Remain Software Adds to Multi-Platform Choices
October 2, 2012 Dan Burger
Application lifecycle management vendor Remain Software has broadened the scope of its change management software known as TD/OMS. The software, which has been rewritten in Java, now supports Solaris and Mac OS application development environments along with the IBM i, Windows, Linux, and Unix environments supported by the previous release.
As before, it also supports popular fourth-generation languages (4GLs) for the IBM i platform, including LANSA‘s RDML, CA‘s 2E and Plex, AS/SET, and Magic Software‘s 4GL. And Remain Software provides support for automatic deployment to the Tomcat and Websphere application servers.
The latest piece for the TD/OMS change management software is referred to as the Client Deployment module. Its purpose is to collect objects from and distribute objects to client machines and to provide automatic deployment to target environments on a wide variety of systems.
TD/OMS tracks application changes from incident to fix, through test, acceptance, and posting to live production environments. It handles validation, user sign-off, and documentation of software changes. There is also an integrated helpdesk functionality that registers incidents and change requests.
The value to having the multi-platform capability is having a single deployment tool rather than deployment tools for each platform. For instance, there are existing PC deployment tools, but they require another tool in order to interface with or deploy IBM i apps alongside the PC apps. TD/OMS is one tool that allows the automatic deployment of applications from multiple platforms, including IBM i. Remain is not the only change management tool with this capability, but it does offer a wide choice of integration options.
Many companies still deploy their applications in a manual fashion, which is time consuming, error prone, and requires the involvement of more personnel. By comparison, automated deployment brings more control and simplifies the process.
One of the misconceptions of change management software running on IBM i is the belief that all code must reside on the IBM i server, which sometimes makes developers on non-IBM i platforms uncomfortable, however, it is possible, for instance, to have PC code on a PC repository such as Subversion or CVS, and to use those change management tools. Those repositories will interface with Remain Software’s TD/OMS (or change management tools from other vendors) that resides on IBM i and use that tool for the movement of objects.
“Application developers don’t have trouble with the check-in/check-out processes,” says Joan McKittrick of Solutions First, the California-based North American distributor for Remain Software, which is based in The Netherlands. “They have trouble with the deployment–getting the code that has been changed picked up and into a test environment. Many developers do that manually. Remain allows code that has been changed on a PC to be moved in an automated fashion.”
McKittrick claims to know of one instance of a person spending 8 to 10 hours a day manually moving code from one environment to another, making sure he had all the pieces and parts. After it was automated, the job took five minutes.
Remain Software has been developing software change management (SCM) solutions for IBM midrange computers since 1992, including the AS/400, iSeries, System i, and, now, Power Systems running IBM i. It claims more than 300 customers worldwide, with the majority of those located in Europe.