IBM Explorer for z/OS V3.0 Aqua delivers workstation access to key IBM z Systems functions

IBM United States Software Announcement 215-373
October 5, 2015

Table of contents
Key prerequisitesKey prerequisitesTechnical informationTechnical information
Planned availability datePlanned availability dateTerms and conditionsTerms and conditions
Product positioningProduct positioningOrder nowOrder now
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At a glance
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IBM® Explorer for z/OS® V3.0 Aqua (z/OS Explorer):

  • Provides z/OS application developers and system programmers with an improved strategic integration platform for IBM Eclipse-based offerings.

  • Was built and tested using IBM continuous build and test infrastructure to help ensure IBM offerings are fully compatible and able to coexist in the same environment.

  • Simplifies the task of applying maintenance to all Eclipse clients by incorporating push-to-client technology. This technology enables a system administrator to distribute updates through a policy that is imposed by the server.

  • Provides the strategic Eclipse platform for connectivity to key z/OS functions required by all z/OS application developers and system programmers. z/OS Explorer delivers significant enhancements for navigation to z/OS data sets, zFS files, and JES jobs and output.

  • Includes smart editors for JCL files.

  • Includes a TSO command console that enables users to issue TSO commands directly.

For ordering, contact your IBM representative. For more information, contact the Americas Call Centers at: 800-IBM-CALL (426-2255).

Reference: LE001

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IBM Explorer for z/OS V3.0 Aqua (z/OS Explorer) is an Eclipse-based integration platform for z/OS users. It enables the integration of a variety of offerings from IBM and other vendors, and in-house development plug-ins. z/OS Explorer is extendable via the IBM repository of compatible products to fulfill each user's roles and responsibilities. For example, z/OS Explorer can provide a single Eclipse environment with the ability to administer an IBM CICS® TS environment in conjunction with development and problem analysis tools.

CICS Explorer® V5.3, CICS Tools V5.3, IBM Problem Determination Tools V13.1, and IBM Rational® Developer for z Systems™ V9.5.1 are built on the z/OS Explorer platform. They are built and tested using the IBM common continuous build and test infrastructure, which ensures these products are fully compatible and tested together. With this infrastructure, z/OS Explorer delivers much improved consumability of IBM offerings and a greater level of integration among participating products.

To improve the experience of maintaining IBM Eclipse-based offerings built on z/OS Explorer, it includes push-to-client technology to simplify the task. Using this technology, a system administrator is able to set up a policy to enable all connecting workbenches to be updated upon connection to the server.

In addition to being an integration platform, z/OS Explorer is the strategic Eclipse platform for connectivity to key z/OS functions that are required by all z/OS application developers and system programmers. With z/OS Explorer, user interaction with z/OS systems is improved by a:

  • Reliable and secure connection based on Remote System Explorer (RSE) technology.

  • Smart JCL editor with syntax highlighting and checking, and auto-completion support.

  • TSO command console that enables users to issue TSO commands.

The z/OS Explorer capabilities are available for use by all customers with a license for supported releases of z/OS. Third-party software vendors and customers can now integrate their plug-ins with z/OS Explorer with no IBM product dependency, other than z/OS.

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Key prerequisites
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The z/OS Explorer Rich Client Platform (RCP) executable runs on any machine that supports the required Microsoft™ Windows™, Red Hat Linux™, SUSE Linux, and Apple OS X operating systems.

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Planned availability date
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December 11, 2015

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Connectivity to z/OS

z/OS Explorer is able to connect to z/OS through a number of connectivity protocols. Direct connectivity is available through File Transfer Protocol (FTP) as well as through z/OSMF V1.13 or higher. This provides a set of capabilities to view and manipulate data sets and UNIX™ file and folders, as well as to submit jobs and view their spool output. A richer set of functions to work with data sets, UNIX files, and jobs is available by installing a host component.

The default perspective shows content provided by the Remote System Explorer (RSE) that communicates with the host component. For backward compatibility and for users who do not have a host component installed or available, the direct connection methods through FTP and z/OSMF are still available. If a connection is made using a direct connection, the user interface will open the views that are available to view and manipulate content that has been retrieved from FTP or z/OSMF.

