Modern mainframe SCM

My ‘Endevor’ to Find a True Modern Mainframe SCM Solution: ISPW

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It was 2015 and I had just been given a new relationship management role overseeing an outdated Compuware product stack at a UK retail bank. Under a four-year ELA, I set myself a task to get everything up to supported levels and to maximize the ROI by turning on every option we had licensed.

But even with my dedication to this project and the new visibility into product usage through Compuware’s Value Improvement Program—now zAdviser—I didn’t think much of it. How hard could it be to upgrade a few mainframe products? I was a seasoned SMP/e user and the product infrastructure was already in place.

Truth be told, my passions lay elsewhere. I was an architect for the mainframe SDLC using CA Endevor, which I believed was a great product with no real peers on the market.

I had been implementing Endevor software around Europe for more than 20 years at various organisations. I was the current chair of the United Kingdom/Ireland Endevor User Group, on the European Endevor User Group and the incoming president of the independent International Endevor User Group. I knew the Endevor product manager and product owner as colleagues and friends.

I was passionate about Endevor, its current functionality and its future direction—not Compuware tools. That would change.

My Endeavor to Change

Life can be strange. One small event can start a seismic change in direction for a person. For me, attending one Compuware Customer Day as part of my relationship management role was just such an event.

In 2015, discussions were had about a new Eclipse-based Endevor interface. For many in the Endevor community, this seemed a pointless exercise, as no mainframe developer would want that—the time/effort involved could be spent on the ISPF edition to address some of the high-priority items on the customer wish list in the ideation portal.

At the Compuware Customer Day, one of the presentations showed an Eclipse-based IDE called Compuware Workbench (now Topaz Workbench). It brought all of Compuware’s core products together in one place—and it got me very excited.

When I left the event, I was in the car on my phone with the Endevor product manager expressing my support for the Endevor Eclipse plugin initiative. The change in me was beginning.

In the 12 months that ensued, I made good progress updating the mainframe aspects of the Compuware product upgrades and enabling the technologies that supported the Workbench.

Topaz Workbench

Topaz Workbench’s multi-language, multi-platform source code editor

Then Compuware announced the Topaz suite, which included Topaz Workbench (the new Compuware Workbench), Topaz for Enterprise Data and Topaz for Program Analysis, which included Runtime Visualizer. This got many more people excited across the industry around what could be achieved with a modern mainframe development environment. Coupled with the Endevor Eclipse interface, everything would be  “sorted,” I thought.

I was empowered enough at the site I was working at to get everything upgraded and integrated, so I did some demonstrations. It was very well received, but not everyone was ready to use the new tooling. Still, my efforts hadn’t gone unnoticed by Compuware. They invited me to speak at their annual Sales Kickoff event in Detroit.

In tandem with this, internally Compuware had just replaced Endevor with ISPW, an Agile source code management tool, which they had been so impressed with they acquired it. As part of the speaking invitation, I was to meet with the Compuware development team and share my knowledge of and expectations for ISPW.

I really expected to see ISPW and say, “Well, with a couple years of work, this could compete in the mainframe SDLC marketplace.” Instead, I was knocked off my feet. After a 90-minute discussion, I closed the meeting with the question: “Why isn’t everyone using ISPW?”

You can learn more about the kinds of challenges I saw ISPW capable of helping us overcome in an upcoming webcast, “SCM Transformation Challenges and How to Overcome Them.”

Compuware webcast | modern mainframe source code management | ISPW

Why Change from Endevor to ISPW?

I returned from Detroit to my job with a new endeavor in mind: I installed the first Compuware edition of ISPW, and it didn’t disappoint. In my mind, Endevor no longer was the natural choice for the mainframe SDLC.

Fast-forward to today and I’m working at Compuware as a DevOps specialist focused on helping customers achieve their business and IT goals in relation to modernizing mainframe software delivery with DevOps. Just like moving from Endevor to ISPW, it was the natural choice for me.

ISPW, DevOps Lifecycle Analyzer

ISPW, DevOps Lifecycle Analyzer

So why change from Endevor to ISPW? Download our eBook for an overview of the core differences between the tools. Here are a few points worth noting about ISPW:

  • It uses a relational database (Db2) rather than VSAM. That’s high-availability data access with no constraints around API response times.
  • It provides a huge array of RESTful API functions for toolchain integrations/dashboard creation.
  • Its Eclipse UI is fully functional and not just at stage one of an environment.
  • A visualized lifecycle easily identifies potential parallel development issues/regressions.
  • Web hook functionality allows a Jenkins pipeline for Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery automation.
  • Fully supported quarterly updates to the tool bring user enhancements into the product.
  • Its integrated deployment capability helps enable Continuous Delivery/Continuous Deployment.
  • It is deployable as a SaaS solution in AWS for seamless currency updates.

So, if you fancy seeing what turned my opinion upside down, contact a Compuware representative, tell them Stuart sent you and ask for your own Test Drive using the latest Compuware innovation that allows you to actually interact with ISPW in a real mainframe environment, with no overhead to your organization for installing anything. Watch this webcast to learn more.

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Stuart Ashby

Stuart Ashby is a DevOps specialist for Compuware, where he is responsible for evangelizing enterprise DevOps and helping customers develop and nurture enterprise DevOps ecosystems. Prior to Compuware, he worked as a DevOps engineer/architect at a UK retail bank. He has extensive enterprise knowledge acquired over the past 30-plus years.

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