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In a recent IBM® Institute for Business Value study, 71% of executives say mainframe-based applications are central to their business strategy and four out of five respondents say their organizations need to rapidly transform to keep up with competition. The importance and complexity of these mission-critical applications means teams must apply a high degree of due diligence to discover and analyze how the application works and its relationship with other applications.

With tens of millions of lines of code, hundreds of dependencies, and dated documentation, architects and developers can spend weeks or months trying to understand the impact of changes, with no guarantee the updates won’t have unintended rippling effects.

An analysis tool, like IBM Application Discovery and Delivery Intelligence (ADDI), provides up-to-date, consumable information about your mainframe software assets and resources, allowing you to confidently plan your changes. Once the development has started, a collaborate tool, like IBM Engineering Workflow Management (EWM), allows teams to track their work, share their changes, and easily communicate with each other. These tools accelerate discovery and planning, allowing organizations to quickly and accurately implement application changes.

Lower Costs and Increase ROI with Application Modernization on a Hybrid Cloud
Related solution Continuous integration for the hybrid cloud developer experience

Simplify life for developers building hybrid cloud applications with a cloud native development experience for z/OS.

Big picture 1. Select the applications to be modernized and begin discovery. 2. Gain application insights. 3. Gain data insights. 4. Identify API candidates. 5. Plan your next steps. How to get started

Selecting the application(s) starts with prioritizing work aligned with your business goals. To do this, you need to:

  • Identify organization’s business objectives and priorities by considering revenue goals, known issues or pain points, and the modernization journey of the company.
  • Based on the business objectives, select the application(s) to be modernized.
  • Determine and prioritize enhancements needed to be addressed for the selected application(s).
  • Perform research to find all the architectural collateral, determine all dependencies, and manually document these dependencies OR use ADDI to scan the source code, automate the discovery process, and auto-generate graphs and reports.

Discovery application boundaries, interdependencies, dependencies, syntax issues, unused code, and more in order to understand what changes are required.

Use Cases

Click a use case to find out more.

Deep dive analysis includes interdependencies, as well as the resources, databases, and variables that are accessed. This can be done by reviewing all of the code in the application and architectural diagrams OR using an analysis tool, like ADDI, you can run the reports to collect the same information. Examples of what you can do in ADDI are:

  • Generate program call graphs to show how programs, transactions, databases and files are connected in complex environments. For a demonstration, watch this video: Creating a CICS Transaction Callgraph.
  • Leverage usage reports to show where certain resources or variables are accessed. For a demonstration, watch this video Accessing Batch Job Usage Inventory.
  • Use impact analysis reports to show multi-level impacts of changes to variables and databases across programs. Learn more: Impact Analysis Report
  • Locate complex programs which could be candidates for refactoring by generating complexity reports. Learn more: Complexity Reports
  • Generate cross application flow graphs to gain insights into interactions with other applications. Learn more: Cross Applications Callgraph

Hogan® Core Banking and CAMS application calls look like a black box to the developer, making it difficult, if not impossible, to analyze, debug, and understand the relationship between Hogan and non-Hogan applications.

IBM worked with DXC™ to create a Hogan®/CAMS™ Connector for ADDI. Rather than manually reviewing code and architectural diagrams, developers can use ADDI with the Connector from DXC™ to gain visibility into the relationships, including process dictionary components like maps, transactions, and activities.

Watch this video to earn more about Hogan and CAMS application support.

An application can be made up of thousands of programs and copy books. Moving to a modern SCM, like Git, allows for the opportunity to better organize these files so that they can be more easily maintained.

To do this, developers need to review the application to discover the relationships of programs, as well as their local copybooks, which could take days or months depending on the size of the application.

Using a tool, like ADDI, you can quickly identify clusters of programs and their local copybooks that should be stored together. In addition, you can identify shared copybooks to be stored in a separate Git repository to ensure there is no duplication of copybooks.

Learn more on ADDI and Git by watching these videos:

ADDI and Git Support - Part 1

ADDI and Git Support - Part 2

Applications use cryptography to protect, authenticate, and validate sensitive information from cyber-security threats. As quantum computers become more powerful, they will be able to break classic encryption algorithms, so the industry has developed new quantum-safe algorithms that are resistant to attacks from both traditional computers and quantum computers.

The architect must manually go through their COBOL applications to pinpoint where cryptography is used in an application and what Integrated Cryptographic Service Facility (ICSF) Crypto API calls exist, including encryption rules and other important parameters.

Or, using ADDI, security architects can auto-discover where applications use cryptography and what crypto algorithms they use. In addition, it discovers calls to the ICSF. If customers have created their own custom abstraction layer for cryptography, then they can also configure ADDI to discover calls to that abstraction layer.

The data collected by ADDI is then passed to a cryptography dashboard where security architects can assess the vulnerability of both the cryptography and ICSF calls within an application. This information is then used in the planning process to protect against harvesting of confidential data.

Learn more by watching Quantum-Safe Cryptography and the ADDI Tool.

Prior to migrating to a later version of COBOL, it’s important to first address any old syntax issues and application dependencies to ensure the correct parameters are being sent between applications.

