IBM bolsters WebSphere Host Integration

Trying to help users get more out of their existing legacy applications by exploiting the latest in Web services technologies, IBM Corp. has rolled out a new version of its WebSphere Host Integration software.

Included in the software’s new capabilities is support for IBM WebSphere Portal, which provides access to legacy systems in a portal environment and eliminates the need for programmers to rewrite code, company officials contend.

Also included is a new product called WebSphere Host Access Transformation Server, which extends host applications as HTML to Web browsers as well as converts “green screen” terminals over to systems with a GUI. The latter improvement reduces training costs and potentially increases productivity, according to company officials.

IBM has also rolled out Version 3.0 of the WebSphere Host Access Client Package, the major benefit of which is allowing users to leverage legacy assets from a single point of interaction for people, applications, and data.

The client package includes a number of user productivity enhancements for WebSphere Host On Demand including the ability to customize the toolbar, Adobe Systems Inc. PDF printing, and macro enhancements designed to make it easier to migrate away from competitive emulation solutions.

As part of the rollout IBM also took the wraps off its WebSphere Host Publisher 4.0 intended to run on its zSeries of mainframes. The product includes support for WebSphere Application Server 4.0 as well as controlling legacy applications’ access to both Web users and the latest Web applications.

IBM officials hope the new offerings will further shore up its position in the host access markets. According to a recent report by International Data Corp. (IDC), IBM holds a 63.4 per cent share for shipments of the Host Access market for 2000 and 2001 worldwide.

Version 3.0 of the WebSphere Host Integration Solution is available on Sept. 27. The Host Access Client costs US$252 per user with the iSeries of the program going for US$181 per user.

The Host Integration Solution costs US$303 per user for the registered version, while the WebSphere Host Integration while the Concurrent version of the product costs US$446 per user.

WebSphere Host Publisher for the zSeries 4.0 is priced at US$75,000 per processor.