Here’s a quick view of the dependent products that would be needed along with IBM WebSphere eXtended Transaction Runtime (WXTR) in a solution. As a starter, following are the products that you would need as pre-requisites before you begin using WebSphere eXtended Transaction Runtime. A quick list of them and a note on why they are pre-requisites out here,
1. IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS)
WXTR is a stack product on WAS. WXTR supports WAS version 7 and version 8. If you were to use WAS version 7, then you would also need to install WAS feature pack for SCA. If you are using WAS v8, the feature for supporting SCA is integrated within v8 itself.
With WXTR, COBOL applications are run natively on WAS. If you were to host your existing COBOL applications, the only way they can be interfaced with are either through the JCA layer using either a Servlet or EJB deployed on WAS or through the SCA wrapper using the callCOBOL method provided by WXTR. You can write Servlets or EJBs and use the JCA interface provided by WXTR to invoke COBOL applications through them. Or you can expose COBOL applications as a service using the SCA wrapper as well.
WXTR also supports administration of it’s resources through WAS admin console. Some of WXTR runtime resources like the number of application server processes and also memory pool settings etc can be controlled or configured from WAS admin console. WXTR’s life cycle of start and stop have been integrated with WAS as well. When WAS starts, WXTR runtime gets started as well.
2. IBM COBOL compiler version 4.1
IBM COBOL v4.1 is the COBOL compiler we support on AIX. IBM COBOL compiler would be required to compile your COBOL applications and also WXTR runtime uses IBM COBOL compiler runtime libraries to be able to host and run COBOL applications. So, to be able to natively run COBOL on WAS, IBM COBOL is a key component that must be installed. IBM COBOL v4.1 also supports off-line file access feature, which allows users access to VSAM files (of either KSDS, ESDS or RRDS format) stored in DB2 database.
3. IBM DB2 Version 9.7
IBM DB2 is supported as the resource manager. DB2 also allows you to store your existing VSAM files. Storing VSAM files on DB2 allows you to laverage all the powerful features of a modern relational database. WXTR runtime tightly integrates with DB2 database to allow data management as well as store some of the internal files for processing.
In addition to the above, you can use the following IBM Rational products as integrated development environments.
4. IBM Rational Application Developer version 8 (RAD)
RAD’s integration with WebSphere Application Server is well known. Java programs being written using RAD can make use of snippets supplied with RDp (or import the ones shipped with WXTR as well) for writing JCA code to invoke COBOL programs running on WXTR. You can just open WXTR Snippets drawer and drag and drop Java code to invoke COBOL applications.
You can also use Java to COBOL mapping feature in RAD to generate Java code to map to your COBOL copy book. This helps to handle your data across Java and COBOL layer easily by generating corresponding Java classes and getter setter methods to manipulate data.
5. IBM Rational Developer for Power Systems version 8 (RDp)
RDp is the development environment for COBOL applications on AIX. You need to install RDp’s Remote System Explorer component on the AIX machine to be able to interface with the AIX machine where WXTR is installed. If you already have a RAD installed, RDp just installs as an additional plug in on top of that. RDp v8 has all the features like content assist, program templates for CICS COBOL etc, which can be made use of for re-deploying your existing COBOL applications or even writing new COBOL applications in support of your existing business logic. In addition, with RDp and WXTR you can use snippets and code templates for writing COBOL applications. Using RDp, you can easily deploy your COBOL applications on the fly on WXTR.
RAD and RDp would add further value in your application development with the new seamless debugging feature. You can setup break points in Java code and in COBOL code and move back and forth across them. For example, you can enter data in a web page, and make the Java program stop at a point where you are executing logic in Java code and about to invoke COBOL. Then you can set break points in COBOL at entry and exit points. These products make it very easy to identify and isolate problems in an end to end solution. You don’t need to install anything in addition for being able to debug across mixed languages.
All above products make a typical combination set in a WXTR deployment. This link has further details on required software, http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21501498&wv=1