Overview of IBM z/OS Debugger

IBM® z/OS® Debugger is the next iteration of IBM debug technology on IBM Z and consolidates the IBM Integrated Debugger and IBM Debug Tool engines into one unified technology. IBM z/OS Debugger is progressing towards one remote debug mode based on Debug Tool compatibility mode. In support of this direction, Debug Tool compatibility mode, when available in the user interface, is selected by default for V14.1.2 or later.

IBM z/OS Debugger is a host component that supports various debug interfaces, like the Eclipse and Visual Studio Code IDEs. z/OS Debugger and the supported debug interfaces are provided with the following products:
IBM Developer for z/OS Enterprise Edition
This product is included in IBM Application Delivery Foundation for z/OS. IBM Developer for z/OS Enterprise Edition provides all the debug features.
IBM Developer for z/OS Enterprise Edition currently provides debug functions in the following IDEs:
  • IBM Developer for z/OS Eclipse
  • Wazi Developer for Workspaces, through IBM Z® Open Debug
  • Wazi Developer for VS Code, through IBM Z Open Debug
See Table 2 for the debug features supported in different IDEs.
IBM Developer for z/OS
IBM Developer for z/OS is a subset of IBM Developer for z/OS Enterprise Edition. IBM Developer for z/OS, previously known as IBM Developer for z Systems or IBM Rational® Developer for z Systems®, is an Eclipse-based integrated development environment for creating and maintaining z/OS applications efficiently.
IBM Developer for z/OS includes all enhancements in IBM Developer for z/OS Enterprise Edition except for the debug features noted in Table 1.
IBM Debug for z/OS
IBM Debug for z/OS is a subset of IBM Developer for z/OS Enterprise Edition. IBM Debug for z/OS focuses on debugging solutions for z/OS application developers. See Table 1 for the debug features supported.
IBM Debug for z/OS does not provide advanced developer features that are available in IBM Developer for z/OS Enterprise Edition.
For information about how to install the IBM Debug for z/OS Eclipse IDE, see Installation of IBM Developer for z Systems and IBM Debug for z Systems .
IBM Wazi Developer for Red Hat® CodeReady Workspaces
IBM Wazi Developer for Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces is a single integrated solution, which delivers a cloud-native developer experience for z/OS. It enables application developers to develop and test z/OS application components in a virtual z/OS environment on an OpenShift-powered hybrid multicloud platform, and to use an industry standard integrated development environment (IDE) of their choice.
IBM Wazi Developer for Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces currently provides debug functions in the following IDEs:
  • Wazi Developer for Workspaces, through IBM Z Open Debug
  • Wazi Developer for VS Code, through IBM Z Open Debug
  • Wazi Developer for Eclipse
See Table 1 and Table 2 for the debug features supported in the product and different IDEs.
Table 1 maps out the features that differ in products. Not all the available features are listed. To find the features available in different remote IDEs, see Table 2.
Table 1. Debug feature comparison
  IBM Debug for z/OS IBM Developer for z/OS IBM Developer for z/OS Enterprise Edition IBM Wazi Developer for Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces
Main features
3270 interface, including z/OS Debugger Utilities    
Eclipse IDE, see Table 2 for feature details.1
IBM Z Open Debug provided with the Wazi Developer for Workspaces IDE, see Table 2 for feature details.1    
IBM Z Open Debug provided with the Wazi Developer for VS Code IDE, see Table 2 for feature details.1    
Code Coverage features
Compiled Language Code Coverage 2  
Headless Code Coverage  
Java™ Code Coverage    
ZUnit Code Coverage3    
z/OS Debugger Code Coverage (3270 and remote interfaces) 4    
3270 features    
z/OS Debugger full screen, batch or line mode    
IMS Isolation support    
Compiler support features
Assembler support: Create EQALANGX files  
Assembler support: Debugging 5 6 6
LANGX COBOL support 7  
Support for Automatic Binary Optimizer (ABO)  
Load Module Analyzer8    
Notes:
  1. The following features are supported only in remote debug mode:
    • Support for 64-bit COBOL feature of z/OS for COBOL V6.3 and later
    • Support for 64-bit Enterprise PL/I for z/OS Version 5
    • Support for 64-bit C/C++ feature of z/OS
  2. IBM Developer for z/OS includes z/OS Debugger remote debug and compiled code coverage Eclipse interface, but does not include z/OS Debugger Code Coverage.
  3. ZUnit Code Coverage is only supported in Debug Tool compatibility mode.
  4. z/OS Debugger Code Coverage can only be enabled in the 3270 interface.
  5. Debugging assembler requires that you have EQALANGX files that have been created via ADFz Common Components or a product that ships the ADFz Common Components.
  6. This feature is only available with the Eclipse IDE.
  7. LANGX COBOL refers to any of the following programs:
    • A program compiled with the IBM OS/VS COBOL compiler.
    • A program compiled with the IBM VS COBOL II compiler with the NOTEST compiler option.
    • A program compiled with the IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS Version 3 or Version 4 compiler with the NOTEST compiler option.
  8. Load Module Analyzer is deprecated and will be removed in a future version.
Table 2. Remote IDE debug feature comparison
Feature Eclipse-based debug interface IBM Z Open Debug 1
Debug Tool compatibility mode2
Standard mode3 4  
Integration with Language Editors
  • COBOL Editor5
  • PL/I Editor5
  • Remote C/C++ Editor4,5
  • System z LPEX Editor4,5
  • Z Open Editor
Visual Debug 5  
Debugging ZUnit tests 6  
Debug profile management 4
IMS Isolation UI 7  
Integration with CICS Explorer views 4,5  
Integration with property groups 5  
Team Debug support 4,5  
Integrated launch
  • z/OS UNIX Application launch configuration
  • z/OS Batch Application using existing JCL
  • z/OS Batch Application using a property group5
 
Debug Tool Plug-ins 4, 8  
Modules  
Memory  
Program navigation
Step over/Next
Step into/Step in
Step return/Step out
Jump to location  
Run to location/Run to cursor
Resume/Continue
Terminate
Animated step  
Playback  
Breakpoints
Line/statement breakpoints
Entry breakpoints  
Source entry breakpoints  
Event breakpoint  
Address breakpoint  
Watch breakpoint  
Variables & Registers
Variables
Registers 9
Modifying variable and register values
Setting variable filter  
Changing variable representation  
Dereferencing variables  
Displaying in memory view  
Monitors
Displaying monitor
Modifying monitor value  
Changing variable representation  
Dereferencing variables  
Debug Console
Evaluating variables and expressions  
z/OS Debugger commands  
Notes:
  1. IBM Z Open Debug is provided with Wazi Developer for Workspaces and Wazi Developer for VS Code.
  2. Debug Tool compatibility mode does not support 64-bit Enterprise PL/I for z/OS Version 5.
  3. Standard mode does not support 64-bit COBOL feature of z/OS for COBOL V6.3 and later. Source view for COBOL V6.2 and later is supported only in standard mode.
  4. This feature is not available in Wazi Developer for Eclipse.
  5. This feature is not available in IBM Debug for z/OS.
  6. Debugging ZUnit tests is only supported in Debug Tool compatibility mode.
  7. This feature is only available in IBM Developer for z/OS Enterprise Edition.
  8. IBM Developer for z/OS includes Debug Tool plug-ins, but does not include Load Module Analyzer and z/OS Debugger Code Coverage 3270 interfaces.
  9. Registers are available in the Variables view.