What's new in IBM Developer for z/OS

For what's new in IBM z/OS Debugger and IBM Debug for z/OS, see Summary of changes for z/OS Debugger.

Version 14.2.6

Editor enhancements
The COBOL Editor now supports the >>DATA COBOL compiler directive in its real-time syntax checking and language-sensitive help. Valid values for the directive are >>DATA 64 and >>DATA 31.

Version 14.2.5

Editor enhancements
The COBOL and PL/I parsers support the latest syntax added by program temporary fixes since the release of Enterprise COBOL for z/OS Version 6.3 and Enterprise PL/I for z/OS Version 5.3.
Help requirements
The product helps and language-sensitive helps now redirect to IBM Documentation. This new help platform has several requirements and limitations:
  • Supported browsers: The following browsers have been tested with the product and can open IBM Documentation. Other browsers might not function correctly. To choose a browser:
    1. On the Preferences window, click General > Web Browser.
    2. Select Use external web browser, and then select one of the following browsers.
      • Windows: Chrome, Microsoft Edge
      • MacOS: Chrome, Safari
      • Linux: Chrome
  • Use an external browser: On Windows, you must set Help preferences to use an external browser. IBM Documentation does not support the internal Eclipse browser. On MacOS and Linux, helps open in an external browser by default, and these preferences are not available.
    1. Open the Preferences window and click Help in the navigation pane.
    2. From the Open help contents list, select In an external browser
  • Performance: IBM Documentation does not support the IBM Eclipse help system. To open the helps, the product must redirect help calls by use of an API call. This redirect takes longer to open the helps than the previously supported Knowledge Center. You might notice a delay as the browser populates with the help content.
z/OS Automated Unit Testing Framework (ZUnit)
  • The user interface for running a ZUnit test case from a local project is simplified to reduce the number of windows required from four to one.
  • Tests added to a test case include a test name and a test description. The ZUnit Runner Results view can now display this description. A new option Show test description in result view on the z/OS Automated Unit Testing Framework (ZUnit) Preferences page controls the display of the test description.
  • You can now customize the prefix of the recorded data file name in ZUnit > Playback file > High-level qualifier.
  • The dynamic test runner now supports creating unit tests by recording data for batch PL/I programs. It covers a limited set of data types.
z/OS Integrated Development Environment (zIDE)
A new environment variable in the zee.env host configuration file enables a check to see if a data set or member is under SCLM control. You can enable this environment variable to prevent users from altering SCLM-managed data outside of SCLM. For more information about the environment variables in zee.env, see zee.env, the environment configuration file.

Version 14.2.4

Dependency Based Build Integration enhancements
Dependency Based Build Integration has been enhanced to improve parsing of the .gitattributes file, to properly interpret the project tree of the .gitattributes file, and to properly read the binary keyword. The enhancements improve the ability of the user build file transfer code to read file content types from Git, resulting in greater integrity of binary file transfers. For more information about user build, see Starting a user build. To configure binary files for user build transfer, see Preserving integrity of binary files.
Eclipse workbench enhancements
Dark theme support: IBM Developer for z/OS provides improved support for the Eclipse workbench dark theme.
Editor enhancements
Support for the July 2020 COBOL v6.3 compiler PTFs including the ability to parse and generate JSON boolean name/value pairs using the JSON PARSE and GENERATE statements. For more information about these statements, see:
z/OS Automated Unit Testing Framework (ZUnit)
  • The new ZUnit Enterprise COBOL AZUTC007 sample is a COBOL source file for generating and running a test case with imported batch program data. This sample file demonstrates how to test a COBOL batch application program. For more information, see Enterprise COBOL AZUTC007 sample test case.
  • You can now extend Language Environment (LE) to allow for actions such as replaying with the recorded timestamp, or recording and replaying file I/O in Dynamic Test Runner. For more information about configuring this in the host, see Extending Language Environment.
  • Dynamic Test Runner can now correctly record CICS sub-program calls when multiple users are recording CICS programs at the same time.
  • ZUnit now detects whether the program contains any CICS or Db2 statements when creating a test case.
  • When using Dynamic Test Runner, you can now use the new Generate separate program for file I/O option in ZUnit preferences to generate the program for file I/O as a separate file with the name ZUTF* from the test case. For more information, see Setting ZUnit preferences.
  • ZUnit now supports DBCS data item names and values.
  • The ZUnit limitations page is updated for the current release. See ZUnit COBOL Limitations for more details.

Version 14.2.3

The following changes were added for IBM Developer for z/OS Version 14.2.3.

IBM Developer for z/OS Enterprise Edition now provides a new value-added capability, Wazi Development. Wazi Development is for development teams or individual developers that prefer VS Code. It is a set of VS Code extensions that provide z/OS developers with a familiar and straightforward edit, build, and debug experience. VS Code is a code editor that is optimized for building and debugging modern web and cloud applications.

