In the March/April 2011 Mainframe Executive article, “Efficient Business Processing With Batch Modernization,” we explained the term “modern batch” and offered insights into why there’s a growing need to modernize batch processing. This article builds on that and explores IBM's Java batch product offering: WebSphere Compute Grid (WCG).
A batch container solution, WCG builds on the foundation of WebSphere Application Server (WAS). Like WAS, WCG is offered across many hardware platforms and operating systems. Figure 1 provides a high-level conceptual overview of WCG that we’ll expand upon throughout this article.
WCG offers these attributes for modern batch initiatives:
- Batch composed on a Java programming foundation
- Support for modular, reusable batch assets
- Batch programming access to Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) services
- The ability to initiate and control batch execution through various interfaces
- The ability to seamlessly integrate modern batch execution with traditional batch.
You can choose from several approaches to executing Java programs in a batch mode. Most people consider Java batch execution in isolation from other information processing. However, WCG is designed to support Java batch execution in a manner consistent with existing batch processes and online processing.
WCG is a functional addition to the WAS foundation; it seeks to leverage what WAS already provides and is supported on all platforms WAS supports. Further, WCG lets your batch applications leverage a set of IBM-written batch middleware so you can focus on your core business and application batch requirements and avoid writing your own custom middleware. The separation of concerns between the batch middleware tier and application logic ensures better reuse, flexibility, and application maintenance.
WCG is a comprehensive Java batch platform, comprised of the following components (see Figure 2):