Programmer Productivity Underscores Remain’s App Management Upgrades
July 12, 2017 Dan Burger
If the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were bumped up to Eight, the original OS/400 applications could fill that slot. They were an efficient combination of form and function and built to last. But change eventually occurs. These days, it occurs more rapidly than ever. Application development strategies come in multiple shapes and sizes. We are witness to the debates and deployments of modernizations and migrations.
Change management software has taken on a bigger role by becoming useful in multi-platform development environments (one tool for tracking all development), workflow management, and for the expanded role of application lifecycle management.
One of the independent software companies (ISVs) making advancements in this regard is Remain Software, which just released TD/OMS v9.1.
TD/OMS is the software development workflow and application lifecycle management software that includes an object management system that defines applications and their associated objects and modules for reporting, impact analysis, work management, code distribution, client management. It supports Windows and Unix/Linux development in addition to IBM i and also includes 4GL interfaces for LANSA, CA 2E and CA Plex, IDDOS, and AS/SET, plus IBM Rational Team Concert, Fresche Solutions X-Analysis and WebSmart, Linoma Software RPG Toolbox, Vision Solutions (Promoter), Jira Software, Git, and Github.
The list of TD/OMS enhancements begins with SQL and the capability to manage SQL scripts, which are increasingly common in IBM i development teams according Remain CTO and managing director Wim Jongman. With v9.1, the capabilities include a display that presents comparisons between a current version and an archived version of SQL scripts.
TD/OMS also handles SQL-related objects, SQL scripts, and impact analysis the same as other objects. Companies considering the modernization of their DB2 for i databases can use TD/OMS in the DDS to DDL conversion.
Also providing more control and convenience is an enhancement to historical views that allows drill-down capabilities into selected versions when multiple versions exist. For instance, development teams often prefer to isolate their application versions. They may have versions noted as R1, R2, R3, and so on. Picking a specific version to do a comparison is sometimes better than seeing all the versions or only the version the software decides the developer should see. Jongman says this is useful when software is being developed for use in multiple countries and the developer wants to view a specific version for a specific country.
“The theme of this year’s development cycle was programmer productivity,” Jongman noted in an email exchange with IT Jungle. “Even though a change may not seem very big, it can have a huge impact on the flow of the programmer by eliminating a combination of wading through three screens, additional keyboard strokes and use of the mouse. Instead, the developer presses ‘enter’ and starts coding.”
Among the enhancements making the biggest difference to the largest number of developers is the Git interface. The IBM i open source community cheered when Git support debuted with the launch of IBM i 7.3. Its decentralized approach brings several advantages to development teams, but the most important is having code stored in a distributed fashion rather than in numerous directories and sub-directories, where source control can become out of control.
A great deal of Git’s success is attributed to GitHub, which allows code to be stored in an open manner, often as part of an open source software project.
“The Git interface will be used by man, but the GitHub interface will maybe be used by some — the bold ones who dare to put their sources in the cloud. Nevertheless, this will become more and more common in the future years,” Jongman says.
Programmer productivity also gets a boost from new object templates that reduce redundant coding, search functionality that provides the capability to perform real-times searches of more than one million objects from a single flat file. It lists IBM i native objects, IFS objects, LANSA, Synon, AS/SET, IDDOS, Powerhouse, PHP, classes, SQL metadata and ILE procedures in one list.
Looking forward, Jongman says there will be an increased emphasis on collaboration. Now available in beta are GitHub and ServiceNow interfaces.