SOLA - Mainframe SOA - Features and Benefits

SOLA has several significant advantages over competitive products. Taken together these features provide lower cost and greater productivity.

  • Leverage Human Assets
    All competitive products create services from existing mainframe programs, but only SOLA leverages human assets. With SOLA the mainframe programmer – the person who knows the program the best – creates the services. Competitive approaches expect the distributed programmer – the person who knows the program the least (if at all) to create services.
  • Global Dictionary
    One of SOLA’s many features is an integrated global dictionary that allows for the automatic translation of COBOL field names without affecting the source program.  The SOLA dictionary centralizes translation services, therefore minimizing duplication of effort for developers.
  • IMS Support
    SOLA Developer and the SOLA runtime now support multiple IMS input and output segments, and the IMS transactions being service enabled can be written in COBOL, PL/I or Natural.  IMS transactions can also be service consumers by using SOLA’s highly efficient outbound engine. With SOLA’s support of BPEL, IMS transactions can participate in service orchestration, vastly reducing the latency caused by multiple trips to the mainframe. SOLA is heavily optimized, making it the most efficient option for processing IMS transactions. It offers multiple configurations to provide low cost execution of services built from IMS transactions.  Much of SOLA is written in assembler language, so the SOLA runtime offers lower MIPS consumption and higher throughput than alternatives that use Java and rely on zAAP specialty engines.
  • Security based on WS-Security and WS-Policy
    SOLA security is based on WS-Security and WS-Policy standards and implemented on the mainframe.  By implementing WS standards on the mainframe, SOLA provides efficient and flexible security, obviating the need for a middle tier security agent.
  • Batch Capability
    SOLA provides a number of significant features that are available to the z/OS batch programmer.  Firstly, the SOLA DOM parser and API provide the batch programmer with methods to easily and inexpensively consume and create XML documents.  Secondly, the SOLA outbound support is also available to the batch programmer, making it simple for a batch program to consume an outbound web service.
  • Brower based Web 2.0 development environment
    With SOLA there’s no workstation software to install – the entire SOLA development toolset runs in a browser. This is a huge advantage – in our experience the majority of developers don’t have workstations that are powerful enough to run the “previous generation” development toolsets provided by competitors.

SOLA screen 2
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  • Support for Architectural Standards
    Using the combination of the SOLA dictionary, WSDL-first development and powerful WSDL customization features, SOLA can publish web services that comply with any and all possible architectural standards.
  • WSDL-First Development
    A lot of mainframe shops that are adopting SOA develop WSDL that complies with their architecture standards before creating web services. SOLA allows developers to create services that comply with an existing WSDL as well as create services from scratch that generate their own definitions.  The SOLA dictionary can be leveraged to make this process faster and easier.
  • UDDI Directory
    All services created by SOLA are automatically published to an external UDDI 3.0 registry, which ensures that services exposed by SOLA are visible and useable within the enterprise.
  • Standards Based
    SOLA is a standards based solution, allowing interoperability across platforms, operating systems and programming languages.  Being standards based also allows SOLA to expand and evolve without cumbersome enterprise-wide revisions, giving it unparalleled reusability and growth potential.
  • Customization APIs
    SOLA provides customization APIs that allow customers to add capabilities beyond the product’s existing feature set.  These APIs allow the user access to SOLA processing at various points in the SOAP stack so that processing can be manipulated by user specific application code.  These APIs also support custom security exits.  Custom APIs can be defined at the installation level or at the individual method level.
  • Orchestration
    SOLA provides orchestration using BPEL (Business Process Execution Language for Web Services).  BPEL is an XML based standard for designing,  defining, implementing, and deploying composite web services, including business logic, sequencing, exception handling and process decomposition. BPEL is supported by the SOLA run-time engine.
  • Dashboard
    The SOLA dashboard allows you to keep an eye on your web services, regions and more with a graphic user interface that provides at-a-glance status information, as well as access to SOLA’s monitoring, audit and error logs.
  • XACML Authorization
    SOLA allows you to create your own authorization protocols to suit the way your organization functions rather than forcing you to adapt to a rigidly defined authorization structure.

SOLA Advantages

  • Publishes legacy applications as Web Services, allowing them to easily integrate with .Net, J2EE or any other development environment.
  • Can create web services from Commarea programs, 3270 transactions, stored procedures, Adhoc SQL and Callable APIs.
  • Inbound and outbound web services support (the mainframe can act as a web services server or a web services client).
  • Proven and Enterprise ready.
  • Requires no middle tier hardware or software, runtime runs entirely on the mainframe for improved performance and increased reliability.
  • WC3-compliant Assembler XML parser for superior performance and low parsing costs.
  • Easy to use and deploy – “one click” creation of web-services.
  • Single sign-on using LDAP or SAML 2.0.
  • Outbound services support for SSL/TLS and proxy.
  • Supports both http and MQ transport layers.
  • Eliminates the need for cross platform skills training (no Java or Visual Basic skills are required to publish Web Services from legacy applications using SOLA).
  • Includes comprehensive monitoring and error logging for easy problem diagnosis and resolution.
  • Integrated testing and debugging tools.
  • CICS 3.x Integration – If required, SOLA can be integrated directly into the CICS 3.x pipeline & IMS Support

No coding is required to publish Web Services with SOLA. It is simple and easy to use with a minimal learning curve. An integrated test harness allows the developer to test and validate their Web Services with just a few mouse clicks.  Finally, SOLA is proven in extensive mission critical production systems today.

SOLA is already helping to achieve the pinnacle of application integration - reuse. Business functions previously isolated in legacy applications are now open for reuse by other applications in new and innovative ways.

Other solutions require extensive middleware (hardware and software). Although the initial cost of these solutions appears economical the ongoing support and management is cost prohibitive.