Versioning (Mainframes and DevOps)

First of all, thank you for the many comments and likes on last week’s post. Sorry for being late this week, but we had to submit a large RFP before midnight Friday!

Versioning on the mainframe

In a PDS, you can have one copy of your program: when you change and save it with the same name, the old copy will be overwritten and you will have no history.

Although some editors can create a backup of the file before updating, this does not give the same functionality as a proper versioning system.

On IBM z/OS, CA Librarian, CA-Panvalet, IBM SCLM, MSP DataManager are historically the best known versioning systems. CA-Endevor and SERENA CHANGEMAN are also widely used for version control, offering additional configuration features.

Non-mainframe alternative

For non-z/OS environments, we have IBM Clearcase, IBM RTC, Microsoft TFS, CVS, Subversion, GIT and others. All Eclipse-based editors have access to version control repositories.

Eclipse has a “Team” function that allows you to connect with most of the common VCRs like CVS (standard Eclipse), Subversion (subclipse, subversive), GIT, …

Those non-z/OS based library or version control repositories provide good alternatives for the classic mainframe-based library or version control systems. As CVS, Subversion and GIT are very popular in the distributed world, using these also for mainframe versioning offers you one and the same solution for managing all your versioning, be it for mainframe, Windows, Linux or mobile.

Of course both the traditional z/OS versioning and the more modern versioning systems are sound alternatives.

Questions to ask and answer before you do anything: what is the business case, what are the functional requirements and what are the technical alternatives?

A recent remark we got from somebody responsible for a new architecture was the following: many times just a few stakeholders (let(s say developers) are part of the selection process and as such the importance of such a selection for other stakeholders has not been taken into, account.

Example: integration between issue tracking systems and versioning systems. And always keep in mind: Change hurts!

Continue reading in our next post: Compile, or Build (Mainframes and DevOps)

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About the author

Hello, my name is René De Vleeschauwer.

Throughout my career I've been responsible for the development of enterprise software. Since 12 years I've been leading the development of IKAN ALM, an open DevOps framework.

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