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RE: Web-to-i Communications questions



fixed

Thanks Dan. I like the SOAP web service idea. I've done projects where I've consumed web services, but have not yet coded any that provide. Seems like a fit, though. I'll check into that.

-- Michael
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From: midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:midrange-l-
bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Dan Kimmel
Sent: Monday, January 20, 2014 12:00 PM
To: Midrange Systems Technical Discussion
Subject: RE: Web-to-i Communications questions

What you're describing is a typical SOAP webservice. There are several
tools available to run a WebService on IBMi. I happen to use Tomcat
with CXF or AXIS to support a very complex webservice on IBMi. There
are others. Using a webservice tool eliminates the need for using data
queues; the servers handle http request queuing.

Wordpress and many of the other web application tools are built with
PHP. PHP "natively" talks to MySQL. There are tools that make the IBMi
DB2 database behave like MySQL, particularly with remote applications.

You CAN talk directly from your web server to IBMi using DRDA. There
are great java tools for doing DRDA with the JDBC tools that are part
of JT400, there are also ODBC tools within the client access package.
PHP can work directly with ODBC. JDBC and ODBC can be set up to use an
encrypted connection.

IBMi 6.1 and 7.1 work very, very well as webservers for both
webservices and traditional web applications. Lots of optimization has
been done to make them so. You do need to be careful how you set up
your TCP/IP stack on the IBMi; make sure to disable IPv6 if you haven't
configured it properly, for example. Also be careful how you set up the
work management for the JVM or whatever application is "waiting" to
respond to HTTP requests.

If you are working in an environment where security and assured
delivery is imperative, consider using message queuing software such as
MQ Series (or whatever they call it now; Websphere MQ?) as a transport
protocol. The webservice tools I work with have support for such
mechanisms built-in.


-----Original Message-----
From: midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:midrange-l-
bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Koester, Michael
Sent: Monday, January 20, 2014 8:04 AM
To: MIDRANGE-L@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Web-to-i Communications questions

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 acc ount# 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.


Michael Koester
Programmer/Analyst
DataEast







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