CA Extends Change Management to i5/OS
August 23, 2007 Alex Woodie
IT shops developing applications for multiple operating systems may want to consider CA for cross-platform change management. The Islandia, New York, company now provides an option for supporting the i5/OS server with CA Software Change Manager for Distributed (formerly CA Harvest), its flagship change management solution for multi-platform enterprises. The new option also opens System i customers to a range of CA’s other change and configuration management products.
CA has a long and successful history of developing change management solutions for Windows, Unix, and IBM mainframe platforms. The company initially introduced its flagship change management product, called Harvest, about 20 years ago, and since then, it has attracted about 2,000 customers, including about 1,500 mainframe sites, according to Pradeep Bhanot, CA’s director of product marketing.
With the launch of CA Software Change Manager for Distributed 7.1 last October, CA expanded its product to include several additional platforms, including i5/OS, OpenVMS, and Tandem. Support for these additional platforms is delivered through a new component called the CA SCM Remote Transport Interface.
With this release, organizations can now offer standard change management functionality–such as check-in and check-out of RPG or COBOL code, synchronizing code changes, and audit trails of all developer activity–with the same Web-based change management tool that they use to control and monitor development occurring on Windows, Linux, Unix, and mainframe servers.
“The value proposition is it gives you a common solution across all operating system platforms,” Bhanot says. “There’s a real shortage of software change management tools for VMS and AS/400.”
While there are several change management software vendors incumbent on the System i platform that offer deeper integration with the platform, CA thinks it has the right pieces in place on the IBM midrange server to make a serious run at attracting new customers.
For one thing, CA re-architected CA Software Change Manager for Distributed with the version 7.0 release to rely on a back-end repository that’s powered by a relational database. Customers have the option of using SQL Server, Oracle, or CA’s own Ingres database store; DB2 is not an option. The move to a database back-end means change management agents are no longer required, which minimizes the impact on managed servers. “The footprint on the iSeries is very low,” Bhanot says.
CA already has about 20 Harvest customers who are thinking about using the Remote Transport Interface to manage development on their IBM midrange servers, according to Bhanot. CA’s reputation among mainframe shops, which also tend to be AS/400, iSeries, and System i shops, helps among those who want to stay “true blue.” The common desire among these customers is a single product that supports all their custom development, no matter which platform.
CA also sees its change management offerings being picked up by users of its CA Plex model-driven application development tool for Windows and i5/OS. The company isn’t going after users of its CA 2E fourth-generation language development tool, who have developed a real affinity for the Implementer change management tool developed by MKS. “Even though they’re a competitor, they’ve been working with 2E for so long,” Bhanot says. CA Plex users haven’t settled on a change management offering like their CA 2E compatriots.
While CA can claim a unified, cross-platform change management architecture, it can’t claim to have developed every component of it. The Remote Transport Interface was developed by CA’s OEM partner, Trinem Consulting of the U.K.
Midrange shops that adopt CA Software Change Manager for Distributed will likely find CA’s two companion offerings–CA Software Change Manager and CA Software Change Manager for Mainframe–to be good fits for managing cross-platform development. But CA has a range of other change and configuration management products in its arsenal, including CA CMDB and CA Desktop Management Suite for Windows. Several of CA’s Unicenter products also bear close links to the change management products, including Desktop DNA, Patch Management, Remote Control, Service Desk, and Software Delivery.
Licenses for CA Software Change Manager for Distributed start at $1,902 per seat. The Remote Transport Interface option starts at $21,200 per server and $530 per developer. For more information visit www.ca.com.
This article has been corrected. The Remote Transport Interface was developed by Trinem Consulting, not SCM Solutions, Trinem’s North American partner, as previously reported.