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The Portfolio Management
Challenge



Managing an applications portfolio is a daunting task. Corporate mergers and data center consolidations add another layer of complexity to an already complex process.

New applications need to be developed and existing applications must be modified. Some applications are acquired from software vendors rather than developed in house. After development, applications are moved into production where they do the work of the enterprise. All too often, applications in production have problems that require debugging. The Edge Portfolio Analyzer is a tool designed to simplify each of these tasks.

Application Development

Developing applications is today's environment is often a complex task.

Development groups are widely dispersed, frequently brought together by corporate acquisitions. They may rely upon different versions of the compiler or use varying compiler options. This may not present a problem if each application is totally independent of all others. However, reuse of common subroutines and subprograms can create conflicts within individual run units. The EPA allows you to uncover these conflicts before the application goes into production.

Modifying existing applications is even more complex. Current programs may have been statically compiled years ago with now obsolete compilers. When new code is added to the old program, conflicts may arise between the routines provided by the various compilers. Revealing these conflicts is an important function of the EPA.

User-written subprograms are often a source of difficulty. As the subprograms evolve over the years, they are not always relinked into all the programs that call them. The EPA's examination of production libraries will expose subprograms with differing sizes or compile dates. An External Analyzer can then generate control statements to force the linkage editor to use the latest version. In fact, it is a good practice when undertaking a modification to use the EPA to identify all load modules that will be impacted.

Vendor Code Examination

Acquiring software from independent software vendors can be a mixed blessing. Someone else develops and maintains the code, but you don't know exactly what you're getting. The ISV may tell you the software is written in COBOL, but don't say which version. Or they may neglect to mention it contains a handful of Assembler, PL/I or whatever programs as well.

The Edge Portfolio Analyzer enables you to examine the libraries installed by the ISV to determine that you're at the compiler and/or LE level to correctly execute the programs. If any of the ISV's programs interface with in-house developed routines, the EPA can ensure that they use a compatible set of options. The EPA can also identify SVC's invoked by the ISV programs to avoid potential conflicts with user-modified SVCs.

Production Control

Many installations use software to assist with change control and managing the production environment. The Edge Portfolio Analyzer works with these programs to provide the best management possible.

Many of these tools work only with source code. The EPA supplements these programs by providing much needed information from the actual executable code. The EPA's easy-to-use flat file format, simplifies initial population of the software's data base.

All too often, the best software and procedures are circumvented to make an "emergency fix" which never makes it through regular channels. A periodic run of the EPA can be used to compare with the software's data base to uncover these discrepancies.

Problem Debugging

As we all know too well, applications sometimes blow up. Usually, it can be traced to a recent change in the source code. However, sometimes untouched programs exhibit problems, usually when a seldom used path of the program is executed. These problems cause the most grief and require the most effort to solve.

Running the Edge Portfolio Analyzer against these modules can greatly speed debugging time by identifying:



Problem Prevention

The most effective way to deal with problems is to prevent them rather than to debug them.

By periodically running the Edge Portfolio Analyzer against production libraries, you can improve the quality of the code with minimal effort. In addition to identifying the problems described above in Problem Debugging, the EPA can also reveal multiple versions of the same program or CSECT.

Each of these is a problem waiting to happen. It's much better to correct these in the light of day rather than the middle of the night when the production schedule is pressing.

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Revision: 3.2 (15 June 2007)
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