Midrange Dynamics Bolsters JDE World Support, Adds Migration Utility
August 13, 2013 Alex Woodie
The era of big, expensive change management systems (CMSes) has come to a close, opening the door for smaller, easier-to-use CMSes such as the MDCMS product from the Swiss company Midrange Dynamics to capture market share. The company hopes to build more momentum in the North American IBM i market with a new version 7.1 release, which brings features like full support for JD Edwards World and a new migration utility to help customers move away from competing CMSes.
MDCMS is designed to be an easy-to-use change management system that helps developers with various lifecycle management tasks, including source code and object management for RPG, COBOL, and Java; automated code distribution; and installation on production servers.
With the launch of MDCMS 7.1, Midrange Dynamics has made easing the migration from other CMSes a major focus. To that end, the company has included new automated, table-based tools that take some of the unpleasantness out of that task.
According to the vendor, the tools map all relevant activity in the old change management system into MDCMS. This includes all projects, tasks, subtasks, promotion requests, historical object deployment information, archived source code, and active checkouts. The actual process typically takes only about 10 minutes after MDCMS is installed and configured, but there’s more planning typically involved.
Mary Langen, a principal at North American partner, Synergivity Software, says that the migration option may be sensible for organizations that are concerned their existing change management system may impede an upgrade of the IBM i OS or hardware.
“If they are frustrated with the cost and functionality of their current system, moving to a new solution is quite manageable,” she says via email. “We can help them implement MDCMS, learn how to use it efficiently, and migrate their source, objects, and history within a couple weeks.”
Langen adds that MDCMS is “reasonably” priced, particularly when you compare high maintenance costs and upgrade fees charged by some of the CMS software companies. “In most cases, for less than what they would be charged for a CM upgrade, we can give them advanced change management capabilities, with no charges for HA boxes, and sane annual maintenance,” she says.
Organizations running the JD Edwards World from Oracle can now begin using MDCMS to track any development or modifications they make to their ERP system, without using a special interface or using kludgey macro workarounds.
JDE World uses soft-coded files to manage many aspects of the environment, including field descriptions and how the fields are used. According to Midrange Dynamics, this can pose a challenge for change management systems. That’s one reason why Midrange Dynamics and Synergivity are part of Oracle’s Gold Partner program.
In MDCMS 7.1, Midrange Dynamics delivered support for JDE World by formalizing its support of managing soft-coded files through record level access. This gives JDE customers the capability to manage JDE World items, such as data dictionary entries, vocabulary overrides, and report writers, in the MDCMS environment.
This release also gives a little something for IBM i developers who work in SQL environments. According to Midrange Dynamics and Synergivity, MDCMS 7.1 now supports the automated generation of SQL tables and SQL indexes, which makes it faster and more efficient for developers who work with SQL to use MDCMS.
What’s more, SQL commands can now include “wild cards” not only in the create commands but also in the source to be executed, the companies tell us. This source can reside in a source member in a native source file or it can reside in the IFS, they add.
Midrange Dynamics has also bolstered MDWorkflow, a companion product that enables central management of projects, tasks, deployment, and workflow across IBM i and open systems, from the comfort of a Web browser.
With this release, customers can add their own custom status codes to projects and tasks managed under MDWorkflow, to go along with the fixed codes. Customers can also add custom fields to tasks and projects, and they also can personalize the columns that appear by default in MDWorkflow reports. Logging has also been enhanced.
MDCMS is compatible with all Eclipse-based tools, including the new Rational Developer for i. The product’s MDOpen, an open systems plug-in, also enables team development environments to work with open source CM tools, such as Subversion and CVS.