The sections Introduction to Continuous Delivery and Continuous Delivery Workflow introduce the idea of continuous delivery and summarize how continuous delivery works as a process. This section looks at the continuous delivery process and shows how different products available from Micro Focus fit into and add value to that process.
The diagram below shows the process presented in the section Continuous Delivery Workflow but has been updated to indicate which Micro Focus products are appropriate at different parts of the process. Although this diagram refers to Micro Focus products, the process described does not require the use of Micro Focus products, so if you are already using a third-party product for one part of the process you can continue to work with that and use Micro Focus products to integrate with it.
Note that because continuous delivery is effectively an extension of the continuous integration process, the first five steps in this diagram are the same as the steps in the diagram presented in Continuous Integration and Micro Focus Development Tools.
where the numbered steps are as follows:
This diagram illustrates the use of AccuRev, Dimensions CM, StarTeam or PVCS as the source code control system but you are not limited to using only those products. Visual COBOL works with any SCC-compliant source code control system, so you can work seamlessly in Visual COBOL with virtually any source code control system you choose to use regardless of whether it is a Micro Focus product or a third-party product.
At this point, the changes that were checked in at step 2 have been successfully built and a build label has been applied to the source code that was used for the build (so the build could be recreated if necessary).
In the event of a build failure, the CI server sends notifications to the relevant developers who restart the process from step 1, using Visual COBOL to make the changes necessary to resolve the build errors.
At this point, the changes that were checked in at step 2 have been successfully built and tested, all with little or no manual intervention.
If the acceptance tests results in failures, the CI server sends notifications to the relevant developers who restart the process from step 1 to make the changes necessary to resolve the test failures.
If the validation decision is not to release, the relevant team members are notified and development work continues as normal.
For information on using Jenkins to perform the CI server tasks in the above list, see Using Visual COBOL with Jenkins.
The following list gives a very brief summary of each of the Micro Focus products that play a part in the continuous delivery process:
Micro Focus AccuRev is a software configuration management tool that addresses complex parallel and distributed development environments with stream-based architecture to accelerate development processes and improve asset reuse.
AccuRev integrates with Visual COBOL to enable you to commit your changes to the shared repository quickly and easily with a minimum of fuss.
Micro Focus COBOL Analyzer is powerful code analysis and visualization toolset, designed to address the challenges of working with large-scale, complex applications.
COBOL Analyzer enables you to quickly gain a thorough understanding of your applications, meaning that you reduce the amount of time it takes you to make your changes and you can have more confidence that your changes have the desired effect and do not introduce any new issues.
You can also use COBOL Analyzer to run queries to determine if your code conforms to your in-house standards. Any code that does not conform to your standards can be flagged as an error following a commit or during the build process.
COBOL Server is the deployment and execution environment for applications developed using Visual COBOL. It provides a high-performance, platform-portable run time environment in which your customers can execute your COBOL applications, while its small footprint and ease of installation makes it easy for you to use in your testing.
As well as providing the environment in which your COBOL applications run, COBOL Server includes features to simplify your testing. For example, once you have set up a COBOL Server environment for testing an application you can export the definition of that environment to an XML file, where the XML definition includes details of all aspects of the COBOL Server environment such as region definitions, locations of data files, and settings of environment variables. Once you have exported the definition you can import it to be used during your testing, ensuring that the COBOL Server environment you use in your testing is exactly the same environment as the one you know to be correct.
Micro Focus Deployment Automation simplifies and automates the deployment of your software. It supports continuous delivery and production deployments by seamlessly enabling deployment pipeline automation, reducing cycle times, and providing rapid feedback. With Deployment Automation, you will be able to deliver high-quality, valuable software in an efficient, fast, and reliable manner.
Micro Focus Dimensions CM streamlines the complexity of collaborative parallel development and increases team velocity while ensuring a high degree of release readiness.
Dimensions CM integrates with Visual COBOL to enable you to commit your changes to the shared repository quickly and easily with a minimum of fuss.
Micro Focus PVCS Version Manager is used by thousands of software developers around the world to meet their version control requirements. It is one of the most reliable, trusted, and proven solutions available.
PVCS integrates with Visual COBOL to enable you to commit your changes to the shared repository quickly and easily with a minimum of fuss.
Micro Focus Release Control enables you to plan, control, and automate your release processes from definition to deployment with a visual release calendar and automated approval process. The automation and integration features that Release Control offers result in improved visibility and tracking, and adherence to your compliance and control procedures.
Micro Focus Silk Test enables you to maintain rigorous quality standards and accelerate application testing on any device and platform. Using Silk Test you can standardize validation efforts by testing web, mobile, rich-client, and enterprise applications with a single, powerful test automation solution.
Micro Focus Silk Central unifies test assets into one planning, tracking, reporting, and execution hub, enabling you to define quality goals, schedule manual and automated functional and performance tests, and view results in a centralized dashboard.
Micro Focus StarTeam delivers changes across multiple ALM repositories and tools as the single source of truth. It's an enterprise change management system, serving both centralized and geographically distributed development teams, helping them achieve their highest level of software delivery.
StarTeam integrates with Visual COBOL to enable you to commit your changes to the shared repository quickly and easily with a minimum of fuss.
Micro Focus Visual COBOL is the next-generation solution for COBOL application development and deployment. It enables you to modernize COBOL systems using Visual Studio and Eclipse as well as deploy COBOL applications and services to new platforms, including .NET, JVM, and the cloud.
Visual COBOL includes the following features that make it particularly suitable for using in your continuous delivery process:
With the recording loaded into the debugger you can monitor everything that influenced the running of the program (such as all input, disk access, and keyboard strokes) and because the debugger lets you move backwards and forwards through the execution path you can easily focus on potential causes of crashes or other unexpected behavior in the application.