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Compuware Workbench For Mainframe Developers


Compuware has detailed enhancements to its Workbench mainframe application development interface. The software is positioned as a developer tool for standardized point-and-click file and data management with the ability to edit complex IMS databases.

NOTE: SAS describes an IMS database as a large, centralized collection of information comprising one or more physical files that can be accessed by the SAS/ACCESS interface to IMS. An IMS database is a hierarchical database. Information is structured in records that are subdivided into a hierarchy of related segments.

Compuware's developer play hinges around a promise that Workbench will help programmers to "future proof" mainframe development by providing an environment where new and inexperienced developers can produce high-quality applications.

"Without access to a modernized development interface, new developers would be deterred by the complex and antiquated mainframe development environment, leaving companies vulnerable to application outages and other business risks when experienced developers retire and take their knowledge with them," said Kris Manery, senior VP of mainframe solutions at Compuware.

As one of the "older" mainframe database and transaction management systems, IMS requires highly technical and specialized knowledge to manage and support it. The Workbench File-AID Data Editor supports browsing and editing of IMS databases in addition to DB2 and other mainframe filesystems.

The firm claims that File-AID — the cross-platform file and data management solution first introduced 30 years ago — "revolutionized" how developers access and manage mainframe data files by providing quick and convenient browse, edit, and utility functions from TSO/ISPF. Three decades of innovations later, Compuware says that File-AID continues to lead the industry with its new graphical user interface that fits the needs of a "new breed" of software developers.

Developer functionality also includes:

  • Additional flexibility when debugging programs. Xpediter/Eclipse now includes "Monitor/Reverse" and "Step Into," "Step Over," and "Step Return," along with other enhancements that provide developers with more flexibility when navigating through source code during the application debugging process.
  • Advanced internal diagnostics and component-level checking. Users can now automatically display compile diagnostics, such as syntax errors and compiler warnings, enabling developers to quickly pinpoint the exact location of the errant code causing an application error.


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