Using IKAN ALM for DevOps or Application Release Automation (ARA)

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.

That is why we thought, that based on our mainframe expertise we could build a solution that is multi-platform and can be deployed at an enterprise level. Further on we will use the term ALM as reference to all different kinds of terms used today (or yesterday).

Introducing IKAN ALM

Our IKAN ALM solution is a cross-platform web-based tool for Application Lifecycle Management. It combines DevOps initiatives (continuous build and continuous integration) and lifecycle management to support the complexity of service-oriented architectures and highly distributed systems.

Being a modern ALM solution, IKAN ALM can be used in any development environment, be it a mainframe or distributed environment. It also integrates with less commonly used environments, such as Oracle Data Integrator (ODI). The ability of IKAN ALM to communicate with a variety of Issue Tracking and Versioning tools, saves software development companies from adapting to new tools. The tools already in use can be integrated within the overall application life cycle.

The diagram below shows how IKAN ALM works:

Developers use the IDE (Integrated Development Environment) of their choice. For example, Visual Studio for windows .NET, Eclipse, NetWeaver, JDeveloper or IntelliJ for Java, or 3270 (emulators), IBM RDZ, Compuware TOPAZ for mainframes. Mostly, those IDEs are also integrated with popular and well-accepted version control repositories, such as CVS, Subversion or Git. IKAN ALM complements the developer's IDE and offers the following main services:

IKAN ALM main services

Life Cycle definition

Ability to define your own project life cycle with a Build, Testing and Production Levels.

Build process

Consists of what we call a number of core phases, solution phases and custom phases. Core phases are IKAN ALM phases needed to have IKAN ALM running, solution phases are phases that provide specific build functions for your environment and custom phases are phases built by you. Examples of solution phases are phases for compiling COBOL, Assembler or PL/1 code on the mainframe.

Deploy process

Consists of what we call a number of core phases, solution phases and custom phases. Core phases are IKAN ALM phases needed to have IKAN ALM running, solution phases are phases that provide specific deploy functions for your environment and custom phases are phases built by you. Examples of solution phases are phases for stopping and starting application servers, restore Oracle Data Integrator scenarios, DB2 binds on the mainframe, etc.

Approval process

Next, there is the possibility to make your deployments approval-based and to be notified of any action executed by IKAN ALM.

Continue reading in ournext post:DevOps for z/OS.


Have a great weekend,
The BlueBridge team

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