Jacada Interface Server

Jacada® Interface Server (JIS) is the leading web-enablement solution for modernizing legacy host systems. JIS leverages mainframe and AS/400 data streams to access legacy business logic without making any modifications to legacy code, and converts the presentation layer to modern Web HTML GUI’s. This non-intrusive quality of JIS is paramount to IT managers who wish to de-risk modernizing proven legacy host systems to meet changing business requirements.

Our customers have realized a significant return on their Jacada investment through improved functionality and better alignment of legacy host business systems with the processes that run their business. And these results were accomplished with absolutely no changes to the existing systems. In short, JIS provides a rapid, risk-free alternative to system replacement or re-writes.

From a technical perspective, JIS is the most robust, open, and feature-rich web-to-host solution available. And by generating the new graphical interface ready for running in a browser, JIS provides a native and open solution that integrates easily with any new application development environments, including J2EE and .NET. Designed specifically for the demanding requirements of highly transactional systems, JIS supports load-balancing and scalability, leveraging the capabilities inherent in the leading J2EE application servers, and meets even the most demanding application requirements. JIS is deployed today to tens of thousands of users in some of the largest corporations and government agencies in the world.

You need Jacada Interface Server If….

  • You need to resurface host “green screen” applications with a modern browser based HTML GUI
  • Extending the life of your host systems is a top requirement and migration off the host is not a cost effective or technically feasible option.
  • Speed of development and no code changes to host systems are key factors in the success of your project.
  • You need to insulate host systems from changes in the user interface, integration standards, technologies and changing business requirements.

How It Works

JIS is an automated development architecture that generates HTML clients from host applications. It uses Jacada’s Automated Conversion Environment (ACE) to convert character-based host screens into feature-rich graphical clients.

With the JIS KnowledgeBase technology, host application screens are analyzed quickly and converted to sophisticated HTML clients viewable in a web browser. The new clients have all the graphical richness you would expect from modern applications: pull-down menus, push buttons, combo boxes, folders and tabs, tables, windows in windows, context-sensitive help, and more.


There are five simple steps in JIS to convert a Host application to a fully functioning web application.

The conversion process begins with the creation of screen images from each screen of the host application. BMS, DDS or MFS can be imported directly, and 3270 or 5250 screens can be captured within the development environment.

JIS uses Jacada’s Automated Conversion Environment (ACE) to convert the imported character-based host screens into feature-rich HTML clients. ACE does not require the source code of the legacy application. It works by first reading the application’s screen definitions and second, converting the screens using artificial intelligence methods through its built-in KnowledgeBase – a rules-based engine that acts as a global repository for your organization’s interface standards.

The KnowledgeBase compares groups of host screen characters to KnowledgeBase Pattern Definitions and identifies which patterns are matched. It reads from the KnowledgeBase the representation components of an identified pattern and adds these components, both controls and methods, into corresponding HTML GUI elements.

Host Screen Pattern DefinitionEquivalent HTML Widget

In this step, you make global modifications to the application using the KnowledgeBase and make local modifications to the GUI to add controls, and, optionally, refine HTML screens customized to your specific needs. All these changes are recorded and saved. In the event you change a green screen, all you need to do is to re-import it, run the knowledgebase and apply the saved modifications. Our experience shows that even for very large applications, only minimal maintenance is required because of the knowledgebase and the ability to rerun the manual modifications.

Custom application flows, additional business logic, or User Interface changes are made possible through easily extending the generated Jaca classes. It is even possible to add additional functionality through Javascript extensions for various screens, if required.

The re-engineering capabilities in JIS means you can extend and integrate the generated code by extending the Java screen classes. By modifying the generated classes and objects you can add functionality, integrate with other data sources, and link to other web applications. Your code changes are preserved even if you reapply green screen changes.

In the last step, the Java and HTML code is automatically generated and compiled. The resultant application can be packaged as an EAR file to be deployed to an application server. The application supports integration with other applications through an XML API and can be used to embed the JIS application into Jacada WorkSpace or other web portal application.

