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Exposing CICS applications

We want to expose our CICS applications to front-end applications using Web technologies. We are using primarily Java language to code our Internet applications but we have two different ways to get to the CICS. One is through CTG and the other is MQSeries directly. What would be your advice on how to decide which one and if possible what would be your personal opinion?

If only things were so simple as a choice between using a CTG and MQ! Have a look on the CICS Web site for details on RedBooks that will assist your decision.

If you mean that you want to send a request into CICS, then you can format it via MQ (in a type of message which you construct) via TCP/IP (using HTTP access and the CICS standard Web layers) or via the CICS transaction gateway (where you are using the equivalent of an XC LINK). There is also the EJB option but I don't think your query covers this choice.

If you are coming from a Java background, then you will most probably want to use a standard Javaish technique of getting into CICS. This points in favor of a CTG route. In the CICS Java book you will find details of the Java Connectors that can be used.

And, then there is the question about using a MVS CTG or a workstation CTG. Happily, there are some configuration descriptions on these topics in recent CICS Updates (published by Xephon) where I describe the options.

As you talk about Internet applications, this implies to me that you are running some sort of WebServer (like WebSphere or Apache) so are using servlets. If this deduction is true, then you would probably want to put the CTG close to the WebServer (or logically embedded therein). However firewall considerations also impinge on this positioning.

As you are not using a company -mail address, I cannot say very much more. However, I'd get your local IBM person to find someone locally to talk over your design and configurations before going much further.

Robert Harris
CICS Technical Strategist -- CICS expert at Search390.com

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