CA Endevor Software Change Manager Review

It has what that you need for auditors: who asked for the change, when the change moved up, all the different stages, and where the approvals are.

Video Review:

What is most valuable?

One of Endevor's most valuable features is the ability to have your source in a repository that keeps track of all of your versions. It also has your ACMQ, which allows you to keep track of your input and output components. It has everything in it that you need for auditors: who asked for the change, when the change moved up, all the different stages, and where the approvals are. So, when we have auditors come in, we can trace it from production all the way down through the development, and the changes that we made at a line level.

How has it helped my organization?

When we first brought Endevor in, we had a lot of issues with audits. We had Librarian. We had Panvalet. When we brought Endevor in, almost 18-20 years ago, the auditing issues went down dramatically, once we had everyone into Endevor, using it, and we had everything turned on. Now, when we have audits, they go through smoothly. They barely ask us any questions because we can prove the changes all the way up through production, and there's no issue with having to come back for information later.

Right now, we're looking at moving into DevOps, so I'm glad to see that CA has started DevOps on the mainframe. We're looking at using the Eclipse user interface, which will make it easier to move off of ISPF, and we're looking at possibly using Application Lifecycle Conductor. Endevor plugs into that so that we can use more of a pipeline for DevOps and for agile processing; get the pipeline in place so that we can trigger off and go to tools such as JIRA, Jenkins, and still be connected to the mainframe so our projects are all in one.

What needs improvement?

There is one feature, the sandbox feature, that allows you to virtually create environments for developments and then, once your project is done, those environments go away as you move up through the lifecycle. You can always build new environments.

That's a very good feature, but there are pieces of it that make it difficult to use for my company because of the way we have our data set up. There are some features in there I would like to see improved.

The Sandbox feature was added a few years ago and would be very helpful, but there are several companies that cannot use the feature due to the design. The Sandbox feature reuses the Subsystem field as an identifier for the sandbox then returns the modules back to the original subsystem when done. However there is no mechanism to save the old subsystem field at the module level, so only modules from one subsystem can go into a sandbox. That’s great for standalone or simple applications.
My company uses object oriented code with several layers, so one application may use many subsystems. Without the ability to map the modules back to their original subsystems we cannot use the sandbox feature. It would have worked well if a new field was introduced for the sandbox name instead of using the subsystem. Perhaps a new field or table could be added that would save the old subsystem so it could be replaced when the modules move out of the sandbox.

Currently the only solution is to continue creating environments for use with agile development which is a maintenance nightmare, or ask the application teams to redesign their software so it is contained within their own applications. This is not an option. So we’re going with the maintenance nightmare. I’ve tried designing a solution around the sandbox feature but it will be just as complicated as writing my own solution.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have had this product for 18-20 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Endevor's very stable. We haven't had any issues with it going down. It's on the mainframe, so there really are no issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have five sysplexes. We've increased the number of LPARs. We've increased the number of business units; the lines of code. Everything is increased and we've automated moving things to production, so it really, it scales very well. We've had no issues with that.

How is customer service and technical support?

We've used technical support several times, when they come out with new features. If we have issues with the features, or we're trying to figure out how we can use them best, we call technical support. Technical support has been great. They point us to the documentation; they'll help us with any issues; they work through everything very quickly.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup. I was a developer at that point, so I worked with Endevor from the other side.

Later on, I came in as the technical lead on Endevor. At that point, I was involved in cleaning up and streamlining what we had in our Endevor implementation.

The upgrade processes have changed over the years. The upgrade process is very easy now. It's an easy download and then we just have to do our testing. Rolling it out to the users is very simple.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you involve the technical people from CA on your design. When you bring your tools in, make sure you tell them what you're trying to solve, so they can help you design it correctly the first time, because once you get it in, it's difficult to change the way your design is without disrupting your business.

I haven't seen a perfect product, mostly because the products are usually very good in mainframe or distributed. I haven't seen a product that's really good in both. If it were good in both the mainframe and distributed source code, I would give it a perfect rating.

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.
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