Diving into DevOps

Compuware Adds DevOps Pipeline Integration, Other Features, to Topaz

Compuware kicked off the new year today by unveiling a new set of enhancement for its Topaz mainframe DevOps solution, including new functionality in Topaz Team Profiles that facilitates knowledge-sharing between experienced mainframe developers and newer generations; new plug-ins for automating and integrating mainframe processes within a cross-platform DevOps pipeline; and expanded automated testing capabilities in Topaz for Total Test.

Topaz is a suite of solutions Compuware has been using for several years as the platform for delivering a DevOps-for-the-Mainframe strategy. The suite comprises an Eclipse-based IDE (Topaz Workbench), a static analysis tool (Topaz for Program Analysis), a database manager (Topaz for Enterprise Data), and automated unit testing (Topaz for Total Test). Topaz can be deployed on premise or on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Also, Topaz Connect links ISPW source code management to IT service management (ITSM) solutions, and Topaz for Java Performance tracks the performance of Java batch programs and WebSphere transactions running on the mainframe.

"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."

With this release, developers and testers can now 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 new capability provides access to high-value knowledge that can be used to jump-start common tasks, such as editing data, debugging programs, and 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.

The new Jenkins plugin for Topaz is designed to make it easier to automate and integrate mainframe processes into a cross-platform DevOps pipeline. The plugin enables DevOps teams 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.

Compuware has also enhanced Topaz for Total Test to support CICS, the mainframe's dominant transaction processing technology. This enhancement 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.

"The next generation of developers can deliver extraordinary business value by applying their skills to mainframe applications," said Chris O'Malley, CEO of Compuware, in a statement. "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."

About the Author

John has been covering the high-tech beat from Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly two decades. He serves as Editor-at-Large for Application Development Trends (www.ADTMag.com) and contributes regularly to Redmond Magazine, The Technology Horizons in Education Journal, and Campus Technology. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Everything Guide to Social Media; The Everything Computer Book; Blobitecture: Waveform Architecture and Digital Design; John Chambers and the Cisco Way; and Diablo: The Official Strategy Guide.

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