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Using CWS direct to a CICS region as an alternative

How about using CWS directly to a CICS region rather than CTG? We are using this approach to support Web services using a HTTP POST type message to start a transaction and then building a XML response using the document API. We've been in production for over a year and this seems to work well. Were looking at the new SOAP support being added to CICS as the next step in our current solution.

Yes, this is an alternative solution and I'm glad that it works well for you.

The concern I have about going directly into CICS via TCP/IP is the way one gets into CICS. Most installations route to a fixed IP name/port and thus can run into availability and security issues. My initial recommendation is to have TCP/IP port sharing active with multiple CICS regions servicing the same port. This will allow for load balancing and availabilty failover.

My second concern has to do with security issues. If you are using SSL then you probably do not have a problem, as the SSL Client Certificate will map to a RACF Userid and so things can run in a proper userid based-secure fashion. If not using SSL, then one can be potentially open to security violations.

It is excellent that you are getting into the SOAP solution. We have had good reports from those customers using this bit of technology. I hope that you would turn up in one of the user group conferences and tell everyone how you did XML parsing into a Commarea (but as you seem to be US-based, I won't be there!) On a recent course I was not too impressed by the hassle of getting this function working in a generic fashion using the SAX parsers provided in enterprose COBOL or PL/1.

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

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