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Mainframe / Web Services

 
Joe Pardi
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At my company, we are planning on exposing some EJB's via Web Services (using WebSphere 4.0). I recently found out that a customer wants to call these Web Services from their online Tandem mainframe system.
Anyone have any thoughts or ideas regarding this?
Any insight would be appreciated ...
 
Kyle Brown
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It's certainly doable. We've got a customer now that's working on porting Apache SOAP to the mainframe. Since really all you need is a JVM, then it certainly sounds viable.
Also, it's even theoretically possible (but trickier) to do this all in COBOL, since all you're really doing in creating SOAP messages is formatting strings...
Kyle
 
Joe Pardi
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My initial thoughts are that mainframes are usually SMTP enabled, so it can be used for the transport layer. I'm not sure how the messages are encrypted and secured however. Probably can't use something like a digital signature.
I would envision that a COBOL program could send a SOAP message just as any other SOAP client would. The hard thing is to convince the programmers to use SOAP and XML in their COBOL programs since most of this must be coded manually and COBOL is not a great language for doing this. There is no JVM on their mainframe.
To recap, the issues are:
- Transport: use SMTP?
- Security: encryption and authentication
- COBOL as a SOAP/XML-friendly language
 
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