IBM Gives HATS the Nod As Host Publisher Is Retired from HIS
January 6, 2004 Alex Woodie
As expected, IBM has eliminated Host Publisher with the latest release of the iSeries and multiplatform editions of WebSphere Host Integration Solution. Host Publisher was the odd tool out as IBM sought to simplify a confusing array of competing Web-enablement tools. This paves the way for Host Access Transformation Services (HATS) to become the true Blue aficionado’s tool of choice for screen rejuvenation jobs, for legacy OS/400 and Unix applications.
WebSphere Host Integration Solution is a collection of software for accessing, integrating, and publishing application screens for OS/400, Unix, and mainframe applications. While Host Integration Solution contained other Web-enablement tools, Host Publisher was the suite’s heavy hitter when it came to preparing green-screen applications for the network world.
Last November, IBM announced it would stop selling Host Publisher Version 4.0 on February 11, 2004. Technical support for the product, which was introduced in September 2002, will cease on September 27, 2004. In December, IBM announced that Host Publisher Version 4.1 (which shipped electronically December 19, 2003, and will become available as shrink-wrapped products on January 31, 2004) will no longer include Host Publisher.
IBM’s replacement for Host Publisher is HATS, a rules-based screen converter that IBM officials say is more productive and easier to use than Host Publisher. HATS has shipped with Host Integration Solution since the version 3 release of the tool, and IBM has been enhancing it ever since. Last June, IBM introduced a lower-cost, iSeries-only version of Host Integration Solution to encourage OS/400 shops to Web-enable their legacy applications (see “IBM Introduces iSeries-Only Edition of Host Integration Suite”).
Host Integration Solution 4.1 includes a new release of HATS, Version 5.0. Enhancements IBM has made to Host Access Transformation Services with Version 5.0 include the capability to integrate screens from multiple host applications into a single Web interface (previously the realm of Host Publisher), enhanced integration and support for WebSphere Portal, better access to host transactions through Web services standards, and new support for the customization of default rules.
Companies using Host Publisher 4.0 will be glad to hear IBM has not forgotten about them. IBM says HATS 5.0 allows for an automated migration of Host Publisher 4.0 projects to HATS 5.0.
There is a strong push for services with the 4.1 Host Integration Solution release. Depending on how big your company is, and how much money you spend with Big Blue, you are entitled to two to five days of services from IBM’s Host Integration Services Group to set up your Host Integration Solution software. Services must be requested within 90 days of purchase of Host Integration Solution for iSeries and must be completed within 150 days of purchase.
IBM has also changed the name of its HATS product in light of this brave new services world. IBM’s literature for previous releases of the tool refer to “Host Access Transformation Server,” but the new literature calls the product Host Access Transformation Services.
Host Integration Solution 4.1 also includes Personnel Communications for Windows Version 5.7 and WebSphere Host On-Demand Version 8.0, which IBM first shipped with another collection of software, Host Access Client Package for iSeries 4.0, in September 2003 (see “IBM Updates Fat and Thin Client 5250 Emulation Offerings”).
Other components that make up Host Integration Solution 4.1 include IBM Communication Server, WebSphere Application Server Express (WAS Express) Version 5.02, WebSphere Studio Site Developer (WSSD), and WebSphere Development Studio Client for iSeries (WDSc). WSSD and WSDc are considered components of WAS Express.
IBM offers two ways to purchase licenses for Host Integration Solution. Companies deploying the software over a LAN inside the firewall are encouraged to purchase registered copies of Host Integration Solution, while those deploying it over the Internet are better off buying concurrent user seats. Pricing for the registered user version is $218 per user. Pricing for the concurrent user version is $320 per user.