Okay, I said we can do that; now I need to figure out how.
We are having a third party redesign our web site, which will be hosted on a different server. The Bill Presentation and Payment functions will interface with the database on the i, but I'd like to keep the transactions minimal. I am anticipating the web site will send a request to the i, and the i will dutifully respond by constructing and sending an XML string with the data elements needed for that customer's transaction. From the web site, the customer may or may not commit a payment, or make a change to settings (such as "yeah, don's send the paper bills" or "Here's my new bank account and routing #", etc.). The web site would then send a transaction back to the i, which would get accepted and acknowledged (and for payments send back a confirmation number). On the i , the payment transaction would be batched for ACH transmission and everybody would be happy. The web developers would code the script for the site navigation, and would store no customer data beyond account# and login authentication. Everything else would be stored on our database, and the communications between platforms would be restricted to those transactions mentioned. Obviously, data security must be considered.
First question: What is an appropriate mechanism for an external request for the xml string to be "heard" by the i, to initiate the response? I still have no experience with data queues - is this the time for me to explore that?
Second question: What is the preferred data transport between the platforms to ensure necessary security? ODBC, Web services, FTP-API, other?
Third question: In addition to sending the xml structure of a couple dozen data elements, would sending 6 pdf files (maybe 500 k each) from i to web server present any challenges or perceptible delays?
Other questions: (TBD - stand by.)
Our current web site was developed 7 years ago, using ASNA's Visual RPG and DataGate products. Works nicely, but the business is looking to have the web site managed by a real web designer, who would be using WordPress and other website tools, and has no knowledge of, or access to, our in-house development tooling and database. In the existing system, the DataGate product handled all the cross-platform communications, but may not be used in the new design.
All experience and ideas are appreciated.