mainframe DevOps tools

Ten Cross-platform and Mainframe DevOps Tools You Need Today

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Your mainframe team needs to get serious about helping its company meet new digital demands. Traditional waterfall tools and processes are only going to inhibit your progress.

It’s time to include the mainframe into today’s modern software delivery systems as a participating platform in the modern enterprise-DevOps system-delivery ecosystem. To do that you need to adopt new DevOps-friendly tools (download this white paper to learn more about why).

For a long time, your open-systems team has been using DevOps tools that leverage automation, deepen visibility and integrate with virtually any other tool to facilitate speed, quality, productivity and good governance across a Continuous Delivery life cycle. Your mainframe toolbelt is probably lacking in all or most of those areas.

In this post, you’ll learn about the primary DevOps tool types you should be using on the mainframe and across platforms. We’ll also provide examples of Compuware mainframe DevOps tools and some of their primary open-systems integrations, including from a few of our mainframe and distributed DevOps partners.

 

1. Planning and Collaboration Tools

You should continually collaborate with both your mainframe team and across platforms throughout the DevOps lifecycle. These tools enable mainframe and distributed teams to both plan and discuss architectural approaches to projects, document those processes and provide feedback.

 

Cross-platform DevOps tools:

Atlassian Confluence gives you a place to generate, organize and collaborate on ideas using Agile Development methodologies like Scrum or Kanban. This enables you to deliver what is needed and maintain what you’re currently providing to existing customers.

Atlassian Confluence

 

Slack is a chat app that enables teams to become more agile and collaborative by improving communication with real-time, documented dialogues; organized conversations; better concentration; and increased automation.

Slack Chat App

 

2.  Analysis Tools

Analysis tools form the foundation for the entire DevOps process spanning all key assets. Whether code, configuration, documentation, databases, compiled resources or your website HTML, you can only improve by managing them as one source of truth. From there, everything else can be built when required.

On the mainframe side, you need to understand the code quickly to plan your changes, do impact analysis and manage your backlog. When it’s time for code review, the analysis helps again. A good cross-platform analysis tool will provide quick feedback to developers regarding program flow, structure and potential code quality issues.

 

Mainframe DevOps tools:

Topaz for Program Analysis is part of the Compuware Topaz suite of mainframe development and testing tools. It helps developers understand unfamiliar or complex mainframe applications through a visual representation of both the code structure and logic as well as the actual I/O and program trail during execution.

Compwuare Topaz for Program Analysis

 

Cross-platform DevOps tools:

SonarSource SonarLint is an IDE extension that automatically discovers and highlights code quality issues as you’re coding.

SonarSource SonarLint

 

SonarSource SonarQube is a popular dashboard for tracking defects, complexity and technical debt.

 

3. Source Code Management (SCM) Tools

In DevOps, multiple people need to be able to work on the same program because DevOps is fundamentally a philosophy that hinges on faster delivery; therefore, your mainframe team needs an SCM tool that enables concurrent development, enables faster changes, and is capable of supporting post-build activities like automated testing via REST APIs.

Your SCM tool should be open in that it links into the entire DevOps toolchain—it can’t be siloed; it must integrate with and collaborate with open-source DevOps tools like Jenkins and XebiaLabs (more on these under Continuous Integration Tools).

 

Mainframe DevOps tools:

Compuware ISPW is an Agile source code management and deployment automation solution that enables developers to quickly and safely build, test and deploy mainframe code.

Compuware ISPW

 

Cross-platform DevOps tools:

GitLab is a web-based Git-repository manager with wiki, issue-tracking and CI/CD pipeline features, using an open-source license, developed by GitLab Inc.

GitLab

 

Atlassian Bitbucket is a web-based version control repository hosting service for source code and development projects that use either Mercurial or Git revision control systems.

Atlassian Bitbucket

 

GitHub is a web-based hosting service for version control offering all the distributed version control and SCM functionality of Git plus its own features.

GitHub

 

4. Build Tools

You don’t need the build holding you up when you’re ready to deploy. It has to be fast and correct, and it needs to be traceable. You need it to run from APIs that provide visibility into what’s occurring on the mainframe so anyone can run and monitor a deploy without having specialized knowledge about mainframe technologies. Your build tool should help you get your application ready to test and deploy to production faster.

 

Mainframe DevOps tools:

Compuware ISPW

 

5. Automated Testing Tools

Manual testing is incompatible with DevOps—it will slow you down and leave room for negligence or mistakes, both of which reduce efficiency and quality. Automated testing tools verify code quality after the build, before it’s promoted. The quicker the feedback loop works via automation, the higher the quality gets, the quicker you reach the desired definition of done.

 

Mainframe DevOps tools:

Compuware Topaz for Total Test automates the creation and execution of unit and functional tests for all mainframe environments including CICS, DB2, IMS, VSAM and QSAM. With deep code and load module visibility, automatic data virtualization and third-party DevOps toolchain integrations, developers can significantly accelerate the testing process while improving quality.

