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CA Gen OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

What is CA Gen?
CA Gen provides a single, integrated development environment that can help your teams create and maintain large-scale business applications for multiple platforms. This streamlined environment can help reduce manual labor and speed migration time while ensuring the future relevance of existing environments and applications.
CA Gen Customers
Global bank
CA Gen Video

Archived CA Gen Reviews (more than two years old)

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Consultant
Consultant
Leaderboard
Full packets enable software implementation on the mainframe and client sides
Pros and Cons
  • "Full packets, enable you to develop software and systems using these packets, and implement software on the mainframe side and the client side. You can use the same packets, so it's very powerful."

    What is most valuable?

    The so-called full packets, so you can develop software and systems using these packets, and implement software on the mainframe side and the client side. You can use the same packets, so it's very powerful.

    What needs improvement?

    Nowadays, it's internet and websites, it's very common. I think they have to make this product more and more flexible to use it in the web as well. I think that’s very important for the future.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's definitely stable.

    How are customer service and support?

    My opinion is that it is excellent.

    How was the initial setup?

    I'm not sure of the latest ones, but in past years it has been very, very clear and complete, not complex at all.

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate it eight out of 10. It's just very powerful tool, very powerful product to use. 

    Nowadays, there are a couple of mainframe companies, using mainframe products, so to be honest, I'm not recommending it. Of course, if you have mainframe and you have do something in the mainframe that’s different.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Gurudeva Kalledevarpurada B - PeerSpot reviewer
    IT Solution Architect at SEARCHING
    Real User
    Leaderboard
    Excellent Tool for Mainframes, GUI, Web Development
    Pros and Cons
    • "CA Gen has provided us web development capability."
    • "The product needs to be well marketed, then adopted. I am not seeing many customers using the product."

    What is our primary use case?

    CA Gen is an advanced version of Advantage Gen/COOL Gen/IEF, which were tools for rapid application development in mainframes and a client/server environment. CA Gen has added web development capability.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Advantage Gen greatly enhanced productivity as well as development of solutions in mainframes, Client, and server applications. However, it was lacking the web development features, which has been provided by CA Gen.

    What is most valuable?

    • Model-based development
    • Click and drag development facility
    • Automatic code generation

    What needs improvement?

    The product needs to be well marketed, then adopted. I am not seeing many customers using the product.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It has excellent stability. Applications have been used for more than 10 years without any major issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We were using our own administration tools. However, this does not have the type of facilities provided by Amazon Web Services, which can be provided by CA Gen.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Another team was involved, which was able to resolve issues on-time.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    IEF/COOL Gen.

    How was the initial setup?

    Initial setup is straightforward. We received excellent support from vendor.

    What about the implementation team?

    We implemented with the help of CA, as well as in-house. CA's support was excellent.

    What was our ROI?

    Great.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    I was not involved in pricing and/or licensing, which was managed by another team.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated Telon.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is an excellent product.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    it_user779226 - PeerSpot reviewer
    Banking Application Development Manager
    Vendor
    Allows us to easily manage all changes and requests, coding is easy
    Pros and Cons
    • "You can easily manage the code, and you can easily find other changes, other group changes, other models, other components."
    • "I cannot use DB2 specifications, DB2 comments, easily."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using CA Gen on the client side and the mainframe side. 

    On the client side we are producing C source code and on the mainframe side we are producing COBOL source. We have been using CA Gen over 25 years in Turkey. As far as I know, we are the only user in Turkey. We are implementing CBD methodology (Component Based Development).

    The performance is very nice. Especially if you are implementing the right architecture for it, you can easily manage all the changes, all the requests. We are now trying to change our architecture, especially the mainframe sites, because our business side is changing rapidly and we need to change our methods from static to dynamic. We are now working on that.

    What is most valuable?

    As a developer, it is wonderful. Coding on CA Gen is easy. If you want to change anything, you can easily manage the code and you can easily find other changes, other group changes, other models, other components.

    What needs improvement?

    The weak side is, I cannot use the DB2 specifications, DB2 comments, easily. They should support the latest DB2 versions, the latest DB2 comments. This is my priority. Database access.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability is always good enough for us.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is very good. It is not as scalable as native coding, but its scalability is enough for our requirements.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    I have not used tech support directly, but we have some departments that are contacting CA. They are happy with the support they've had.

    What other advice do I have?

    I give this product an eight out of 10 because it's easy to use, it's familiar, it's stable. You can trust them, you can get support whenever you want.

    Use CA Gen but be careful about the architecture, how you establish the architecture is so important. If you start at the wrong point, you will be punished.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    it_user558015 - PeerSpot reviewer
    President at Ciss inc
    Consultant
    Rapid development software tool. Mature solution to make changes and put them in production.

    What is most valuable?

