Integrated Web Services for i enables integrated language environment (ILE) applications to play in the Web services and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) arena with very little effort, knowledge and resources. The convergence of Web service and IBM i technologies can help enterprises liberate these core business assets by making it easier to enrich, modernize, extend and reuse them well beyond their original scope of design.
Many businesses are seeing benefits in moving their information technology (IT) infrastructure to make greater use of standards as they roll out new applications and services, and to better exploit their existing infrastructure. In doing this, businesses have recognized that they need to become more flexible, allowing them to address new business opportunities more quickly by reusing more of their existing assets, including currently running business processes and applications.
By choosing to move to Web services and SOA, businesses can ensure that they design and build their IT infrastructure using an architectural style that supports service orientation. By linking together your business as a set of connected services, your IT infrastructure will be more flexible and responsive, allowing your business to be more flexible and responsive in turn.
The question for businesses is how to get there? Companies are hampered by the very technologies they rely on to run their businesses. Many of their core information IT applications written in ILE languages such as RPG and COBOL have been in service for years — even decades. Developed and optimized over a period of years, these applications are difficult to link to new technologies such as Web services and SOA — until now.
Getting started with Web services and SOA on IBM i is easier than ever with the Integrated Web Services for i. The bottom line is that flexible businesses requires flexible IT, and the path to flexible IT is Web services and SOA.
IBM i integrated web services server updates (August 25, 2015)
A bunch of new enhancements have been released, the most significant enhancements being the support of nested arrays by controlling the number of elements that are returned in the response and the ability to deploy Java-based web services in the integrated application server. See the IBM developerWorks article Integrated web services server for IBM i updates for further details and the latest enhancements pertaining to integrated web services support.
Future of integrated web services server versions 1.3 and 1.5 (August 25, 2015)
Support has been withdrawn for the integrated web application server (IAS) version 7.1. Servers based on IAS 7.1 will continue to run on IBM i 7.2 and previous releases, but any problems you encounter will require you to redeploy the application to a more recent version of the IAS server, preferably IAS 8.5 or newer version. In addition, IAS 8.1 and 7.1 servers will not function beyond IBM i 7.2. Thus customers are highly encouraged to transition to IAS 8.5 or newer version as soon as possible.
Note that the above statement will affect integrated web services (IWS) servers since the servers are based on the IAS server. That is, IWS server versions 1.3 and 1.5 will not function beyond IBM i 7.2. Web services can be copied from earlier versions of an IWS server to a more recent version by using the saveWebServices.sh and restoreWebServices.sh scripts located in the /qibm/proddata/os/webservices/bin directory. However, the WSDL for the services on the latest IWS server has minor differences than the WSDL for versions 1.3 or 1.5 and thus you will need to send the WSDL to all clients that are using the SOAP service.
If you have IWS servers that are running on IAS 7.1, then you should transition to IAS server 8.1 by creating a new IWS server (version 1.5) and copying the web services from the old server to the new server using the saveWebServices.sh and restoreWebServices.sh scripts. The WSDL between the IAS servers does not change, giving you time to transition to the latest version of the IWS server.