HostBridge Technology


Integrating CA-Based CICS Applications

Companies whose CICS applications were written using CA Ideal™, CA ADS™, CA Telon®, and CA Gener/OL™ previously had two integration choices: screen-scraping or rewriting applications. HostBridge offers a new choice for much easier integration with far greater flexibility – integrating CICS via XML and web services. Organizations using HostBridge can capitalize on their investment in CA development environments without dangerous, costly legacy application changes or screen scraping.

HostBridge allows middle-tier applications to invoke CA Ideal™ for CA Datacom®, CA Telon®, CA Gener/OL™, and CA ADS™ for CA IDMS™ transactions using standard interfaces. HostBridge then returns requested data as XML documents or web services. With HostBridge, server applications call CA mainframe transactions without any changes to the existing programs.

Connecting to CA Mainframe Applications

Most physical middle-tier connections to CA mainframe applications will take place using TCP/IP and CICS Web Support; any middle-tier application can invoke HostBridge using simple HTTP requests or SOAP messages. HostBridge also supports WebSphere MQ and LINK interfaces. Customers needing to access the mainframe through MQ or from CICS COBOL programs can LINK to HostBridge.


Field Names Instead of Screen Scraping

HostBridge uniquely allows developers to integrate legacy CA mainframe applications using field names from panel definitions rather than the row/column coordinates required in screen scraping. HostBridge uses these panel definitions from the CA development environments to exchange data in XML or SOAP formats between the mainframe and the middle tier. The HostBridge panel mapping facility automatically creates the required definitions from the source of existing CA Ideal panels, stores the panels in a VSAM repository, and incorporates them into program compilation and promotion processes. In the case of CA Telon, HostBridge accesses the BMS maps to determine the field names for each application screen. For CA Gener/OL, HostBridge interacts with the applications at runtime using a CA-provided API to collect field names for each screen of an application.

Benefit Description
Eliminates screen scraping Integration based on field names rather than screen geometry.
Screen-scraping solutions require integration developers to identify fields based on their location in a screen. Changes to the host application can break the integration if they change the screen geometry. HostBridge insulates developers from changes in geometry by recognizing changes in the screen layout and allowing developers to reference only the field names.
Faster integration, lower risk No changes to existing applications.
Competing solutions that require changes to your existing CA mainframe applications extend development time and introduce risk into your integration projects due to the changes in source code. HostBridge works without any changes to trusted applications and preserves existing business logic without affecting users of the existing applications.
XML, SOAP support HostBridge returns data as XML documents and makes applications available via SOAP. HostBridge automatically converts transaction data to XML and allows external applications to invoke transactions as web services. A CICS-based JavaScript engine allows a single request to drive multiple transactions and return the resulting data in a single response.


HostBridge complements application servers by providing a simple, scalable, secure CICS integration solution. HostBridge provides: