• United States
Executive Editor

Jacada tool consolidates app interfaces

May 17, 20043 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMainframes

Legacy integration and Web-to-host software maker Jacada this week is expected to announce a product designed to let users combine content from multiple applications into a single interface.

Legacy integration and Web-to-host software maker Jacada this week is expected to announce a product designed to let users combine content from multiple applications into a single interface.

The goal of Jacada Fusion is to simplify how users access and manage data that’s scattered across multiple systems, The product can join information from Web, client/server and host-based applications. The significance is that it’s not invasive; Jacada Fusion lets users tap into application content without accessing or making changes to their source code, and construct new composite applications with the data, says Rob Morris, vice president of product strategy at Jacada.

The Fusion product is essentially presentation technology – a modern iteration of traditional screen-scraping products that wrap mainframe transactions and expose them as Java or HTML content, for example, to shield developers from legacy code. Fusion is part of a newer generation of integration wares that expose legacy data in a smarter way, creating programmatic elements, such as Java objects, that can be consumed by other applications. WRQ, Seagull Software and Attachmate also offer similar products, research firm Gartner says

Running behind the scenes of Fusion are Jacada’s other integration products for exposing transactions running on different types of platforms and applications. These software modules include WebFuse for Web applications; Integrator for host applications; and another new product, Jacada WinFuse, for Microsoft Windows client-server applications.

One target application for Jacada Fusion is in call centers, where agents typically have to navigate among multiple financial, supply chain and CRM applications to complete a customer service transaction. Jacada Fusion can eliminate redundant data entry chores and the need to toggle between applications, speeding call handling times as a result, Morris says.

Jacada also is pitching its Fusion product as a means to link applications that would be too expensive or too difficult to link by traditional messaging broker-based integration products.

That’s the situation the United States Naval Facilities Command (NAVFAC) faced. A beta user of Jacada Fusion, NAVFAC needed to tie together a Windows-based procurement application with a legacy financial system. The problem was, these systems were “untouchable,” says Scott Smith, assistant CIO for enterprise integration at NAVFAC. The financial application is mired in complex mainframe logic, and NAVFAC can’t read the data model of the proprietary procurement application, which is licensed by the Department of Defense.

In the past, NAVFAC relied on dozens of manual processes to exchange data related to the solicitation, award and modification of construction contracts among the two systems. With Jacada Fusion, NAVFAC will be able to automate much of the information exchange between the two systems without modifying any source code, Smith says. Its first pilot is expected to go live this week.