• June 25, 2022

Top five myths of screen-scraping: you can’t do SOA

Over the past few weeks we’ve been discussing the challenges facing companies that rely on older green-screen applications to manage their critical infrastructure, and four of the myths that surround “screen-scraping” applications. Today we’ll cover the fifth (and final) myth on our list.

Myth #5: you can’t do SOA with screen-scraping

Thus far our series has focused on new graphical user interfaces for existing green-screen applications. Some screen-scraping solutions also offer the ability to service-enable existing
applications. Service enablement means taking an existing application function, like “look up a customer address” or “add an item to an order,” and encapsulating it into a callable service
(typically a web service). The service is then made available to other applications as part of a larger service-oriented architecture (SOA) project. When other applications need information
from the host application, they call the required application functions and receive a reply via web services. The underlying host application remains unchanged.

LegaSuite GUIWhile this is a different type of modernization for an existing application, all of the challenges that apply to creating a new GUI also apply to creating new services. Traditional screen scraping approaches still don’t address the fundamental challenges — automating service mapping to the right screens and fields, synchronizing host changes with the services that rely on these screens and fields, and being able to accurately estimate the level of effort required to create and maintain services. Screen-scraping is also traditionally thought to be too slow to meet the service level expectations of a modern SOA. This is typically because traditional service-enablement functionality is bolted on to an existing screen scraper-based GUI enablement solution rather than executed separately.

In order for a service enablement solution to work in high-volume environments that require frequent changes to business logic, it must be capable of busting all of the myths presented in this white paper. It also should execute services independently of any GUI modernization layer to insure maximum performance.


If you’re looking for screen-scraping solution but are wary of the development hurdles or the quality of the result, Rocket LegaSuite will change your outlook. LegaSuite goes beyond screen scraping to offer a complete Web and service-enablement solution that can modernize your existing text-based application portfolio.

If you’re planning a Web or service-enablement project for an existing host-based application—whether it’s based on the mainframe, System i, OpenVMS or UNIX-VT platform–consider the
advantages LegaSuite offers:

  • Synchronized development and maintenance for screens and their corresponding GUIs and services
  • Automated screen identification and management
  • Accurate host-to-GUI and host-to-service field mapping based on true field names instead of row/column positioning
  • Detailed project planning and management capabilities

You can visit our website to learn more about our LegaSuite portfolio of Application Modernization tools.

Whitepaper Download

Rocket Software 160 Posts

Rocket Software empowers organizations to create legendary impact in the world through innovation in legacy technologies. With deep expertise in IBM Z, IBM Power, and database and connectivity solutions, Rocket solutions power tens of thousands of global businesses, solving real problems and making real-world impact. With more than 70% of the world’s IT workload running on legacy platforms, Rocket helps companies and public-sector organizations innovate using the technology and data they already have, so they can always be ready for what comes next. Rocket customers include 44 of the Fortune 50, representing industries including Banking and Finance, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Transportation and Logistics, Retail and Insurance. A Bain Capital portfolio company, Rocket is headquartered in the Boston area with centers of excellence strategically located throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.


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