available via the Web—a change typically required by users who are familiar with business processes.

During the second phase, legacy functionality is presented in a more intuitive way, with a look and feel similar to that of a standard Web page.

In the last phase, where fuller integration is required, standard components encapsulating host functionalities are used as building blocks for more complex applications.

Additional enhancements to 5.0 are in three major areas: the design tool, component generator and Web application generator.

Using the design tool, host screens can be automatically converted to Web pages. At the same time, legacy functionality can be abstracted to make the Web application more intuitive.

With the enhanced component generator, Java beans are created around legacy components and Web services are generated automatically from legacy components. At the same time, the component interfaces can be accessed from the integrated development environment of the developers choice.

With the upgraded Web application generator, Web applications are automatically created from the componentized legacy applications where functionality scans multiple screens.

The legacy developer can use the auto-generated Web pages to test each component before it is passed to the Web development team. Previously, teams would either work with untested components or develop their own testing applications, said WRQ officials in Seattle.

Host Integrator allows users to build Web applications that integrate information from a range of host types, the likes of IBM OS/390, IBM As/400, Unix, HP e3000 and OpenVMS.