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8 Ways IBM is Advancing Automation and App Integration in MFT

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This is the fifth post in our Managed File Transfer blog series. Read the previous post, “Why You Should be Investing in Visibility and Governance for Managed File Transfer” here.

Businesses in this ‘Digital Age’ must operate and perform in a highly-competitive and global environment – one with growing demands for secure data exchange. The transfer of business-critical data is essential whether you operate in retail, manufacturing or banking and financial services.

CIOs and IT executives who manage the technology infrastructure for these companies understand that Managed File Transfer (MFT) is the most reliable and efficient means to ensure the secure transfer or exchange of data and files.  And they recognize that, as businesses increasingly rely on MFT, there is corresponding need for greater automation – and integration with other applications.

Of course, automation and application integration has been a long-time requirement for MFT. Managed File Transfer essentially is best understood as automated file-based workflows; a key difference compared to commodity file transfer utilities like FTP, HTTP and other methods.

To support modern digital business, MFT systems need to support 24×7 operations; the development of extended file-based workflows; frictionless flows of bulk transaction data, and greater automation and integration with other critical (and mundane) applications.

IBM MFT solutions have always delivered robust features for automation – and a proven history of broad and flexible support for application integration. Robust API sets have been provided for multiple application programming languages. And IBM MFT products have interfaces to popular message oriented middleware solutions like IBM WebSphere MQ and Java Messaging Service (JMS).

However, market demands are evolving – and MFT solutions must evolve as well.  IBM has committed to keep the IBM MFT solution a leader in the market by continuously improving automation and integration capabilities. Some recent notable additional capabilities include:

  • Redesigned DMBATCH Batch Interface Supports Synchronous Submit: IBM Connect:Direct z/OS, the popular DMBATCH batch interface program was completely redesigned to support a “synchronous submit” capability. It also supports a checkpoint restart for replay purposes improving overall transfer performance. And DMBATCH now takes on the role of monitoring the status of submitted job. IBM Connect:Direct z/OS enables an application programmer or system administrator to submit a batch of commands to an IBM Connect:Direct server for automation use cases.
  • Automatically Tracks Completed Processes: IBM Connect:Direct now keeps track of completed processes. This capability works in concert with the MAXDELAY parameter of the IBM Connect:Direct SUBMIT command.
  • Automatically Provides SE Statistics Records: IBM Connect:Direct z/OS now provides automatic new Session End (SE) statistics records. For custom monitoring applications that process the IBM Connect:Direct statistics file, a new Session End statistics record logs a session end event.
  • IBM Secure Proxy offers New Capability: IBM Secure Proxy now offers dynamic routing automation for new partner internal systems migrations. It does so by redirecting incoming connections to designated node based on incoming user credentials. The Java Messaging Service interface now enables customer SSP monitoring and\or automation of applications.
  • Added Listening Producer Mode: IBM File Gateway has always provided methods of pulling and pushing files, through its Routing Channel feature, and now the new Listening Producer provides an architected method for configuring use cases where SFG should “pick up” files from an external partner server.
  • Simplifies Automation of Process Monitoring: IBM Control Center offers a new “Monitor This” capability which simplifies the setup for automated monitoring of a given process.
  • Adds CDSA Server Adapter, Support for PLEX Environments: IBM Connect:Direct Server Adapter (CDSA) can now persist a ‘state’ from a previous ‘copy’ operation. Using the Process Data construct, a running instance of a CDSA can now persist a state from a previous copy operation, such as a document or message ID. This enables for creative design of multistep “relay-style” processes. CDSA now also offers support for IBM Connect:Direct PLEX environments.
  • Automating Onboarding Processes for Integration with IBM File Gateway: IBM Partner Engagement Manager (PEM), a flexible workflow-based tool and platform for automating onboarding processes, was enhanced to integrate with IBM File Gateway and enable rapid onboarding for File Gateway applications.

Combined, these upgrades provide greater automation and application integration for IBM Managed File transfer. To read more, visit IBM Managed File Transfer or read our MFT white paper.

 

 

Senior Product Management, Watson Supply Chain

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