true mainframe agility
March 15, 2018 Mainframe Agility

Three Modern Tools to Help You Achieve True Mainframe Agility

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As Marc Andreesen’s prescient warning that software would “eat the world” rapidly transpires, organizations are rethinking how they can deliver new value to customers faster. Many are also discovering they can’t digitally transform without modernizing the mission-critical applications on their mainframes.

These applications can’t be re-platformed safely, quickly, economically or with much value-add. The only real option is to accelerate application development and delivery through improved mainframe agility. To do that, you need the right tools.

During “The Compuware Path to True Mainframe Agility,” the next webcast in our “Did You Know?” series, we’ll highlight how the Compuware Topaz suite of mainframe development and testing tools enable agility for significant improvements in productivity. Join us on Thursday, March 22 at 11:30 a.m. EDT to learn how your mainframe team can use:

  • Topaz for Program Analysis for deeper code visibility and program understanding
  • Runtime Visualizer in Topaz to evaluate application execution
  • Topaz for Total Test to automate the creation and execution of unit tests
  • Xpediter Code Coverage to determine if code was executed

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You can register for the webcast to see in detail how these tools integrate with each other and with other DevOps tools to enable an agile development and delivery pipeline. Here, will give you a high-level overview of each Compuware tool.

1. Topaz for Program Analysis

Mainframe programs are large, complex and incredibly esoteric. Without a graphical representation of the code, these programs are difficult to understand for developers who are new to the mainframe and even for experienced mainframe developers who simply aren’t familiar with decades-old programs that haven’t been updated in years.

The time it takes to learn and work with these programs is a major bottleneck for DevOps teams and impedes mainframe agility. Furthermore, without proper visibility of how changes could impact other programs, mistakes are easily made.

Topaz for Program Analysis

Topaz for Program Analysis gives you deeper visibility of your programs through static visualization that displays the internal paragraph structure of a program and runtime visualization that displays program-to-program calls. The analysis provides an understanding of how program changes will impact another program, allowing you to scope out projects based on hierarchical views of impacts. Additionally, structural charts based on McCabe Metrics indicate the complexity of your programs.

This significantly eases the process of understanding program complexities and how changes will impact an application, ultimately boosting the productivity—and comfort level—of both novice and expert mainframe developers.

2. Topaz for Total Test

Earlier and more frequent testing is key to achieving true mainframe agility, but this is an area where most mainframe teams struggle. They use manual tests that eat up development time, and when it comes to unit testing, they often forgo the process entirely. Meanwhile, their open-systems DevOps peers are using automated testing to ensure code is continuously checked against quality standards.

Topaz for Total Test

Topaz for Total Test is solving mainframe IT’s manual-testing problem that hurts mainframe agility. During an Xpediter debug session, a developer can automatically create a unit test using Topaz for Total Test, where test assets are generated for test execution and are able to be save for later use.

By enabling the easy initiation of automated unit tests that help you find and fix low-level bugs earlier, Topaz for Total Test ensures smoother subsequent testing and better application quality. It also improves developers’ understanding of code by getting them to think harder about how code should work and how to test requirements.

3. Xpediter Code Coverage

Code quality has never been a second thought for mainframe developers, but the information they’ve used to help determine quality standards has traditionally been gathered through reports that are manually analyzed, and they’ve used these reports to make subjective determinations of what makes code “good” or “bad.” Achieving high code quality with mainframe agility requires automation that can drive objective analysis to determine if code meets quality standards.

Xpediter Code Coverage

Xpediter Code Coverage gives you the ability to capture code execution statistics to understand if statements are executing as expected and if new code meets quality standards.  Better yet, Code Coverage presents this information in a visually intuitive format, where covered and uncovered code is highlighted, through the Eclipse interface of Compuware Topaz.

During an Xpediter debug session, developers can also initiate automated unit testing through Topaz for Total Test and feed collected code coverage results into SonarSource SonarQube to gain insight into the coverage of code and quality of code being promoted for all application components across all platforms.

These enhancements to code coverage on the mainframe improve developers’ ability to produce high-quality code, reduce the time needed to get programs implemented or returned to production and help developers determine where code needs attention, not just in the context of the mainframe but also other platforms enterprise applications span.

Achieve True Mainframe Agility

Organizations are learning they need their mainframes, and that’s a good first step towards driving innovation. But they also need to start thinking seriously about how they can transform these systems of record to operate at new digital speeds.

Implementing modern mainframe tools that integrate with each other and with non-mainframe tools in a cross-platform DevOps toolchain is fundamental to that process of achieving true mainframe agility. Register for “The Compuware Path to True Mainframe Agility to see how Topaz can help.

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Yvette Santana and Rob Gerner

Yvette Santana is a Compuware solution consultant. Rob Gerner is a Compuware account consultant.

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