2/11/2019 1:39:38 PM
Develop on the Mainframe like any other cloud platform with Zowe
Developing on Mainframe Easy,Open Mainframe Project,Think 2019,Core Infrastructure Initiative,Zowe Mainframe Tool
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App Developer Magazine

Develop on the Mainframe like any other cloud platform with Zowe



Richard Harris Richard Harris in Open Source Monday, February 11, 2019
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The Open Mainframe Project is ensuring that mainframe architecture doesn't get left in the dust by new-age tech, by creating Zowe, a new tool that lets DevOps easily write familiar code to operate within a mainframe without having to know Pascal, FORTRAN, Algol, COBOL, or other mainframe-based languages.

The Open Mainframe Project announced that Zowe, an open source software framework for the mainframe that strengthens integration with modern enterprise applications, is now production ready less than six months after launching. Any enterprise or solution developer can access the Zowe 1.0 source code or convenience build and incorporate it into their products or services with the agility and scalability of a cloud platform. 

Hosted by The Linux Foundation, the Open Mainframe Project is comprised of business and academic leaders within the mainframe community that collaborates to develop shared toolsets and resources. OMP launched Zowe, the first-ever open source project based on z/OS, last August to serve as an integration platform for the next generation of tools for administration, management and development on z/OS mainframes.  

Zowe 1.0 consists of core technologies enabling modern interfaces for web applications on z/OS, a new command line interface and expansion of platform REST API capabilities. This makes the z/OS environment more “cloud-like” and aims to improve integration in hybrid cloud environments.

The Zowe framework provides interoperability and uses the latest web technologies among products and solutions from multiple vendors. It helps enable developers to use the familiar, industry-standard, open source tools to access mainframe resources and services. Since launch, there has been a huge community response with more than 1,700 beta downloads, 700 +members of the project’s communication tool (220+ daily active users) and more than 50 committers.

“Mainframes are the foundation of businesses in every industry,” said John Mertic, Director of Program Management for the Linux Foundation and Open Mainframe Project. “Zowe breathes new life into mainframes and offers innovative possibilities for next-generation applications. With Zowe 1.0, we’re developing secure, reliable and scalable computing that will ensure sustainability of mainframes for many years to come.”

With the ever-increasing deployment of hybrid architectures, mainframes need to manage a bigger volume, variety, and velocity of data and transactions. OMP is dedicated to modernizing the platform for mission-critical apps and blockchain – where fast data access, transactional scale, and the highest level of trust are required. The Zowe framework is part of this mission as it will enable an ecosystem of software solutions intended to provide a simple, intuitive environment for a variety of IT professionals performing administrative, development, test and operation tasks on z/OS, and help onboard the next generation of mainframe users.

Zowe 1.0 represents a major milestone on the project’s technical roadmap. Key features for this release include:

  • Functional extensions, integration between different 3rd party products and applications
  • Updated docs that define extension points and provide sample applications and tutorials on how to integrate with or extend the Zowe framework
  • New pre-install scripts that can help identify and verify the appropriate pre-reqs prior to beginning the Zowe installation process
  • A Zowe API Mediation Layer that provides the foundation for a single point of access for mainframe service REST APIs and an optional single sign-on experience that leverages an organization's existing System Authorization Facility, or SAF protocols, enabling programs and applications to use system authorization services to control access to different resources

Additionally, Zowe earned the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) Best Practice Badge, which means it is following best practices and conformance in driving secure software development and governance in open source. The Core Infrastructure Initiative is a collaborative, pre-emptive program and approach for strengthening cybersecurity that is widely supported by industry leaders like IBM, AWS, Google, VMWare, and Cisco. The CII Best Practices Badge is a rigorous assessment of an open source project’s processes and infrastructure; other open source projects that have achieved the badge include Linux, Kubernetes, and Node to name a few.

The Open Mainframe Project will be on-site at THINK 2019 with several speaking sessions about Zowe and a happy hour. Visit the OMP website to learn more.

Additional Resources:

  •  Zowe GitHub Repository
  •  Zowe Convenience Build Download
  • Getting Started documentation site 
  • OMP’s I am a Mainframer Podcast
  • OMP’s Internship Program


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