Compuware Corporation, the technology performance company, today announced important enhancements to the Compuware Workbench, a standardized point-and-click mainframe application development interface. The Workbench now features faster and more efficient file and data management capabilities — including the ability to edit complex IMS databases — as well as more robust debugging functionality, all designed to significantly boost developer productivity. The Workbench helps companies “future proof” mainframe development by providing an environment where new and inexperienced developers can produce high quality applications that drive business success.

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“Without access to a modernized development interface, new developers would be deterred by the complex and antiquated mainframe development environment, leaving companies vulnerable to application outages and other business risks when experienced developers retire and take their knowledge with them,” said Kris Manery, Senior Vice President, Mainframe Solutions Business Unit, Compuware.

The Latest Compuware Workbench Innovations
The Workbench File-AID Data Editor now supports browsing and editing of IMS databases in addition to DB2 and other mainframe file systems. As one of the older mainframe database and transaction management systems, IMS requires highly technical and specialized knowledge to manage and support. With this new Workbench enhancement for IMS, however, developers can easily edit, browse and understand IMS data constructs from within the same intuitive, standardized editor they use for other mainframe data types. Industry watchers will note that File-AID — the cross-platform file and data management solution first introduced 30 years ago — revolutionized how developers access and manage mainframe data files by providing quick and convenient browse, edit and utility functions from TSO/ISPF. Three decades of innovations later, File-AID continues to lead the industry with its new graphical user interface that fits the needs of a new breed of software developers.

In addition to a more robust File-AID Data Editor, Workbench users — without needing prior knowledge of legacy mainframe systems — will also enjoy:
• A simplified file and data management process. The File-AID Data Editor now supports the XREF capabilities of File-AID MVS by automating the selection and usage of record layouts for files with different record types. File-AID determines the record layout to use for each record type by the value in one or more data fields.
• Additional flexibility when debugging programs. Xpediter/Eclipse now includes “Monitor/Reverse” and “Step Into,” “Step Over,” and “Step Return,” along with other enhancements that provide developers with more flexibility when navigating through source code during the application debugging process.
• Advanced internal diagnostics and component level checking. Users can now automatically display compile diagnostics, such as syntax errors and compiler warnings, enabling developers to quickly pinpoint the exact location of the errant code causing an application error. 

The Workbench now supports all major environments and formats of Compuware’s developer productivity product lines — Abend-AID, Hiperstation, Xpediter, Strobe and File-AID — giving developers the tools they need to develop, test, debug and tune applications.

“Mainframe applications support billions of banking and mobile commerce transactions a day across the globe,” continued Manery. “These applications are deceivingly simple on the front end — hit a few keys on your phone and a few days later a package arrives in the mail. The fact is that these applications are highly complex and require specialized tools to develop and maintain them. Compuware continues to make strategic investments in its mainframe solutions to help developers of all experience levels continue the important work of developing critical applications.”