IBM i is a dependable workhorse that many organizations have effectively used to manage their business for years. The thought of connecting IBM i with a modern eCommerce system can be daunting, but integrating Magento with IBM i can allow business logic to remain within the existing IBM i system and enable the data to flow in real time to Magento.
An integration project allows Magento to sell to customers and capture orders while IBM i continues to process transactions safely, securely, and quickly.
One of the most common misconceptions with IBM i is that it’s impossible to interface with it. People often think that the data is simply locked in there and they can’t integrate with IBM i, however we have integrated many sites to IBM i and there are a number of ways to access that information.
We love Magento projects where we need to integrate to the IBM i platform. We’ve found several tools and methodologies to allow the data to flow easily and quickly. Using these various tools allow us to quickly and easily access any data we need and share it across the two platforms.
Tools for Integrating Magento and IBM i
Typically, integrating Magento and IBM i requires the use of third-party tools. We have three tools that we commonly use to connect the data on IBM i with an external eCommerce system.
Web Services is a great option because there is no need to buy new software. IBM i has the capabilities to create web services and host them within the native system.
IBM WebSphere MQ Series
A relatively inexpensive tool, WebSphere MQ delivers tremendous value to the project and team. This software tool is located on IBM i and, optionally, on the external system, and provides safe and secure message delivery between IBM i and Magento.
Mule Enterprise Service Bus
Mule ESB is used for our more complex projects and acts as a middleware between the two systems. At a base level, this tool processes transactions between IBM i and Magento. It is more robust and contains more features than the other options.
Integrating Magento and JD Edwards World on IBM i
JD Edwards World ERP runs on IBM i, so when integrating Magento with JDE World, you’re actually integrating with IBM i. Here are a few ways that we access the necessary information.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
One way for Magento to access the data on IBM i is to use FTP and the IFS. When using the IFS to store data, another system has to do the actual deposit of the information. One option is to duplicate the data and use FTP to send it back and forth, but you can also FTP directly from IBM i onto the IFS, then add RPG access. Once the data is on the IFS, native RPG or CL programs are used to access the data and make updates in the production environment.
Using this method, the eCommerce platform creates an XML document and deposits it onto the MQ channel, and MQ sends it to IBM i. From there, IBM i can accept the XML document and process it using native RPG programs. All of this happens at the speed of light, allowing for quick updates, data lookups, and other tasks. The communication process can also happen in the other direction, with IBM i creating an XML document, depositing it onto MQ and sending it to the eCommerce platform, where the eCommerce platform processes the document.
Regardless of the method used, integrating Magento to IBM i is not as scary or difficult as many people think. There are a lot of moving parts, yes, but when broken down into individual challenges, the project quickly becomes attainable.
Are you ready to integrate Magento with your IBM i environment? Contact our team to get started.