Remote System Explorer

The RSE view allows connectivity to a host component using a user ID and password, or a client-side SSL certificate. z/OS Explorer allows expanding into the UNIX file system, data sets (also known as MVS™ files), jobs (also known as JES), and TSO.

Remote System Explorer data sets

Data sets are navigated by filters based on the qualifier, with defaults for the logged on user data sets, as well as configurable favorites.

  • Data sets, generational data groups, data set members, and VSAM data sets can be created.

  • Data sets can be renamed, copied, deleted, compressed, and migrated.

  • Data set members can be compared for differences in content.

  • Data sets can be created based on properties of another data set (also known as allocate like).

  • Data set contents can be edited, during which a lock is placed on the file to prevent other users from opening the same data set for editing and potentially losing their content or overwriting changes.

  • Data set mappings provide a way to define criteria based on the high-level qualifier to content and association that drives the kind of editor that will be launched.

z/OS Explorer provides a rich editor for Job Control Language (JCL). Editors for source code languages such as COBOL, PL/I, and High Level Assembler are provided with Rational Developer for z Systems V9.5.1.

The Data Sets view that shows data sets and allows editing of their content that is provided by a direct connection, such as FTP or z/OSMF, is retained for backward compatibility. It provides a subset of the function available with the Remote System Explorer.

Remote System Explorer jobs

Jobs are included in RSE. Filters allow lists of jobs using name matching patterns to be grouped together, and a My Jobs filter is available by default. The spool can be opened for a job, even when the job is active, and the individuals steps can be listed and opened from a particular line in the case of large spool files. Jobs can be cancelled, purged, held, released, and resubmitted using the original JCL, and the original JCL can be viewed.

The Jobs view that shows jobs provided through a direct connection is still available and provided for users who do not have a host component available. It provides a subset of the capabilities available through the RSE.

z/OS UNIX system services

The Remote System Explorer allows navigation to the UNIX Hierarchical File System, or zFS.

  • Navigation is controlled using filters with My Home and Root provided as default filters.

  • Folders can be created, deleted, and renamed.

  • Files can be created, edited, renamed, copied, moved, and compared to each other.

  • File and folder permissions can be updated.

The z/OS UNIX Files view that shows folders and files provided through a direct connection are still available for users who do not have a host component available. It provides a subset of the capabilities available through the Remote System Explorer.


TSO shells can be launched through RSE. These shells accept TSO command input and show the results.

Host Connections view

The Host Connections view is the single place to manage all your system connections and login credentials. You can import or load shared connection definitions from an external file, and export definitions to a file.

Properties view

The Properties view displays all the properties, or attributes, of the resource being viewed.

z/OS Explorer connection framework

z/OS Explorer provides a rich framework that enables you to configure, change, and manage your system connections to FTP and z/OSMF z/OS services. The z/OS Explorer connections framework is extensible using the z/OS Explorer Software Development Kit (SDK).

Support is also provided for SSL, password phrases, and proxy servers. Note that service updates for z/OS Explorer are available on a preconfigured download site on the Internet. Your organization may require you to connect to the Internet through a proxy server. You can use the Preferences dialog in z/OS Explorer to define a proxy server.

Your organization may require that when you connect to a system, your credentials, such as your user ID and password or password phrase, are sent to the system for authentication. When you have defined a credential you can use it on all systems that share the credential without reentering the details each time. You must have at least one credential before you can connect to a system.

You can export a set of connection definitions that you have created and share them with other users. If you save the definition file on a shared or web-accessible location, users can import the connection details into their z/OS Explorer. Any changes you make to the central definition file are picked up the next time you start z/OS Explorer. Credentials are not exported and must be set for each user.

Delivery and deployment options

z/OS Explorer for a desktop computer is available in two forms:

  • An executable in an Eclipse-based Rich Client Platform (RCP).

