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Everything I hope you didn’t miss about WebSphere Connect

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You may have heard of IBM WebSphere Connect at InterConnect 2016, or you may have read the press release or any other sources featuring the IBM Connect Offerings. But, with such a flurry of information being published, you may have missed some important details about WebSphere Connect and what it has to offer.

To appreciate the value of WebSphere Connect, it’s important to first understand the capabilities that WebSphere provides to help you (as a WebSphere client) make the move to cloud. WebSphere offers three entry points to ease your transition to cloud, these are:

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  • Create new cloud, mobile, IoT and web applications as well as application programming interfaces (APIs), with the opportunity to use a microservices architecture.
  • Connect existing on-premises applications using cloud services and APIs.
  • Optimize your infrastructure by “lifting and shifting” your Java applications—unchanged—into the cloud, to take advantage of provisioning, flexible “pay-as-you-go” pricing models and more.

You can learn more about these entry points here, but let’s get back to WebSphere Connect. WebSphere Connect is an expansion of the connect entry point. It gives you the power to connect your existing WebSphere apps and data to the cloud without needing to rewrite the apps or acquire new data.

How WebSphere plays into the API economy

The API economy happens when companies (“API producers”) expose and monetize selected business assets or services in the form of APIs to a third party (“API consumers”) to unlock additional business value. This value—to both API producers and consumers—has been well substantiated in the industry. WebSphere Connect allows you to participate in the API economy. How you may ask? Well, with the recent December 2015 and March 2016 continuous deliverables, WebSphere Liberty provides the way to:

This last point—the integration of WebSphere and API Connect—is where IBM can provide substantial value. To help you get started creating APIs out of your Java applications, the latest version of WebSphere is bundled with API Connect Essentials, adding full IBM support as well as increased API call limits. This integration with API Connect is supported for Java applications running in both WAS traditional and Liberty servers.

Enhance on-premises Java applications with Bluemix cloud services

While the create and optimize entry points can provide significant value for developing new cloud applications or moving your WebSphere infrastructure into the cloud, the truth is that an exclusively cloud-based infrastructure isn’t always ideal. This is why so many companies adopt a hybrid cloud environment. With WebSphere Connect, you can take advantage of over 100 (and growing) cloud services in Bluemix to enhance your on-premises Java applications without having to move them to the cloud. Yes, you read that correctly: your on-premises applications can access cloud services without moving to cloud.

Get started today — it’s easy!

It’s easy to start unlocking the value of your existing applications and data by signing up for a trial of Bluemix—you can instantly gain access to its services. But it gets even better: with WebSphere Connect, your use of supported Bluemix services is provided at no charge through the end of 2016.

To enhance your applications, you first use the bluemixUtility provided by WebSphere Liberty to configure your on-premises Liberty server to use certain Bluemix cloud services. Then it’s just a matter of calling the service (each service provides documentation on how to do this). You can reference the sample Watson text-to-speech application here.

To learn more about the new IBM Connect Offerings, click here.

Product Manager, Websphere Application Server for z/OS and z/Linux, Java Batch, z/OS Connect

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