Today is GA day. That means another successful delivery of IBM z/OS Explorer Aqua 3.1 offerings. Hopefully you saw the recent announcement of IBM Application Delivery Foundation for z Systems V3.1.1, which includes details about IBM Developer for z Systems (IDz) V14.1.2.
IBM Developer for z Systems version 14.1.2 is the second Continuous Delivery update to IDz 14.1. This update includes Requests for Enhancement (RFE), program fixes and in the IBM Developer for z Systems Enterprise Edition, official support for IBM Dependency Based Build (DBB) integration. Previously IBM Dependency Based Build was available as a Beta and the IDz integration was a technical preview. The delivery of IBM Dependency Based Build provides an IBM-only build capability for traditional z/OS applications using modern scripting-language-based automation. DBB does not require a specific source code manager or pipeline automation tool. This continues our direction of allowing IDz to be part of an open DevOps tool chain, for example one that includes Jenkins and the Rocket Software port of Git for z/OS.
Speaking of open source, if your organization is using SonarQube in an attempt to improve the quality of the code developers deliver, then you will be interested to know that both code coverage results and test case results produced with IDz can now be consumed by SonarQube. Collecting code coverage is a great way to determine which lines of code are, and are not, being executed when a test is run. Based on a configuration option the code coverage results can either be associated with the source code itself or an expanded listing. For more information about how easy it is to collect code coverage using IDz and display those results in a SonarQube dashboard, see the blog titled Importing IDz Code Coverage Result into SonarQube. Collecting code coverage and examining the results is a great start on the journey toward improved code quality. However, the next step in a DevOps journey includes automated testing. Using IDz, the results of running test cases created with the z/OS Automated Unit Testing Framework (zUnit) can also now be output in a format SonarQube can consume. This allows for examination of which unit tests passed and failed from the same quality dashboard.
In addition this new IDz update delivers several RFEs requested by our users. Among them are the following:
- COBOL Formatter preference improvements
- COBOL Software Metrics as Properties
- Highlight and Remove unused COBOL variables and copybooks
- Case insensitive compare
- zUnit support for PL/I ordinal data types
- zUnit support for Dynamic CALLs using the SET command
- zUnit support for concatenated data sets
- Conversational REXX and CLIST support
- Export Remote z/OS Search Results including lines before and after the search term
Many of the items above can increase the productivity of developers, but the first three enhancements in the list can also improve code maintainability. Writing software that can be easily understood and maintained by our current colleagues, and our future replacements, should be a goal for all software engineers. Job security is nice, but code that is easy for a peer to review and maintain is even better. For a ‘quick look’ at some of these enhancements in action, check out our new 1-minute video series.
IDz continues to support the latest compiler versions. This includes Continuous Delivery updates for IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS V6.2. Specifically, the compiler options field in a Property Group now supports the new COPYLOC option. Previously JCL generated for compiles only allowed PDS or PDSE datasets as copybook locations. Adding the new compile option now allows z/OS UNIX directories to also be searched for copy members during the library phase.
Last but not least I want to tell you about a new view we introduced in IDz V14.1.2. It is called the Remote Edit History view. Maybe you were editing a PDS member but not quite finished with it, you save it, disconnect from the host and head out for some lunch. Upon returning your IBM Doc Buddy app alerts you about some new blogs on the Mainframe Dev Center site. Reading these blogs is so interesting! Clicking on the related articles and watching the new videos you learn so much that you were not aware of before lunch. Oh yeah, before lunch there was that source member that was not quite finished. But where was it? You cannot immediately recall the PDS and member name… that is exactly what the Remote Edit History view is for.