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Blog | Polycephaly

Polycephaly has been successfully setup and tested, using the OMP infrastructure.

By | December 15, 2020

The Open Mainframe Project, Polycephaly, is a set of Java and Groovy classes, to allow for z/OS application to be built using almost all open source, with one exception IBM’s Dependency Based Build or DBB.  The project is now ready to deliver on its promises, to allow a developer using their choice of IDEs, including only Open Source Eclipse. The developer makes their changes in the IDE, even be ISPF using one of two ISPF Git interfaces can be the IDE of choice, saves their changes back to the Git server.  The Jenkins slave running on z/OS, will pull the application Git repo to z/OS under USS directory structure, then proceed to call the Polycephaly to build/compile the various application programs, based on the package.txt file.  The developer isn’t required to understand anything about the builds. All the input parameters are preconfigured in the Polycephaly, but can be overridden by the project. Configuration parameters, like space, COBOL compiler parms, Assembler parms, Linkedit, etc.

Polycephaly is very cost-effective, as compared with the z/OS SCLMs.  And most shops already have Jenkins and Git servers running.  Also, z/OS is only used when absolutely necessary, and all the code is either Java or Groovy, so the routines run on the zIIP engines and not the GPs. For Disaster Recovery, Polycephaly creates z/OS datasets, like source PDS or PDS/e, which can be used if necessary or the servers not available.

At this point, we are just scratching the surface of the power of Polycephaly.  Any z/OS procedure can be made into a Polycephaly “build” script.  We have a long list of new features and functions, including building a z/OS operating system RESvolume set.

Some of the advantages of using Polycephaly over other tools,

  • The ease of use and the interfacing.
  • The developer doesn’t have to ever logon to TSO/ISPF, thus saving additional z/OS resources.
  • The build logs and compiler/assembler logs are emailed back to the developer, with a success or failed completion
  • Switching between the release of COBOL can be done for all programs in an application with a simple one-line configuration change
  • Switching COBOL compiler options for v6.x, per IBM recommendation, again, can be done with a simple one-line configuration change
  • The Polycephaly is expandable and customizable to meet each shop’s specific needs
  • Concurrent development builds are possible, even the same program by two different developers on the same z/OS

That is only some of the advantages, there are more.  Coupled with the power of Jenkins and its 1000+ plugins, a z/OS application can be built, test and deployed with all the other off z/OS application, for an end to end application

We are looking for people to help with a project, and that could setting up and running Polycephaly in your own shop.  Another feature, we are looking to provide, are other open source build automation tools. If there is another open source build tool, which provides a SSH slave, then Polycephaly should work without any changes, in theory.  So, tools like Travis CI, TFS, Teamcity and other might work, and we would be happy to work with companies to prove them out.