IBM Z was just recognized as the most reliable platform. 80% of structured enterprise data resides on IBM Z, and 55% of all enterprise transactions run on IBM Z. These facts make IBM Z a corner stone for the digital enterprise. With today’s announcement of the z14, IBM Z is even more trusted with the introduction of pervasive encryption and with up to 35% more capacity. Our Cognitive DevOps solution continues to deliver critical capabilities monthly. The solution helps companies accelerate their Digital Transformation, leveraging IBM Z in a Hybrid Cloud architecture. In conjunction with the launch of z14, the trusted platform for the Digital Enterprise, we are announcing the following improvements.

Align Line of Business and IT Leaders around investments in software delivery capabilities

Over the last few months, we were very successful in using the IBM Digital Transformation Model for IBM Z.  We helped customers better understand how they can optimize using their assets on IBM Z to drive maximum return on investment (ROI) from their assets on IBM Z. These assets, are becoming increasingly central for their Digital Transformation. Today we announce IBM Digital Transformation Model for IBM Z v2.0 . We updated our Survey tool and our DevOps Workshop. Now line of business (LOB) and IT leaders can benefit from our deep domain expertise and can rapidly develop a prioritized list of DevOps practices and a strategic roadmap to accelerate digital transformation.

Identify, create, optimize and safe-guard APIs

RESTful Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) enable your business-critical assets to participate in the API economy without mobile  or enterprise developers concerned about what platform the assets reside on. They just notice that the assets are always available and have amazing performance and load characteristics. We continue our investments in the API Economy by helping you:

  • Identify APIs: IBM Application Discovery and Delivery Intelligence (ADDI) helps you identify candidate APIs.¬†ADDI improves its support for PL/I and IMS DB and adds support for IMS/TM.
  • Create APIs: z/OS Connect Enterprise Edition v3.0 provides consistent RESTful API access to existing applications and data that reside within application hosting and database subsystems on IBM Z. Creating and designing the RESTful APIs is easy with the API Toolkit, which provides intuitive mapping technologies to connect with the back-end subsystems. V3.0 also provides API requester technology that accepts an OpenAPI specification so that back-end applications can exploit APIs that are external to IBM Z.
  • Optimize APIs: ADDI improves support for detecting and warning developers that they have a performance degradation of a CICS transaction (leveraging integration with OMEGAMON for CICS). ADDI then enables customers to understand which APIs are linked to that CICS transaction. Customers can also see an associated Transaction Composition to understand how to best address performance or other issues needed to optimize the API for mobile or other workloads.
  • Safe-guard APIs: How do you know that a random change to a COBOL program, PL/I program, or database table will not negatively impact an API and hence a mobile app used by your customers? Today, most organizations have no means to determine whether a change negatively impacts an API unless you do complete regression testing of all APIs. ¬†ADDI enables developers to do impact analysis, allowing them to see whether a change to a COBOL program impacts any APIs. With this feature, you can selectively regression test just those APIs that are negatively impacted by your changes.

Refactor monolithic COBOL applications to prepare for a microservices architecture

With the upcoming release of IBM Application Delivery Foundation for z Systems v3.1, we add the ability to swiftly refactor trusted, monolithic applications into components using new refactoring tools. The upcoming release also includes deeper IBM Application Discovery and Delivery Intelligence integration. Componentization can help you easily reuse proven logic in the API economy, simplify maintenance activities, and make incremental progress towards a microservices architecture with associated business agility. You can make changes faster for local impact.

Leverage latest compilers to capitalize on the significant performance benefits of the z14

The z14 offers major performance improvements, and the latest compiler technologies enable you to take full advantage of those improvements:

  • COBOL and PL/I compilers fully support the Packed Decimal Facility in z14: COBOL v6.2 reduces CPU usage for decimal intensive applications by up to 94% over COBOL v4.2 and 67% over COBOL v5.2. PL/I v5.2 reduces CPU usage of decimal intensive applications by up to 40% over PL/I v5.2.
  • Automatic¬†Binary¬†Optimizer¬†(ABO)¬† reduces CPU use of compute intensive applications built with COBOL v4 (and below) without source recompilation on average by 47% on z14. This enables you to get the benefits of the latest compiler technology while reducing your test burden relative to re-compilation.
  • Application¬†Delivery¬†Foundation¬†v3.1¬† enables you to get the most out of your IBM Z investment, with day one support for z14 capable z/OS software, including support for z/OS 2.3, COBOL 6.2, PL/I 5.2, and ABO 1.3. IBM’s exclusive debug and fault analysis support for the latest compiler technology enables you to quickly and confidently realize the savings the latest compilers can offer.

