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Formatter for MQSeriesIntegrator:
Managing and Integrating Data Across the Enterprise

  • Interprets data from any source and makes the data accessible to every part of an organisation.

  • Delivers dynamic, "on-the-fly" reformatting of complex messages.

  • Supports a wide range of datatypes on most commercial platforms.

  • Enables one-time setup for all formats using GUIs and tables.

  • Works transparently to any user application.

  • MQSeriesIntegrator: The new product from IBM

    MQSeries Integrator, the new product from IBM is a toolkit that provides the components you need to implement enterprise-wide application integration. MQSeriesIntegrator includes MQSeries and Rules* and Formatter*.

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    MQSeries Integrator Formatter: Making Message Management Easy

    As you move to multi-tier computing in complex and competitive business environments, moving data across the enterprise becomes increasingly more difficult. Because message formats are usually specific to each application and platform, cooperating applications need to know about each other in order to work together across the entire enterprise.

    Cross-system data integration and transfer can impede building and maintaining large-scale solutions. For example, if an accounting application must receive messages from several front-end systems, a traditional approach requires programming each front-end system for the format and content needed by the receiving application.

    If these front-end applications communicate to several other applications, they must accommodate and track changes to each application. The complexity of managing change in such an environment grows geometrically with scale and technical diversity and a network built this way is extremely resistant to change. MQSeries Integrator is a multi-platform toolkit that enables new applications and legacy systems to exchange data without the need for significant communications programming effort.

    The Formatter* for MQSeries Integrator (or Formatter for short) delivers a dynamic formatting mechanism that can be integrated with intelligent message routing and reliable message delivery, greatly simplifying message exchange across the enterprise. Each sender and receiver sees only their own send and receive formats, while MQSeries Integrator accomplishes the transformation.

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    Format Repository

    MQSeries Integrator is easy to manage because the MQSeries Integrator Formatter definitions reside in a standard relational database, leveraging the performance of the database engine, making access easy (even with many format definitions). MQSeries Integrator provides a graphical user interface (GUI) to manipulate the format definitions and users can work with SQL and standard report/query tools to track the usage of the Formatter components.

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    Scaleable, Portable and Easy to Learn, Use and Manage

    The MQSeries Integrator Formatter is entirely table-driven and dynamic. Using Formatter configuration tools, users describe message layouts, both input and output, rather than the process of conversion. The Formatter then dynamically decomposes the input, based on its form definition, into its atomic components, then assembles the output message based on that definition. MQSeries Integrator users never have to tell the Formatter how to operate. This model offers several critical usability advantages over common script language-based formatters, including a short learning curve, scaleability, portability and manageability.

    With the MQSeries Integrator Formatter, data interchange is a breeze!

    • GUI screens for administration and maintenance ensure ease of use. The MQSeries Integrator Formatter describes messages, rather than message conversion, allowing users to format messages without an extensive training/learning period.
    • With MQSeries Integrator each input or output message is described only once; new messages are described to Formatter configuration tables so it's not necessary to describe conversion paths to all other formats. These features mean exceptional scaleability.
    • Since the Formatter doesn't use embedded procedural language compilers - which may not exist or may not be consistent on all needed platforms - MQSeries Integrator is extremely portable, especially meaningful for complex client/server environments.

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    Power and Performance

    The MQSeries Integrator Formatter is powerful, offering users the capability to manage data faster and easier. Because the MQSeries Integrator Formatter is table-driven, formats are described once and only once, making it easy to maintain data precisely. Also, data transformation between any described formats is dynamic, and the GUI-based format definition and configuration screens are easy to learn and use, reducing training time and making users more productive.

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    About Basic Formatter Functionality

    The MQSeries Integrator Formatter handles multiple message format types from multiple data value sources offering the ability to convert and parse messages. The Formatter also has format administration options. Multiple message format types are supported, such as fixed format (e.g. COBOL records); delimited format (e.g. C null-delimited strings); variable formats and tagged, delimited, repetitive and recursive formats (e.g. S.W.I.F.T. type messages).

    The MQSeries Integrator Formatter handles a variety of input and output message format types (including conversion):

    • Multi-part messages.
    • Positional formats.
    • Variable formats.
    • Recursive/repeating messages.
    • Recursive/repeating columns within a message.
    • Tagged columns.
    • Mixed, fixed and tagged format message parts.

    A message may consist of multiple formats, each of different types. For example, an MQSeries Integrator message may include a fixed header and tagged detail. Multiple data values for input or output messages can originate from:

    • Fields in input messages.
    • Literals.
    • Simple algebraic calculations (on output).
    • Field-level exit routines such as complex calculation, table lookups and format recursion (on output).

    Messages can be converted from any format described to the Formatter to any other format described to the Formatter (if fields in the input data are missing, you can set up defaults for those fields on output). An application can call the Formatter directly, passing the message data and format name to the application. The Formatter then parses the message and returns the data values. MQSeries Integrator uses this feature internally when other MQSeries Integrator layers, such as the Rules* for MQSeries Integrator, need the values of data.

    MQSeries Integrator provides a set of GUI-based format administration tools for specification of input and output formats:

    • Add/modify field.
    • Add/modify tag.
    • Add/modify delimiter.
    • Add/modify format.
    • Group complex formats.

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    MQSeries Integrator Formatter and Your Business

    Your business supports and manages a panorama of applications and data sources, and data originates from every part of your business enterprise. MQSeries Integrator helps retain your invesent across that computing enterprise, including new applications, legacy applications, databases, platforms and networks.

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    MQSeries Integrator Formatter: Benefits Summary

    • Provides dynamic, "on-the-fly" reformatting of complex messages.
    • Delivers portability across disparate computing environments.
    • Makes data reformatting invisible to the application.
    • Leverages RDBMS performance.
    • Shortens learning curve and reduces training costs.
    • Simplifies message exchange in complex environments.
    • Supports a wide range of datatypes on most commercial platforms.
    • Handles data explicitly (down to the byte level).

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    Where to Find More Information

    IBM United Kingdom Ltd.
    Hursley Park
    Hampshire SO21 2JN

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