    It's an extremely rapid development software tool with a lot of enterprise-level software maintenance functionality. It is similar to the software that was used in all of the impact analysis stuff that's really necessary in an enterprise world. In terms of impact analysis, this is an old tool. It actually came out originally as IEF (Information Engineering Facility) in the late 1980s or early 1990s. (The name was later changed to Cool.Gen and then to CA Gen.) A lot of big systems were built upon it. When you go to make changes in these systems, you need to know what you're going to impact so you can test it effectively and make sure you don't make a mistake because a bug in a production environment can frequently be a very high cost issue. You see that all the time. People make changes and their systems come down. The airline systems of late have been big in that. This tool facilitates you knowing where your impact is as opposed to you guessing where your impact is. It's lived long beyond what people thought was its life expectancy as a product, largely because it is such a quality tool that people can't replace. It would take, I would estimate, three times the number of developers to maintain the C code that it generates than it does to maintain the other codes.

    CA Gen, at least where I work, is used in a way that causes predictable production implementations.  The tool supports extensive and predictable impact analysis. Other tools from partners capture changes and make promotions precise.

    .Net is a great language and the Team Foundation tools are great but the merge process is not perfect. Backing out changes in an environment were multiple people can work on the same code can be problematic.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The tool is so mature that the production implementation environments around it are very mature as well. I work in a shop that has some CA Gen and some .NET and there's always problems on the .NET side when they go to production. For instance, the day after production is always a nightmare. That's not really true with CA Gen stuff, generally speaking. There are exceptions to that. It is a mature tool that lets you feel confident in making changes and putting them in production.

    What needs improvement?

    The dilemma is with people that are stuck in this old technology, and it really is kind of stuck. They don't really understand the new technology, and so it's a gap issue. Those people that would use the tool for more benefit don't really know enough about how to integrate it with the other technologies. The people in the other technologies don't care about your tool. You need that gap filled with CA expertise. CA is supposed to fill that gap and they don’t really do so. They don't really know how to do it, and we don't really know how to take it, to be honest with you. It needs to be figured out. The product is solid, and has been for years and years, and they dabble in new technology. Nobody knows what will be out there tomorrow. Yes, we'd like to address whatever comes out tomorrow and work with that.

    They need to re-envision themselves not as a seller of new tool sets, but as a tool set enhancer. To enhance the usage of the tool sets they have. They get big maintenance money from this stuff, so it's not like they're not making any money. You don't need to sell new tool sets to make money. They need to enhance it in terms of connecting, or leveraging, with other technologies. As an example, I work on the State of Texas Medicaid system. A huge part of that's written in COOL:Gen/CA Gen. Using those assets in the portal world, in the Windows world, is really important to be able to leverage all the work you did over here and some of the new stuff you do, and we do, but we do it based on what somebody thinks might work, not on somebody sitting down and saying, "Okay, we understand the .NET, WinGen for .NET, and here's how you do .NET, and here's how WinGen does it, and here's how we expect you to use it. Here's how you can make it better, and work harder.”

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The fact that it has been around for around 25 years says it all. CA bought the tool from a vendor that bought the tool from another vendor who bought the tool. CA typically does that kind of thing. That's their mode of operation. They buy tools and then ride them until they go away. They're not doing a whole lot of development in the tool which is kind of sad, but kind of expected as well. Personally, I think the tool has taken a turn for the worse. After it gets to be 25 years old and everybody that said that it was going to go away and it didn't, you have to kind of look at the tool a little differently and say, "Well, okay, it's going to be here. Let's figure how we can maximize it.” That's really where we need CA's help. It isn’t the case that they want to go sell a bunch of new tool sets and make a big new sale. I don’t think that's happening in today's world. You're getting that done for free, so why would you pay $3000 to buy a new tool? The other side of that equation is, if you can maximize the use of the tool sets that are already sold and show people how it can be leveraged in the modern world, then you may sell a tool set here or there, but more importantly, you've given the product a life and the people that are around it a life to look forward to, as opposed to a life of, I guess, "I'll be doing this for the rest of my life until I retire” mindset.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    I think it is very cost effective. The issue has always been that CA charges for the tool. It's like Microsoft gives away .NET and CA doesn't, so you're swimming upstream against people that see the initial expense as a big problem and don't look beyond that. The tool has been around so long now, approximately 25 years. Several companies have tried to replace it, and insisted they were going to replace it, but they weren’t able to.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We started using this in 1983 or 84. It was the latest and greatest tool, and I pushed to get involved in it and became a consultant with it, and have really enjoyed working with it over the years. In terms of alternative solutions, Microsoft is the classic one. I like .NET and I love CoolGen/CA Gen, but it is not a UI tool. So you wouldn't really want to use CA Gen to build a UI. On the other hand, I can build the backend data. (By the way, CoolGen is an older name, and CA Gen is the newer name for the same product.) I'd go back, but all of the backend stuff, the data management, the business rules and all the heavy stuff, can be done in CA Gen a lot faster than you can do it with a lot less code to maintain, and in a more stable maintenance environment. But again, you can't really do the UI. You need that gap filled with a clear direction of what to do with it as opposed to just guessing which is what happens.

