ARCAD Magnifies The i In Its Multi-Platform Array
September 6, 2017 Dan Burger
While RDi development gets some help from one IBM i vendor, another vendor is enhancing its RDi-specific software. ARCAD Software, makers of ARCAD Pack for i, has enhanced its IBM UrbanCode Deploy and improved support for deployment to IBM i.
IBM’s UrbanCode is a tool for automating application deployments by expediting user feedback, and for providing audit trails and the approvals process. UrbanCode is being used primarily by large companies to deploy multi-platform code from a central point. It provides standardized tools and methodologies for managing all sources–including IBM i, z/OS, AIX and other Unix OSes, and all the open systems. It is compatible with existing IBM i Source Code Management tool already in place, such as ARCAD-Skipper, Rational Team Concert (RTC), Subversion (SVN) or Git.
ARCAD Pack for i was formerly known as ARCAD Pack for Rational because it provided the IBM i piece for Rational Team Concert (RTC), which is IBM’s collaborative change management system that emphasizes multi-platform collaboration. In May, ARCAD took another step in the cross-platform development arena by bringing an IBM i integration piece to GitHub. Compared to RTC, GitHub is far less expensive and far less complex. According to ARCAD CEO Philippe Magne, companies are replacing RTC with GitHub.
The Pack includes ARCAD Builder, Datachanger, Integrator, and Deliver. Builder automates dependency-based recompile for IBM i applications. Datachanger enables configuration data to be managed in a similar way to source code changes. Integrator analyzes the impact of third party software changes before they are installed in production. Deliver is an IBM i-based deployment automation tool for rapid and repeatable transfers to production.
The latest round of ARCAD Pack for i enhancements include automated features and functions for testing and deployment of IBM i applications, the building of IBM i apps, IBM i change management configuration data (application settings and critical data), the integration and change management of third-party software, and the deployment of high volume data with minimum downtime. ARCAD calls this feature “While Active Promotor.”
The automated deployment of code from test to production is the biggest benefit of the ARCAD Pack. That process includes integrity check prior to deployment, allocation of object, automatic database upgrades, automatic rollback, object management, traceability at the artifact level, and dynamic changes to configuration files.
Within the IBM i application build process, there are enhancements related to dependency recompiles and ordering of recompilations, integrity checking, automated change management of IBM i configuration data, check-out and check-in of configuration data, traceability of changes to configuration data, automated deploy and roll-back of configuration data to test and production systems, impact analysis for third-party software, and staged integration of new releases prior to deployment to production.
Magne believes there is a shift taking place in the enterprise IT balance of power and is positioning his software company to help companies that are replacing platform-specific dynamics and control with open systems. He says one of the challenges IBM faces is to move from designing and marketing proprietary systems to becoming part of a standardized IT environment.
“IBM is promoting open systems,” Magne points out. “Traditionally open systems have not been of widespread interest in the IBM i community, but now it is a different story because the need is coming from people with the non-IBM i systems.”
ARCAD is pursuing a strategy to surround RTC, GitHub, SVN, and other multi-platform development frameworks with additional tools to provide functionality in the areas of build management, deployment and release management, cross-referencing, and impact analysis.
Naturally, ARCAD’s products integrate with Rational Developer for IBM i (RDi).
It was just a month ago, when IBM announced it was accelerating its enhancements to RDi by outsourcing RDi development work (along with development work on PowerHA System Mirror for i, and Backup, Recovery and Media Services (BRMS) on i to HelpSystems. HelpSystems is taking the product enhancement development lead, while working with the existing team in Rochester. IBM will continue to integrate and deliver these products into the IBM i operating system.