Host Integration: using the existing systems to accelerate your business. Good goal, but how do you achieve it? If your core business applications are executing on a mainframe or ISeries, VAX or UNIX box, you're in luck.
You can save months of calendar time and a big chunk of your budget by simply building a bridge between what you need in new systems to support your business initiatives and what you already have (your existing applications). You build such a bridge using a host integration server designed to sit in-between the user at a standard Web browser and host terminal sessions. At Inventu we can provide the necessary consulting services to assist you in selecting the most efficient method to integrate existing host applications. In addition, as a vendor/reseller of two product sets specifically targeted at this niche, we are able to provide a complete solution.
To your mainframe or AS/400, each integration task looks like Ralph in Purchasing or Jane in Customer Service. No changes are needed to the existing programming, which is good news in any circumstance and even better news for departments that have little or no ability to initiate program changes.
To the new applications, the host integration server (.NET and Inventu Viewer+) can provide Web Services that implement all new service-based modules to enable a transition from locked-in screen transactions to a "menu" of rapidly implemented Web and Windows Client applications.
Why don't I just provide access directly to the applications, you ask? You can do this easily enough by providing TN3270/TN5250 access over the web or implementing an Emulator-in-a-box solution. But before you do, consider that six-week training course that new users of your current computerized order-entry application need in order to get their job done.
Security issues aside, can you really expect your customers to find and manage their outstanding P.O.'s on the same system? You can't, which is why you need to do some ASP.NET development to overlay onto your existing screens and to provide application navigation and filtering of the data.
You'll need to do some development...but when Screensurfer or Inventu Viewer+ are used to transform your existing application screens into easy-to-use web pages, your work is limited to the user interface portion of the overall application. The existing checks and balances on the data (business rules) are already in-place. Unlike a "stand-alone" built-from-scratch or packaged E-Commerce system, each interaction is real-time, and data updates occur instantly using tried-and tested applications.
Using products like Screensurfer or Inventu Viewer+, which both provide a simple, straightforward approach to converting screen applications to HTML, .NET or VB applications, your new business application can be ready to go in a few month's time: what are you waiting for?