Modern Mainframe
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Modern Mainframe

Git and the Modern Mainframe

Version control is the foundation of software development, which explains why Git tools like GitHub and GitLab have quickly become comprehensive AppDev platforms. It also explains why their mainframe predecessors like Panvalet, Librarian and the most widely-used of all, Endevor, experienced similar evolutions long ago.

Fun Fact: Endevor was DevOps long before “DevOps” existed: ENvironment for DEVelopment and OpeRations.

While these mainframe platforms continue to serve the evolving needs of their users, there are several reasons why teams should consider adopting Git. Here are the top three:

Recruiting & Retention

Git is a prerequisite for most AppDev roles outside of mainframe, so keeping current is appealing for next-gens. The collaborative Git model, born from the massively open sourced development of Linux, is the fabric of modern development so both developers and hiring managers value hands-on Git expertise. In addition to improving recruiting and retention, providing a Git option also accelerates onboarding.

AppDev/DevOps Integration

Enterprise DevOps pipelines are typically built around Git-hosted code so maintaining code in Git repos streamlines AppDev. For example, code scanning is easy with pipelines pointing to Git. Also, contemporary IDEs like VS Code have built-in Git capabilities that make their use seamless for modern developers.

Cross-platform Applications

Hosting code in Git clears the path for enterprise developers, when authorized, to extend cross-platform applications to mainframe data and services. As APIs and microservices become commonplace, the division between “mainframe applications” and “cloud/mobile” applications becomes blurry. Enabling cloud-native developers is a key value proposition for the long-term vitality of the platform, especially with the new z16’s embedded AI acceleration capabilities.

IDC Perspective

IDC’s Research Vice President for Software Development, Arnal Dayaratna, published an Infobrief on the opportunity, “Git for Mainframe: Considerations for Enterprises” [download]. He states,

Organizations that use mainframes need to adopt
a hybrid approach to software configuration
management by supplementing their use of traditional
mainframe software configuration management tools
with Git.

To realize the value, there are two primary options for adopting Git for mainframe:

Hybrid Git Experience

For Endevor users wanting to introduce a Git experience without the risks of migrating code and disrupting existing workflows, Bridge for Git is the solution. It accomplishes this by synchronizing a ‘source control mirror’ on the Git enterprise server to enable both Git access and native-Endevor access at the same time (see Bridge for Git whitepaper for a thorough explanation). A robust VS Code extension for Bridge for Git is also available.

Git-native Approach

For Git-native AppDev, Broadcom introduced Team Build, a super-lightweight, processor-based build engine that enables teams to collaborate natively using enterprise Git repositories while building on the z/OS platform. Team Build is independent of Endevor and can be used for any build and ship needs for z/OS. A simple and easy-to-use tool, it converts build logic in JCL and makes it maintainable off-platform with the most popular scripting language, JavaScript. Here’s an introduction of Team Build for Endevor users.

Because risk management is a top priority for most mainframe teams, Broadcom recommends a thoughtful, pragmatic approach to adoption that introduces Git while minimizing disruption to existing workflows. Enable those who prefer to use Git to do so while maintaining the productivity of career mainframers who prefer to use existing SCM solutions (i.e., modernize-in-place). Concurrently, enable career mainframers unfamiliar with Git to learn it and become partners. The key to success with Git adoption is to recognize it is a journey for the organization requiring a plan.

Many organizations struggle with the decision to introduce Git version control for z/OS applications as part of their modernization efforts. For this reason, Broadcom’s Git advisors are ready to discuss your specific needs/concerns— don’t hesitate to reach out.

Articles on Git and Endevor are available here: Git / Endevor

Additional resources on Bridge for Git and Team Build are available on the Endevor site.



Mainframe modernization for developers, sysprogs, devops engineers and others wanting to use technologies like Visual Studio Code, Git, Jenkins and SonarQube along with mainframe-native tools and z/OS services.

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David McNierney

DevOps @ Broadcom #devops #zowe #zos #IBMz #mainframe #jenkins #cicd #agile #mhealth #github #vscode