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ASG Perspectives

Blog > October 2019 > Why You Should Include JCL Tools as Part of Your DevOps Strategy

Why You Should Include JCL Tools as Part of Your DevOps Strategy

A few months ago, my washing machine broke down, forcing my family to go to the laundromat to wash clothes for several weeks. We had to stop what we were doing, load everything up and go do laundry for hours, then return home to resume tasks we left behind. While trying to economize our laundry trips, we would inevitably mix up the clothes, causing extra work to sort everything out once dried. I was shocked at the amount of time that I lost from my daily schedule. Our (mostly) smooth-running household was frustratingly disrupted! It got me thinking about my household tool chain and how much I depend on each tool. The washing machine isn’t the only component in my tool chain though, is it?  (Car, dishwashing machine, coffee maker, lawn mower and generator to name a few.) Every single tool in that chain is essential.


JCL Management and the DevOps Tool Chain

What does a broken washing machine have to do with DevOps and Job Control Language (JCL) management? Well, what happens to the DevOps cycle when the JCL code takes a long time to “clean”?  What happens when a copy-and-paste error between interfaces causes code to get “mixed up”? The entire DevOps value stream slows down. 

Mainframe developers traditionally work in a 3270 green screen emulator to interact with JCL. With the rise of the Java Eclipse IDE, companies like Compuware and IBM have built robust IDEs to make programming JCL from a distributed system possible. In the modern age of Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD), JCL management in a DevOps IDE is not only possible, but necessary! Lost time due to switching contexts by logging into another application, finding the right file and copying and pasting, is an unnecessary and costly risk. When developers streamline their work in a single interface, they save their companies’ time and reduce errors in workflows. For companies that depend on a mainframe, the JCL management solution is a critical link in the DevOps tool chain. As developers write new JCL, integrated JCL scanning enables them to produce quality code that passes quality assurance tests more often on the first try and identifies the specific errors to correct when they don’t. JCL management integrated within developers’ preferred IDE is one step among many that enables a smooth-running DevOps cycle.

The DevOps toolchain is like the string of appliances that facilitates the smooth running of my household. Whether I go to the laundromat or hand wash my clothes, the job gets done, but valuable time is lost! Developers can spend hours formatting code, checking it for standards and errors, then testing and recoding until they end up with beautiful code. The real question is, how much time is lost when we do things manually that can be automated? It’s great to know how to do the manual work, but in business, efficiency is critical to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage. 

The goal of a DevOps initiative is to achieve a truly smooth-running DevOps environment where the toolchain supports the entire cycle and the people involved can contribute their parts efficiently. When this happens, businesses save time accomplishing goals, which facilitates higher revenues and the professionals in the organization accomplish their tasks with less frustration. This leads to higher job satisfaction. 

To find out how ASG can help with JCL management with DevOps integrations, visit our ASG-PRO/JCL webpage here or the solution datasheet here.
 
Posted: 10/22/2019 9:25:40 AM by Anna Murray, Senior Product Manager
Filed under :ASG-PRO, DevOps, IT systems management, JCL, tool chain