With open source technology revolutionizing how DevOps systems work, many businesses running on IBM i find themselves at a crossroads if they want to stay competitive: rebuild their entire codebase from scratch, or modernize their existing application.
Many companies may also opt to do neither and continue with business as usual, but doing so comes with a high risk of depreciating right out of the market. Most savvy developers and technologists understand that future-proofing their IT is essential. But studies show that replacing a monolithic legacy application is not only a high-risk endeavor, it also isn’t cost effective when compared with a sound modernization strategy.
So why the hesitancy to embrace true DevOps among so many companies? One reason is that many of the most experienced IBM i developers are totally unfamiliar with modern version control systems such as Git, in spite of Git being near universally accepted as the version control tool, and without which the dream of CI/CD delivery is impossible. But this issue can be solved by providing DevOps Training to developers. There are other major technological hurdles to overcome when integrating Git with IBM i as well, such as the fact that Git does not understand certain idiosyncrasies, such as PF or Tables.
ARCAD Software makes harnessing the power of Git for your IBM i application simple, and lets seasoned developers access Git with literally a push of a button. This is all made possible by ARCAD Builder, the bridge that connects the IBM i system with Git. Builder works by simultaneously creating both a branch in the Git ecosystem and a development library inside the application. Then when a developer checks out the branch, Git puts the source in that library. The developer does their work and then pushes the change back to Git for review, again with a single click of a button. In other words, the developer’s workflow hasn’t really changed at all!
Builder takes care of all IBM i component dependencies and automates recompilation. It is fully integrated with both 5250 and RDI systems, and once you are up and running, you can quickly create a fully functional automated pipeline, taking advantage of other modern tools like Jira, Jenkins, or Cloudbees.
Here’s one example of the power of Builder and Git integration. You could integrate Jira so that whenever you set a task and move it to In-Development, a branch and maintenance report are automatically generated. From there, use Jenkins or Cloudbees in concert with other ARCAD’s DevOps tools to automate your testing process, from checking code standards, to unit testing, to full regression testing, and on to deployment.
Many IBM i businesses find themselves carrying quite a lot of technology debt as they are cut off from the tools the modern world has embraced. But legacy systems also contain a great deal of technology investment from years of operation. ARCAD’s suite of tools, starting with easy access to Git is a game changer, one that lets you preserve that investment while unloading the debt.