Manual analysis can be done to discover syntax issues and application dependencies, OR ADDI can be used to quickly identify these parameters to accelerate your migration journey.

Learn more or connect with IBM COBOL experts directly on the COBOL Migration Portal.


Before making changes to an application, it is important to understand where the data is sourced. On the other hand, before making changes to a database attribute, it is important to understand what applications are affected. Both scenarios require extensive analysis of the application. This analysis is further complicated when data is sourced from a non-relational database. Other data insights are needed to:

  • Determine data lineage required during audits.
  • Modernize your data to simplify access to non-relational data
  • Integrate your IBM Z data into your company’s data fabric.
Use Cases

Click a use case to find out more.

A change to a field in a database has a rippling effect to all the applications that query and update it (i.e., increase size of account number). This is referred to as data lineage.

To discover data lineage, the architect or developer must manually analyze data to determine its dependencies with other applications OR use ADDI to generate a report that provides a deep dive analysis into where the data originates and the extent to which it is shared across programs within an application.

This report provides the insight needed to discover exactly where changes need to be made.

In addition, auditors may require proof of where data is sourced (i.e., GDPR). This can be complicated when applications that reference fields in a database use different names for that field (i.e., customer name vs client name).

Manually analyze the data to determine where data is sourced OR use ADDI to run a data lineage report.

This report quickly identifies the specific field within a database from where the data is sourced, satisfying auditors and making your organization compliance ready.

Learn more: Datasets Reports

Unleashing data on Z to the broader organization starts with providing a simple way to access it. To do this, organizations need a way to access non-relational data the same they with would a relational database. In order to accomplish this, you need the metadata and a means to generate a virtual table that emulates that experience.

  • To do this, customers create a map for the fields in each file via a manual configuration process. This can be very time consuming for thousands or tens of thousands of files.
  • Using ADDI, you can auto-discover and auto-document the non-relational metadata.
  • IBM Data Virtualization Manager (DVM) then uses this meta data to auto-generate the virtual tables.

Learn more: Datasets Reports

Companies leveraging AI need a comprehensive data fabric. By incorporating IBM Z into a data fabric, organizations can access current transactional data at its source to deliver real-time insights from that data to make better decisions and maintain a competitive advantage. Much of the information is stored in non-relational databases on IBM Z. By modernizing this non-relational data on IBM Z, it can be easily integrated into the data fabric.

To do this, customers create a map for the fields and define the metadata in each file via a manual configuration process. This can be very time consuming for thousands or tens of thousands of files. Alternatively, you can use ADDI to auto-discover and auto-document the non-relational metadata. IBM Data Virtualization Manager (DVM) then uses this meta data to auto-generate the virtual tables. This data is then ready to be integrated into the data fabric.

Learn more: IBM Data Virtualization Manager


APIs expose enterprise applications and data that are hosted on all platforms, including ones on IBM Z. Reuse existing assets for the API economy and accelerate modernization by finding API candidates.

To identify strong API candidates, look for:

  • Direct callouts to third party vendors.
  • Programs which directly or indirectly access certain Databases/Data Sets.

Discovering the items above without a tool involves manual analysis of the source code, which is both time-consuming and error-prone.

Using ADDI, you can quickly gain insights by exploring the analysis reports and identify the right API candidates to improve your business agility.

Learn more: Explore APIs

Now that you have completed your analysis of the insights, it is time to plan your next steps.

  • Based on the discovery, define the project and size the work effort.
  • Distribute the work amongst the team and complete.
  • Onboard new talent by sharing the updated documentation from the deep dive analysis.

    Documentation generated with ADDI enables new developers to become productive more quickly without heavily relying on subject matter experts.

  • Continue leveraging application analysis during development to ensure all dependencies are addressed so future changes can be made with confidence.
  • Remember to save your documentation for regulatory and compliance audits.
Frequently asked questions Q: Before making changes to an application, what do I need to know?

A: Whether you are being asked to implement a new feature or fix a defect, you need to first determine which applications need to be updated and how complex the change is. More specifically, a thorough analysis of the following ensures you will know exactly what changes need to be made, what are the rippling effects of those changes, as well as what testing needs to be done to ensure no rollbacks from production:

  • Where the changes need to be made within an application
  • The relation or dependencies across other enterprise-wide applications
  • The data lineage
  • Which batch jobs are impacted
  • Is there duplicate and dead code

Q: Why do I need a tool to perform discovery?

A: Architects and developers can spend weeks or months trying to understand all the changes needed. Depending on the size of the application, you may find yourself reviewing millions of lines of code, hundreds of dependencies, and dated and incomplete documentation.

Discovery tools can also improve current visualizations of applications. Many times, application diagrams were manually created by subject matter experts (SMEs). This is a problem because:

  • Manual diagrams are prone to human error
  • The relation or dependencies across other enterprise-wide applications
  • Since these diagrams are only understood by the current SMEs, they must take time to explain to others what these diagrams mean and how to read them
  • Visualizations were not updated in real-time, so did not show the latest analysis of the applications

Using a discovery tool will improve accuracy of visualizations, synchronizing in real-time to show the latest analysis of applications.

Q: Does IBM offer a tool to perform discovery?

