Management Summary

unemploymentBenefitsBy law, an out-of-work individual should only receive unemployment benefits from a single state.  The Unemployment Information Interstate Connection Network (UI-ICON) is a national organization that allows for this check.  The business requirement for this project was to provide a connection from a State’s legacy mainframe application to UI-ICON when the legacy mainframe did not support UI-ICON’s communication technology.


  • Unemployment benefits are provided by the State.
  • It is illegal for an applicant to receive unemployment benefits from more than one state at the same time.
  • The UI-ICON, located in Florida, serves as a message switch for information about unemployment benefits applicants and the state in which the applicant is enrolled.
  • Many States, upon receiving an unemployment benefits application, send pertinent information to UI-ICON to verify with other States that the individual is not already receiving unemployment benefits assistance.
  • The State’s front-end software that communicated with UI-ICON was out of compliance. It provided the above functionality but was running on unsupported software.
  • The back-end software, running on a legacy mainframe, had no compliance issues.

Business Objective

  • Ensure that unemployment benefits applicants are not already receiving unemployment benefits from other states

Functional Requirements

  • Ensure that the front-end system that communicates with UI-ICON is in compliance with IT best practices
  • Ensure that the new system provides better or the same response time as the existing system
  • Ensure that the new system functions with the existing site’s UI-ICON testing tools

Technical Requirements

  • Communicate with UI-ICON using UI-ICON-defined Web Services protocol
  • Communicate with Unisys MCP Server using proprietary CCF-TCP protocol
  • Require no changes to the back-end legacy mainframe application
  • Replace the current out-of-compliance front-end environment with a system that utilizes
    • Windows Server® 2008 R2
    • Development via Visual Studio® 2010
    • Development language of C++
  • Eliminate the dependency on the current SQL database in order to reduce complexity
  • Support separate production and test virtual machine (VM) environments


By the development of several Filters, the Plexus Message Broker was enhanced to replicate the communication with the back-end legacy mainframe such that no changes to the legacy mainframe applications were necessary.  Communication to UI-ICON over a proprietary protocol was also implemented.  The Plexus Broker was then configured to run both in the production and test environments.