Compuware Aims to Make Mainframes Part of DevOps Equation

Mike Vizard
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As part of an effort to integrate mainframes with any number of approaches to DevOps, Compuware today announced it is adding support for REST application programming interfaces (APIs) to the ISPW source code management software it gained by acquiring ISPW Benchmark Technologies Ltd. at the beginning of this year.

At the same time, Compuware revealed today it is acquiring the assets of a source code management (SCM) migration practice and methodology created by Itegrations. Those assets will become part of the ISPW product portfolio.

Finally, Compuware announced that job scheduling tools from Software Engineering of America (SEA) have been integrated with the Topaz Workbench integrated development environment Compuware created for mainframe platforms, while also striking an alliance with Syncsort under which the two companies will integrate Syncsort Ironstream tools for capturing operational data on mainframes with analytics tools from Compuware.

In general, Compuware CEO Chris O’Malley says making mainframes a foundational element of any DevOps strategy is crucial. Not only is most of the critical data that most enterprise applications need to regularly access still residing on mainframes, increased usage of Linux and Eclipse-based development tools on mainframes creates a need for IT organizations to develop a single integrated platform for managing DevOps across distributed systems and mainframes, says O’Malley.


In fact, O’Malley says the whole notion of separating mainframes and new platforms as part of a bi-modal IT strategy is not only misguided, it winds up increasing the total amount of technical debt an organization has to manage as functions get duplicated across multiple platforms. That’s not a strategy that is conducive to crafting a digital business strategy that by definition needs to include the platform on which most transactions are still processed today, says O’Malley.

“Bi-modal IT is the digital equivalent of medieval blood-letting,” says O’Malley. “It will kill the patient.”

Instead, O’Malley says most organizations should be concentrating on how to better couple mainframes with emerging applications based on, for example, microservices, via a well-defined set of APIs.

It remains to be seen to what degree bi-modal IT winds up being a sound strategy or just another fad that leads IT organizations astray from their core mission, as I wrote at The Nasstarian blog. But if history is any guide, underestimating the importance of the mainframe has time and again proven to be a strategic mistake.




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