Software AG CICS 3270 Adapter for MS Host Integration Server 2000 FAQ

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Published: March 1, 2000

Q: What was the announcement Microsoft made with Software AG on March 21, 2000?

A: Software AG and Microsoft Corp. announced a strategic agreement to integrate Software AG's enterprise integration technologies with Microsoft Host Integration Server 2000 to extend its COM Transaction Integrator (COMTI) feature to 3270 I/O-based Customer Information Control System (CICS) applications. This offering expands the integration of Microsoft® Windows® and non-Windows operating system-based enterprise systems and provides a broader offering by Microsoft and Software AG in the application integration space. The arrangement also includes support for Software AG's Natural applications. Software AG will adapt its existing OS/390-based technology to integrate tightly with COMTI, and will sell the new offering as an add-on product to Host Integration Server 2000. The companies will work together to market and support the solution to enterprise customers.

Q: What is Software AG?

A: Software AG is one of Europe's largest system software providers and a global player in the host integration market.

Q: What exactly does Software AG's technology do, and how does it build on Microsoft Host Integration Server 2000?

A: This new adaptor to HIS allows customers to integrate 3270-based CICS applications from IBM mainframes into applications running on a Windows 2000- or Windows NT®-based server. This extends the strengths of Host Integration Server 2000 by allowing customers to take advantage of existing mainframe applications, thereby preserving their legacy investments.

Q: Will customers need to purchase something separately from Host Integration Server 2000?

A: Yes. Software AG's CICS 3270 Adapter for Host Integration Server will be marketed and shipped by Software AG.

Q: What is the benefit for customers?

A: The immediate benefit for customers of Software AG and Microsoft is the ability to integrate 3270-based CICS applications with applications running on a Windows 2000- or Windows NT Server-based operating system. This enables users to combine the strengths of existing mainframe applications with the major business potential of new technologies. Further, this adapter will allow integration with Software AG's own Natural applications.

Q: How do customers acquire this technology?

A: Host Integration Server 2000 will be broadly available through traditional Microsoft sales channels worldwide. Software AG will provide the CICS 3270 Adapter via its sales channels worldwide.

Q: How much will the adapter cost?

A: Pricing is still to be determined.

Q: Will Microsoft build this functionality into future versions of Host Integration Server 2000?

A: Microsoft has not yet determined what functionality will be available in future versions of Host Integration Server 2000.

Q: Will Microsoft offer this type of adapter for the AS/400 market?

A: At this time, Microsoft is not planning to offer this functionality.

Q: What is Host Integration Server 2000, and what are its main benefits?

A: Host Integration Server 2000 is the next version of Microsoft SNA Server 4.0 and is a comprehensive gateway and application integration platform that provides an organization with the best way to embrace Internet, intranet and client/server technologies while preserving its investments in existing host-based systems. HIS 2000 is the first product to extend the definition of a host-to-Web gateway to include a state-of-the art applications integration platform in one affordable, manageable product.

Q: Why did Microsoft change the name from SNA Server?

A: The name change reflects the full scope of functionality offered by the product. In addition, it highlights Microsoft's commitment to providing support and integration possibilities for back-end and host systems through increased performance and ease of configuration for DB2 access, COM+ support for integrated CICS/IMS transactions, and support for Microsoft Message Queue Server 2.0 and IBM's MQSeries 5.1 for messaging-oriented middleware integration. These features allow users to build more scalable and reliable integrated solutions while maintaining transactional integrity. This product also has been updated to take advantage of features inherent to the Windows 2000 platform.

Q: What role does Host Integration Server 2000 play in Microsoft's application integration offering? Where does it fit in with BizTalk?

A: The solutions are complementary. The BizTalk™ Initiative and BizTalk Server 2000, along with Host Integration Server 2000, provide essential integration frameworks and technologies for a complete end-to-end solution for customers. Together, three elements make up Microsoft's complete application integration solution. The BizTalk Framework helps create standardized formats that make it easier for business-to-business process integration. BizTalk Server 2000 will provide the necessary routing, transformation and business process integration tools and services. Host Integration Server 2000 provides the enterprise technology adapters that will enable new applications to seamlessly plug in to existing systems.

Q: If I use Host Integration Server 2000, will I get the same benefits available in SNA Server 4.0?

A: SNA Server functionality will be rolled into Host Integration Server 2000 to provide customers with a logical migration path from traditional host access to Host Integration Server 2000's Web-to-host and enterprise integration services. In addition, Host Integration Server 2000 supports Windows 2000 and its related enhancements as well as Windows NT.

Q: Microsoft has said that Host Integration Server 2000 takes advantage of the new features in Windows 2000. If I decide not to upgrade to Windows 2000, can I use HIS 2000 with Windows NT? What will I miss out on?

A: Host Integration Server 2000 does take advantage of new features of Windows 2000 such as the Active Directory™ service, but users running a Windows NT-based system will be able to take advantage of other new Host Integration Server 2000 features.

For more information, press only:

Larry Meadows, Waggener Edstrom, (425) 637-9097,

Rapid Response Team, Waggener Edstrom, (503) 443-7000,