Microsoft Ships New Host Integration Beta

A beta of Host Integration Server 2004 will be available Monday, Microsoft said. The software, geared at linking the Windows world with legacy systems, sports an updated Transaction Integrator (TI) with support for mainframe and AS/400 programs as well as XML Web services, said Paul Larsen, group program manager. The new "TI can extend mainframe and AS/400 programs as XML Web services. The TI designer runs in the Visual Studio shell and allows for Windows program to make calls as clients to mainframes as servers. The corollary is now it also supports host-initiated processing to allow mainframes and AS/400s to act as clients to Windows servers," Larsen said.

That bi-directional flow will let customers migrate legacy data or applications to Windows more readily, he noted. But it also raises security concerns. Larsen said the new server software supports SSL and Transport Layer Security. The new software is expected to ship in final form next summer. The current HIS 2000 shipped in August 2000 and costs $2,500 per CPU. Larsen said pricing for the successor product is not set. He also said whether or not this host integration software will be a component piece of the upcoming "Jupiter" e-commerce and integration server is not decided. The full suite is now not expected until at least 2005.

Larsen said the updated transaction integrator is a huge step forward. With that addition, Host Integration Server "supports not just COM but also .Net, and not just CICS or IMS [mainframe environments] but also AS/400, and not just host-initiated but Windows-initiated sessions," he noted. In addition, working with partner Data Connection, Microsoft came up with an "IP-only way" to connect to the mainframe that lets integrators enable proprietary System Network Architecture applications to flow across an IP network. "There is full stack support for HRP/IP [high performance routing over IP], so if you have an old teller or point-of-sale application, you don't have to change those apps but connect right on IP," Larsen said.

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News source: CRN

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