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, much less JD Edwards World. However, we have integrated many sites to IBM i, both alone and with JDE World, and there are a number of ways to access that information.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
One way 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.
JD Edwards World
Depending on what version of World is being used, there are some capabilities around Business Services that can be used in the integration. If the client is on an older version of World, such as A7.3 or A8.1, then the Service Enablement capabilities are somewhat limited. JDE World A9.x users, however, have more capabilities to work with. Although not quite as robust as the EnterpriseOne offerings, the capabilities are similar.
Of course, we always try to fit the solution to the client’s technology and expertise, but given the choice, our team prefers the WebSphere MQ method of integration. MQ is lightning fast, allowing for a real-time data feed. It also has built-in redundancies so that it can manage the retransmitting of data should there be a lost connection. Once data is deposited onto WebSphere MQ, MQ is responsible for the transmission, meaning that data is never lost.
Regardless of the method used, integrating eCommerce to World is not as scary 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 looking to integrate an eCommerce implementation with JD Edwards World? Contact our team.