  • A plug-in for inclusion in compatible RCPs. The z/OS Explorer plug-in is also prepackaged with CICS Explorer V5.3, IBM Problem Determination Tools Studio, Rational Developer for z Systems, and IMS™ Enterprise Explorer. It provides unified and extensible access to many z/OS-based resources for all technical roles.

z/OS Explorer is also available for installation using IBM Installation Manager, for easy integration with scenarios where Installation Manager is the preferred choice. This includes places where the silent install feature of Installation Manager is used for desktop deployment. The current support for the Eclipse provisioning platform (P2) software update system is retained.

The IBM update website addresses are preloaded in z/OS Explorer. This enables delivery of content in a way that ensures compatibility and consistency with other products being delivered as part of the z/OS Explorer family.

The CICS Explorer V5.3 plug-in and the plug-ins for the following products in the IBM CICS Tools family are also updated. They deliver updated capabilities, support the latest z/OS Explorer and Eclipse levels, and provide plug-ins in Installation Manager format:

  • CICS Deployment Assistant for z/OS V5.3

  • CICS Interdependency Analyzer for z/OS V5.3

  • CICS Configuration Manager for z/OS V5.3

  • CICS Performance Analyzer for z/OS V5.3

  • CICS Transaction Gateway for z/OS V9.1

The plug-ins for the following products in the IBM Problem Determination Tools family are updated in support of z/OS:

  • Application Performance Analyzer for z/OS

  • Debug Tool for z/OS

  • Fault Analyzer for z/OS

  • File Manager for z/OS

  • Workload Simulator for z/OS and OS/390®

Developers of complementary tools, whether from IBM teams, business partners, or customers, can use the z/OS Explorer SDK that is built into z/OS Explorer. This SDK can be used to extend and integrate developer software tools as plug-ins to compatible RCPs. z/OS Explorer includes the Eclipse plug-in development environment, Javadoc™ describing the z/OS Explorer connection framework, and z/OS Explorer APIs. Also included is a sample that integrates a Telnet interface with z/OS Explorer and a wizard to help add menu actions to files and jobs.

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Product positioning
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The license terms for z/OS Explorer allow it to be used by anyone with a license for a supported release of z/OS. This makes it a valuable tool for z/OS-based technical roles, as well as a suitable platform for both third-party and customer-developed tooling.

z/OS Explorer is ideally placed to provide additional value to anyone with CICS Explorer, CICS Tools, IBM Problem Determination Tools, IMS Explorer, or Rational Developer for z Systems, because it provides a way to bring these tools together.

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Reference information
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For information on CICS Explorer, refer to Software Announcement 215-363, dated October 5, 2015.

For information on CICS Tools V5.3, refer to Software Announcement 215-364, dated October 5, 2015.

For information on CICS Transaction Gateway for z/OS V9.1, refer to Software Announcement 214-263, dated July 1, 2014.

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Program number
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Program number VRM Program name
5655-EXP 3.0.0 IBM Explorer for z/OS Aqua

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Offering Information
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Product information is available via the Offering Information website

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Product publications will be available December 11, 2015, from the IBM Knowledge Center. Go to

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Software Services

IBM Software Services has the breadth, depth, and reach to manage your services needs. You can leverage the deep technical skills of our lab-based Software Services team and the business consulting, project management, and infrastructure expertise of our IBM Global Services team. Also, we extend our IBM Software Services reach through IBM Business Partners to provide an extensive portfolio of capabilities. Together, we provide the global reach, intellectual capital, industry insight, and technology leadership to support a wide range of critical business needs.

To learn more about IBM Software Services or to contact a Software Services sales specialist, go to

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Technical information
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Specified operating environment

Software requirements

Systems requirements for z/OS Explorer will be available on December 11, 2015, on

The program's specifications and specified operating environment information may be found in documentation accompanying the program, if available, such as a readme file, or other information published by IBM, such as an announcement letter. Documentation and other program content may be supplied only in the English language.

Planning information

z/OS Explorer is available only by download. Go to

Security, auditability, and control

IBM Explorer for z/OS V3.0 uses the security and auditability features of the operating system under which it is running.

