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IBM Aims To Slay The Legacy Monster

The vendor will offer software and services to help businesses connect information in mainframes with Internet apps and E-commerce systems.
IBM will offer software and services in an effort to help businesses whose data resides in old mainframes connect that information with Internet applications and E-commerce systems--one of business computing's trickier integration tasks.

The company said Thursday that it's releasing additions to its WebSphere integration software that specifically aim to bridge the gap between old and new applications. IBM says the software will let developers more easily create Web-based applications that include data from older mainframe environments, such as CICS (Customer Information Control System).

The software will also let developers take information typically delivered to a green screen such as an airline reservations terminal and make it available through a Web browser.

"Many large enterprises still maintain their core data in legacy environments that, of themselves, don't support the type of E-commerce initiatives they want to undertake," says David Chew, director of WebSphere Enterprise Transaction Systems at IBM. According to its own research, IBM says that, on average, 80 cents of every dollar businesses spend on software goes to maintaining and upgrading older legacy applications.

IBM is also launching services that will help users deploy the integration software. The company's Global Services group will offer an Application Portfolio Management service that will help businesses take stock of their inventory of software applications and decide how best to consolidate them. Additionally, its Legacy Transformation Services are designed to assist users in the migration from mainframe environments to Web-based E-commerce systems.