SOA may be able to increase the customer/client relationship, but integrating it to the
mainframe can be a challenging task. There are several ways to integrate a company’s
mainframe into a distributed SOA system. But in order to be able to successfully
integrate the SOA into the mainframe, you have to first understand the structures that
create the integration techniques and patterns.
The integration of patterns in the mainframe SOA is a process level that involves
communication between the distributed system and the mainframe. The process
integration techniques can vary depending on the application. There are programs that
use an emulator on the distributed system to accept user input giving you the advantage
of not having to change any program but also giving you the disadvantage of complicated
error recovery. There are others that make mainframe SOA possible via peer-to-peer
communication or messaging.
Integrating SOA into the mainframe may also be done through the use of adapters like
the CICS adapter that make region-to-region communication possible but may require
modifications into the existing terminal-based transactions. API adapters are more costly
but with an automated mapping and building data in native formats, it can provide real-
time integration of applications. In the end, adapters could be a cheaper and faster
alternative in implementing an integration of mainframe SOA.
With the process integration complete, data integration is the next step in integrating the
mainframe to the SOA. The most common method is still FTP because it is the most
widely supported TCP/IP application and is available in many platforms. There are also
ways of remotely connecting distributed systems to the mainframe in order to insert,
retrieve, update or modify data in real-time.