Tuesday, 16th July 2019

Knowledge sharing for the mainframe

Topaz Team Profiles enable top mainframe professionals to share their methods, techniques, and assets, quickly onboarding less-experienced peers and bringing familiarity to unfamiliar mainframe code and data.

Compuware has announced significant enhancements to Topaz, the leading mainframe DevOps solution for empowering next-gen developers to bring modern development best practices and third-party tools-of-choice to the mainframe. With these enhancements, organizations can quickly get new developers up to speed and build seamless mainframe-inclusive DevOps pipelines.

Quickly on-board new developers

Developers and testers can now easily group both mainframe and Java projects, preferences, configurations and/or working sets into Topaz Team Profiles and share them with other individuals and teams. This sharing provides access to high-value knowledge that can be used to jump-start common tasks such as editing data, debugging programs, or running unit tests. Topaz’s use of Eclipse projects has also been enhanced so the mainframe developer experience is even more like that of a Java developer.

This knowledge sharing empowers new staff to become dramatically more productive in less time, while eliminating redundant work. It also ensures that mainframe teams consistently embrace best practices honed by more experienced developers.

“We are hiring a lot of bright and talented developers, and we need to get them productive as quickly as possible,” said Raju Debroy, Director of IT, Cloud & Digital Operation at Pekin Insurance. “Topaz’s Eclipse interface and the new ability to share the work of more experienced developers will help us achieve our onboarding goals, while also accelerating our adoption of DevOps on the mainframe.”

Build better DevOps pipelines

A new Jenkins plugin for Topaz makes it easier to automate and integrate mainframe processes into a cross-platform DevOps pipeline. The plugin enables DevOps professionals and Release Managers to execute Job Control Language (JCL), an essential scripting language that controls mainframe tasks such as setting up test data and directing programs to run, in their DevOps pipelines.

The Compuware Topaz Utilities plugin accesses the mainframe using a technology that is faster and more reliable than conventional FTP—which many consider an unacceptable security risk.

“Mainframe teams face two fundamental skills challenges: the transition to a new generation of professionals, coupled with the inclusion of the mainframe in modern development processes and practices,” said Jason Bloomberg, president of analyst firm Intellyx. “Topaz helps such teams overcome both challenges by modernizing mainframe development with tools that have a familiar look-and-feel, thus making common tasks easier without having to leave the platform.”

Expand automated testing

Compuware has also enhanced Topaz for Total Test, the premier automated unit testing solution for the mainframe, to support CICS—the mainframe’s dominant transaction processing technology. The patent-pending technology creates virtual CICS commands, eliminating the need to access active CICS test regions. The CICS test cases can be automatically executed through a Jenkins plugin.

These Topaz innovations mark the 17th consecutive quarter that Compuware has delivered significant innovations that empower enterprises to modernize and mainstream their mainframes, so they can better leverage their mainframe intellectual property—as well as the platform’s unmatched performance, scalability, reliability, efficiency and security.

“The next generation of developers can deliver extraordinary business value by applying their skills to mainframe applications,” said Chris O’Malley, CEO of Compuware. “Topaz gives these development artisans the familiar, intuitive, automated and richly functional environment they need—and prefer—to fulfill this critical mission and continuously improve in the measures of velocity, quality and efficiency.

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