What is our primary use case?
Our primary goal wasn't using Topaz Workbench. Our primary goal was to satisfy people in cyber security roles. We just included it because people were using the product a little bit here. What we did was rolled everything up, taking all the plugins from other third-party vendors into the Eclipse state, then put those in as plugins.
With our environment, we have taken the core clutch open source software and added a third-party vendor plugin into Eclipse. We use the Topaz Workbench, but not for any insights in the programs. The software that we have today is still a basic level mainframe software integration in the total Eclipse environment. We haven't taken advantage of any new features or tools which are out there for any Eclipse-based tools.
How has it helped my organization?
The byproduct of setting our Eclipse up for cybersecurity should allow newer developers to work, who are used to this type of environment.
It helps our staff work by speeding up their documentation process.
What is most valuable?
From a development point of view, we use it to log documentation and edit steps. The documentation is easy to read and our developers can add information into documents simultaneously.
We are also using the Topaz Workbench Host Communications Interface with its data sets.
What needs improvement?
I would look for more cooperation between the vendors and using Eclipse the way Eclipse is meant to be used. Topaz Workbench often doesn't play well with other plugins in the environment. It would be good if the vendors would work together or at least have some collaboration between them, so they would know what would work and what wouldn't work. Right now, the way things are working, they're relying on the customer to make everything work.
I would like to see the features include more integration or help customers when working with Jenkins.
It would be nice to have an audit trail to see what mainframe developers are using what.
We are trying to get more people to use the product at the moment. I would like to expand its usage because it is a good product for development.
For how long have I used the solution?
One to three years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Once we got the configurations and deployment rolled out, it was very stable. I haven't had any major issues with Eclipse or the Topaz Workbench plugins.
I don't know which vendor plugins didn't like the other vendor plugins. I needed to get to the bottom of it. However, we just started the next release of it, and the components seem to be a lot better this time.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
I haven't had any scalability issues. As it is on the desktop, scalability is not relevant.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup of Eclipse was straightforward. However, the problems were more complex because of all the third-party competing vendor products. So, getting it set up and installed was easy, but getting it rolled out was a bit difficult because of some of the configurations going to people's work spaces.
We didn't roll it out the way a normal Eclipse works. We rolled out select PT Plugins, then uninstalled and reinstalled. The last one we did, we had to rollout the binary and a new set of Eclipse Workspace because of some configuration issues. This made it more complex. I don't know if it was an issue because of Topaz Workbench or an issue between the third-party vendors plugins not working well together. So, I can't say if it was Topaz Workbench,
What about the implementation team?
I do all the deployment and maintenance.
What was our ROI?
It has saved our developers time and effort when working on documentation, which is now more readable and fluent.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
In general, Compuware tools are very competitive.
As far as features, I want it to have all the nice features, like the automative testing and all the different components, but we didn't pay for them.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We are using a competitive product to obtain intelligent insights.
What other advice do I have?
The Topaz Workbench is easy to use with good plugins. I would recommend people use it, but I would install it as a solution, not as a standalone. Get a single pane of glass for all your developers.
We don't have an automated unit testing solution. It's all manually based for the mainframe. Currently, we don't have an automated testing testing. We may look to adding this feature in the future. However, we have some challenges because we are still mainframe-centric, so the SCMs on the mainframe don't click well with other tools.
The solution should expand in the next couple of years as the company struggles to get developers to do COBOL.
The solution was rolled out through mainframe developers only. Topaz workbench is one of the most integrated into Eclipse that I've seen from the mainframe vendors. For example, some of the other vendors don't use the Eclipse functionalities.
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Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.