ARCAD Software launches ARCAD API,
Web service generation solution for IBM i

Annecy, France and Peterborough NH, USA – 30 June 2020 – ARCAD Software, international leader in DevOps and Modernization solutions, today announced the launch of ARCAD API, for auto- generation of RESTful Web services directly from any native IBM i 5250 application interface.

ARCAD API is a “no-code” solution for organizations needing to rapidly interface core business systems on IBM i with other applications and devices. This makes the solution particularly well adapted in situations with no access to application source code – such as vendor packages – or where the source code is too complex or too critical to modify.

Philippe Magne, ARCAD CEO, explained the goal behind the new connectivity solution: “Many of our customers need a rapid way to deliver key data and functionality from their IBM i systems to consumers anywhere – cloud, mobile, or workflow engines, BPM and ESB. Some of them have CRM, ERP or banking software systems on different platforms that just need to exchange data to keep in sync. In other cases, business processes have changed meaning that a whole new level of workflow orchestration is needed to avoid repeating the entry of data, while adding calculations and functionality on the fly. Others just need a Web service interface to give real-time access to transactional data from mobile devices.”

5250 Scenario recording

Using ARCAD API, non-developers can generate Web services easily in a matter of minutes. The solution records user actions on 5250 screens, automatically recognizing the fields and metadata used. From the API studio, users can drag and drop the input and output fields to create the web service descriptor. ARCAD API also handles lists and subfiles, auto-learning which fields to remember and managing unexpected screens. With just a few clicks, it is easy to generate a RESTful Web service, test, and view execution results in JSON format.

Magne highlights why retaining native 5250 access is especially important on IBM i: “Some IT professionals assume that they can bypass IBM i applications to access transactional data with simple SQL queries over DB2. They are surprised to find that the logic and business rules required to manage this data isn’t actually IN the database as with data-centric systems – instead it is explicitly coded within the RPG or COBOL programs. So to keep the same level of reliability they would need to re-develop that same condition handling and business rules – and find those rules first! This is when ARCAD API is most attractive, as it offers an easy way to retain all the custom IBM i logic by connecting the Web service to the native 5250 stream“.

Auto-learning and version control

The beauty of ARCAD API is that no specific IBM i development skills are needed. With just a working knowledge of how to use the IBM i application it is possible to generate and deploy a set of Web services within just a few minutes of using the tool. This makes front-end developers rapidly autonomous, delivering real value to the business with minimal time and effort.

ARCAD API has several key functions:

  • Generation of composite APIs from multiple screens, data sources and applications
  • Auto-learning of fields and metadata
  • Self-documentation of Web services
  • Built-in version control
  • Dependency tracking, for easy deployment of Web service updates
  • Deployment across any application infrastructure, on premise, cloud or hybrid

API Gateway

For optimal security, performance and scalability in mission critical environments, ARCAD API is compatible with any API Gateway, including Kong, Axway Amplify and Mulesoft. Tiered access control ensures SLA compliance across your entire user base. User access is secured with single sign-on from any approved source. Monitoring of API usage assists in the monetization of your application services.

Application Modernization

Asked whether ARCAD API by its very nature goes against the ‘application transformation‘ tooling in ARCAD Software’s IBM i modernization range, Magne concludes: ”Some of our customers have no access to application source code, and for those that do, they are sometimes reluctant to divert their development resources to the restructuring work needed to expose key IBM i application functionality as Web services. For those customers, ARCAD API is a non-invasive solution that offers near-instant connectivity at minimal risk and expense”.

Bimodal support

Magne adds: “In some cases, our customers have adopted a dual approach, using ARCAD API for rapid results while continuing to modernize and restructure their application code in parallel. Our IBM i DevOps range helps them manage this kind of ‘bimodal’ development across multiple platforms easily. They can share a common DevOps pipeline across both legacy and open platforms, while ARCAD manages the concurrent versioning and application dependencies automatically for them”.

Learn More – ARCAD API datasheet

About ARCAD Software

Celebrating 28 years serving the IBM i community, ARCAD Software combines DevOps and Modernization in an integrated, in-house developed product range, distributed by IBM worldwide.

With ARCAD solutions:

  • Automate a CI/CT/CD pipeline on IBM i with application analysis, build, test, and deploy
  • Share Git, Jenkins and Jira across all platforms IBM i, Linux, UNIX, Windows, z/OS
  • Transform RPG or Synon applications to modern Free Form RPG and SQL
  • Modernize green-screens and generate Webservices
  • Discover and Anonymize personal data
  • Synchronize Deployment of all your code AND data, on-premise or cloud

Press Contact: Olenka Van Schendel, WW Marketing Director