Rocket Software Makes Testing iSeries Apps More Secure

Rocket Software this week extended its DevOps platform for iSeries platforms from IBM to make it simpler to test applications in a way that ensures sensitive data isn’t inadvertently exposed to application developers.

Julianna Cammarano, vice president of product for applications at Rocket Software, said the update makes it possible for DevOps teams to apply policies that prevent developers from being able to view sensitive data, such as credit card or social security numbers that might result in a compliance violation.

The masking capability makes it possible for DevOps teams to continue to provide access to data that is needed to test applications without risking potential fines that might be levied if they fail an audit, she added. In the absence of that capability, organizations that must comply with any number of regulations are not able to give developers access to data sets running in production environments to test their applications, said Cammarano.

As is the case with most legacy IBM platforms, adoption of best DevOps practices is uneven. Many organizations are now using a mix of waterfall and DevOps methodologies to build and deploy applications. In some cases, an application that is rarely updated lends itself more to a waterfall methodology than a DevOps workflow that is designed to enable organizations to frequently update software.

The challenge that organizations with iSeries applications have is attracting developers and software engineers to work on a legacy platform, noted Cammarano. The only way to entice them to work on a legacy platform is to make sure they have access to modern DevOps tools that can be easily accessed via a centralized portal, she added.

It’s not clear how many new applications are being built for the iSeries platform but there are still a substantial number of legacy applications running in production environments that organizations may opt to modernize rather than replace, especially if the cost of replacing those applications is prohibitive, said Cammarano.

IBM, for its part, appears committed to providing support for the iSeries platform till 2032, and beyond, now that IBM is using the same server architecture developed for its P-Series Unix platforms to build next generation iSeries servers. That approach ensures iSeries application performance will continue to improve as IBM makes additional investments in the RISC processors used now in both platforms.

There are, of course, few organizations that are not also building and deploying applications on other platforms. Those that do have iSeries platforms are typically looking to adopt a consistent set of DevOps workflows that can be applied to multiple platforms that continue to run in on-premises IT environments, mainly because migrating iSeries applications to another platform requires a significant amount of time and effort.

Ultimately, each organization needs to determine what level of DevOps adoption best fits their needs, depending on how dependent they might be on a specific platform. The one thing that is certain is many organizations, as more application development and deployment processes become automated, will discover DevOps is a journey that never ends.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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