LANSA Composer delivers the power of business process integration technology in a visual environment so designers and business analysts, rather than developers, can rapidly automate and integrate business processes. It is a simple and cost-effective way to get business transactions in and out of your ERP system with less human effort.
What is LANSA Composer?
LANSA Composer is a design and execution platform for integrating business activities involving transport, data transformation and custom business processing. It satisfies the four key requirements of a business process integration solution:
- Transport — moving data between source and target.
- Transformation — mapping data between many different formats.
- Process Orchestration — sequential and conditional execution of process flow.
- Administration — auditing, error-handling, logging, security and system operations.
LANSA Composer is compatible with ERP systems and common interfaces; like EDI, FTP and email. Smart processes handle unexpected events and interrupted sequences can resume from the point of failure and run to completion without loss of data or transaction integrity.
What can LANSA Composer do?
Using LANSA Composer, business analysts assemble business processes to do the following:
- Exchange business information and transactions in common and agreed formats with trading partners, internal business units and other business applications on the same or different computing platforms.
- Transform business information between XML, EDI (UN/EDIFACT and ANSI X12), HL7 (legacy EDI and XML V3.x), XBRL, Excel, text and database formats.
- Invoke Web services, whether publicly available, published by trading partners or internal to your organization.
- Orchestrate transport, data transformation and other activities, pass variable data between them and apply conditional and structural directives to create multi-step business processes that can be executed and managed as a single unit.
Business analysts use a simple process design canvas to wrap business logic as activities and combine them with industry standard data transformation and transport services to create business processes.
Process administrators and operations staff use the Document Manager to monitor and manage the transaction document flows.
LANSA Composer is built on LANSA Integrator which provides the services to support virtually every transport mechanism and data format you might encounter.
Who should use LANSA Composer?
LANSA Composer is intended for use by business analysts to design and implement solutions to integration and business process integration problems. It is not necessary to write program code for solutions that use LANSA Composer’s standard transport and data transformation activities. The design and implementation of transport and data transformation tasks and orchestrating them in business processes is accomplished using a visual user interface with drag-and-drop capability. Non-programmers can deliver the power of business process integration without coding. If you can click, you can connect.
Extend LANSA Composer for custom business process integration
LANSA Composer can be extended to encompass your custom business processing. You define custom activities that encapsulate the processing built by your developers. These custom activities are orchestrated in the same way as the LANSA-supplied transport and data transformation activities.
LANSA Composer includes a developer toolkit that integrates A2A and B2B transactions through XML and over 30 plug-in Java services. It hides the technical aspects of integration and gives the flexibility to integrate transactions with your LANSA, C, RPG and COBOL applications. The wizard-based Web service development tools let you consume Web services or expose existing LANSA or 3GL code as a Web service.
When used with aXes, LANSA Composer activities can automatically interact with 5250 applications to retrieve and send data. For example, take an order from an EDI document and enter it into an ERP system. To the 5250 application, LANSA Composer is a "person" working at a terminal. LANSA Composer automates the order process without requiring any changes to the 5250 application.
Processing Sequences can use the call activity to invoke LANSA functions that execute in a LANSA configuration on a separate server and pass variable data in both directions. For example, the LANSA Composer server can be Windows and call functions on an IBM i server. This feature expands deployment flexibility for LANSA Composer and extends its access to functions on other servers.
LANSA Composer lends itself well to an environment in which building custom business processing can be delegated to a services development group. Service developers use the developer toolkit to build the custom activities. Business analysts use the custom activities when assembling the processes.
Manage transaction document processing
LANSA Composer is equipped with a built-in transaction document database and a Document Manager.
The Document Manager provides the ability to monitor and interrogate inbound and outbound transaction documents. The Document Manger console shows the transaction documents associated with each inbound and outbound document flow. Using the Document Manager’s search facilities, you can search the database for transaction documents by a variety of criteria, such as by trading partner, status, transaction document and content type.
LANSA Composer includes the ability to restart a failed processing sequence from the point of failure, for example, in the event of a communication failure with a remote FTP host. This capability is exploited in the Document Manager to enable you to resume processing for failed transaction documents after diagnosing and correcting the cause of the failure.
Automating business processes reduces costs
Automated processes reduce costs by minimizing the need for human intervention and managing exceptions.
LANSA Composer boosts productivity by providing most of the activities companies need for business process integration. With ready-made activities business analysts assemble the processes without writing program code. Assembling a process is faster than writing program code to manage the process.
Adapts to business activity change
Because business analysts assemble processes, changing the processes is a straightforward task. Therefore, the processes are more readily adaptable to changes in business activity. In contrast, hard coded processes require developers to write new code and/or rewrite existing code before the process can change. Processes are less adaptable when more people are involved in implementing the changes.
Powerful visual mapping tool
- Drag-and-drop, graphical user interface for transformation mapping.
- Transformation maps integrate business processes with transport and other activities.
- Transform information between external and internal formats as it is received or before it is sent.
- Extract information from corporate databases to send as XML, EDI and other document formats to trading partners.
- Transform incoming XML, EDI and other document formats, and write directly to your database for processing by existing applications, and much more.
- Multilingual support for user interface.
Simple but powerful process orchestration capability
- Define processing sequences visually using the Processing Sequence Editor – without coding.
- Processing sequences combine activities and data transformation maps with processing directives such as loops and conditions.
- A complete multi-step business process can be defined, executed and managed as a single processing unit of work, without programming.
- Restart processing sequences from any point.
- FTP and HTTP transport.
- POP3 for inbound and SMTP for outbound email.
- SMS (mobile phone text messages).
- Inbound and outbound transactions via message brokering systems such as IBM WebSphere MQ.
- File management.
- Transaction document management.
- Variable manipulation.
- Processing and data transformation.
- Drive 5250 applications automatically when coupled with aXes.
Administration and operations
- Browser-based console to monitor processing sequence logs and execution for errors and operator intervention.
- Document Manager for monitoring inbound and outbound transaction documents.
Configurations and trading partner definitions
- Configurations encapsulate the variable information required for common transport activities and for database connections.
- Define source and target identification and addressing as well as security credentials.
- Variable transport and database configurations and trading partner definitions give maximum flexibility.
- Create as many configurations as you need to define the information to connect or communicate with other parties.
Extensible and customizable
- Activities, along with data transformation maps, implement specific business functions that are executed by processing sequences.
- Use immediately with the supplied activities to exchange business information such as orders and invoices with other parties, including external trading partners and internal business units, using standard protocols.
- A simple interface is provided to enable you to "wrap" your specific business logic as custom activities.
- Map data between disparate formats including: XML, EDI (UN/EDIFACT and ANSI X12), HL7 (legacy EDI and XML V3.x), XBRL, SAP iDOCS, IATA PADIS, Microsoft Excel 2007 (OO XML files), text files, Web service functions and a wide range of databases including IBM DB2 and Microsoft SQL Server.
- Execute LANSA functions on remote systems.
- LANSA Composer Server runs on IBM i or Windows and requires a Java Virtual Machine.
- IBM i server with i/OS version 5.4 or later with JVM 1.5 or later.
- Windows Server 2003 or later with JVM 1.5 or later.
- LANSA Composer Client runs on XP, Vista or Windows 7.