There is a popular saying, "You are always one decision away from a totally different life."
Recently, I went shopping with my 10-year-old to an exclusive tea store which had more than 50 tea options from which to choose, such as blue tea, black tea, herbal tea, mushroom tea, etc. — in powder form, dry leaf form, rolled leaves, and oxidized form. I was overwhelmed with the sheer magnitude of tea options and their benefits.
As I was exploring and trying to figure out what best works for me, my son stated, "Mommy, to find the tea that matches your needs, it looks like you need to try each of them and pick the one you love. Poor you!"
Today, we all face this reality when we want to modernize our applications. We need to find the “perfect” tool that meets our needs. We must test multiple tools, identifying the pros and cons of each. Ultimately, we pick those options that seem to best align with our unique requirements.
Many enterprises in industries such as banking, finance, and insurance, who rely on IBM Z to run their mission-critical applications, need help in modernizing their applications. They want an enterprise class DevOps strategy that is inclusive of IBM Z.
Therefore, at IBM, we are committed to empowering IBM Z developers with an open and familiar development environment with enterprise-wide, platform-agnostic standardization through IBM Wazi Developer for Red Hat Code Ready Workspaces (Wazi Developer).
A Wazi Developer Fundamental course is available for anyone to learn at no charge, and you can use the community version for hands-on exercises.
Wazi Developer includes key capabilities in three components — Wazi Code, Wazi Sandbox, and Wazi Analyze, empowering developers with a consistent and familiar development environment for IBM z/OS that is optimized to run on Red Hat OpenShift and reduces the number of DevOps tools needed to develop and test your z/OS applications. With Wazi Developer, you can dramatically reduce the time associated in finding the perfect tooling from the big DevOps tool lake.
IBM Wazi Code lets you build solutions using your choice of Integrated Development Environments (IDE) that are both familiar and popular to all developers. It includes intelligent editors, build tools, and a debugger with rich language support for REXX, COBOL, PL/I, and Assembler through Eclipse, Visual Studio Code (VS Code) and Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces. Developers can use modern software configuration management (SCM) tools, such as Git, to embrace true parallel development. Developers can then build with IBM Dependency Based Build (DBB) and accelerate delivery time as this component has been built to be user friendly, allowing IBM Z to move closer to the distributed world and play a strategic role in the DevOps world.
Many developers look to the cloud for the speed and flexibility to provide the right resources needed to develop, test, or learn applications and be up and running in minutes. All this is possible with Wazi Sandbox. As a developer, you can provision a containerized, personal z/OS sandbox environment with Wazi Sandbox running on Red Hat OpenShift with the flexibility to spin up and down on demand. You can get a personal z/OS sandbox, which can be provisioned in minutes, with all the right resources to try multiple options, run different scenarios, and test code more thoroughly.
Sometimes, a request comes in to change an application that lacks documentation. How do you know all the dependencies to ensure a change doesn't break something? Wazi Analyze enables developers to increase application understanding and help assess the impact of code changes before any changes are made. With graphical visualization of COBOL, PL/I, Java™, and Assembler application artifact dependencies, dependencies are displayed in a web user interface and you can drill down for a deeper understanding. When you are ready, you can generate documentation to share application information and reports across the organization and make code changes with confidence, reducing risk of regressions.
These three key components in IBM Wazi Developer can help developers accelerate hybrid application development and delivery through intelligent application analysis, choices in IDE, and personal z/OS sandbox, thus increasing agility, improving reliability, and shortening releases.
Wazi Developer offers flexible entitlements. This means you can mix and match the components used based on your business need. For example, you can start with desktop-based components and later move your project to the OpenShift environment by choosing those components that support that environment.
So now, let's look at a day in the life of a hybrid application developer, Sara, who has 1–3 years of experience and handles large debit card applications for a bank. In her role, Sara needs to enhance a microservice that interacts with the backend code written in COBOL/CICS. Let's say that the microservice runs on Red Hat OpenShift platform and she can change the front end using OpenShift native tools.
In a typical day with Wazi Developer, Sara can use its included components to make relevant changes to the backend code running in z/OS in the same way she alters the rest of her application.
When Sara starts her day, she logs into GitLab and sees that there is a defect waiting for action. When she reads through the defect, it states that Application X stopped working. Sara immediately jumps into action by deploying a Wazi Sandbox on her own in minutes, and creates a workspace using Wazi Developer for Workspaces. She can now clone Git repo and execute a user build against the sandbox. Sara then uploads the test data and starts a debug session to find the issue. Sara wants to be sure she knows exactly what needs to be updated, so she launches Wazi Analyze to quickly scan and identify the code changes and impact. Once the results are ready, she fixes the problem in a new Git branch, reruns the user build, and then runs the application. She tests and confirms the fix works. Sara pushes the changes to GitLab and creates a merge request against your branch.
Watch this video for a visual demonstration of Sara's experience.
And, here are two additional videos that walk through different ways of leveraging Wazi Developer:
- Step-by-step demo that shows how to connect to Wazi Sandbox from IDEs to edit COBOL programs, submit JCL jobs, and run user builds
- E2E demo that demonstrates the complete modern enterprise application development experience
In summary, with the three flexible components offered in Wazi Developer, Sara was able to stay in her development zone to find the code she needed to work on, analyze it, make the changes, build it, test it, debug any problem, and rinse and repeat as needed until ready to move further through the automated pipeline. The environment was up and running in minutes and she could take it down when she was finished.
Now, back to my tea journey, it continues with expensive experimentation. I have not found a flexible entitlement capability as in Wazi Developer, and I hope the big giants of Chai Walla hear my cry.
Raichel Babu currently leads the Wazi Developer product for IBM and works closely with clients and partners to accelerate the adoption of DevOps and journey to cloud. Raichel has over 16 years of experience with IBM, where she has held several positions in the services industry across the Philippines and India, and is now at IBM Canada working in the software industry.