Compuware has made enhancements to its Compuware Workbench product, a "point-and-click" mainframe application development interface.

Compuware says the Workbench now features "faster and more efficient" file and data management capabilities, including the ability to edit complex IMS databases and "more robust" debugging functionality, all designed to boost developer productivity.

Compuware says the Workbench is designed to help companies "future proof" mainframe development by providing an environment where new and inexperienced developers can produce "high quality applications that drive business success".

Kris Manery, Compuware senior vice president for mainframe solutions, said, "Without access to a modernised development interface new developers would be deterred by the complex and antiquated mainframe development environment, leaving companies vulnerable to application outages and other business risks when experienced developers retire and take their knowledge with them."

The Workbench File-AID Data Editor supports browsing and editing of IMS databases in addition to DB2 and other mainframe file systems. As one of the older mainframe database and transaction management systems, Compuware says IMS requires highly technical and specialised knowledge to manage and support.

With this enhancement, said Compuware, developers can easily edit, browse and understand IMS data constructs from within the same intuitive, standardised editor they use for other mainframe data types.

On the debugging side Workbench's Xpediter/Eclipse functionality now includes "Monitor/Reverse" and "Step Into, Step Over, and Step Return", along with other enhancements that provide developers with more flexibility when navigating through source code during the application debugging process.