Compuware’s Topaz Takes Aim At Mainframe Data

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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Topaz allows developers without mainframe expertise to mine data from the platform for use in mobile software and big data analytics

Detroit-based software company Compuware on Monday released its first product since going private last year, in the form of Topaz, a system that extracts data from mainframes for use in mobile applications, big data analytics and other emerging fields.

Topaz is aimed at businesses that continue to rely on mainframes, but are faced with the necessity of drawing on mainframe data even as the professionals who are familiar with the platform retire, replaced by a younger generation that may have little or no expertise with technologies such as CICS and COBOL.

Cloud data

Compuware aims to solve this problem by presenting an easy-to-use visual interface that allows users to manipulate data objects from both mainframe and non-mainframe sources.

A single data editor can be used to manage Oracle, SQL Server, IMS, DB2 and other data across the business, Compuware said. Topaz uses a Windows-like tool for file transfers, again eliminating the need for mainframe-specific expertise.

“The impending retirement of skilled mainframe developers poses a threat to global enterprises that CIOs haven’t seen since the Y2K deadline – and that is even more problematic, given the increased importance of mainframe data in today’s digital economy,” Compuware chief executive Christ O’Malley stated.

Accelerated development

Compuware, initially founded in the 1970s, spun off its application performance management (APM) software last year in order to focus entirely on mainframes. In September, private equity firm Thoma Bravo announced a deal to acquire the firm for about $2.5bn (£1.6bn), taking it private.

Also on Monday, Compuware said it has committed to an agile development model that will see it delivering new capabilities quarterly.

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