Git Bridge and Che4z – Modernizing Mainframe Application Development

Git Bridge and Che4z – Modernizing Mainframe Application Development


Hi! I’m Sylva, the product owner for a diverse team of software engineers. My engineers often discuss how they can take advantage of modern tools without impacting the existing workflows. They routinely modify back-end, mainframe applications in CA Endevor. Core mainframers, like Rob, enjoy using green screen and are content with the way they work today. For others, however, and especially younger developers like Michelle, freedom is the key. She wants the freedom to choose her own IDE and utilize Git. For a long time, I’ve tried to find a solution that allows Rob and Michelle to work the way they want and still develop concurrently on Endevor. The new Git front-end for Endevor changed everything for us. My engineers can now choose to work and collaborate using Git and ensure that their changes are all synchronized with changes made in Endevor. Well, let’s now take a look at how this Git front-end works for my team, and for Michelle in particular. Michelle uses Eclipse Che, a web-based IDE with a remote workspace that contains the tools she needs to develop on the mainframe. The nice thing about Eclipse Che is that Michelle doesn’t need to install anything on her machine. She clones the application from an enterprise Git repository which has been set up to synchronize transparently to Endevor. Following best practices, she creates a feature branch so that her changes can be made in isolation from other developers, improving the agility of her team. At any time, she can integrate changes made by her colleagues, such as Rob, using standard Git operations. Michelle and Rob can work wherever they feel most productive–in their own Git-enabled workspaces or on the mainframe. As she works, Michelle can build her working directory using Zowe CLI with Endevor acting as a remote build service. The resulting binaries are created on the mainframe. She can then leverage Zowe CLI to deploy and run them in her testing environment. When she is satisfied and has tested her changes, Michelle can commit and push her code back to the enterprise Git repository where it can be reviewed by a senior developer in her team using Git features such as pull requests. After her changes are reviewed, they are merged onto the master branch, automatically sending them to Endevor. The update causes a pipeline orchestration tool to be triggered. The pipeline leverages existing Endevor automation via Zowe CLI to automatically build, test and ultimately promote Michelle’s changes to production. With the Git front-end, my developers can work with COBOL code managed by Endevor on the mainframe just the same way they work with Java code running on Linux or Windows. At the end of the day, all members of my team have the freedom to choose how they want to work with Endevor.

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