N2O: A Natural Application Change Management System and 3GL Support for PANVALET, LIBRARIAN, ENDEVOR, and PDSs

Applications may consist of hundreds of objects, which may be changed by many programmers.

Managing the development and maintenance of applications involves tasks such as:

  • Controlling migrations into production environments

  • Avoiding program overwrites

  • Tracking the current location of a program

  • Verifying that program changes are made

  • Changing all related objects

  • Archiving and recovery

  • Maintaining complete audit trails

Manual change management can be time-consuming and prone to error. Treehouse Software developed N2O to provide cost-effective automated change management for Natural objects, SYSERR messages, and PREDICT objects.

Why N2O and NaturalONE?

It is first necessary to distinguish between object-oriented and application-oriented versioning. NaturalONE stores and archives only source code objects, while N2O handles both source and object code. N2O is also able to only migrate object code into a production environment without the need for a new compile (a pre-requisite would be that it was compiled under production conditions).

The Software AG (SAG) recommended approach for NaturalONE is to use a source code repository (e.g., CVS or Subversion). Once completed with development tasks, the modified source code can be deployed to any Natural Server using the NaturalONE deployment tools for testing or production. In a mainframe environment, the deployment process will store the source code into a predefined mainframe Natural library. N2O can maintain migrating, object versioning, and audit trail of code in the mainframe environment. If there is no change management software on the mainframe, it would be difficult, if not impossible to back out QA and/or Production versions while insuring the recovered source and object code match.

Treehouse has several customers that have implemented or are planning to implement NaturalONE. A few examples:

An N2O customer implementing NaturalONE decided to move forward without N2O. Several months later, the customer needed to recover his production environment and discovered that the source and object code no longer matched! Since NaturalONE only controls the non-mainframe environment, they had no mainframe versioning in place from which to restore.

A large government site implemented NaturalONE and continues to use N2O. Treehouse assisted this site in setting up a process to extract the Natural object names involved in a subversion deployment, and using Natural Webservices, executed N2O APIs to create and execute the mainframe migrations. The N2O APIs can check if an event for the user already exists and select the objects provided to the API. If no event exists, a new one will be created. It is also possible to fully automate the process, executing the events via a scheduler. This allows the full deployment process from NaturalONE into N2O's change management process.

Comprehensive Features

N2O offers many features to automate change management tasks, including the following:

  • On-line Request System to select objects for migration

  • Batch or On-line migration of objects

  • Checkout/Checkin to control and monitor changes to objects

  • Cross-reference support to show all related objects affected by or invoked by specific objects

  • Autocompile to ensure that all Natural programs and 3GL members are properly compiled after migration

  • Archiving/Recovery to guard against the loss of objects

  • Audit Trails and Reporting to provide information about program migrations, Checkout/Checkin, directory lists, archiving and recovery, status of projects being tracked, source comparisons, N2OSCAN processing and results, and user and approval profiles

  • Static SQL Support for DB2 Project Tracking Feature to maintain information about organizational activities

  • Documentation Toolbox to print Natural objects, file layouts, Descriptor X-Ref (cross-reference) information, object flow analysis, and Object X-Ref in local N2O environments

  • Emergency Recovery to allow recovery from Archive when N2O is not available

  • Compare Utilities to identify differences between two Natural programs

  • N2OSCAN to process the source of Natural objects, scanning for strings over the object/library range specified by the user, and report on (or record for future lookup) all matches

  • User-Exits to provide flexibility for tailoring N2O to site-specific needs, such as interfacing with e-mail

  • Security and Authorization to control access to N2O functions and enforce migration authorization requirements (optionally through RACF, ACF2, or Top Secret, using SECURITRE).

These and other capabilities enable N2O to meet a site's needs.


Applications often contain non-Natural components, such as COBOL or JCL. N2O/3GL, a separately-priced N2O feature, allows the batch migration of 3GL/Other objects stored in partitioned datasets, PANVALET libraries, LIBRARIAN master files, or ENDEVOR stages. Additionally, N2O/3GL provides Checkout/Checkin and audit trails for 3GL migrations, which allow the N2O Administrator to effectively manage the changes in 3GL environments.

N2O/3GL uses a site's 3GL repositories for migrating 3GL objects and follows a site's 3GL naming conventions. N2O with N2O/3GL migrates ASSEMBLER, COBOL, FORTRAN, PL/I, and RPG source code, as well as JCL and other data types.

Compatibility and Requirements

N2O operates under Z/OS, DOS/VSE, VM/CMS, and BS2000.

N2O/3GL operates under Z/OS.


N2O Fact Sheet

N2O Product Overview


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Sewickley, PA 15143

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