Mainframe software maker Compuware has announced a series of moves to help enterprises bring the mainframe further into the DevOps fold.
Compuware announced the availability of new REST APIs for ISPW, a popular agile source code management and release automation solution the company acquired in January. These APIs enable organizations to integrate their mainframe and non-mainframe DevOps tools with ISPW to create DevOps tool chains, said Chris O’Malley, CEO of Compuware.
“Over the last seven quarters we’ve become a DevOps company and we made all these aggressive promises that on the first business day of every quarter we would come out with all of these new capabilities and updates to our existing or classic offerings and integration with our DevOps tool chain,” O’Malley told eWEEK in a previous interview.
He noted that enterprises are moving to DevOps for the agility it affords them. Bringing developers and operations staff together in the process of building software is beneficial because traditional mainframe development, test and coding processes are too slow to turn out software according to the demands of today’s software development teams. Moreover, because mainframe applications and data are typically in back-end systems for front-end web and mobile systems, DevOps has to run across all platforms, O’Malley said.
“As our business increasingly depends on software, we have to be able to get more software of higher quality into production faster at less cost,” said Simon Hu senior advisor for mainframe delivery for AARP, in a statement. “Technologies such as ISPW and Topaz that help streamline our DevOps processes and make them more agile are thus of greater business value to us than ever.”
According to Compuware, no expertise in mainframe technology is required to use the APIs. For instance, the new Promote Release and Deploy Release APIs support Webhook notification, the company noted. And use cases include integration with popular Agile and DevOps tools including Jenkins, Slack, HipChat and XebiaLabs’ XL Release.
“To fully support the end-to-end software life cycles so essential to digital efforts, mainframe development and deployment must move faster and integrate seamlessly into the rest of the digital enterprise,” said Jason Bloomberg, an analyst with Intellyx, in a statement. “By implementing RESTful API-based integration in ISPW, Compuware has elevated mainframe dev and test tooling to full participants in modern DevOps toolchains.”
Following its January acquisition of ISPW, in April Compuware introduced integration of ISPW with Compuware’s Topaz Workbench mainframe development platform. Then in July, Compuware delivered ISPW Deploy, a release automation solution for IBM z/OS environments built on ISPW technology.
“Enterprise IT leaders desperately want to transform the way they do software development, testing, promotion and ongoing management on their mainframes, but their incumbent vendors have almost universally chosen to abandon much-needed product innovation—and to instead exploit their captive customer bases for maximum profit,” O’Malley said in a statement. “By delivering web APIs for an Agile mainframe solution that we acquired a mere nine months ago, Compuware is once again proving that we are the only mainframe software partner ready, willing and able to help customers compete at digital speed and with digital excellence.”
In addition to the new APIs, Compuware also announced several new enhancements to its Topaz Workbench integrated development environment (IDE) for mainframe DevOps. The enhancements make it easier for non-mainframe experts to work on the z/OS platform. Specifically, the enhancements include direct access to File-AID Compare within Topaz Workbench so developers can more quickly and accurately understand differences between data files. The new release also provides built-in support for Dynamic Transaction Routing for CICSPLEX sites that use Xpediter for application debugging.
“Customers are trying to move, as time goes on, away from things like waterfall development methodologies into Agile,” O’Malley said. “And they’re trying to create a culture that’s not siloed to these different platforms—a mainframe culture, a distributed culture, a mobile culture; they want just one culture. They want one Agile set of processes regardless of platform and they want one set of tools regardless of platform.”
Compuware Brings the Mainframe Further Into the DevOps Fold
Meanwhile, Compuware also announced the acquisition of the assets associated with Itegrations’ source code management (SCM) migration practice and methodology. This acquisition will enable Compuware customers to more easily migrate their SCM systems to ISPW.
“To succeed in the digital economy, large enterprises must move their mainframe application development to an Agile model—and we believe SCM is at the heart of this transformation,” said François Dansereau, founder and CEO of Itegrations, in a statement. “As the market leader in Agile mainframe solutions, Compuware is optimally positioned to deliver mainframe SCM migration capabilities where they can have the biggest positive impact for the most customers.”
“Every enterprise with a mainframe needs to remove the toxic bottlenecks and inflexibility inherent to waterfall development by migrating their mainframe applications to an Agile-friendly SCM as quickly as possible,” said Compuware’s O’Malley. “By acquiring Itegrations’ SCM migration practice and refocusing that practice on Agile-enabling our growing customer base, Compuware is uniquely and powerfully enabling large enterprises to stay competitive in digital markets where the need for speed and quality continues to intensify relentlessly.”
In yet another announcement, Compuware and Software Engineering of America (SEA) announced the release of SEA’s JCLplus+ Remote Plug-In and $AVRS Plug-In for Compuware’s Topaz Workbench. These new plug-ins for Topaz simplify Job Control language (JCL) related tasks. JCL is a scripting language used on IBM mainframe operating systems to instruct the system on how to run a batch job or start a subsystem. As more mainframe developers and operators move out of the workforce, younger workers may be less acquainted the tools for the IBM mainframe environment.
Compuware said SEA’s JCLplus+ Remote Plug-In for Topaz Workbench enables mainframe veterans and novices alike to write error-free JCL scripts.
“As Baby Boomers gray out of the IT workforce, enterprises must protect their incalculable investments in mainframe applications and data by simplifying and automating core mainframe ownership tasks,” said Jatin Thakker. SEA’s COO, in a statement.
O’Malley noted that, “Complexity, esoteric tooling, and excessive dependency on tribal knowledge are all obstacles to mainstreaming the mainframe that enterprises absolutely must achieve without delay.”
Finally, Compuware announced the integration of its Abend-AID application fault discovery and analysis solution with Syncsort Ironstream. Ironstream is an operational intelligence solution that collects z/OS log data from mainframe systems and forwards it to analytic tools such as Splunk.
O’Malley said the integration of these two solutions gives enterprises the ability to more quickly discover and act upon correlations between application faults or abends and other conditions in the mainframe environment.
“Central to the notion of DevOps is elimination of the silos that have historically separated application teams from ops teams,” he said. “By feeding Abend-AID data into Ironstream’s broader mix of operational data, we are eliminating another instance of that counterproductive siloing.”
The integration of Abend-AID and Ironstream gives enterprise IT staff greater visibility and insight into software and service delivery, the companies said.
“Mainframes generate a massive volume of useful but overwhelming data that enterprise IT organizations often fail to fully leverage,” said David Hodgson, general manager of Syncsort’s mainframe business, in a statement. “By comprehensively gathering that data and forwarding it to a sophisticated analytic engine, these IT organizations can do a better job of discovering anomalies and trends that can threaten the availability and performance of critical internal and customer-facing services that leverage the mainframe.”