Since Application Delivery Foundation for z Systems V3.1 (ADFz) availability in September of 2017, the ADFz team has delivered quarterly enhancements across the themes of shift left testing, integrated open DevOps toolchain, and refactoring of monolithic applications.

On March 16th, 2019, we continued the release train journey, with radical advancements in shift left testing, capabilities to further a transformation to an open DevOps toolchain that employs Git for z/OS, and more. 

What’s new

This is the sixth Continuous Delivery (CD) update since the release of ADFz 3.1 in September 2017; thus all the constituent products are at a 14.1.6 level. Here are the highlights: 

  • IBM Developer for z Systems (IDz), the developer’s cockpit, provides an integrated development environment for developing, unit testing, and debugging IBM z/OS® applications. New z Unit capability in IDz V14.1.6 and Z Open Unit Test V1.0 enables CICS developers to record interactions with a CICS program without the overhead of a debugging tool, capture the data used by the program, and then stub out all the EXEC CICS commands in the program.  This approach results in zUnit test cases that run independently of the CICS environment, enabling flexible continuous testing as part of an automated DevOps pipeline. For more details on the new zUnit capabilities, plus to learn more about additional user driven enhancements in IDz 14.1.6, please see the What’s New in IBM Developer for z Systems 14.1.6 blog.
  • IBM Developer for z Systems Enterprise Edition (IDzEE) is a superset of IDz and Debug for z Systems with value add capabilities like Dependency Based Build (DBB). DBB provides the facilities to build traditional z/OS applications, with a  modern scripting-language-based capability to automate delivery into a open DevOps pipeline. DBB 1.0.4 offers compilation input and outputs on USS, FIPS 140-2 compliance, assembler samples, and samples for automated migration from IBM SCLM to Git. Please see the documentation and DBB samples for more information. 
  • File Manager (FM) provides a comprehensive set of tools for efficiently manipulating z/OS data. FM 14.1.6 adds DB2 and IMS read-only REST APIs for z/OS Connect Enterprise Edition, CICS 5.5 support, PDSE/2 support, and 8 char userid (zOS 2.3 support). Please see the File Manager service information for more information.
  • Fault Analyzer (FA) simplifies the process of diagnosing z/OS application abends. FA V14.1.6 delivers user driven Requests for Enhancements. These include new execs to enable source support for C programs and Java debugging improvements. Please see the Fault Analyzer change summary for more details. 

New  in 2019

The first quarter of 2019 included two major conferences: Think 2019 and SHARE Phoenix 2019. 

In case you were not able to attend Think, one of the pervasive themes was customer focus on inclusion of the mainframe in their organization’s shared pipeline. You could feel the excitement in customer interactions and sessions. For example, one session feature a Z DevOps Transformation at a large bank, discussed in Francois Dumont’s blog. For other Think highlights, please check out Rosalind Radcliffe’s “IBM THINK what I learned”, and Minaz Merali’s Mainframe CI/CD with an open toolchain articles.  

SHARE Phoenix 2019 featured a full slate of 29 DevOps sessions, including “True Unit Test for z/OS Applications”, featuring the new z Unit capabilities, and “Git and DBB for z/OS for COBOL and PL/I”. 

And here on Mainframe Dev, the ADFz training schedule is up to date so that you can plan your no charge training in 2019. There are training options for both ADFz newbies and experienced users. And one of our expert instructors, Jon Sayles, is “back to blogging” with informative posts like Exploiting Bookmarks – For Editing Productivity, Agile, Work-Items, Project & Task Management and Why COBOL.  

And looking forward into April, if z/OS application modernization is a key concern, please register for the upcoming webinar, Table stakes for your transformation projects- Discovering the business logic in your z/OS Applications, to learn how you can accelerate the discovery of critical business logic for your transformation project.  

As always, if you have questions or comments on ADFz, please contact me via this blog or LinkedIn. In addition, at the end of 2018, we introduced the ability to provide end user feedback directly from the z/OS Explorer Aqua client; please provide your email if prompted so that we can follow up to get to a clear understanding of your needs. And finally, let us know what additional capabilities you need in ADFz by submitting feature requests in the IBM RFE Community

As the first quarter of 2019 closes, I hope that the possibility of running automated unit tests for CICS programs without reliance on a CICS environment or a debugger leaves you with a spring in your step. 

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