BMC automates the mainframe change ticket

A plug-in for BMC Control-M batch scheduler provides a faster way to validate changes to complex mainframe systems

BMC Control M

BMC Control M

Mainframe operators using BMC software may now be able to enjoy the speedy, devops-style development pace that is quickly becoming the norm for customer-facing mobile applications and Internet services.

BMC has released a plug-in for its Control-M batch control software that it claims can cut the time required to make a change in a business workflow by up to 80 percent.

Workload Change Manager "allows customers to dramatically reduce the time it takes to roll out an application," said Gur Steif, BMC vice president of workload automation. "It allows application developers to request changes using a simple automated tool. It validates the requests, and automates the process of rolling out the changes to production."

Today, customers of an organization may expect their apps and services to be updated continually. As a result, many development shops have adopted a devops (developer-operator) methodology, which calls for closer communication between developers and administrators to speed development time.

Devops has been slow to arrive to the world of mainframes and other batch-oriented back-end systems, however. The processes for updating the workflow running on backend systems is still largely a manual one, Steif explained.

BMC's Control-M is a workload automation tool most widely used to control to timing of complex business processes running on enterprise software systems, such as SAP and Oracle's Peoplesoft.

For instance Control-M could be used to control to collect external files from multiple business partner companies and submit them to an inventory management system, and then use the results to order needed items from external suppliers.

Originally this batch process software was designed for mainframes, but it is increasingly used for commodity server-based distributed workloads as well.

Typically, when a developer changes a workflow, the changes are written on paper or an electronic document, often known as a "change ticket." Such change tickets passed to the administrator, who reviews the changes, and makes the adjustments to the live system.

Many times, this process of altering a workflow by hand involves multiple rounds of exchanges between the developer and the administrator. "An update can take weeks or months to get done," Steif said.

The new Change Manager plug-in for Control-M offers a visual palette that developers can use to design and redesign their workflows using drag-and-drop components.

The software automatically enforces system rules set by the administrator, and will automatically let the developer know if a certain procedure is not possible, given the organization's policies or the limitations of the system itself. BMC estimates that 40 percent of all developer change tickets are rejected due to a developer being unaware of some constraint.

Change Manager also keeps a track of all changes made, for record-keeping purposes.

Control-M is one of a number of batch scheduler software programs specifically designed to handle large enterprise software, such as ERP (enterprise resource planning) applications. Competitors include Advanced Systems Concepts' ActiveBatch, CA's Autosys, and IBM's Tivoli Workload Scheduler.

Control-M Workload Change Manager is available now, starting at about US$10,000, depending on the size and complexity of the environment.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Development toolsapplication developmentWeb services developmentLanguages and standardsbmcsoftware

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?