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Ricardo Mendes on Host Integration Server

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Filled in for Charles Torre at the last minute on this one, and had the usual good time.

I didn't know anything about Host Integration Server until this interview. Actually, I knew that it existed, but that's all.

One of the most interesting contracts I ever had put me in daily contact with an AS400 for a couple years. Not physically, of course, as the thing was the size of a Volkswagen, but in every other nerdily way.

It was fun. The challenges were very different from what I was used to. Worked with the devs to put together all sorts of Rube Goldberg type solutions.

We could have saved a little bit of time (like, a year) had we been able to use Host Integration Server for all the work that went on between our Windows machines and the AS400.

If you're in a similar situation now, then you want to watch this.

If you aren't in a similar situation, there's still a lot here for the curious onlooker Smiley

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  • DoomBringerDoomBringer Doom!
    Oh man, this brings back the memories of working on CICS.  COBOL!  JCL!!  OMG!
  • Awesome video. I do z/OS software support at work so it's cool to see it featured. While I don't do application development, I've had to pull data from the mainframe to Windows for macro programming on several occasions, so I know some of the pain involved.

    I've been down to the data center a few times at work and seen the mainframes, DASD, and tape drives, etc. so I'd be very interested in seeing Microsoft's own mini-HIS data center (probably the only platforms in Redmond that MS doesn't do native application development for). I'd love to hear anything and everything else Ricardo has to say about HIS, so keep em' coming!

    And if Ricardo is reading, you're obviously very familiar with IBM host environments, were you a sysprog in a previous life or have you acquired it through app development?
  • PeterFPeterF Aragon IT
    A new form of advertisement?
  • Tim,

    I was not a sysprog in a previous life (at least I don't recall being one Big Smile). To keep the story short, sometime (not to say years) ago I was working on a project to integrate WinDNA applications (yeah, you heard correctly - there were no CLR at that time, unfortuntely) with mainframe applications. That was my first contact with HIS and since then, as I always was curius about other computer platforms, I start learning the internals of it. The end result is that currently I'm able to apply my .NET knowledge to design Mainfarme integration solutions as you saw on this short video.

    You can expect additional HIS related content in the feature, as recording these videos is really fun! Big Smile

    Take care,

    Ricardo

  • Can this product enable a application or database activity (DB2) to initiate an event towards a windows application or database call?  Or is this only to enable communication towards the legacy platforms.

  • very well done Rory and Ricardo.

    Can the web service wizard call into procedures exported from AS400 service programs?  ( a SRVPGM being the functional equivalent of a windows DLL )

    and oh, you can drop the name iSeries. The name for the last few years is "System i5" Wink

  • Hi Motowillians,
    Host Integration Server allows a .NET or COM object to be called from a Host Application running on IBM Mainframes or AS/400 computers thru the Transaction Integrator - Host Initiated Processing feature. Altough this feature was not designed to be called from DB2, if you have DB2 on one of the host platforms mentioned above, you can execute a host program from DB2 which in turn will can your .NET or COM component thru the Transaction Integrator - Host Initiated Processing feature.
    Hope that this helps.
    Thanks,
    Ricardo
  • Steve,
    The answer is yes, by using the Transaction Integrator - Windows Initiated Processing feature.
    Thanks,
    Ricardo
  • Good overview of HIS.

    I am currently reviewing HIS 2006 for mainframe connectivity. What I found so far is that while the programming model is very easy, the configuration part is the beast. Is this intrinsic to mainframe configuration or is it just HIS? There is a 66 page document on MSDN on how to configure a IP-DLC link (http://download.microsoft.com/download/a/f/f/affdc2aa-63ca-48c7-9431-c50736f24236/Configuring_IPDLC_Link_Service.doc). You mentioned that there is software that need to be installed on mainframe side but this configuration is monstrous. Please comment on this. Also my understanding is that you can only use IP DLC if the mainframe's network is configured with TCP/IP. If mainframe's network is configured with SNA, then you can not use IP DLC from HIS. Please confirm. I would also like to see the links to HIS configuration documents for non-IP DLC protocols.

    The HIS screen scraping ability in the form of session integrator allows programmers to write code to get and set data on screens. Do you have plans to provide recording of this screens that would automate the programming aspects? If you know LegaSuite products, you would know what I mean. If HIS offers this kind of functionality, will its components need to be installed on mainframe.

    Thanks.
    Raghu/..

  • Hello Reghur,
    Sorry for the delay in answering your questions. I was OOF presenting at Tech*Ed followed by vacations.
    The connectivity configuration can be tricky if you don't know the parameters that your host environment is using, this is common to all mainfrane integration products.
    IP-DLC is available only if the mainframe is configured to support this, if not you can still configure a SNA Link using either a DLC or Ethernet connection. After all, IP-DLC is simple SNA over IP.
    Regarding host footprint, please note that there is no HIS comnponents that you need to install oin the host. We use well know ports and protocols to access the host resources.
    FInally, at this momment there is not design tool for Session Integrator, we only provide a robust and high performance screeen scrapping runtime environment.
    Thanks,
    Ricardo
  • Hi Ricardo,

     

    I'm testing an application for migration from SNA and COMTI to HIS 2006 with .NET Client Components.

    But our VB 6 components uses .NewRecordset and I'm figuring why is the equivalent in .NET. How I get a reference to the DataTable types defined in the .NET Client Library?

     

    Thanks in advance

  • ivangv,
    Please see the BoundedRecordsets sample on the SDK directory of the product folder: C:\Program Files\Microsoft BizTalk Adapters for Host Systems\SDK\Samples\ApplicationIntegration\WindowsInitiated\BoundedRecordsets
    Let me know if this works.
    Thanks,
    Ricardo

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