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® IBM Software Group © 2006 IBM Corporation Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Case Study HATS and SOA.

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Presentation on theme: "® IBM Software Group © 2006 IBM Corporation Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Case Study HATS and SOA."— Presentation transcript:

1 ® IBM Software Group © 2006 IBM Corporation Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Case Study HATS and SOA

2 IBM Software Group 2 Business Challenge Company Vision The largest and oldest health plan provider in the state, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF) is a company focused primarily on the health industry, delivering value through an array of meaningful choices.  Cost of system maintenance  Error-prone system resulted in decreased productivity for Customer Service Representatives  Error-prone system required the BCBSF Development and Maintenance team to frequently service software and to build additional applications to re- establish back end sessions  Software renewal costs high  Each software upgrade required deployment at each of 3000 clients

3 IBM Software Group 3 Previous Solution IBM zSeries mainframe IMS transactions Attachmate Extra! terminal emulator HLLAPI Screen scraping Sybase, Inc.’s PowerBuilder client application HLLAPI (High Level Language Application Programming Interface) An API widely used to build interfaces to IBM 3270-based applications by reading the display data, i.e., screen scraping  3000 clients installed  12,000-18,000 active sessions TM ®

4 IBM Software Group 4 Technical Challenges  HLLAPI is a rigid, screen scraping API that can be difficult to develop and maintain  Required intricate code to deal with the location of fields on the display screen  Attachmate emulator with macros failed frequently  The implementation allowed the user to navigate to any screen, then select an action that resulted in running a macro. The macro would fail if not on a valid screen to run the macro.  Sometimes brought down IMS  Attachmate failed too frequently on Microsoft Windows XP  Required Hyper-Threading Technology turned off to reduce errors  BCBSF wanted to keep their client application UI to preserve their investment in that part of the previous solution  In production for 2 years with 3000 employees trained on client application TM ®

5 IBM Software Group 5 Alternatives Considered  Considered IBM Personal Communications  Did not offer significant benefits above Attachmate emulator  Considered HATS transformation  Would have required a new client UI and inadequately preserved BCBSF's investment and training in the client UI  Considered Web Services  Had some knowledge of Web Services but without using SOAP  Would allow BCBSF to keep their existing client UI but remove dependency on Attachmate emulator  A winner!!! TM

6 IBM Software Group 6 New solution Key Components Software  IBM WebSphere Host Access Transformation Services  IBM WebSphere Application Server – Network Deployment  IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere (RAD) Servers  IBM AIX server  IBM zSeries Services  IBM Software Services for WebSphere (ISSW) IBM zSeries mainframe IMS transactions HATS Web Services on WS Application Server Two IBM AIX servers (l oad balancing & failover) SOAP Sybase, Inc.’s PowerBuilder client application 3270 datastream ®

7 IBM Software Group 7 Key Technical Benefits Web Services provides a modular, reusable architecture to represent BCBSF’s core business functions  A simple and straightforward process to design, develop, test, and deploy Web Services using IBM HATS, IBM RAD, and BCBSF’s existing client software  Determine which business processes become Web Services by examining client application UI and corresponding HLLAPI application logic  Create a macro for each business process by recording the navigation paths through multiple 3270 host screens using HATS  Create Web Services wrapper files for each business process using HATS  Complete WSI-compliant Web Service creation by generating WSDL using IBM RAD for WebSphere  Import WSDL into PowerBuilder to generate client application  Reuse of PowerBuilder client application  BCBSF’s core business functions are enabled for use in any Service Oriented Architecture solution  Can be integrated with IBM SOA Foundations products, such as IBM WebSphere Business Process Server, IBM WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus, IBM WebSphere Portal, and others, as well as any vendor software that can utilize standard Web Services ® ®

8 IBM Software Group 8 Enterprise Applications and Data Infrastructure Services Application and Data Access Services Business Application and Data Services Business Performance Management Services Development Platform Partner Services Enterprise Service Bus WebSphere BI ModelerRAD for WebSphere WebSphere Information Integrator WebSphere BI Server WebSphere BI Server Foundation WebSphere Portal Server WebSphere BI Connect WebSphere Application Server WBI Adapters HATS WBI Monitor IBM Software Offerings Process Services Information Services Interaction Services Business App Services Web Services Gateway WBI Event/Message Broker WebSphere MQ Business Integration Reference Architecture Using HATS, BCBSF’s core host business functions are now ready to be integrated in a Service Oriented Architecture in a timeframe appropriate for their business model

9 IBM Software Group 9 Key Technical Benefits HATS Web Services relies on screen scraping but offers significant advantages over a typical screen scraper technology, such as HLLAPI  BCBSF did not use HATS transformation, so they could not take advantage of HATS’ rules-based architecture which allows many transformations to work even when the host application is changed (e.g., host fields are added)  HATS Web Services remains a significant improvement over HLLAPI for BCBSF by offering wizards to create macros stored as xml  BCBSF used HATS wizards to record macros initially  BCBSF estimates an application development effort that takes ½ week of HLLAPI coding could be accomplished in ½ day using the HATS UI  BCBSF modified the macro xml file directly after initial macro recording  HATS is easier to maintain by simply editing the xml file than changing the HLLAPI application code

10 IBM Software Group 10 Key Business Benefits  Cost Savings  Fewer developers required to maintain HATS solution  Easier to maintain and more robust  Emulator removed from system  Saved approximately 3000 Attachmate software license renewals  Preserved BCBSF’s investment in training personnel on the existing client UI application  Architecture is basis for future solutions  The extensible architecture of HATS Web services has been so successful, BCBSF is using Web Services as a design and implementation standard for future application solutions TM

11 IBM Software Group 11 Deployment Experience – The Good  Proof of Concept by ISSW included 1-day demonstration of using HATS and RAD to build macro, create Integration Object and Web Service, create client application, and test  ISSW team conducted a 4-day workshop on HATS, followed with expert consulting advice on how to implement the solution  Created advanced macros with conditional and error paths and used Integration Object chaining  Included an architecture review  On-going recommendations throughout 6 month deployment period  Advice on IBM WAS capacity planning and performance tuning to enable WAS to efficiently run on IBM AIX server  BCBSF’s personnel required to implement solution  3 developers  5 testers  1 project manager  For BSBSF, the process of creating and maintaining Web Services has been simple and is a “huge” improvement over the HLLAPI application code  HATS solution in production for 2 years as of June 2006 and running smoothly

12 IBM Software Group 12 Deployment Experience – The Bad  Two main areas caused production errors  Unexpected code dependencies in host application  Problem: Host application did not work consistently based on which codes were entered. For example, one screen automatically changed an input field to a display field based on codes entered, causing the keyboard to lock.  BCBSF’s Recommendation: Understand your host application. Read documentation if you have it.  Did not generalize error conditions in macro processing  Problem: Continually coding to each error condition  BCBSF’s Solution: 99% of errors are input errors; so for any error message, send it back to the client for user interaction  Bulk of production errors solved in first 6 months of deployment

13 IBM Software Group 13 A Success Story Future plans at BCBSF are shaped by HATS deployment experience Additional HATS Web Services for Six Sigma projects Integrate business logic with HATS Web Services to extend function of Pricing Tool Implement a portal solution for the Inquiry Control System to be integrated with HATS Web Services Expand to a Service Oriented Architecture with an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) implementation based on WebSphere MQ technology HATS Web Services Proven cost savings Easy to create and maintain A leading edge solution for integrating host-based applications with a Service Oriented Architecture

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