Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Compuware Topaz – Mainframe Software for the 21st Century

By Rich Ptak

A newly privatized Compuware is setting out to significantly impact the mainframe marketplace. The changes started before the acquisition by private equity firm, Thoma Bravo. Compuware now focuses exclusively on mainframe software products, while the distributed application performance management products reside in spin-off Dynatrace. This makes sense as the escalation in the use of technologies like Cloud, Mobile, Big Data/Analytics, Security, etc. are recognized as natural mainframe workloads. Some 80% of the world’s corporate data originates on the mainframe with some 30 billion business transactions executed every day. Wise CIOs are re-examining their existing mainframe infrastructure, but many are not as they face two problems:

1.     Lack of experience with and knowledge about the mainframe itself impedes understanding its current utility, as well as its potential;

2.     Mainframe expertise is becoming a scarce commodity among computer architects, developers and operations staff.

Big problems that have no easy answers, but these are exactly what Compuware has decided to attack with the release of Topaz, a developer productivity solution designed to help a new development workforce increase their understanding of mainframe data and applications.

Topaz is the first product release from the new Compuware. It establishes a brand-new direction for mainframe product vendors. It is targeted specifically to enhance the productivity on the mainframe of developers, operations and architects without deep expertise on the platform. It does this by using Open Standards technologies, design goals that include simplification and a deep understanding of both the mainframe and non-mainframe environments.
 Topaz is designed to allow non-experts to improve the operational efficiency and performance of mainframe applications without becoming experts in the intricacies of mainframe functioning. In addition to its standards-based technologies, its key functionalities include a universal data editor, a relationship visualizer and host-to-host copy capabilities. Let’s examine the need Compuware wants to address, and then we’ll discuss what they deliver.
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