What do you do all day? Introduction
As an application developer, modern IDEs like Eclipse provide great functionality to support activities like editing, debugging and testing the software you are creating. But we all know that in today’s agile environments, the work of an application developer is not restricted to those core functions – they need to -
- Plan development activities
- Write concepts
- Create and implement test cases
- Work with a source control system
The list goes on….
Application developers know the problem of switching between different applications to perform these tasks – each has its own user interface and process model to learn, and exchanging information between these tools can quickly become a laborious, tedious, error-prone job.
Wouldn’t it be good if you could integrate any tool into your Eclipse IDE in a consistent way so that under one perspective you could automate both the exchange of information between tools and the manual processes into single functions? Wouldn’t it be good if you didn’t have to know how all those other tools worked because you could just access them from your IDE?
Wouldn’t it be good?
This is exactly what the AWM component of the Micro Focus Enterprise Developer or Visual COBOL products for Eclipse does. AWM stands for Application Workflow Manager and it allows you to model a working flow within Eclipse, by seamlessly integrating the tools and data a developer has to use during their daily work.
AWM has a number of out of the box functions (called function packages) to support the integration into change control, build processes, mainframe integration etc. With the Enterprise Suite or Visual COBOL 5.0 release, we now support the integration with REST APIs meaning that any it is possible to now integrate and exchange data with any Web application which has a RESTful interface whether this is Micro Focus ALM Octane, or another tool such as Bugzilla, Github, SVN, Jira, Jenkins etc.
Let’s take a look at this in action. The following sample shows an integration into a single application tree view artifacts from
Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance
The next sample shows an AWM action which integrates functions of the planning tool ALM Octane with SVN functions. Within one action a defect is created with all its associated tasks plus a private SVN branch is checked out from SVN. Moreover the Code Review task is provided with a link to the SVN branch as information for the developer who will do the code review.
Of course that’s just one example of a workflow. The tools shown are interchangeable, and can be integrated together to create toolchains that automate complex processes into a single action. AWM not only integrates those tools under one user interface, it also allows developers to model an exchange of information between the tools.
Why’s that important? Several reasons: it just makes it easier for the developer, easier to follow a common process, easier to learn new tools and interfaces, easier exchange of data between tools and easier to introduce automation. And if it’s easier for the developer it will mean better adoption to new development processes.
Time to Smarten Up?
For teams looking to integrate their application development process model within an Eclipse based development environment, AWM is a huge benefit in automating the whole process, and is saving customers days if not weeks in their development operations.
In subsequent blogs, we will explain in more technical detail how AWM works and how to make use of it by developing an in-house AWM model, using a rich set of tutorials in the Enterprise Developer or Visual COBOL products to get started.