Today, constituents expect public sector organizations to deliver a compelling customer experience that parallels their experience with consumer brands. However, this is difficult for governments to achieve without mainframe modernization.
It’s now critical for government organizations to embrace a DevOps approach and transform their development environment. With the release of NaturalONE 9.1 on the mainframe within Software AG Designer, mainframe editors eventually will be obsolete and NaturalONE will become the de facto development environment.
Here’s what this means for how government IT teams develop applications.
NaturalONE in Eclipse: Transforming Government Application Development
NaturalONE is an Eclipse-based, or an open source, integrated development environment (IDE), for developing and maintaining Natural applications with web-based user interfaces and Natural services.
NaturalONE, which is integrated with the webMethods API integration platform, brings a DevOps approach to Natural programming to enable developers to create web-based, digital applications and accelerate the deployment of these applications. This can help to automate core government processes and streamline the delivery of constituent services.
In a post-pandemic world, NaturalONE will be a key component of government digital transformation by enabling government IT teams to more easily create applications that are scalable and extendable to future enhancements.
Though some Natural mainframe programmers have yet to truly embrace the Eclipse environment, it’s necessary for government organizations to begin preparing their IT organizations for this development environment for several reasons.
The Key Benefits of NaturalONE Programming
Digital Transformation Enabler
First, NaturalONE allows mission-critical Adabas and Natural applications — and the data associated with them — to integrate seamlessly with Software AG’s Digital Business Platform and other cloud-enabled solutions. This integration is critical to help government organizations create web-based applications, test and deploy mobile applications and make the transition to digitally-driven businesses.
Secondly, with many mainframe programmers set to retire, it’s vital for governments to attract younger talent.
Younger programmers are learning and building their skills in integrated development environments like Eclipse, and they appreciate the user-friendly interface, agility and collaborative capabilities these environments offer.
NaturalONE also can help bridge the generational gap between mainframe programmers and younger programmers by facilitating knowledge transfer. Newer talent can come into the organization and learn about existing applications before these seasoned developers retire. They then can use their Eclipse skills to help their organizations lower the time and cost for developing or modernizing applications. This also can make legacy applications and data more useful for creating digital applications and services — effectively extending the lifecycle of mainframe assets.
Increased Productivity and Efficiency
Though learning a new environment isn’t always easy, transitioning to NaturalONE doesn’t mean developers can’t use their mainframe knowledge.
Developers can import an existing project from a mainframe environment into the Eclipse workspace. They also can use mainframe tools and mainframe navigation to access, view and edit objects in this environment, as well as transfer XML files and custom code to create new models or code frames.
A source code editor in NaturalONE allows developers to write code faster with syntax color-coding for different source code elements, which helps developer identify issues with their program earlier, along with syntax-checking to detect program errors and a content assist feature that lets developers choose from a list of pre-defined code to enter into their program. In addition, a user-friendly map editor increases information visibility for developers, enabling them to visualize parts of their maps graphically. With NaturalONE, developers also can see existing connections to other server environments and understand dependencies between objects.
Overall, NaturalONE optimizes the entire product development lifecycle — from application development and testing to documentation and deployment. Developers can take advantage of open source tools to reuse code, increase collaboration, improve change management and repurpose mainframe assets to drive digital transformation within their organizations.
With mainframe programming, change is now inevitable. To be future-ready, governments will need to embrace modern development environments that increase their agility, help them attract the next generation of developers and deliver a best-in-class constituent experience.
To learn more, register for this webinar, NaturalONE Webinar: Mainframe Programming in an Eclipse Environment, here.