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SHADOW DIRECT 4.8 ENHANCES MAINFRAME ACCESS FOR J2EE/.NET.

NEON(R) Systems Inc. (Nasdaq:NESY), Sugar Land, Texas, a provider of data access, legacy renewal and OS/390 enterprise system management solutions, has released Shadow Direct(R) v.4.8, the company's unique open architecture platform for direct, transparent access to mainframe data sources. Shadow Direct v.4.8 provides business customers with an efficient, easy-to-use and flexible solution for integrating OS/390 data sources and transaction environments into composite applications, such as webservers, application servers, package applications or client/server computing environments.

Key Features of Shadow Direct v.4.8

The latest release of Shadow Direct v.4.8 offers a number of new customer-driven features including the following:

-- Shadow JCA Adapter -- Shadow Direct JCA adapters support the current JCA 1.0 specification, providing JCA system contracts like connection management and transaction management. In addition, the new adapters also support features of the proposed JCA 1.5 specification like connection pooling, two-phase commit support, support for in-bound communication and support for XML and Metadata. The new adapters allow JCA-compliant application servers to integrate with Enterprise Information Systems (EIS) built on mainframe data and transactions.

-- Linux Client Driver -- The NEON Client driver has been ported to Linux running on S/390,and has been modified to support the IBM HiperSocket technology for high-speed communications between Linux resident J2EE application servers on S/390 and the OS/390 partition.

-- Integrating Business Logic Embedded in NATURAL Programs -- The Shadow ACI Support Module provides access to NATURAL transactions residing in CICS environments enabling organizations to leverage existing business logic with distributed applications.

-- Data Transmission Encryption with SSL -- Shadow offers hardware-based encryption utilizing IBM's cryptographic coprocessor with GSK SSL. CPU utilization is dramatically reduced by using the off board cryptographic coprocessor to handle CPU intensive encryption routines. The Shadow Product Family supports encryption of data transmissions using SSL, securing critical data transmitted through firewalls.

Future enhancements to the Shadow Product Family will embrace XML for integration of all OS/390 data. Shadow's initial capabilities for XML will include automatic generation of XML documents from OS/390 applications that run within CICS and IMS, and provision of Web Services and SOAP for OS/390.

"In our global economy, customers want access to data from anywhere without regard to where that information is stored. With critical, corporate data still predominantly stored within the OS/390 environment, it is NEON's mission to unlock this data in a way that makes it interoperable with new technologies including Web Services built on J2EE and .NET," said Mark Cresswell, vice president and general manager of NEON Systems' Shadow Division. "Through a process of continuous, customer-focused development, we're delivering technology with superior performance, scalability, security and interoperability to extend the value of existing legacy infrastructure."

Merrill Lynch, one of the world's leading financial management and advisory companies, maintains one of the largest client/server to mainframe production environments. The company turned to NEON Systems' Shadow when it needed a safe, simple solution to provide mainframe data access to its users.

"Shadow Direct ran on every platform we considered and is simple and economical to use," said Jim Crew, Merrill Lynch vice president of global data management. "With Shadow Direct, it doesn't matter which Merrill Lynch department shows up at our door with a mainframe access need, because we know we're going to have a solution for them."

Additional Features of Shadow Direct v.4.8

Along with its unique monitoring and automated management capabilities, Shadow(R) Direct v.4.8 has several enhanced features, including the following:

-- SQL Access to ADABAS and VSAM -- This feature enables SQL direct access to ADABAS and VSAM files along with Meta data support. Distributed tools, based on discretely generating SQL, can easily utilize Shadow Direct to build business applications leveraging data in ADABAS and VSAM.

-- SQLJ API Support -- Shadow Direct now supports the SQLJ API for accessing data and transactions on OS/390, reducing programming efforts for and complexity of relational data access for Java programs.

-- Shadow Enterprise Transactions -- This powerful feature provides data integrity for distributed enterprise databases. Enterprises running J2EE applications can take advantage of the feature using Java Transaction Service (JTS). This feature also includes support for IMS databases.

-- Shadow RPCs for CICS/TS Environments -- Shadow (RPC) modules can now run in CICS/TS. This capability complements existing Shadow CICS/TS interfaces, which provide integration at the presentation layer via 3270 Bridge and business logic layer via EXCI, allowing larger data transmissions, multi-row result sets, and an OLTP environment for existing Shadow RPCs.

-- IMS Database and Transaction Integration -- Shadow supports additional IBM-standard APIs for integration with IMS databases and transactions. IMS/DB databases can participate in distributed Shadow Enterprise Transactions via ODBA to maintain data integrity across the enterprise. Shadow further supports access to IMS Transactions via IBM's latest communication API, OTMA, in addition to APPC.

-- NEON Client Enhancements -- Several new capabilities are available for developers using the NEON Client including reduce network round trips by providing support for multiple result sets, access to multimedia stored as DB2 Large Objects (LOB) and dynamically setting client-side tracing.

As the "gold standard" for OS/390 interoperability, Shadow Direct v.4.8 provides direct access to ADABAS, CICS, DB2, IMS/DB, IMS/TM, NATURAL and VSAM from a single architecture without the necessity of a mid-tier gateway. The standard integration APIs employed by Shadow Direct include JCA, JDBC, SQLJ, ODBC and SQL. The JDBC driver for Shadow Direct v.4.8 is certified by Sun as J2EE compliant. In addition, the ODBC driver for Shadow(R) Direct v.4.8 has successfully passed internal testing to support Microsoft's .NET framework and Visual Studio.NET.

NEON Systems is committed to open industry standards for major application environments including the Internet, client/server and System/390. NEON Systems products support ODBC, HTML/HTTP and JDBC. NEON is committed to supporting the evolving J2EE, JCA and JDBC standards as well as Microsoft's .NET standard via access to mission-critical, mainframe-based data. The company continually participates in product research and development to support commonly used and emerging standards. Currently, NEON Systems has senior developers working within Expert Groups of the Java Community Process to help define and evolve the J2EE Connector Architecture Specification.

To find out about Shadow Direct, visit http://www.neonsys.com/go.asp?30 .

About NEON Systems

NEON Systems Inc. (Nasdaq:NESY) is a leading provider of powerful data access, legacy renewal and OS/390 enterprise system management solutions. Today, more than 40 of the Fortune 100 are using NEON Systems solutions to enable transparent access to System/390 data and transactions from the Internet or distributed computing environments -- all without custom coding. NEON's IMS/CICS utilities enhance and maintain high availability, integrity and performance while consistently outperforming competitor products. NEON's iWave(R) Helpdesk Integrator product provides a powerful integration solution for organizations with multiple helpdesks.

For more information, visit http://www.neonsys.com or call 800-505-NEON or 281/634-8266.
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Comment:SHADOW DIRECT 4.8 ENHANCES MAINFRAME ACCESS FOR J2EE/.NET.
Publication:Mainframe Computing
Article Type:Product Announcement
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2002
Words:1154
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