With the release of Micro Focus Enterprise Suite version 8.0, it’s a good time to consider upgrading. Micro Focus Enterprise Suite is a solution that supports all aspects of mainframe application modernization: analysis and planning, development, testing, and deployment of those applications on a wide range of platforms including Windows, Unix, and Linux. On premises, the Cloud and even inside containers and Kubernetes clusters.
In this blog, we will discuss the top 3 reasons why you should upgrade to the latest version and go over some of the main new capabilities and enhancements that we introduced into the suite.
As our development teams have been very busy, we cannot cover everything that has been added to the products. Additional details can be found in the release notes
Reason 1: Future proof your application
Upgrading to the latest version provides you with the very latest supported platforms. In recent releases we added support for Windows Server 2022, Windows 11, Amazon Linux 2, AIX 7.3 as well as Oracle 21c, PostgreSQL 13.x including AWS (Amazon Web Services) Aurora.
For .NET COBOL applications, we now support .NET 6.
We have certified and tested our products on all 3 leading cloud providers including the newly published Bring Your Own License (BYOL) listing of our products on Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
Security experts recommend keeping your software current as the most important step in protecting your business from cybersecurity risks.
Our latest version also has the most up to date security updates based on known Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs), and our R&D internal research, so it is the most secured one.
We also added support for AWS Secrets Manager in addition to Hashicorp as 3rd party vault providers for storing secrets in Enterprise Server and enhanced in memory sensitive data protection, external security manager caching and the security of our password-history mechanism.
You’ll also see better performance as our development teams are continuously making improvements, carefully benchmarking each version, and leveraging the latest compiler and CPU optimizations.
A few examples are improved latency and throughput for the Communications Server by enhancing the tasks cleanup process as well as supporting compression of large http responses with gzip. We also improved performance for 1 Phase Commit and reduced the number of Redis instances needed for supporting a highly available architecture.
Reason 2: Upgrading is fast and straightforward
With thousands of customers that run on our solutions, upgrading versions is very common. Best practices and detailed upgrade guides are available on our website and our technical services and support teams are ready to assist with any question.
In many cases, the upgrade process is easy and fast and requires simply upgrading the servers and a recompilation of the code. In some circumstances, the re-compilation is optional as binaries from previous versions can run on the latest one.
For customers that recently upgraded with the objective of modernizing their compiling and debugging practices, implementing scale out solutions, and deploying RESTful web services; the upgrade projects took 1 to 3 weeks of effort, with one customer upgrading in just 4 days. The upgrade process involves a brief analysis of current compile, test and deploy processes followed by planning and executing the adjustments required to meet modernization objectives.
Customers that use Enterprise Analyzer, can upgrade their application intelligence repository to 8.0 first which will help identifying potential upgrade issues as well as support the planning and analysis phases.
In 8.0, we also enabled additional integration points between our development environments and the Enterprise Analyzer repository. Developers are now able to run code analysis rules, queries, and reports on the central application intelligence server straight from their Integrated Development Environment (IDEs) whether it is Eclipse of Visual Studio based. This provides application wide view and analysis to the development team.
It’s important to note that skipping multiple versions in a row can increase the complexity of upgrading. It’s always better to upgrade regularly to achieve the benefits of being on the latest release but also to ease future upgrades.
Reason 3: Take advantage of new capabilities
Every new release of Enterprise Suite gives you new and enhanced features – making it the most fit for purpose technology for the modernization of your mainframe applications. Here are some of the new features in the latest release:
A new Micro Focus Visual Studio Code extension provides a lightweight editor for quick code editing of your mainframe application.
This is a free of charge download for basic editing of COBOL, JCL, BMS, PL/I, IMS, and Assembler.
For Enterprise Developer customers, additional features light up such as compilation and debugging of mainframe application using Visual Studio Code.
Customers that have Enterprise Developer 8.0 installed will be able to leverage advanced code editing features such as IntelliSense, Peek Definition, Rename and more within Visual Studio Code.
An embedded Host Access for the Cloud TN3270 emulator
Enterprise Developer and Server are now shipped with Host Access for the Cloud which delivers a secured, browser-based, zero footprint client.
For administrative usage, customers no longer need to install a desktop emulator. Sessions on Enterprise Server are automatically detected by Host Access for the Cloud and users can connect to their “green screen” application using a modern HTML5 emulator.
Enterprise Developer for Eclipse – Now available on Linux as well
Linux based Enterprise Developer for Eclipse enables development and deployment pipelines on all supported distributions.
This is an opportunity for customers that would like to harmonize their development, testing and production platforms and standardize on Linux.
Customers running on Windows 11 can now also leverage the WSL2 GUI support and run Enterprise Developer for Eclipse natively on WSL2.
Continued improvements of highly available architectures
As our customers deploy larger workloads into Enterprise Server, we continue to enhance the Enterprise Server Performance and Availability Clusters (PACs).
Enterprise Server PACs enable High availability and scalable deployment architectures to support workloads of any size that meet or exceed performance and resiliency characteristics they had on the mainframe. Workloads can also be deployed inside containers and PACs can be integrated with Kubernetes.
As of 8.0, the scale out repository that supports the PAC can reside on Redis or Oracle Coherence.
Managing those clusters can now be done using the Enterprise Server Common Web Administrator (ESCWA) or via REST APIs. In 8.0 we have improved the usability of ESCWA specifically in the areas of monitoring and diagnostics and added a new version of our automation REST APIs which makes it easier to integrate and automate Enterprise Server management.
In case the application data resides in VSAM or QSAM files, Micro Focus Database File Handler (MFDBFH) can be used to host the files in a relational database, enabling high availability of data without the need to make any changes to the application code.
Enhanced development experience
Enterprise Developer has improved in many aspects in the last few releases - the Unit Tests framework, Service and APIs creation, refactoring and code slicing have all been enhanced with new features. BMS editing in Eclipse has been enhanced and a built-in Mapset preview was added.
Our compiler and runtime teams added additional syntax to COBOL to keep compatibility with Enterprise COBOL and the same for PL/I.
And many other enhancements which you can read about in the release notes.
There are many reasons you should upgrade to the latest version of our Enterprise Suite, it supports future proofing your application, enables you to take advantage of the innovation we’ve added, and upgrading is fast and straightforward.
If you are interested in hearing more about the process or learning about the experience of other customer and the benefits they saw, contact your Micro Focus account manager.
For customers on maintenance this is already available for download in our SupportLine website, you are welcome to login, download the latest version and start planning your upgrade to our latest and greatest!