A: Yes, IBM offers Application Discovery and Delivery Intelligence (ADDI). ADDI is your go-to discovery tool for application modernization. By adopting ADDI, organizations can significantly reduce time spent completing these activities. Using ADDI, you can:

  • Visualize and auto-document your assets: Turn source libraries into accurate call graphs in a click. Isolate and troubleshoot in hours, not weeks.
  • Discover application dependencies: Know exactly where your data is sourced from (data lineage). Visualize and analyze relationships to make changes safely and efficiently – no more rollbacks!
  • Modernize and transform with confidence: Discover business rules and recommend APIs. Seamlessly integrate CI/CD support to accelerate development.

Q: What business benefits will I see from using a tool to perform discovery?

A: Organizations that implemented ADDI saw the below business benefits:

  • Boost potential profitability

    Developer productivity is increased by 20–30%, providing more time for innovation

  • Achieve positive ROI fast

    Clients using ADDI were able to achieve an ROI of 163% over three years, with an average payback period of under one year

  • Faster time to market with quality

    Cost saving of up to 10% due to infrastructure consolidation

  • Reduce application code search times by up to 50% compared with manual approaches

Read more in the Forrester Total Economic Impact of ADDI study - Analyst paper

For more business results from our customers, see these customer case studies:

Q: What environments does ADDI support?

A: ADDI supports the following:

  • Languages: COBOL, PL/I, Assembler, Java, Natural, C, JCL, & SQL
  • Scheduler: CA7, IWS, Control-M, & AAUTO
  • Core banking: Hogan & CAMS
  • File types: VSAM
  • Source code management (SCM) systems: GIT, ChangeMan, Endevor, IBM Engineering Workflow Management (RTC), & Librarian

Q: Do I need to perform analysis during my development process?

A: Yes, developers iterate changes to their code. Throughout the development process, developers can utilize ADDI to analyze those changes in real-time to ensure completeness.

Q: Is there a tool to track a release and promote collaboration between the team more effectively during development?

A: Yes, using a tool like Engineering Workflow Management (EWM) allows development organizations to adopt agile practices more easily. EWM makes it easy and efficient for your team to follow the processes you define. Developers use EWM to track their work, share their changes, and collaborate with each other. Team leads and project managers use it to plan releases and monitor progress by viewing plans, dashboards, and reports.

Documentation IBM Application Discovery and Delivery Intelligence for IBM Z documentation

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Technical resources ADDI product page

Learn more about ADDI and how you can accelerate your digital transformation

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Forrester Consulting Total Economic Impact Study

Read the Forrester Total Economic Impact of ADDI.

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Architecture Center

Use understanding of applications through detailed analysis throughout the DevOps life cycle in responding to business needs.

Learn about the application discovery pattern
Accelerator - Application Discovery & Delivery Intelligence (ADDI)

Accelerate adoption of ADDI, enabling your organization to successfully deploy the product.

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IBM Z software trial

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ADDI Community

Stay current with ADDI by following blogs, discussions, events, and videos.

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IBM Documentation

Explore the documentation for IBM products and tools.

IBM Documentation
Forrester’s Guide to Quantum Computing Risks

Are you quantum safe? Read Forrester’s Guide to Quantum Computing Risks.

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IBM Redbooks

Read the Quantum Safe IBM Redbook to learn about potential threats and how to utilize IBM’s quantum-safe capabilities.

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IBM Z Capabilities

Enterprise DevOps for IBM Z Enterprise Mainframes

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IBM Cloud Architecture

Application modernization for IBM Z architecture

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DevOps Acceleration Program

Start your DevOps transformation journey with the DevOps acceleration program.

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IBM Application Discovery and Delivery Intelligence demonstration

See a deomonstration of ADDI.

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IBM Application Discovery and Delivery Intelligence

Learn more about ADDI and its functionalities.

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Day in the life of a mainframe developer using Git Workflow: Discovery with ADDI

Watch this video to see how Deb the developer uses ADDI to discover dependencies for an urgent code change, allowing her to be more accurate and efficient in her work.

New Watch the video (5:17)
Quantum-Safe Cryptography & the ADDI Tool

Attackers are always on the hunt to find and exploit information; any encrypted information is a target. Organizations must take these steps to safeguard their firms from imminent quantum risks.

Watch the video (10:09)
IBM Wazi Analyze Overview

IBM Wazi Analyze is a containerized offering that creates rapid, graphical analysis in an installation-free and configuration-free web UI.

Watch the video (3:41)
GitLab and IBM Wazi Analyze

GitLab can be integrated with IBM Z DevOps solutions to cover various aspects of Mainframe application development.

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Cognitive Computing and IBM Application Discovery and Delivery Intelligence

IBM Application Discovery and Delivery Intelligence and cognitive computing unite to address the challenges in DevOps.

Watch the video (2:46)
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A single flexible platform with the common tools and capabilities to modernize z/OS® environments and applications.

What's new

The FAQ What business benefits will I see from using a tool to perform discovery? was updated with new information. New resources were added to the Multimedia tab of the Technical resources section.

The Related solutions section was updated.

The How to get started section has been updated with links to more information.