Compuware Topaz Workbench Review

I am unable to convert REXX into usable macros for this solution, though its Xpediter is more flexible than through MVS

What is our primary use case?

The primary use is programming, database design, and development.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of Topaz is Xpediter. It's more flexible than Xpediter through MVS.

What needs improvement?

The ability to edit source code that has special characters is limited. 

The ability to incorporate or convert REXX into macros that are usable under the Topaz software is not there. And the REXX macros that I have developed over 40 years of work are useless, so I have a toolbox I can't use or deploy using the Topaz technology, while I can use it under MVS.

It's not as intuitive as it should be. In terms of navigation, there is a large training curve for using it. For a millennial it might be better, if they're used to Eclipse. But coming from a non-Eclipse environment and using Eclipse, though I have experience with Eclipse, it might be cumbersome. I still use the mainframe Xpediter, because I find it's less cumbersome to navigate to.

If Compuware resolves some of the issues of converting REXX into macros that are supported under the Topaz Edit function, the ability to support ISPF picture edits, and the ability to simulate some of the things that the mainframe can do on Topaz, that would be great.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I constantly encounter stability issues. That might be related to how it's installed. We're going through VDI sessions. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have had no issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support is fairly responsive. Some of the replies are, "Wait until the next release." And some of the replies are, "This feature, it will not be supported until further notice."

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We switched to Topaz because our management deemed it was a tool that might benefit us in the future. Our mainframe programmer is retiring and leaving the company.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is done through our tech support group, and we are then given the platform to run. The tech support group is not dedicated to Topaz and, while there is one contact within that group, they are stressed and the resources available for Topaz are not as complete as they could be or should be. So installation is hit or miss - whatever Compuware drops down and can help install and attach.

What other advice do I have?

It might be of benefit if there were training for, and incorporation of, millennials and new people coming in to work on the mainframe through an Eclipse environment. But as far as people who are already familiar with the mainframe, this solution has some big drawbacks.

**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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