UPDATED 06:00 EDT / JANUARY 05 2016


Compuware launches DevOps initiative to revive mainframe programming

A lot has changed at Compuware Corp. since its sale to private equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC for $2.4 billion last year. The mainframe software maker drastically cut release cycles as part of an internal streamlining effort meant to improve the returns of the new owners and now hopes to spread the benefits of faster development to customers in a “game-changing” push to diversify its value proposition.

The initiative is kicking off with the acquisition of ISPW Benchmark Technologies Ltd, a low-key Canadian code management specialist that boasts several big customers including Toyota Motor Corp.,  FedEx Corp. and the Shell Oil Company. The reason why the outfit hasn’t gained as high of a profile as other development automation providers like Atlassian Inc. lies in the fact that its software is geared mainly toward mainframe projects and only provides limited support for more modern platforms. But while it may not be enough to make major industry headlines, that feature set is perfectly aligned with Compuware’s plans.

The vendor is trying to cut the large amounts of manual work historically involved in managing big iron deployments to simplify the chore and thereby hopefully reduce the learning curve. The goal is to make it easier for an organization’s development and operations teams to take over the torch from their peers in the mainframe department, who are typically due to retire much sooner than the applications they maintain. Worse, they’re difficult to replace, since newer generations of technology professionals lack the skills to operate decades-old mainframes.

ISPW’s software will enable Compuware to automate most of everything from deploying to maintaining big iron applications. The company is addressing the rest through a series of new partnerships announced alongside the acquisition that are aimed at augmenting its capabilities with third party functionality. SonarSource Inc. and Atlassian will add integration with their code management solutions to help developers troubleshoot legacy mainframe code, while Splunk Inc. and AppDynamics Inc. are joining the initiative to streamline issue resolution over on the operational side.

Image via IBM

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