Programmers.io Unveils Impact Analysis Tool for IBM i
July 26, 2023 Alex Woodie
Programmers.io, one of the largest IT services and software development firm specializing on IBM i, last month unveiled a new impact analysis tool for IBM i that it claims will help customers get a better understanding of their applications as they prepare for modernization.
Programmers.io is a Fort Worth, Texas, IT services firm that began working on the IBM i platform about a decade ago. Since then, it has built a considerable business around the platform, which accounts for nearly half of its 600 engineers. Many of these professionals are based in India, where the company recruits engineers to become IBM i experts.
The company has engaged many IBM i clients with modernization projects over the years, and it has developed its own suite of tools to help it with these projects. One of the tools developed for modernization projects is an impact analysis tool, which the company is now selling as a shrink-wrapped product.
Dubbed iA Impact Analysis, the tool analyzes source code to determine how changes to one part of a program impact other programs, an essential capability not only for application modernization but for day-to-day maintenance too.
“After three years of rigorous research and development, we are excited to get iA Impact Analysis into the hands of the IBM i community, offering a comprehensive solution to the daily challenges faced by IBM i professionals,” Kip Kugler, Programmers.io’s senior vice president of sales, says in a press release.
A video on the Programmers.io website describes the product’s capabilities. The GUI tool enables users to select different functions from a menu on the left side of the screen.
The Source Scan feature lets users employ wildcards to customize their search to a specific source physical file or a library, rather than the entire repository, the company says.
The Where Object Is Used feature analyzes dependent logical files and gives the user a comprehensive view of the impact of that file on the application, as well as provide details of the object, such as object type , object attribute, and object description. The binding directory referencing feature is unique, the company says.
The Where File Field is Used provide all the source lines in the application where the field of a file is used or referenced. “This feature allows you to easily track field interactions or dependencies in the application,” the company says. Interactions are followed for up to three levels.
The Where Procedure Is Used feature helps users find all impacted objects and procedure details where a specific procedure is used, the company says. “We provide details of the reference object – object type, object library, and object attributes of a procedure, as well as the object that called the procedure, including name, object type, object library, object attribute, and procedure name,” the company says in the video.
The Object Contact Matrix feature traces object references and relationships within the application and provides a comprehensive list of referred objects, including relevant information like call program, calling program, file usage, binding directory, data areas, and procedure details, the company says.
The Hierarchy Structure feature helps the user to visualize and analyze the hieracia relationships between procedures, similar to object relationships, the company says. “It provides a clear graphical representation of all calling programs, allowing you to easily navigate the structure in forward and backward direction,” the company says.
The Hierarchy Structure feature is unique among IBM i impact analysis tools, the company says, as is the capability to add selected libraries to the repository. “We found the traditional analysis methods to be complicated and time-consuming,” the company says. “We believe that our iA Impact Analysis for IBM i product will revolutionize the way you manage your legacy systems.”
The company claims that its tool will accelerate the impact analysis process by 85 percent while improving accuracy levels by up to 95 percent. The analysis from iA Impact Analysis will lead to faster and more precise analysis, more accurate effort estimations, and enhanced project planning and execution compared to competing solutions.
“Our goal is to equip individuals with the best tools and a skilled team when working with IBM i,” Programmers.io Founder and President Anshul Choudry says in a press release. “We believe our tool, iA Impact Analysis, will simplify work processes and help people better understand the system.”
Programmers.io has quietly amassed a sizable engineering team focused on IBM i. The company currently has about 150 customers, it told IT Jungle in May. Many of the younger IBM i professionals who have been showcased in the “Fresh Faces” program have been Programmers.io hires.