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COBOL Add-On Simplifies SOA



ILOG has announced ILOG Rules for COBOL, an add-on module for ILOG JRules. ILOG Rules for COBOL lets organizations leverage a business rule management system to unlock business policies buried in COBOL to cost-effectively implement policy change management and quickly respond to regulatory or market pressures. ILOG also today unveiled ILOG JRules 6.7 with several platform upgrades and customization features for end-user and ISV customers.

The Rules for COBOL add-on module lets IBM mainframe customers author and manage rules written against native COBOL data structures, and to deploy these rules more easily -- including moves to service-oriented architectures (SOA). Companies with a large mainframe investment that wish to move to a modern SOA environment can benefit from using the COBOL add-on module: Using Rules for COBOL, business policies are expressed as business rules that can be tested and deployed both in the mainframe data environment and as standalone decision services in an SOA environment. This means that business rules can create a bridge that ensures business policy continuity from legacy systems to SOA.

"The new ILOG Rules for COBOL opens up the possibility for us to enhance our business agility through a BRMS while leveraging our existing mainframe investments," said Ramon Lasurt, Head of Development Allianz Seguros, Barcelona, Spain. "Using Rules for COBOL in concert with ILOG JRules, we expect to increase transparency and auditability in our operations as well. With ILOG Rules for COBOL we are now prepared to make ILOG's BRMS part of our standard map and methodology for applications development."

Key technical features of ILOG Rules for COBOL include:

  • A COBOL copybook import facility for quickly developing the business object model to begin authoring business rules for the COBOL application.
  • Full support of business rule authoring within JRules including the use of decision tables and rule flows. The support of COBOL functions and actions required for rule authoring enables the customers to access additional COBOL functionality they need from business rules.
  • Ability to generate native COBOL code as a sub-program by a simple menu item from ILOG JRules Rule Studio or Rule Team Server so customers do not have to introduce new technology or new coding techniques within their existing mainframe COBOL programs.
  • Compatibility with IBM WebSphere Developer for zSeries.

With ILOG JRules 6.7, ILOG furthers customization options for end-user and ISV customers, including new user interface components that permit customers to embed rule management and authoring functionality into their own Web applications. This means that end-user customers can tailor the user experience to their own organizations and processes and ISV customers can build their own Web application (using the Web components for editors and tree explorer) to control the behavior of the existing interface and integrate it more closely with their other components.

JRules 6.7 also introduces new APIs for customizing the user experience of Rule Team Server, allowing for the removal of standard features and the addition of customized functionality per user role. Also new is support for the Java 6, Eclipse 3.3, Tomcat 6.0 platforms and new application server releases from BEA (WebLogic 10.0) and Sun Java Enterprise System 8.2 - JRules 6.7 continues support for application servers IBM WebSphere 6.1 and JBoss 4.0. Various database driver and version support updates are also included.


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