DM Review would like to welcome Robert Morris as a new online columnist. Rob brings an extensive background in application development and integration environments. He is a frequent conference speaker and will share his insight on service-oriented architectures in the coming months. When it comes to integrating mainframe assets into today's service-oriented architectures (SOA) applications, many organizations have proceeded with very low expectations and, as a result, have achieved minimal results. For example, they assume that there are no tools to effectively bridge the gap between mainframe applications, data and knowledge, and the service-oriented demands of today's customer-centric enterprises; they have been satisfied with a rudimentary Web services-only approach.

Typically, this consists of wrapping discrete chunks of mainframe functionality as Web services, and publishing them for non-mainframe service developers to do with what they can. This provides a fast implementation; however, this approach involves far more back- and-forth processes which can lead to more complications, including breakdowns that require more extensive repair and downtime.

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