Technology research and innovation seek to make everything easier, from depositing money into a bank account to just making coffee. But “easier” doesn’t necessarily mean “simpler”. In most cases, the easier something is made on the outside, the more complex it is on the inside; just like how complex mainframe applications are written to make business processes easier.
Decades of patched-up code is enough to make mainframe developers gnash their teeth but adding further to complexity are connections that have been incorporated over time. In fact there are so many changes that departments have lost track of them. With a large number of mainframe experts who know these applications retiring, things only get worse for existing or newer programmers who’ve inherited this tangled mess of important applications.
Whether the aim is modernization, migration or even maintenance, complex mainframe applications need to be simplified to be better understood. Simplification can be a complicated process, but it's a necessary one. Developers need to understand complex applications or groups of applications along with their connections and interactions.
Tools that retrieve information instantly from anywhere within the system, help see across upstream and downstream connections of a program, display interactions within any set of applications and analyze impact of changes, are necessary in gaining an in-depth understanding of systems that departments so heavily depend on for critical business processes.
Invest in a useful set of tools that help developers simplify and understand the systems they work with for easier application maintenance.