The DevOps Enterprise Summit in London provided another opportunity to speak to many clients about their organizations’ DevOps transformations. The key message is, “It’s all about people and culture,” but how do you make those changes? In session after session it was clear the source code manager (SCM) is central to this transformation. All clients included the SCM as a key part of the solution. SCM’s key value is as a common place to version all the artifacts from the source code to the system configuration. As such, it must provide visibility to all to allow for sharing and collaboration.
So how can z/OS participate in this transformation if its source code is locked away in some host-based SCM? The answer is, It doesn’t. In my interview with DevOps.com editor Alan Shimel, we discussed this issue and he related it to the idea of separate but equal, which we all know does not work. What’s worse is separate but equal was really never equal, and the same is true for the host-based SCM to which the z/OS source code is relegated. I have asked many companies if they would move their distributed source to those host-based SCMs, and the answer is always, “Of course not; it does not provide what the distributed teams need.” How can it provide what the host teams need? It doesn’t.
Separate but equal does not work; it’s never equal and it isolates people. That’s not the way we should be looking at our z/OS source code. It’s critical to the business and should have the best support and capabilities, not the least. Now is the time to move to modern tools and processes and stop isolating the z/OS environment from the rest of the development environment.
The key is to focus on collaborative management solutions that do not separate, but bring teams together by providing one environment that all teams can use together for cross-platform collaboration. Various solutions include all the capabilities companies need to provide the modern agile development environment including z/OS. No separation—the z/OS code is in the same repository as all the rest. In these tools, the modern dependency-based build provided for z artifacts is based on Ant technology, so it can be extended just like existing build tools. With this tooling you can use your existing continuous integration pipeline and plug z into it.
It’s time we move z/OS development into the 21 century.
Read the thought leadership paper on DevOps for Enterprise System POV to know more on the essential tools and process that can enable disruptive technologies and an innovation at the speed the business requires.
About the Author / Rosalind Radcliffe
Rosalind is a Distinguished Engineer within the IBM Rational organization. She is Chief Architect for CLM and DevOps. She is responsible for driving the DevOps for multi-platform architecture. This includes System z and Power system. In addition, she is responsible for the architecture for the Collaborative Management capability for Enterprise solutions. This includes UrbanCode Deploy and Rational Team Concert’s support for standard Mainframe development activities. She is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology and a Master Inventor. Prior to Rational, she was in Tivoli responsible for the SOA Management Strategy for IBM. Connect with Rosalind on LinkedIn / Twitter.