Open source project Zowe: Fast, simple, familiar z/OS development

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The IT landscape is evolving at a fast pace. Organizations continue to digitally transform to better serve the demands of their customers and differentiate themselves from their competitors. Many of these businesses have a mainframe as an essential asset at the heart of their digital transformation, and to drive the business. IBM Z mainframe strengths — security, availability, performance, data integrity and scalability – were validated in a recent Linux Foundation Open Mainframe Project survey as to why it’s the platform for some of the most important production workloads in the world.

At the same time, developers have risen in influence in shaping IT environments, and choosing open source technologies, services and APIs to respond to the pace of change to speed applications and services to market. Flexibility, agility and speed are key:  Single platforms are out, multi-platforms and multiclouds are in.

And so we bring the two worlds together with the announcement of Zowe. Zowe is a new, and the first open source framework for z/OS, and provides solutions for development and operations teams to securely manage, control, script and develop on the mainframe like any other cloud platform. Launched in a collaboration of initial contributors IBM, CA Technologies and Rocket Software, and with the support of the Open Mainframe Project, the goal is to bring together industry experts to drive innovation for the community of next-generation mainframe developers whether or not they have platform experience. Zowe promotes a faster team on-ramp to productivity, collaboration, knowledge sharing and communication.

We believe it takes a strong ecosystem, and not a single tool provider that can “do it all”, consistent with what is seen on all other vibrant platforms including cloud. We see a future where the mainframe’s development and operations teams can have a simple, transparent and rapidly assembled workflow of options, delivered by different vendors and contributors—all to speed value to market.

IBM’s initial contribution to project Zowe is an extensible z/OS framework that provides REST-based services or APIs that will allow you to rapidly use new technology, tools, languages and modern workflows with z/OS. Today IBM is contributing z/OS Explorer Core, where developers get a set of discoverable foundational services or building blocks which will be used across all aspects of Zowe. IBM will continue to invest in the open source environment, through Zowe and broader open source initiatives. Learn more in the Zowe Statement of Direction.

In addition to IBM’s contribution, Rocket Software will provide a web user interface and CA will provide a Command Line Interface.

You can get started today – in discussions on slack, and with new information and early code. Join us now at

IBM Z & LinuxONE Vice President, Offering Management

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