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BMC Shifts Left on Mainframe Development

BMC Shifts Left on Mainframe Development

The News: BMC announced two tools—BMC AMI DevX Code Insights and AMI zAdviser Enterprise—to simplify and speed mainframe program development. Read the full announcement on the BMC website.

BMC Shifts Left on Mainframe Development

Analyst Take: BMC AMI DevX Code Insights is designed to help developers understand and break apart monolithic mainframe programs to make faster changes to complex code. Its runtime visualization shows developers how the application works in real time, which can be a great help for those unfamiliar with mainframe programming. The BMC AMI DevX Code Insights solution lets developers break apart monolithic programs into smaller, more manageable subprograms, quickly remove dead code, analyze data flow, and debug code.

The BMC AMI zAdviser Enterprise solution uses AI/machine learning (ML) to speed mainframe DevOps transformation. It provides insights into the adoption of DevOps tools. It continuously improves debugging and testing, monitors critical metrics such as lead time for change, change failure rate, deployment frequency , and mean time to restore service. Developers can use AMI zAdviser Enterprise to uphold code quality by detecting abnormal levels of regressions in application code.

BMC AMI zAdviser Enterprise’s ML dashboards are pivotal in refining the software development lifecycle. By leveraging ML, these dashboards identify trends and patterns that may impede progress, offering a unique perspective on areas needing enhancement. This technology enables a deep dive into development workflows, subtly influencing developer behaviors toward more efficient practices. This approach results in tangible outcomes such as improved code quality and increased deployment frequency. Additionally, it provides a detailed view of DevOps tool utilization and product engagement, aiding in evaluating ROI.

The dashboards also play a critical role in optimizing resource distribution, ensuring that continuous improvement initiatives are effectively supported. They track vital KPIs, including DORA Metrics, which encompass deployment frequency, lead time, MTTR, and change failure rate, offering a comprehensive overview of development efficiency. Moreover, by providing timely insights into batch and CICS abends, the system helps maintain code quality and balance between innovation and bug fixing, thus safeguarding mainframe operations. This holistic approach not only enhances MTTR but also ensures optimal resource allocation, driving continuous improvement in software development.

Current Challenges

In today’s dynamic development landscape, mainframe development is often unfairly labeled as cumbersome and intricate, a perception that can intimidate contemporary developers. However, with the right tools and approaches, this experience can be transformed to be efficient and frictionless. For instance, advanced solutions such as BMC’s DevX software enable developers to effortlessly navigate and modify large monolithic programs, mitigating potential conflicts when multiple developers collaborate. Furthermore, these tools streamline testing processes, allowing for targeted checks rather than exhaustive program testing. In case of production issues, they facilitate precise root cause analysis, ensuring that fixes are pinpointed and implemented efficiently without the need for extensive rollbacks. This modern approach to mainframe development not only accelerates the development cycle but also makes it a more welcoming and agile environment for developers of all backgrounds.

Looking Ahead

The mainframe developer experience is undergoing a significant transformation driven by the need to integrate traditional systems with modern development practices and technologies. This evolution is marked by a greater emphasis on agility, DevOps integration, and a seamless experience between mainframe and distributed computing environments. BMC, with its DevX software portfolio, plays a crucial role in this landscape by providing tools that enhance productivity, facilitate better integration with contemporary CI/CD pipelines, and offer advanced analytics capabilities, thereby bridging the gap between old and new paradigms in mainframe development.

BMC’s new tools address these critical challenges for mainframe developers. BMC is trying to make developing on the mainframe similar to what today’s developers are used to. BMC AMI DevX Code Insights’ runtime visualizer allows developers to visualize execution, including the ability to save and replay the execution trace. This real-time analysis provides insight into how applications work and deep visibility into program calls, I/O types, and program behavior. This functionality can help mainframe development keep pace with business requirements with more speed and agility—perhaps a form of Shift Lift for mainframes.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other insights from The Futurum Group:

BMC Expands Multicloud Workflows With Control-M Integrations

Mainframe Computing in Transition: Open Source Projects and Changing Hardware Landscape – Infrastructure Matters Episode 8

Megatrends for the Modern Mainframe with DevOps with BMC Software

Author Information

Regarded as a luminary at the intersection of technology and business transformation, Steven Dickens is the Vice President and Practice Leader for Hybrid Cloud, Infrastructure, and Operations at The Futurum Group. With a distinguished track record as a Forbes contributor and a ranking among the Top 10 Analysts by ARInsights, Steven's unique vantage point enables him to chart the nexus between emergent technologies and disruptive innovation, offering unparalleled insights for global enterprises.

Steven's expertise spans a broad spectrum of technologies that drive modern enterprises. Notable among these are open source, hybrid cloud, mission-critical infrastructure, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and FinTech innovation. His work is foundational in aligning the strategic imperatives of C-suite executives with the practical needs of end users and technology practitioners, serving as a catalyst for optimizing the return on technology investments.

Over the years, Steven has been an integral part of industry behemoths including Broadcom, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and IBM. His exceptional ability to pioneer multi-hundred-million-dollar products and to lead global sales teams with revenues in the same echelon has consistently demonstrated his capability for high-impact leadership.

Steven serves as a thought leader in various technology consortiums. He was a founding board member and former Chairperson of the Open Mainframe Project, under the aegis of the Linux Foundation. His role as a Board Advisor continues to shape the advocacy for open source implementations of mainframe technologies.

Dave’s focus within The Futurum Group is concentrated in the rapidly evolving integrated infrastructure and cloud storage markets. Before joining the Evaluator Group, Dave spent 25 years as a technology journalist and covered enterprise storage for more than 15 years. He most recently worked for 13 years at TechTarget as Editorial Director and Executive News Editor for storage, data protection and converged infrastructure. In 2020, Dave won an American Society of Business Professional Editors (ASBPE) national award for column writing.

His previous jobs covering technology include news editor at Byte and Switch, managing editor of EdTech Magazine, and features and new products editor at Windows Magazine. Before turning to technology, he was an editor and sports reporter for United Press International in New York for 12 years. A New Jersey native, Dave currently lives in northern Virginia.

Dave holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Journalism from William Patterson University.

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