    What other advice do I have?

    Get some experienced help. You can mess yourself up in the early days if you don't know where to go, but there are a lot of people out there who have built big systems in CA Gen and can help you do the right thing from the beginning and that will make a huge difference.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    PeerSpot user
    Development Platforms Manager at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Video Review
    Consultant
    It gives us agility and is cost effective. I like the robustness, stability, and scalability as well.

    What is most valuable?

    If you're going to build a mission critical project, the tools that you're using are very important. You need qualified developers but the tools are critical.

    With CA Gen you can model the application lifecycle and leave the application development to the next level of abstraction. You can develop multiple platform projects like on the server side and client side. If you imagine that your application needs the server side and the client side. Both of them will be working in different frameworks, or with different platforms. You can write Kobo, Java, and Windows applications in the same tool with one team, rather than three separate different teams. It gives agility, and cost effectiveness.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The benefit is the mobility. You can shift one platform to another without any extra effort. You can shift from mainframe, to Java without giving any extra effort.

    What needs improvement?

    The world is changing, the technologies are changing - COOL:Gen needs to change as well. COOL:Gen gives us the opportunity to generate the codes in a variety of technologies. In the future we need some mobile support, mobile generation, and a service oriented application architecture supported.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    You model the application and the COOL:Gen takes on all of the efforts on generation by generating the codes automatically. The generation gives us stability. You don't need to test the codes because there is no handwritten code right now. You just jump out to the testing effort, to just testing the design, business needs, and the other things.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    You can scale your development team as fast as you want, you can also scale the application as very quickly, because CA Gen gives the re-usability of the other projects and also the other frameworks as well.


    How are customer service and technical support?

    CA is supporting the tool as well. With the power of CA, you can leverage up your application where you need the support. We are getting the support from the CA team. When we need it, we get it.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We are an old customer, more than 20 years ago, COOLl:Gen was chosen as the main technology in our company. Before that there were some native development platforms, but with the COOL:Gen we shifted.

    If you're going to create a mission critical project in a short time, and a lesser development group you need a tool. In the native development, you need a large number of developers. With a tool like a COOL:Gen you don't need much resources.

    You can generate much more codes, rather than the traditional languages such Kobo or .Net.

    How was the initial setup?

    Our infrastructure: we have 400 models and we have 308 million objects that we are running in our environment. It's 250 million lines of code, so it's a complicated infrastructure and with a tool like CA Gen we are implementing it and managing it.

    What other advice do I have?

    I can give it an 8/10 because of it's robustness, stability, and scalability. If the mobile support comes, I could give it a 10.

    If you want to be the first in market and you have a short time to generate, or to develop your application, and if you're looking for a platform that supports multiple frameworks, multiple platforms such as mainframe, Java, and .Net, or the others, you need a modelling tool, rather than a language or technology. With modelling your application you can easily generate any of that kind of technology with CA Gen.

    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partners
    PeerSpot user
    it_user349290 - PeerSpot reviewer
    Senior Developer at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Using it we can quickly develop a product with higher quality, though it adds what seems to be some unnecessary lines of code.

    Valuable Features:

    The most valuable feature is the faster time to deliver a product than tradition COBOL programming. We use CA Gen pretty much for everything, including data modeling, moving the code to production, and as a migration tool. We use all of the CA Gen features. We can write a mainframe application, GUI applications, everything.

    Improvements to My Organization:

    We're able to have faster delivery and quickly develop a product with higher quality.

    Room for Improvement:

    I’m very comfortable with the product, but there’s always room for improvement. The alternative is writing in a native language or program, and this is much better. We can write for mainframe applications – we write in CA Gen but generate the code in COBOL, for example. If I look into the native COBOL language it can be more efficient, and CA Gen adds what seems to be some unnecessary lines of code; it’s not an apples to apples comparison.

    Deployment Issues:

    Very stable. We’ve had it in production for quite a long time.

    Stability Issues:

    It’s OK. The thing is, there are only certain limited customers for CA Gen – it’s not Java like something every developer might know. We're kind of a small group so we don’t scale traditionally.

    Initial Setup:

    It was already in production when I joined.

    Other Advice:

    Understand what you want to do with it, be it data modeling, or creating a table structure for DB2 or whatever kind of database they want – in the IDE. If you’re writing a simple barebones COBOL program, it may take 20-30 hours, but with a solution like this it can be done in around four hours. If they have complex goals a solution like this is also very useful.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user