Remain Software ALM Tool Gets CA Plex Interface
February 11, 2015 Dan Burger
Independent development environments such as CA Plex have their own model-based and pattern-driven development techniques to modernize legacy IBM midrange applications as they run across multiple platforms as well as move them to the Web and to SOA environments. And as IBM i shops take on modernization projects, change management software is integral to the process. As an example, Remain Software that is announcing its application lifecycle management software, TD/OMS, has a new interface for CA Plex users.
The integration is the result of cooperation with Stella Tools, a CA Plex open source initiative.
“The way the two tools work together is very simple,” says George Jeffcock, the founder of Stella Tools. “After the assignment of a task, programmers are able to select objects via their object browser and by the right context menu invoke a CA Plex generated window palette. This window palette can filter and/or gather the objects before dragging and dropping the objects onto the desired task within a version of TD/OMS work management tree.”
This allows CA Plex developers to connect CA Plex objects to TD/OMS tasks within the CA Plex IDE. The same is true for IBM i developers working in the Rational development environment (RDi).The connection is a simple drag and drop process. The TD/OMS interface with CA Plex is not i specific. It also is applicable in Java, J2EE, and Windows .NET/Azure environments. Jeffcock estimates 95 percent of the Stella Tools downloads have been to IBM i shops.
Wim Jongman, the CTO and managing director at Remain Software, praised Stella Tools its work on the interface. “The way it blends in with the main tool is fantastic. Stella Tools’ knowledge of CA Plex is beyond compare.”
Resurs Bank, a Swedish bank specializing in consumer credits and unsecured loans, recently chose TD/OMS because of the support for both CA Plex and native IBM i developers. RDi integration and the deployment of Microsoft windows objects were top priorities for the bank.
Fredrik Wingren, software development team leader at Resurs Bank, described the benefits that TD/OMS has brought to the development process as “stepping into the 21st century.”
Keeping track of multiple projects with changing business priorities created a plethora of libraries with ongoing development. The change management process has eliminated issues regarding the same programs showing up with different statuses in the development libraries and also provided answers to questions such as: Did we move the function to test, or not? And, have all functions/tables been moved to test?
“The process of moving objects between environments cost time, both in manual movements and in scripting and copying objects,” Wingren says in an email to IT Jungle. “We are a small team (IBM i development) and the native functions are big and not that many, which probably prevented two developers from working on the same native RPG code. The Plex developer on the other hand, had more issues. The model is too big not to run into conflicts. The objects weren’t locked, which resulted in objects released with incomplete code.
“TD/OMS solved our issues. The ease of drag and drop between TD/OMS and CA Plex, makes development time shorter and the loss of functions moved have disappeared. Since we check in/out our objects, there are no conflicts.”
Hans Beverwijk, a consultant at Remain Software, explained this from the change management perspective.
“TD/OMS will gather the components to be distributed by putting the IBM i components in an IBM i library and the non IBM i components on the IFS in a folder. The components are packaged (the IBM i components in a SAVF and the non IBM i components in a ZIP file) and distributed with the TD/OMS communication software (over TCP/IP),” he writes.
“On the receiving end, the components are restored and the TD/OMS transfer process is kicked off. The transfer process will use the TD/OMS definitions to determine where to place the components and the fallback mechanism ensures that no components are replaced when a problem occurs. Progress is reported back to the TD/OMS installation on the sending machine so there is a central point showing the distribution progress information,” according to Beverwijk.