Compuware Partners with OpenLegacy to Advance DevOps on the Mainframe

Compuware released the latest update of its Topaz for Total Test automated testing solution last week with a number of enhancements, including direct access to the OpenLegacy platform, advanced analytics from its free zAdvisor service, and other improvements that enable unit testing to be applied to a larger range of programs.

The big news in this release is the integration with the OpenLegacy platform, which analyzes mainframe environments to create microservices-based APIs written in Java. The Princeton, New Jersey-based company's namesake platform fills a critical gap in the market, the firm explained in a statement, which is "the need to quickly and reliably create microservices-based APIs for modern applications by connecting directly to the mainframe, rather than having to go through layers of middleware."

The OpenLegacy platform can be accessed now directly from Topaz Workbench, an Eclipse-based software development environment within Topaz for Total Test. This provides developers with a common framework to create the API and to visualize, understand, debug, and maintain their mainframe-connected applications.

"OpenLegacy's microservices-based API platform provides more than a fa├žade," said Jason Bloomberg, president of analyst firm Intellyx, in a statement, "as developers can work directly with the microservices in Compuware Topaz. The combination of the two vendors' offerings thus gives mainframe developers unprecedented control and flexibility into their API implementations. This partnership empowers mainframe customers to incorporate mainframe applications into the modern, cloud-native world."

The latest version of the Topaz solution keeps Compuware speeding down the trail it began blazing three-plus years ago, when the company first brought DevOps to the mainframe. The company now collaborates with 18 DevOps partners, including SonarSource, XebiaLabs, CloudBees, and BMC, which has enabled its customers to build mainframe-inclusive DevOps toolchains with their tools of choice.

Strategic partnering continues to be an essential part of Compuware's strategy, explained Sam Knutson, VP of Product Development at Compuware.

"We continue to expand the number of vendors we work with," Knutson told ADTmag. "And OpenLegacy is a great example of why we do it. We don't have a solution to automate the creation of microservices, but OpenLegacy has some great technology in that space. The integration brings that technology directly into our IDE. So, you can go from discovering what your IP can provide, to building, defining, and deploying a microservice into production, ready to use. And you can do it within our solution in a nice end-to-end automated workflow."

This release of Topaz also comes with a new zAdvisor dashboard that provides a macro view of the mainframe testing activities. The new dashboard makes it possible for development managers to quickly see what is being tested, the company said, whether the tests are being leveraged within a DevOps pipeline, and the success and failure rates. This new feature is meant to "enable teams to identify risks and continuously improve mainframe software development and delivery outcomes."

There's also new support in this release for complex programs that make advanced use of pointers, as well as virtualization for CICS APIs, return-codes, and accept statements.

In September, Compuware announced Day One support for IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS V6.3 and PL/I for z/OS V5.3, as well as the IBM z15 and IBM z/OS V2.4. The company collaborated with IBM to ensure that its solutions -- including Abend-AID, File-AID, ISPW, Strobe, ThruPut Manager, Topaz and Xpediter -- work for customers installing or upgrading to the new releases and hardware.

"We compete with IBM in some areas," Knutson said, "but we work very closely with them. And we have a strong and healthy relationship on the underlying ecosystem."

This Topaz update marks Compuware's 20th quarterly release since embarking on its mission to mainstream the mainframe. "That's just the new normal for us," Knutson said. "Since the beginning of January 2015, every quarter, without fail, we've done a net new product or option, significant updates to our classic offerings, new DevOps partnerships, and technical integrations."

"When people ask me when I'm at a conference or other event, what is it Compuware does," Knutson added, "the succinct answer is, we enable agile and DevOps on the IBM mainframe platform."

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].