CA Plex compiled objects are deployed to many platforms and it would be wholly unfair to assume that CA Plex should manage this deployment. There are dedicated Change Management & Deployment tools that have integrated with CA Plex with True integration may be a step too far but with the introduction of Model API and especially Plex Macros for Add ins the possibilities have increased.

Introducing a New Interface to Remain's TD/OMS product

Independent development environments such as CA Plex have their own model-based and pattern-driven development techniques to modernize legacy IBM midrange applications as they run across multiple platforms as well as move them to the Web and to SOA environments. And as IBM i shops take on modernization projects, change management software is integral to the process. TD/OMS has had a CA Plex interface for a long time, but with advancements in the CA Plex IDE, the opportunity to improve integration between the two tools was an obvious one and will benefit the CA Plex community. Stella Tools aimed to allow a CA Plex developer to orchestrate what objects are connected to TD/OMS tasks within the comfort of their own CA Plex IDE.

“The way the two tools work together is very simple” - says George Jeffcock, the founder of Stella Tools. “After the assignment of a task, a programmer is able to select objects via their object browser and by the right context menu invoke a CA Plex generated window palette. This window palette can filter and/or gather the objects before dragging and dropping the objects onto the desired task within a version of TD/OMS Work Management tree.” – he continues.

The Challenge

How does a 3rd party tool know what objects you want to manage? A developer will know what objects but how does he alert the 3rd party tool to this?

In general a 3rd party tool will have a repository in which it records objects it has been told about and some sort of Fix/Task/Project/Request/Time based application. An integration solution at its most basic would need to Insert/Update the repository of the compiled objects and allow the developers to associate/connect selected objects to a selected Fix/Task/Project/Request.

I also suggest integration does not mean duplication, the solution should not start to duplicate the 3rd parties own application's functionality.

The Solution

I propose a CA Plex developer will be very familiar with the CA Plex Object Browser and would like to use it to orchestrate which objects are to be managed by a 3rd party tool. Ideally the CA Plex IDE would support traditional OLE drag and drop to 3rd party but with this unsupported creating a Model API application in between the CA Plex IDE and the 3rd party is the next best solution.

In the case of CM First's Matchpoint Product it offers in my opinion the closest integration to CA Plex possible aided by the fact it is written in CA Plex and so no need for the intermediate Model API dialog.

With Softlanding's Turnover (originally written in CA Plex) and Remain's TD/OMS both being Eclipse based, wouldn't it be nice (well we can dream) to make the CA Plex IDE into Eclipse.