Compuware's Latest Innovations Enable Enterprises to Successfully Navigate the “New Normal of Mainframe”


DETROIT — Compuware Corporation (Nasdaq:CPWR), the technology performance company, today announced several product enhancements that will help its customers overcome the business risks of the “New Normal of Mainframe” by increasing developer productivity and improving application performance management.

The New Normal of Mainframe
Under the New Normal, the surge in mobile banking and other types of e-commerce has made mainframe applications key to connecting businesses with customers. This means IT organizations must integrate new cloud and mobile applications with legacy mainframe applications at a record pace — often in a specialized development environment — while ensuring those applications deliver superior quality and performance.

At the same time, as mainframe applications become more customer-facing, complex and thus difficult to maintain, the mainframe technology industry faces a critical skills shortage. This puts businesses at risk for costly and reputation-damaging application failures. According to a recent independent research study into mainframe use conducted by Vanson Bourne*, 71 percent of CIOs are concerned that the looming mainframe skills shortage will hurt their business. Specifically, CIOs are concerned this will result in increased application risk (58 percent), reduced productivity (58 percent) and more project overruns (53 percent).

“Mainframe usage continues to increase with the addition of new customer-facing applications — often connected to the Web and mobile devices — plus growth in existing workloads. This growth is producing sizable increases in MIPS consumption and in deployed application complexity,” said Tim Grieser, Program Vice President, Enterpris System Management Software, IDC. “Compuware’s modernized mainframe tools can help enterprises address their mainframe skills requirements needed to develop, maintain, extend and manage the performance of these increasingly business-critical applications.”

Addressing the Business Risks of the New Normal
For 35 years, Compuware Mainframe Solutions have enabled developers to efficiently support critical applications — from analyzing code, optimizing test data and testing and debugging, to pinpointing problems, validating quality, and tuning applications and performance. The Compuware Workbench, a modernized, open framework development environment, provides new, less-experienced developers with the leading-edge products they need to work productively and with fewer errors, mitigating the risks created by the New Normal. Now, Compuware’s Mainframe Solutions have been enhanced to include the following:

Increasing Developer Productivity

  • Workbench 3.1.6 now includes fast, easy access to MVS data. The Workbench now features File-AID for MVS browse and edit capabilities. This enables quick and convenient access to data and file types that are critical for large enterprise application development and testing, boosting the productivity of mainframe application developers. Key business risks addressed: low developer productivity; and controlling test data management and execution costs.

“MVS File-AID Data Editor closes the last gap in our IDE. Because it’s conveniently available on the Workbench, all tasks are performed in an Eclipse environment, eliminating the need for a TSO-session for the developers. The addition of MVS File-AID on the Workbench is one of many solutions that make the Workbench such a useful tool in managing mainframe application development activities,” said Frank Rautenberg, Enterprise Application Support, Generali Information Services.

  • Quick, effective debugging capabilities. The new Workbench also includes an enhanced Xpediter debugging capability enabling IT staffers without advanced application knowledge to get into an interactive test session with minimal effort to quickly and confidently move applications into production. Key business risks addressed: lost application knowledge; low developer productivity; and reduced efficiency moving from the problem identification phase to the solution phase.
  • Enabling enterprises to quickly resolve application faults with Abend-AID 12.2.The industry’s leading mainframe application fault resolution tool further extends its diagnostic capabilities, enabling     users to deliver outstanding service. New features include a COBOL PERFORM trace, consolidated displays of IMS and DB2 data to speed access to crucial information, and easier access to Abend-AID reports. Key business risks addressed: reduced time-to-market delivery; poor application quality; and missed service levels.

Enhancing Application Performance Management

  • Automating the ability to eliminate costly performance creep with Strobe 4.3. Strobe, the industry’s premier mainframe application performance management solution, now includes the ability to automatically measure batch jobs that exceed dynamically calculated thresholds. Other new capabilities include: integration with existing monitoring tools, improved CICS transaction reporting, and new views of DB2 accounting statistics.

With iStrobe 4.3 customers can now view historical performance data from a variety of perspectives, including the ability to establish baseline performance benchmarks. In addition, Strobe can now easily initiate measurements from within Compuware’s Workbench as part of the development process. Key business risks addressed: not meeting user expectations; reduced competitive advantages; and excessive CPU consumption resulting in reduced revenue.

“Mainframe applications power the top retailers, banks, insurance companies, telecommunications and manufacturing companies worldwide. At the same time, as experienced developers retire, fewer developers are acquiring the mainframe skills needed to maintain these complex applications. This puts enterprises at significant risk for financial losses,” said Kris Manery, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mainframe Solutions Business Unit, Compuware. “It’s never been more important to have the tools and people in place to ensure mainframe applications deliver superior quality and performance.”

“Navigating the New Normal of Mainframe” Webcast
Compuware will host a Navigating the New Normal of Mainframe webcast Feb. 15 at 11 a.m. ET. During the session, Compuware experts will demonstrate how new interfaces can help both experienced and new-to-the-mainframe developers be more efficient when writing and maintaining code, optimizing test data, testing and debugging, pinpointing problems, validating quality, and tuning applications and performance. To register, visit