Compuware Topaz for Total Test

 

Compuware Hiperstation automates load, performance and integration testing for applications within CICS, IMS, IDMS, VTAM, TCP/IP and IBM MQ. With flexible and repeatable tests, developers can perform more testing in less time and on a more consistent basis while ensuring an application meets production performance criteria.

Compuware Hiperstation

 

6. Continuous Integration Tools

Continuous integration tools provide an immediate feedback loop by orchestrating build and testing tasks. Teams can merge developed code many times a day, getting feedback from automated testing, quality, security and other tools to ensure quality and continuous feedback.

 

Cross-platform DevOps tools:

Jenkins is an open source automation server that automates and orchestrates the software development process with continuous integration and facilitating technical aspects of continuous delivery.

 

XebiaLabs XL Release allows you to to automate, standardize and monitor code deployments across multiple platforms into multiple target environments. This automation and monitoring includes test/QA, pre-copy staging, and code promotion.

 

JetBrains TeamCity is a Java-based build management and continuous integration server.

JetBrains TeamCity

 

Atlassian Bamboo is a continuous integration and continuous deployment server.

Atlassian Bamboo

 

7. Code Coverage Tools

Did you actually execute your changed code in your test? How do you know? You need a code coverage tool to verify these things, ultimately helping you produce cleaner, better code.

 

Mainframe DevOps tools: 

Compuware Xpediter Code Coverage, part of Compuware’s mainframe application debugging and analysis tool, Xpediter, allows you to view documented proof that code has been executed.

Compuware Xpediter

 

8.  Deploy Tools

In an effective DevOps environment, application deployments are frequent, predictable and reliable. This Continuous Delivery means applications can be released to production at any time, while keeping risk as low as possible. Now that you have reached a point where your mainframe code is being developed faster, it needs to link with the distributed component’s delivery. These components increasingly rely upon each other; therefore, their deployments must be coordinated. Having one dashboard, one place to manage these deploys even though they are on different platforms, becomes essential.

 

Cross-platform DevOps tools:

Compuware ISPW Deploy automates the deployment of code. The web interface allows you to view the status of all deploy requests and the environments into which code was deployed. Roll back some or all code changes at once and replace the current production program with a valid previous program version.

Compuware ISPW Deploy

 

XL Deploy allows you to automate and standardize complex deployments in cloud, container and legacy environments.

 

9. Monitoring Tools

Once you release your code, you aren’t done. You need something to monitor and check that it’s performing well. These tools monitor releases so you don’t have to, thereby increasing responsiveness and visibility.

 

Mainframe DevOps tools:

Compuware Strobe lets performance analysts pinpoint application inefficiencies causing excessive CPU consumption and elongated elapsed times to reduce hardware and software costs. iStrobe is Strobe’s browser-based Strobe reporting and analytics interface.

Compuware Strobe

 

Compuware Abend-AID enables developers to reduce the tedious and time-consuming task of manually cross-referencing pages of recorded application memory information with pages of application code to understand why an application failure occurred.

Compuware Abend-AID

 

Compuware Application Audit enables enterprises to capture all relevant data about user access and behavior on the mainframe to mitigate cybersecurity risks and fulfill compliance mandates.

Compuware Application Audit

 

BMC MainView‘s self-learning capability monitors mainframe systems and proactively identifies potential problems, such as high CPU consumption caused by a looping job or inefficient application code.

BMC Logo

 

Cross-platform DevOps tools:

Splunk captures, indexes, and correlates real-time data in a searchable repository from which it can generate graphs, reports, alerts, dashboards, and visualizations.

 

CorreLog delivers data along with event messages from z/OS into multiple SIEM engines.

 

10. Feedback and Issue Tracking Tools

Feedback and issue tracking tools are designed to help you manage the Agile process and collaborate on Epics, Stories and Sprints. Anyone can see what everyone is doing. All teams should use the same issue tracking tool, unifying internal issue tracking as well as issues end users report.

 

Cross-platform DevOps tools:

Atlassian JIRA is an issue tracking tool that enables bug tracking and agile project management.

Atlassian Jira

 

ServiceNow specializes in IT services management (ITSM), IT operations management (ITOM) and IT business management (ITBM).

 

BMC Remedy is a complete service management platform that combines ITIL® best-practices and intuitive self-service to enable smarter service delivery.

BMC Logo

 

Including the mainframe in your cross-platform DevOps toolchain is essential to achieving enterprise-wide digital agility and improving the innovations you provide customers with through a Continuous Delivery pipeline. Keeping the mainframe siloed will only hurt you, and the only way to improve its connection to other technologies and processes is through modern tooling.

To learn more, download your copy of the white paper, “Mainframe-inclusive DevOps Toolchains: Achieving Continuous Delivery in Large Multi-platform Enterprises.”

Download White Paper

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Mark Schettenhelm

Mark Schettenhelm, Product Manager for Compuware’s ISPW product, has more than 35 years of experience in the IT industry. In his 30+ years with Compuware, Mark has been instrumental in helping to bring Compuware mainframe solutions to the forefront of the industry.
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