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Light Weight Web framework for CICS™

As the need increases for todays enterprise applications to become device independent and web based, so do the security demands for those applications. And don't think that it means your time and budget to achieve those goals increase along with them. The Light Weight Web framework for CICS™ allows you to web enable your applications quickly while letting them remain on the mainframe and its unparalleled security. The framework extends CICS Web Support with funcionalities to save time and to easily integrate your existing code into a modern web application.
The framework
The framework consists mainly of
  • a file system for storing your web content
  • a user interface for managing that web content
  • a runtime environment in CICS™ to host the content
  • a set of functions to allow your application to interact and enhance the web content
Edit, save, refresh
Using the LWW plugin for Eclipse you can easily create and update your web pages' content. Simply navigate to the right folder, double click the intended file, make your change and save the file. You can then refresh the page in your browser and see the change immediately. No need to upload files to the mainframe, or refresh cached files in CICS, just edit - save - refresh. That goes for images and other binary content as well. There's also no need to worry about code page conversion, the framework takes care of that too.
Here's a screen shot of the Eclipse plugin in action:

The LWW Install transaction
CICS Web Support usually requires many URIMAP and DOCTEMPLATE definitions. Not only is it difficult to get them just right, but they're usually not the programmer's responsibility. But it's the programmer that designs the application structure. LWW solves this problem by generating the necessary definitions for you dynamically every time you run the LWW Install transaction. And it does so based on the attributes of the files in LWW's file system which the programmer can update using the Eclipse plugin.

Easy security
Each request for a web page runs under any CICS transaction code that you choose. The same security that applies to your existing transactions also apply to these. You can give a folder a default transaction code and have all files in that folder and its subfolders run with that default, no matter what the file types (html, javascript, images, anything). You can then override this default transaction code on any file you choose, that way you could run an entire section of your application with just one transaction definition, except for that high risk update page that requires extra authorization. After you change a transaction code using the Eclipse plugin, simply run the LWW Install transaction, and the framework will update the URIMAP definitions where needed.

Do the HTTP work
In order to send an HTTP response to a browser, a CICS application needs to create a CICS DOCUMENT with the content, send HTTP headers and send the DOCUMENT with correct code page. LWW does all this work for you. It also allows you include separate files into your web page, LWW will take care of inserting those files into the CICS DOCUMENT at any given position. That way you only have to code a reoccurring part of your application once, and include it in any other page.

Application integration
Your existing applications are probably written in a third generation programming language like Cobol or PL/1 or even in assembler. And although HTML and XML are easy languages to learn and use, they require a lot of text, which is hard to do in those languages. And really you don't want your static content in your programs anyway. LWW allows you to code special tags in your web pages like the <% LINK(pgm) %> tag. After constructing a response to a browser, but before sending it, LWW will pass the constructed CICS DOCUMENT to the application program you name in the LINK tag. Your program can then replace that tag with for example content it reads from a database.


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