Integrating IBM I Applications with Web Services

We live in an interdependent world. Long gone are the days when IBM i is the sole platform running a business. Almost all users are accessing these systems from a PC, and often because of this, there are Windows servers in place. Applications running on Windows servers, and the requirement to exchange data with customers, business partners, vendors, and other 3rd parties make integration an essential part of modern IT requirements. Also, with the increased adoption of mobile devices like smartphones & tablets, along with the Cloud ecosystem, integration is more important than ever.

Any organization that has a significant investment in existing applications and needs easier integration should be interested in service-enabling their applications. More often than not, these applications have evolved with years of refinement and provide robust support for the organization’s business processes – in many cases reusing these applications makes the most business sense. Composite Applications are about delivering new solutions by snapping together components, in particular components that are reused from existing systems. Reuse is the common theme of Composite Applications and SOA. If we can access our existing applications as useful chunks of function, termed ‘services’, then we have a means of accessing even monolithic applications in a more modular way. That makes the delivery of Composite Applications feasible – because now you can assemble/access the services, perhaps add some business rules, and deliver the ‘new’ solution.

Integrating IBM I Applications with Web Services