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Integration WITHIN the mainframe

 
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curiousMark

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Joined: 21 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:46 pm    Post subject: Integration WITHIN the mainframe
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Hello!

I have a client that has 20+ systems. All these systems are based on an IBM zSeries platform. The systems communicate via CICS Service Modules.

The mainframe is effectively isolated from contact with external systems.

The client reports that they have a problem with tight system coupling, which has led to high maintenance costs and bad data quality.

If we were talking about geographically seperate systems I would consider the implementation of EI Best Practices such as some kind of messaging platform and a common data model.

However I am wondering if these patterns can and should be applied to this type of environment. Is this sounds like a stupid question it's due to my lack of previous mainframe experience.

I've tried googling the subject but most of the results seem concerned with integrating external systems with the mainframe, which is not the problem here.

Is there anyone out there with an opinion on this? Any suggestions for tools, further reading etc will be gratefully recieved!
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gsnvsr

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Joined: 06 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:31 pm    Post subject:
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The information you've provided isn't sufficient to suggest anything. You've gotta provide more information on the existing systems setup, what they do, meaning what kind of information they share and so on. Best regards, Prasad
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superk

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Integration WITHIN the mainframe
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I, and probably others here, like to keep on top of technology terminology. I'm curious about two terms used by the O/P, and I was wondering if you might explain what they mean in a little more detail.

1. "The client reports that they have a problem with tight system coupling, which has led to high maintenance costs and bad data quality."

2. "If we were talking about geographically seperate systems I would consider the implementation of EI Best Practices".

What is tight system coupling and EI Best Practices.
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gsnvsr

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Joined: 06 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Integration WITHIN the mainframe
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superk wrote:
I, and probably others here, like to keep on top of technology terminology. I'm curious about two terms used by the O/P, and I was wondering if you might explain what they mean in a little more detail.

1. "The client reports that they have a problem with tight system coupling, which has led to high maintenance costs and bad data quality."

2. "If we were talking about geographically seperate systems I would consider the implementation of EI Best Practices".

What is tight system coupling and EI Best Practices.


Here my 2 cents -

1. There is a high interdependency b/n the systems and it isn't easy to modify any one system without affecting the other (badly!). Say there is a front office system (portal for ex) and many back office systems. If front office system is heavily dependent on one or more back office systems - like having data formats specific to a system and not something that can accomodate data from other systems! Its advisable to have common data model that can exchange data from different systems. I might not have used techie jargons here...but its my understanding!

2. I don't know why the word "geography" was used here. Because this is not a must. I would have rather used "external systems". External system is the one outside mainframe box. Now coming to "EI". Its Enterprise Integration. It should have actually been "EAI" to mean Enterprise Application Integration. Its basically a service oriented architecture (or deemed to be!) wherein there will be an integration hub connecting two or more systems.

Best regards, Prasad
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curiousMark

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 4:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Integration WITHIN the mainframe
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Howdy,

I'll start with some definitions icon_biggrin.gif :

(1) Enterprise Integration (EI) is defined as the use of software and computer systems architectural principles to integrate a set of enterprise computer applications.

(2) Coupling or dependency is the degree to which each program module relies on each other module.

(3) Tight coupling is often experienced with point to point architectures, where each system knows about the other systems it talks to. Changes to an interface will have a knock effect to all the systems that use that interface.

(4) The introduction of a central broker or integration platform that manages all communication between systems can result in loosely coupled systems. Each system is only aware of it's communication with the integration platform. Changes to a systems interfaces now only affects the integration platform.

(5) In additon a Common Data Model can be also applied to ensure that all communication with the integration platform occurs in a common format, further reducing the coupling between different systems data models.

----

My question was - can such patterns be applied to multiple systems working on a single mainframe? Maybe by using a product such as WebSphere MQ?

Anyway - hope that clarifies things a little! icon_wink.gif
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