The customer is responsible for evaluation, selection, and implementation of security features, administrative procedures, and appropriate controls in application systems and communication facilities.

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Terms and conditions
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The information provided in this announcement letter is for reference and convenience purposes only. The terms and conditions that govern any transaction with IBM are contained in the applicable contract documents such as the IBM International Program License Agreement, IBM International Passport Advantage® Agreement, and IBM Agreement for Acquisition of Software Maintenance.


IBM International Program License Agreement including the License Information document and Proof of Entitlement (PoE) govern your use of the program. PoEs are required for all authorized use.

Agreement for Acquisition of Software Maintenance

This program is licensed under the IBM Program License Agreement (IPLA) and the associated Agreement for Acquisition of Software Maintenance, which provide for support with ongoing access to releases and versions of the program. IBM includes one year of Software Subscription and Support (also referred to as Software Maintenance) with the initial license acquisition of each program acquired. The initial period of Software Subscription and Support (also referred to as Software Maintenance) can be extended by the purchase of a renewal option, if available. This program has a one-time license charge for use of the program and an annual renewable charge for the enhanced support that includes telephone assistance (voice support for defects during normal business hours), as well as access to updates, releases, and versions of the program as long as support is in effect.

License information


The program's License Information will be available on December 11, 2015, for review on the IBM Software License Agreement website

Limited warranty applies


Limited warranty

IBM warrants that when the program is used in the specified operating environment, it will conform to its specifications. The warranty applies only to the unmodified portion of the program. IBM does not warrant uninterrupted or error-free operation of the program or that IBM will correct all program defects. You are responsible for the results obtained from the use of the program.

IBM provides you with access to IBM databases containing information on known program defects, defect corrections, restrictions, and bypasses at no additional charge. For further information, consult the IBM Software Support Handbook found at
IBM will maintain this information for at least one year after the original licensee acquires the program (warranty period).

Program technical support

Technical support of a program product version or release will be available for a minimum of three years from the general availability date, as long as your Software Subscription and Support (also referred to as Software Maintenance) is in effect. This technical support allows you to obtain assistance (via telephone or electronic means) from IBM for product-specific, task-oriented questions regarding the installation and operation of the program product. Software Subscription and Support (Software Maintenance) also provides you with access to updates (modifications or fixes), releases, and versions of the program. You will be notified, via announcement letter, of discontinuance of support with 12 months' notice. If you require additional technical support from IBM, including an extension of support beyond the discontinuance date, contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner. This extension may be available for a fee.

Money-back guarantee


Volume orders (IVO)


Passport Advantage applies


IBM Operational Support Services - SoftwareXcel


System i Software Maintenance applies


Variable charges apply


Educational allowance available

Not applicable

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Statement of good security practices
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IT system security involves protecting systems and information through prevention, detection, and response to improper access from within and outside your enterprise. Improper access can result in information being altered, destroyed, or misappropriated or can result in misuse of your systems to attack others. Without a comprehensive approach to security, no IT system or product should be considered completely secure and no single product or security measure can be completely effective in preventing improper access. IBM systems and products are designed to be part of a comprehensive security approach, which will necessarily involve additional operational procedures, and may require other systems, products, or services to be most effective. IBM does not warrant that systems and products are immune from the malicious or illegal conduct of any party.

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Business Partner information

If you are an IBM Business Partner -- Distributor for Workstation Software acquiring products from IBM, you may link to Passport Advantage® Online for resellers where you can obtain Business Partner pricing information. An IBM ID and password are required.

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Order now
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To order, contact the Americas Call Centers or your local IBM representative. To identify your local IBM representative, call 800-IBM-4YOU (426-4968). For more information, contact the Americas Call Centers.

Phone: 800-IBM-CALL (426-2255)

Fax: 800-2IBM-FAX (242-6329)

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Note: Shipments will begin after the planned availability date.

z Systems, IMS and MVS are trademarks of IBM Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both.

IBM, z/OS, CICS, CICS Explorer, Rational,, OS/390, Passport Advantage and System i are registered trademarks of IBM Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both.

Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both.

Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries, or both.

UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the United States and other countries.

Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

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