Jacada Interface Server Features

Automated conversion of host screens: Jacada provides a complete and rapid transformation of host screens into the corresponding HTML representation, with the ability to import host screen definition source files such as BMS, MFS, and DDS.

Automatic Maintenance: Once a screen is changed, all that is needed is to re-import it into JIS. JIS will automatically convert it to a HTML user interface using the KnowledgBase, apply the manual modifications, incorporate previous code changes and generate new HTML screens.

Function Key Support: JIS enables existing users to work in a familiar environment. Experienced host systems will feel at home in the web environment with full support for host style function keys. Of course, newer users may prefer the mouse driven “point and click” interface.

Application Integration: Not only can JIS provide a consistent look and feel to the user across disparate applications, multiple applications can be integrated to provide a single consolidated view to the user.

Just-In-Time-GUI to dynamically represent host screens: Just-in-time GUI provides an on-the-fly representation for an entire screen, or portions of a screen, allowing developers to focus on re-engineering and ease-of-use enhancements and eliminating the need to build redundant graphical representations of host screens.

Legacy Integration through XML: Business logic and data in legacy systems can be “exposed” as XML transactions without requiring any change to the existing applications. This provides an appealing means for sharing and integrating data.

WYSIWYG Designer: What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get graphical screen designer.

Industry standard source code generation: JIS automatically generates Java, XML, and HTML source code which makes it easier for developers to understand and follow.

Jacada Interface Server Benefits

Rapid Web Enablement and Modernized Legacy Systems: Legacy systems work extremely well, but the user interface can be counter-productive and inflexible for current day needs. With JIS you can modernize, and extend mission-critical legacy systems with a new web based interface that will dramatically improve their efficiency. The GUI presentation is easier to learn for new employees, an important benefit for departments experiencing high turnover rates. Modernized applications lead to an increase in user productivity and decrease in training costs that immediately impacts revenue and profitability of business operations.

Improve customer service. Solutions created with JIS are easier to use and provide more flexible access to customer information, which means your call center can be more productive and provide better service, and you can even give customers the ability to update their own data, creating revenue generating activities for your call center service staff.

Improve accessibility for employees, partners, and customers. By web-enabling these applications, anyone can have access to these important applications and the data they maintain.

Reduce Error Rates: By providing an easy and ubiquitous means of integrating these legacy systems with new or third-party applications, organizations are directly improving error rates, user efficiency, and lowering the cost of doing business.

Extend, Enhance, and Integrate: The re-engineering capabilities in JIS means you can extend and integrate the generated code by extending Java classes. By modifying the generated classes and objects you can add functionality, integrate with other data sources, and link to other web applications. There’s no end to the possibilities.

User interface consistent with your corporate identity: Developers can tune the Jacada KnowledgeBase to generate user interfaces that present the same look and feel as other enterprise applications. All user interfaces, whether modernized legacy, newly developed web applications, or packaged applications, all can have the same consistent appearance to the end-user. This seamless transition between disparate systems makes a positive impact on user efficiency at the desktop since applications are aesthetically similar to each other.

Low risk, rapid non-invasive implementation: Automated conversion of existing BMS, MFS, and DDS screen source to create new Web forms, without touching host systems. Rapid Implementation using WYSIWYG Designer and KnowledgeBase.

Retains custom modifications: Modifications made to the graphical representation are remembered in case the interface must be regenerated.

Scalability, Reliability, Security: JIS is a specialized product designed specifically for the demanding requirements of high-transaction applications. JIS can be deployed on Windows, AS/400, and Solaris servers under the J2EE architecture using BEA’s WebLogic application server, IBM’s WebSphere application server, or Apache Server, and supports dynamic load balancing, even across multiple server types. So, your business transactions can scale across whatever server configuration gives you the best cost/performance advantage. Finally, JIS can also be deployed alongside Jacada Interact, which simplifies license management and access to next generation RPA and automation capabilities.

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