SOLA - Mainframe SOA - Performance and Reliability


SOLA has been in production for five years – no production failures have been experienced.  To date, billions of transactions have been processed by SOLA.

SOLA includes a compliant non-validating parser (the SOLA DOM parser).  Extensive performance tests were conducted to determine the impact of parsing XML on a mainframe.  The results were as follows:

  • The SOLA assembler parser takes around 0.0001 CPU seconds to parse 1,000 bytes.
  • Parsing 1,000 bytes (a typical input XML message size) adds less than 1% to most transactions.
  • At a typical chargeback rate of $0.20 per CPU second, parsing 1,000 bytes would cost $0.000020. That amounts to a minuscule $20 to parse 1 million transactions.
  • SOLA is built for high performance and high transaction volume.  At Merrill Lynch SOLA runs up to 10 million transactions per day.  Over 1,000 Web Service operations are used by more than 60 mission critical applications.

To test the difference in performance between SOLA and CICS TS 3.2, we wrote a COBOL program containing various data types.  The goal of the program was to generate a large XML response to put both products through their paces.  When we attempted to import the program using CICS Web services assistant, the import failed because the program contained many unsupported data types.  SOLA imported the same program without any issues.

To make the comparison fair, we altered the program to remove the data types that IBM couldn’t handle, then imported the modified program using both Web services assistant and SOLA.  This program was similar to the original, but lacked some functionality because of IBM’s limitations.

We ran the program 1000 times in both environments:

IBM: 46.1 seconds for 1000 web service invocations, or 0.046 CPU seconds per call.

SOLA:  7.5 seconds for 1000 web service invocations, or 0.007 CPU seconds per call.

RESULT:  SOLA was approximately 615% faster than CICS TS v3.2.

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