Advanced GPS for your DevOps journey

By Larry Hart

With advanced GPS becoming pervasive, we often take maps for granted. It's hard to imagine, but there was a time when maps simply didn't exist. I find it interesting that the first maps weren't even of the earth — they were of the stars. On a more terrestrial front, one of the oldest intact maps we have comes from what's estimated to be approximately the sixth century B.C., the Babylonian World Map. This map, rather unsurprisingly, places Babylon in the center and largely ignores enemy territories.

Years later, expeditions would take cartographers on their ocean voyages so they could develop maps accurately showing land masses, water boundaries and other items with a high level of precision — sometimes in stunning detail, considering they didn't have a bird's-eye view. Yet even that pales in comparison to today's map-making capabilities.

We now have satellites navigating the earth multiple times a day, scanning the earth's surface and providing images with resolutions fine enough to read a license plate. Maps developed by these systems not only show us the shortest path to a destination, but they can also integrate real-time data to tell us the fastest route. With years of experience watching traffic, they can even predict, with a high level of confidence, how long your commute will last on a certain day and hour in the future.

Now, imagine if you could get the same type of visibility and guidance into your application and database environment for mainframes. What if there was a tool advanced enough to eliminate thousands of hours of development time?

Saving development time in the modern world

Today's application environment is always changing. Connecting legacy applications, like those on mainframes, with newer applications can be a daunting task when the legacy applications are not fully understood. Often, documentation is either incomplete or missing entirely for these apps. "Don't touch it because it might break" often paralyzes organizations.

The potential solutions? You could burn a lot of developer time analyzing code and documenting it. And that's what most teams do today. At least 40 percent of development time is wasted in this effort, in my estimation. Another idea is to search for something like redundant code to "clean up" the applications. Many turn to "state-of-the-art" search techniques to scan the environment. While sometimes fast (and somewhat enlightening), the result is closer to a mid-1400 cartographer's drawing of a land mass than the crisp satellite images we enjoy today. This approach is often too high-level to be useful because just a 1 percent error in the analysis can result in hundreds of false positive identifications of redundant code.

But what if you could fully understand that environment so that you knew how a simple change in one application affected the entire ecosystem? Check out an application called Application Discovery & Delivery Intelligence (ADDI). This application is actually the seamless integration of two otherwise independent applications: Application Discovery and Application Delivery Intelligence.

Find directions to a better set of tools

Users get a much richer and more robust analytics platform with the two applications combined:

  • Extensive high-level systems views of applications for top-down analysis
  • Simple drill-down detail for maximum visibility at any level
  • Extensive core language support for complex ecosystems
  • Exposure of redundant test cases and code that hasn't been tested
  • Visibility into operational performance data for ongoing optimization
  • Intuitive dashboards that actively monitor your environment
  • Reporting that delivers the information you need when you need it

ADDI offers even more — source code manager support, extensive database support, detection of performance issues early in the development cycle and continuous updates of the environment.

It's like an advanced GPS telling you where to go and how to get there in the least amount of time. Only ADDI can deliver the insight required to enable an agile, DevOps culture that moves as fast as your business. It provides benefits throughout the entire development cycle, spanning analysis, test, development, deployment and operations. If you need a tool that delivers this functionality and also provides a fantastic financial return, this is the tool for you, but don't just take our word for it. See what Forrester has to say by clicking here.

This article originally appeared on IBM Systems Blog: In the Making.