The mainframe has proven to be the most resilient computing platform in the market. It has survived the arrival of the mini-computer in the 1970’s and the PC in the early 1980s. In the last three decades client/server, distributed computing, blade computing and cloud computing have all taken their turn at trying to displace the mainframe. While there may only be one mainstream mainframe vendor left, mainframe sales are showing a rise. This is due to new computing demands and engagement methods such as mobile which offer pervasive access to the analytical processing and performance capability of the mainframe.

The depth of customer investments made in the mainframe platform is recognised by the leading mainframe tools vendors. They realise that while customers are transitioning to new operating systems such as Linux and modern languages such Java on the mainframe, there is a need to ensure it is integrated into their development and operational workflows. This has led to a change in the capabilities of tools serving the market today with many struggling to incorporate the rich productivity features that are now considered to be standard for developer and operation toolkits.

In this spotlight review report we assess Serena’s support strategy for improving the change management of mainframe application assets and enabling a broader community of developers to support the mainframe platform.