A standard development process on mainframe looks similar to the one below:

Requirements and Issue Tracking

Application requirements and issues are stored in Collabnet’s Teamforge, BMC’s Remedy or Atlassian’s JIRA.


Mainframe developers use to work with 3270 screens and store their code in mainframe PDS's (Partitioned Data Sets) instead of in standard Windows directories. In a PDS you can’t version your files or members. That is why library management systems like Librarian or Panvalet, and later on more sophisticated systems with additional functionality like CA’s Endevor or Serena’s Change Man, were developed.

Nowadays, mainframes are often no longer seen as development environments, but mainly as machines able to cope with massive amounts of data and transactions. A major challenge is to make them part of today’s new ecosystem where distributed environments and mobile play an important role.

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The first Application Life Cycle Management solutions were called Library Management Systems. Next people started talking about Software Change Management (SCM). Yesterday it was Application Life Cycle Management (ALM) or just Life Cycle Management (LCM). Not to forget Agile, Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment, DevOps and the latest kid in town ARA (or Application Release Automation).

Bottomline is that the challenge over the years stays the same, but that we have to deal with a different landscape: other environments and platforms.

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Today more and more people are aware of the fact that mainframes are here to stay.

However, mainframe applications have not kept pace with the latest technological trends. To help, keep and gain customers, mainframe users need to innovate and integrate their current mainframe based business processes.

In this series of posts we will explain what you can do to keep pace and take advantage of the strenght of the mainframe by understanding and using DevOps principles.

We'll first start with explaining what we think DevOps is and what it can bring to your organisation.

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