Compuware Automates Shift-Left Performance Testing on the Mainframe

Compuware advanced its DevOps-on-the-mainframe strategy this week with a new Jenkins plug-in and a new REST API for its Strobe application performance management (APM) solution.

The two "shift-left" enhancements provide app dev teams with the ability to automate performance tests earlier in the development lifecycle as part of a Jenkins CI/CD pipeline.

The enhancements (which are part of the company's 22nd consecutive quarterly release) make it possible to run automated tests within the code delivery pipeline using Compuware's Topaz for Total Test, the Topaz Utilities plug-in or Hiperstation. Dev teams can be notified when performance measurements are taken via tools such as Slack and Microsoft Teams, and then view before and after results in Strobe to determine if a quality gate has been met or missed. For Compuware customers not leveraging Jenkins, the Strobe REST API can also be integrated with other DevOps CI/CD tools.

"Mainframe developers are writing business critical applications and assuming more responsibility for uptime and performance of those applications," said Compuware CEO Chris O'Malley in a blog post. "At the same they are overwhelmed by increasing volumes of urgently needed new features, as well as the on-going need to resolve maintenance, defect, and tech-debt related challenges. Fast feedback has never been more critical."

Compuware has been on a mission to mainstream the mainframe for several years, and providing DevOps capabilities has been a key part of that strategy.

"DevOps teams simply must accelerate mainframe software development and delivery and drive more innovation," O'Malley said. "It's a competitive mandate." Compuware is uniquely positioned to help with that mandate, O'Malley said, by providing modern developers with the fast feedback they need "to nail their number one job, which is write good code."

As delivery lifecycle accelerate, performance testing can no longer be seen as a separate activity from development that is handled only by QA and operations teams, industry analysts have argued. The Strobe integration with Jenkins supports this shift by making it easier for teams to automate and integrate the execution of performance measurements into their daily development practices. The integration also ensures that applications have been thoroughly performance-tested before being handed off as production-ready, which actually improves collaboration and reduces interruptions for both the app dev and operations teams.

Strobe users who also use zAdviser, a free service for Compuware's maintenance-current customers, "can pinpoint trends and behaviors relative to their development processes that may be helping or hindering their mainframe software delivery and application performance," the company says.

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].