I thought the most valuable feature of the product was maturity in the process, in the tool itself. In other words, while there were many things we would have liked it to have done, what it did, it did very well.
Over the course of many years of usage, one of the things that we found that some customers wanted to have was point-in-time recovery, which was one thing that I worked on. I remember I was on a project that was called Space Station Freedom at the time, with NASA. They felt like they needed to have a point-in-time recover process. They built that into the tool. They got it done, so there was a way to do it.
Quick Edit was a big add-on. Initially, when I started working with the tool, there was pretty much, "Use your own text editor." ISPF, because everything was ISPF based. You would add it into the tool through the normal script language or core ground processing. Well, they came up with something called Quick Edit, which was an add-on to the tool, but it was seamless. It just gave you an editor where you could go in and change a single object and save it and have it kick off the build in a development stage. It was that automation that really, I think, helped catapult Endevor because before, it was little bit more restrictive. It was more cumbersome to work with.
Since then, I haven't done a whole lot with it.
Improvements to My Organization
I'd say, overall, as a development tool, it helped us to automate processes that otherwise were very manually intensive. As a release tool, there probably could have been some additional enhancements, but it was effective. I could easily go from one LPAR to the next LPAR at the push of a button.
The funny thing is that I've learned that most organizations didn't know how much they appreciated it until they didn't have it.
There were a lot of developers who naturally oppose any process that they would deem to be making their jobs more cumbersome. In other words, more overhead on the task that they had to complete. The automation that we were able to build in; we were doing essentially some aspects of agile development before it was even a concept, because we were doing integrated builds every hour, on the hour, with no problems. It was virtually automated, totally automated. All the program had to do was finish your code, let us know, approve a package, and then it would go.
It was just a very nice process. When it was running properly, it was very transparent relative to the whole application development lifecycle.
Use of Solution
I have used it off and on for about 26 years.
It was very consistent. When implemented appropriately, it was very solid. It was very stable; it was dependable. I never failed an audit with Endevor.
The only time that we really had down time is when we abuse it or we didn't follow our regular maintenance process. I can think of maybe once or twice in all the years that I've had it where the MCF was corrupted, or the package data set was corrupt, because either one of them could be catastrophic.
They were built on a solid VSAM validation, so it really never caused a lot of issues in that way, although from time to time, some of the share options were not allocated appropriately. Therefore, we might have run into issues of performance degradation, normally, when the share options weren't set right.
There was something called L-serve, which was a separate component that ran as an instance to start a task. That helped improve performance. I remember at one point it did, but in my last installation, we didn't even use it. I was able to use PDSEs and everything was fine, along with the V-samp files which were for the MCF.
I think the scalability did improve over the years, because if there were was issues with performance degradation, it would have been due to not configured properly. For example, too many environments that were nested or linked to each other, which caused a problem because the search routines would have to go through multiple sets of data sets in order to resolve what it is that you were querying. It really depends on how you set that up. Numbers or integers can cause performance degradation, but with that said, there are companies out here that have hundreds, if not thousands, of people connected to Endevor. They do not have these problems, so I know there are probably testimonies much better than mine that could prove that. I've known of many companies that they were using it on a very large operation. Mine might have had, over the last 10 years, maybe 100 or 150 programmers, but I know of others that have 600, 700, 800 or more.
Customer Service and Technical Support
Support has always been excellent. I know Paul Lewis is still there. I remember he was one of the first people I talked to. He would give you that tough love. He says, "Well, when in doubt, try it out." That was always the same. I would say something like, "Paul, do you think I could do this? Do you think I could do that?" His response: "Oh, well, Mark, when in doubt, try it out." I said, "Okay."
I'd go try it and maybe it would work. If it was something that he knew for sure that I was the one exploring it and we were at second- or third-level support, he would say something like, "Okay, well, we have a problem," or right away he would tell me if it was a known issue. There's no way that any company's supporting a product like that, or for any product, knows of all of the variants or considerations - just by searching a data base repository.
Work with CA, a third party or CA consultancy to do a proof-of-concept; not just the demo out of the can, but actually take an application or some part of an application, do a POC, and then get it on your machine. Even if you have to pay for it, it would be worth it, because that's going to set a foundation for you to be successful with the initial implementation. One thing, when working with the consulting company, they're going to have a better view of your configurations, your systems, and your environment. Work with them, and that will make you successful in the long run.
I have not given a perfect rating because I would want that one extra point to be for some subjective criteria that I haven't even thought of.
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Sep 11 2016