HATS web service support can be used to create Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) assets, that provide a standard programming interface to business logic and transactions that are controlled within Mainframe applications. These core business tasks can be reused as standard Web services that are an integral part of a business process integration plan.
Below is a sample Business Use Case to understand the advantage of HATS Web Service support.
Business Use Case
Consider a business case where a Bank Manager receives requests from customers for approval of loans. To check if a customer is eligible for the loan or not, following are a set of tasks that the manager needs to perform tasks as mentioned below:
1. Login to the Mainframe system.
2. Navigate to the Mainframe customer database application.
3. Fetch the details such as the 'Balance Due' and the 'Credit Limit' of the customer.
4. Validate that 'Balance Due' and 'Loan Amount' are within the limits of ‘Credit Limit’.
5. Decide whether to approve or reject the loan, based on available credit limit.
6. E-mail the customer on loan status.
The described Business flow can be executed and monitored by creating a model for the process using a process modelling application like jBPM, which is a flexible Business Process Management (BPM) Suite that allows users to model, execute, and monitor business processes and cases throughout their life cycle.
The current process is modelled in jBPM as shown below:
List of tasks that are involved in the process are as follows:
1. CustomerID (Script Task): Obtain the Customer Id and/or any other mandatory details.
2. Retrieve Details (Human Task): Login to the Mainframe application and retrieve the Customer details like ‘Balance Due’, ‘Credit Limit’ etc.
3. ProcessDetails (Custom Work-Item Handler): Loan processing calculation logic.
4. Loan Rejected/Loan Approved (Script Task): Show the output result, whether the loan is approved or rejected.
5. Update Database (Human Task): Go to the Mainframe application and update the Customer ‘Credit Limit’ details.
6. E-mail (Service task): Send an e-mail to customer about the loan status.
Adding HATS WebServices capabilities in jBPM
In the above jBPM model, the Manager manually checks the user’s data in the Mainframe system, and based on the Loan calculation logic (performed in the Custom Work-Item Handler, ‘ProcessDetails’), updates relevant data in the Mainframe application. In order to fully automate this process and eliminate the requirement of Human intervention (Human Task) in this model, a HATS RESTful WebService can be created that can automate the Human tasks involved, thereby, adding innovation and improving efficiency of the entire process.
A Tutorial that describes the simple process of generating RESTful WebServices in HATS quickly, is available at the following YouTube link:
Below are the tasks that are to be performed in HATS in order to create RESTful services for this process:
1. Create HATS macro to:
a. Retrieve Customer’s data (like, ‘Balance Due’ and ‘Credit Limit’) from the Host application.
b. Update Customer’s data in the Host application.
2. Create Integration Object from above macros.
3. Generate RESTful Service files from the integration objects.
The below figure shows the remodelled jBPM process with the HATS RESTful WebServices:
In this updated process, the Human tasks are removed, and REST APIs from HATS have been introduced that communicates with the Mainframe application and executes transactions. The list of newly added Service tasks that automates the Human tasks are:
1. Retrieve Details From the Host (Service task): HATS Rest API, to Log in to the Mainframe application and retrieve Customer information.
2. Update the Database (Service task): HATS Rest API, to update the Customer ‘Credit Limit’ details in the Mainframe application.
The below snapshots display the Business Process console output:
By adding HATS RESTful capabilities in any business process such as HR, finance, IT operations etc., the process can be automated. By way of reducing human intervention, this also helps improve efficiency, reduce cost and eliminate the possibility of any human error.
Detailed information about IBM HATS Web services is available at the link below:
For further information on automation and services offerings, please write to zServices@hcl.com or HCL-HI-LabServices@hcl.com.
Senior Technical Architect, Lab Services, IBM HACP & HATS