Mainframe Blog

Enhancing the Mainframe Experience for Both Users and Operators

3 minute read
April Hickel

Customer satisfaction is not only about the external end user, but also the mainframe professionals behind the scenes who make it all work. When you improve their experience on the platform and boost their happiness, productivity, and efficiency, your external customers and your business reap the benefits. Companies investing in modern development processes and streamlining operations are pulling ahead of the competition.

At BMC, we aim to improve the experience of everyone who touches the mainframe, directly or indirectly. Our April release is built on features that emphasize the developer experience with familiar tools and automation while also optimizing database and infrastructure performance.

Introducing BMC AMI DevX

Organizations drive growth by creating useful, innovative digital experiences that delight their customers. Faster, more agile software development enables your organization to react quickly to changing market demands and, ultimately, make change your advantage.

A positive developer experience can add even more value by fostering innovation. The availability of familiar tools and automation of repetitive tasks allow developers to do what they do best—create innovative business solutions.

In support of this trend toward faster, more innovative development, we are pleased to announce that all of BMC’s mainframe application development solutions are now part of an expanded BMC AMI portfolio with a new name, BMC AMI DevX, that stresses our focus on the developer experience, or “DevX.” For a full list of new product names, see this BMC Community post.

It’s about more than just a name, though. Each quarter, we’ll continue to release new features and integrations for the products that have helped your organizations on their DevOps journeys, along with new solutions that help developers innovate faster.

This April we’ve delivered new capabilities that help automate and simplify releasing software on the mainframe. BMC AMI DevX Code Pipeline (formerly BMC Compuware ISPW) now supports concurrent development in Virtual Studio (VS) Code, further enabling developers to work quickly and efficiently, while the new impact analysis search feature enables discovery of critical dependencies that may be affected or broken by new code.

Identifying and gaining insight into abends is now easier with new ChatOps capabilities. Automated failure alerts in BMC AMI DevX Abend-AID (formerly BMC Compuware Abend-AID) deliver root cause analysis through popular chat applications Slack and Microsoft Teams, while a new feature allows users to set notification levels for “runaway” abends that impact multiple users.

Improved Availability and Response Times

Your customers won’t be satisfied with innovative solutions if they can’t use them. The responsibility for near-constant uptime and responsiveness falls to operations teams who must detect and resolve performance-affecting issues and database administrators (DBAs) who must ensure that database response times don’t slow applications. Leveraging automation and proactive analysis improves the job experience of both of these groups while helping you give your customers the best user experience possible.

Among the challenges faced by mainframe operations teams is delivering a different kind of “experience.” As seasoned mainframe professionals retire and the platform increasingly integrates with distributed and cloud systems, organizations are turning to newer employees—and those with less experience working on the mainframe—to manage operations. The user experience provided by modern tools like BMC AMI Ops can counteract this lack of on-the-job experience with user-friendly interfaces and embedded expertise while leveraging automation to allow operations professionals to focus on high-priority tasks.

Introduced this April, a guided product tour helps familiarize new users with BMC AMI Ops, while a faster loading interface, list of open views, step-by-step deployment task list, and scrolling navigation enable administrators to access and utilize the data they need more quickly. Further enhancements make it easier to tune and resolve issues in Java, IBM® IMS, and IBM® Db2®with more detailed information, expanded visibility, and faster access to records.

Operations teams aren’t the only ones to benefit from database management enhancements. BMC AMI Data now features automated application-driven performance optimization. An integration between BMC AMI Utility Manager for Db2® and BMC AMI Apptune for Db2® enables teams to automate database reorgs based on real-time application performance information, helping DBAs, system programmers (SysProgs), and development teams automatically maintain peak response times and efficiency.

A new BMC AMI Data feature even improves DevX: an integration between BMC AMI DevOps for Db2® and Microsoft Azure DevOps allows developers to initiate database changes from their continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline.

Faster Innovation, Improved User Experiences

As organizations seek to more quickly deliver extraordinary front-end experiences to their customers, they cannot ignore the experiences of users on the back end. Enhancing your organization’s developer experience with automation and freedom of choice encourages the development of creative business solutions; easy-to-use user interfaces (UIs) and utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) speed issue resolution and flatten the learning curve for mainframe newcomers; and automated database optimization helps DBAs ensure peak response times.

While each of these enhancements serves to improve the user experience of your employees, they also create technologically advanced, high-performing, and always-available experiences that will delight your customers. By focusing on the mainframe experience as a whole, this quarter’s BMC AMI feature release continues BMC’s mission to empower your organization to maximize the satisfaction of all mainframe users.

For an in-depth look at all of the enhancements included in BMC’s April release, visit our What’s New in Mainframe Solutions page.

Access the 2023 Mainframe Report

The results of the 18th annual BMC Mainframe Survey are in, and the state of the mainframe remains strong. Overall perception of the mainframe is positive, as is the outlook for future growth on the platform, with workloads growing and investment in new technologies and processes increasing.

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

April Hickel

Vice President Intelligent Z Optimization and Transformation