Software and services company, Macro 4, is introducing support for the Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE) with a new suite of Eclipse plug-ins for mainframe application development, fault analysis and session management. The plug-ins are offered alongside the company’s new M4Workbench Eclipse framework.
“The M4Workbench and plug-ins are a key part of our strategy for supporting the increasingly popular Eclipse IDE, which many companies are already using or thinking of adopting. By providing a common, easy to use interface to our fault analysis and application development solutions, we’ll be helping our mainframe customers to increase developer productivity. Many organizations also see the introduction of Eclipse – because of its popularity – as essential to attracting new talent to work on the mainframe. And it cuts costs by avoiding the need to train new recruits in using traditional, command-based user interfaces,” said Jim Allum, Director, Technical and Commercial at Macro 4.
Eclipse plug-ins for z/OS abend analysis and z/OS session management are available now; an additional plug-in for mainframe testing and debugging is due to be released later in 2011.  The extension and enhancement of Macro 4’s Eclipse offering will continue to be a major focus for new development, as Jim Allum explained:
“Our strategy is to provide an Eclipse solution for everything the mainframe developer or support person needs for successful fault resolution, testing and application development. Further deliverables will follow, with the aim of providing a complete alternative to ‘green screen’ mainframe access for this group of users.”
Macro 4 led the software industry in developing graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for mainframe development and support with its launch of M4Explorer, a browser-based Fault Analysis Portal in 2004. The Eclipse solutions build on Macro 4’s GUI development expertise and will be offered alongside the company’s browser interfaces to provide complementary options for increasing productivity and improving the user experience.
“As with all Macro 4 product development, we’ll also be paying attention to customer feedback to ensure we continue to develop functionality in a way that maximizes the benefits for users. We welcome customer participation in making our Eclipse offering the best available for working in the mainframe environment,” concluded Jim Allum.