Business agility and flexibility in your tool chain and the way you work

IBM z Systems Development and Test Environment (zD&T)  is the industry’s only Intel-based environment that runs current, genuine z/OS software and middleware. zD&T eliminates typical development bottlenecks by enabling flexible, horizontal scaling of development, test, and education activities. Today we announce zD&T V11, which includes new role-based, self-service tools that empower your team to create z/OS application environments more quickly and deploy images for development and test purposes with just a few clicks. Our open beta provides a sneak preview of what is coming.

Our Cognitive DevOps solution integrates with a variety of open source and third-party tools, such as Jenkins, JIRA, SonarQube, and GIT; therefore, you can keep your existing tools while adopting our DevOps solution. With the release of IBM Developer for z v14.1, we add support for the SonarLint Eclipse plug-in.

We are also announcing a Technical Preview of an Open Toolchain API in IBM Explorer for z/OS Aqua that delivers Swagger-described APIs to enable flexible, scenario-based z/OS tools integration. As an extension to z/OS Management Facility (or z/OS MF) RESTful APIs that are part of the IBM Z operating system, the Open Toolchain APIs enable the convergence of tools capabilities in working with z/OS resources such as jobs, datasets, job spools and more, through newly designed APIs.  Leveraging the power of IBM problem determination tools, it also enables new APIs for IBM Fault Analyzer and IBM File Manager to support fault management initiatives and enhanced search capabilities, just to name a few.

The launch of IBM Explorer for z/OS Aqua in Dec 2015 effectively set the pace in the industry for CI/CD of z/OS tools releases. More than a dozen IBM z Systems products have since been onboarded to this delivery vehicle for bringing the latest and greatest values to our clients monthly. With 17 products (and counting) continually tested for integration and compatibility, Aqua users can now adopt new product releases & updates faster than ever with confidence through our ‚Äúapp store‚ÄĚ. This convenient feature maximizes ROI and the full potential of your tools investments to help accelerate business growth.

With the new IBM ADFz V3.1, our premier IBM Z software tools portfolio, enterprise users can expect new & exciting capabilities in IBM Developer for z Systems. We also enhanced our leading IBM z Debug technologies, IBM Fault Analyzer, IBM File Manager, and IBM Application Performance Analyzer. Built, tested, & delivered through Aqua, ADFz 3.1 is committed to quality and time to market for our customers by adopting a continuous delivery model that delivers on the promises of simplification and speed through our new Host Configuration Assistant. The Host Configuration Assistant streamlines and expedites host-side configuration based on fully customizable checklists of configuration tasks and actions.

Learn more at the IBM Z Virtual Conference, zTrial, and z Systems tech zone

At the upcoming DevOps for IBM Z Virtual Conference, which takes place July 25th to 27th 2017, we present on how you can accelerate your Digital Transformation Journey using Cognitive DevOps and API Management solutions. Industry leaders from many companies are presenting to share their insights and experiences. Click here to view the full agenda and register for the DevOps for IBM Z Virtual Conference.

To experience our tools through an on-demand, no-charge trial environment, use zTrial, supported by easy to use tutorials, or view trial demos through IBM z Systems tech zone.

About the Author

Per Kroll is Director of DevOps for Enterprise solution in the IBM zSystems Software unit, where he oversees offerings management, development, and support. Per also co-leads a DevOps transformation of 2,000 developers within the IBM zSystems Software unit. Per focused on helping organizations improve how they develop software throughout his career. In past positions, Per drove development of the world’s most broadly adopted commercial process library (Rational Unified Process), development of a measurement framework, and lead an open source project centered on agile best practices. Per also managed development organizations spanning a dozen countries, support, product marketing, and product management organizations. Per authored more than 30 articles and two books, sold in more than 30,000 copies and translated to six languages.

Follow Per Kroll on Twitter: @perkroll and LinkedIn:


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