Tech Intelligence Bulletin (HG Insights) – Late last year, The Linux Foundation announced a new project called Zowe, a new open source software framework that allows developers to use modern tools and technologies on mainframe systems running z/OS.

The project is the outcome of collaboration among IBM, Rocket Software and others under the umbrella of the Open Mainframe Project at The Linux Foundation. Since Zowe’s launch, there has been a positive response from the DevOps community.

Support and build z/OS applications

The goal of the Zowe project is to create a framework that enables developers to bring their latest tools to work on the mainframe. IBM and Rocket Software worked together and open sourced their own technologies to achieve this. Zowe provides various components, including an app framework and a command-line interface, which lets users interact with the mainframe remotely and use integrated development environments, shell commands, Bash scripts, and other tools. It also provides utilities and services to help developers quickly learn how to support and build z/OS applications.

Zowe allows both end users and developers to enable a newer generation of users and developers to have access to all the critical data within the financial, retail, and insurance systems living on the mainframe.

Attract a new generation of users and developers

Most of the critical mainframe applications were written several years ago. Some of these companies are more than 100 years old, and they are using mainframe systems for their mission-critical workloads. Zowe open sources some of these technologies to help companies bring their existing workloads into the modern day. This will also allow them to attract a new generation of users and developers.

The fact that Zowe is open source is critical for the DevOps crowd. John Mertic, director of program management, The Linux Foundation, told Silicon Angle, “Your typical DevOps audience is used to looking at tools like Gradle and Puppet and things like that. They know that they’re not only the users but they’re contributors to it. We want to be really clear here: Definitely use it, but part of this being open source is so that you have a seat at the table, directing where this goes.”

Zowe created in response to customer demand

At the time of the launch, Andy Youniss, CEO, Rocket Software, commented, “We are building the next generation of mainframe leaders by lowering barriers and making the platform accessible to everyone. Zowe was created in response to customer demand – users have been asking for open source for many years to help them modernize and extend the value of their mainframe infrastructures.”

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