CA Brings Eclipse-Based GUI To Mainframe QA, Testing

CA continues delivering tools and technologies to streamline mainframe SOA and legacy modernization projects under its Mainframe 2.0 initiative. This month, CA released mainframe tools with an innovative Eclipse-based GUI to allow non-mainframe devs and architects to support mainframe appdev, quality, testing and management.

Tags: Mainframe, Eclipse-based GUI, Devs, InterTest, Staff, Debugging Tasks, Management,


CA continues delivering tools and technologies to streamline mainframe SOA and legacy modernization projects under its Mainframe 2.0 initiative.

This month, CA released mainframe tools with an innovative Eclipse-based GUI to allow non-mainframe devs and architects to support mainframe appdev, quality, testing and management.

The Eclipse-based GUI for CA InterTest Batch and CA InterTest for CICS means devs familiar with Eclipse can now execute core testing, and debugging tasks.

Notably, the updates to CA InterTest and CA SymDump for CICS also support mainframe-to-SOA implementations by leveraging CA's Mainframe Software Manager. MSM automation shields IT staff from SMP/E complexities and includes Best Practices guides to cut learning curves for configuration, and deployment projects.

Historically, these mainframe tasks required weeks of training. These tasks historically have been time-consuming phases of the mainframe application development and deployment lifecycle.

"Typically, non-mainframe devs would use green screens and have to get training," Mark Combs, SVP of CA's Mainframe Business Unit, told IDN. "Use of an Eclipse GUI that ties directly to CA's tools capabilities shields programmers from all that."

Combs offered this example of a step-by-step process: "The Eclipse-based GUI [for InterTest] is specially intended to help devs easily and seamlessly debug end-to-end composite applications that include mainframe, distributed, web, and/or mobile components, Combs told IDN. "In fact, when you say discovery can it find the programs that the programmer wants to debug, of course we built that in."

Combs also noted that CA's Eclipse GUIs and Best Practices don't in any way water down the power of the underlying InterTest mainframe tools. "These are definitely and thoroughly mainframe products. Developers can execute [core mainframe operations] under the control of one of these programs, and conduct other important operations, such as specify testing data points, set break points, modify at a set logic point, even stop -- whatever a mainframe programmer would do in his environment."

The new tools releases with Eclipse-based GUI are built on CA's earlier updates to Endeavor that allow devs to conduct source and cong management via an Eclipse GUI. CA also updated its CA SymDump for CICS abend analysis solution.

CA's Mainframe 2.0 initiatives look to help end users with mainframes to overcome "limitations in their mainframe staff resources," and enable IT staff without mainframe expertise to contribute to mainframe modernization projects, including integrations with SOA.

Early Mainframe 2.0 Adopters Boost Productivity
"A key challenge for us is optimizing the productivity of our senior mainframe experts, while creating a working environment that helps our younger, less experienced development staff become proficient in mainframe computing," said Steve Ware, systems coordinator, Computing & Networking Services at the University of Florida. "CA's newly enhanced testing tools are helping us do exactly that."

Even for its own internal efforts, CA finds Mainframe 2.0 is gaining traction among younger non-mainframe IT professionals. "We at CA have been looking to hire IT talent for [mainframe] groups. When we started recruiting 5 years ago, it was hard to get younger [devs] to listen. But now, with the combination of our easier technologies and today's economy, they really get it. They know the mainframe will be around a long long time. "

Analysts Sees Need To SImplify Mainframe Testing
Analysts are encouraged by CA's Mainframe 2.0 efforts. International Data Corp.'s Melinda Ballou, program director for IDC's Application Life-Cycle Management, said in a statement: "Incorporating Eclipse interface standards into mainframe test solutions supports this trend by making it easier for development and testing teams to unify mainframe debugging tasks into their development platforms."





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