In this section we will look at Host Integration Server.
What is it?
Host Integration Server is about integration between existing IBM host systems and Microsoft technologies. HIS acts as a gateway between the Microsoft server ecosystem and the IBM ecosystem but provides some features at different levels to support different integration scenarios.
There is a page in the documentation for HIS which gives a really good high level overview of HIS. Click Here
HIS contains features which cover the following areas:
- Network Integration
- Data Integration
- Application Integration
- Message Integration
Each of these areas have components designed to cover different scenarios of integration with IBM products. There is more details of the features in the HIS documentation – Click Here
From an integration architecture perspective data, application and message integration are the most likely scenarios you will be interested in.
The big strength for HIS is that if you are doing integration between Microsoft and IBM then HIS can provide an infrastructure which can allow you to work with a wide range of integration scenarios. This flexibility at a reasonable cost is a good strength for this product.
On the Microsoft stack there is not really any alternative to HIS and it is quite mature now being in its 6th + major release.
HIS does not have a dependency on BizTalk from a technical perspective although sometimes people believe this is the case.
HIS is a product which is included in a bundle with the BizTalk product. If you buy a BizTalk license then you also get a license for HIS.
There is no technical dependancy between the products so you can simply buy a BizTalk license and use HIS in stand alone without installing BizTalk anywhere. Some customers have apparently saved money by buying BizTalk branch edition which was cheaper than HIS used to be. The bundle together should give you capability to implement a wide range of scenarios.
The Microsoft licensing FAQ covers more on this – Click Here
The following technologies are similar or have a relationship with ——–
WCF is able to use various support for HIS to use WCF channels which support aspects of IBM integration such as Websphere MQ
BizTalk is able to use aspects of HIS to implement the WebSphere MQ adapter.