Editor enhancements
  • In the COBOL and PL/I Editors, you can search the contents of a copybook or include file hover information window.
  • A new PL/I Editor preference, Enable folding of code blocks, enables you to expand and collapse IFELSE, IF, ELSE, DO, SELECT, WHEN, OTHERWISE, PACKAGE, BEGIN, and PROCEDURE statements.
  • A new z Systems LPEX Editor menu item, Uppercase all, converts lowercase code statements to uppercase.
z/OS Automated Unit Testing Framework (ZUnit)
  • The Dynamic Test Runner now includes support for:
    • Recording and importing test data for batch and batch Db2 COBOL applications and for processing data file I/O.
    • Setting separate SuperC file compare utility options for each output file generated by a test case.
  • The Test Case Editor now provides:
    • A Set Entry Point menu item to select an entry point for each test for a program under test, set test data for the entry points, and run the test case with the selected entry points.
    • Support for pointer variables in linkages for COBOL programs and for allocating the pointer area in the STUB for a subprogram.
z/OS Integrated Development Environment (zIDE)
  • Support for the Eclipse EGit component adds the Git perspective to the list of available perspectives in the product, and also adds the Git Repositories view and the Git Staging view to the z/OS Projects perspective.
  • The z/OS Debugger Profiles view is now available by default in the z/OS Projects perspective. To apply this change, you must create a new workspace or reset your current z/OS Projects perspectives to default. For more information about the z/OS Debugger Profiles view, see Managing debug profiles with the z/OS Debugger Profiles view.
  • The Pending changes view is now available by default in the z/OS Projects perspective when you have installed the IBM Engineering Workflow Management integration plug-ins. To apply this change, you must create a new workspace or reset your current z/OS Projects perspectives to default.
  • A new preference for the MVS Files subsystem, Automatically recall migrated SYSLIB data sets, enables the product to attempt to recall a migrated data set that is found in the SYSLIB during copybook or include file resolution when editing a source file.
Host Connection Emulator enhancement
You can now customize the key binding for the [rule] command which brings up the ruler (crosshair) on the screen. The setting for the key binding is under Preferences > General > Keys.
Dependency Based Build Integration enhancement
The Support error feedback option is now easier to use and processing is more straight-forward. You can enable error feedback for any resource type (Assembler, COBOL, or PL/I) by using the Dependency Based Build Preference page Support error feedback option. When you request a user build, the product first checks if a property group is available and uses the Support error feedback option in the property group. If no property group is available, it uses the option set on the preference page.

Version 14.2.2

The following changes were added for IBM Developer for z/OS Version 14.2.2.

Editor enhancements
  • You can now use syntax checking and content assistance for CICS V5.6 program statements.
  • Editing a copybook or an included file from a source program now associates the complete program and the property group settings with it.
  • New COBOL editor preferences place sequence numbers in column1 or in column 73 and support both the renumber and unnumbered commands in each area.
  • When you edit and save files in a Git repository, the COBOL and PL/I editors can validate the character encoding to ensure that the files can be transferred to the host correctly.
  • The : replacement character is no longer marked as invalid syntax for COBOL copybook parsing.
  • General COBOL performance improvements.
Menu Manager enhancements
  • Run Options dialog has been reorganized for better experience.
  • You can now perform other activities when Output dialog is open.
  • You can use the new Open in Editor button in Output dialog to view and process the output.
  • You can use the new Apply to all selctions option to apply the settings of a Menu Manager action to multiple resources.
z/OS Automated Unit Testing Framework (ZUnit)
  • COBOL programs with ENTRY statements are now supported.
  • The Test Case Editor now supports pointer simulation for COBOL source programs.
  • You can now create/modify test cases for COBOL source in a sequential data set.
  • Filtering of recorded data for CICS test cases is enhanced.
  • The Test Case Editor provides menu options for recorded CICS and SQL data that enable you to see test results in a detailed format or hexadecimal format, and enable you to skip testing for specific records or data items.
  • You can set SUPERC compare utility options separately for multiple output files generated by a test case program.
z/OS Integrated Development Environment (zIDE)
  • You can use the new Search results toolbar button to edit and re-run the current search query.
  • A new host configuration option is added to allow you to set Remote z/OS File Search as the default search option for z/OS resources. The current default search option is Remote z/OS Search.
  • You can disable the Personalization Questionnaire using a vmarg in the eclipse.ini file.
  • A new concurrentScavenge setting is added to the eclipse.ini file to improve performance.
  • The JES output viewer now supports the Outline view.
  • New MVS Files properties are added for VU License and VU Offering for ADFz and IBM Developer for z/OS Enterprise Edition.
Integrating IBM Developer for z/OS and Dependency Based Build
You can now open the build report in a web browser which is easier to view on completion.

Version 14.2.1

The following changes were added for IBM Developer for z/OS Version 14.2.1.

COBOL Editor
  • Introduces a check during file save that ensures all characters can be mapped to an appropriate remote or local code page.
  • Support for the Filter view menu item. To open a filter view on a source file in the editor, right-click and select Filter View.
  • You can now export a program control flow diagram to a .png file.
Menu Manager
  • Menu items that are added to a pop-up menu are moved to a higher location in the pop-up menu. If you migrate a workspace to Version 14.2.1, your custom menu items might be in a different location.
  • A new Menu Manager variable, $hostvariable, that takes the name of a host variable as an argument and returns the value of that variable on the host.
  • You can now use the following new Menu Manager substitution variables to browse and select local and remote resources.
    • $inputfile
    • $inputfileandfolder
    • $inputfilefullname
    • $inputfolder
    For more information, see z/OS substitution variables in the Menu Manager.
  • You can now use the Ctrl+Alt+E (on Windows) or Command+Option+E (on macOS) combination for a quick display of all your Menu Manager actions and submenus in a context menu. You can change the key binding for this combination in the Preferences menu.
  • You can now invoke a Dependency Based Build (DBB) command via Menu Manager using the new DBB action (com.ibm.ftt.dbbz.integration.actions.dbbaction).
  • When creating an action, if you are using the existing USS or DBB action, you can optionally select the Automatic ASCII Conversion check box to enable the automatic conversion to ASCII for the strings.
PL/I Editor
  • Introduces a check during file save that ensures all characters can be mapped to an appropriate remote or local code page.
  • Support for the Filter view menu item. To open a filter view on a source file in the editor, right-click and select Filter View.
  • You can now export a program control flow diagram to a .png file.
Rational Team Concert Integration
The IBM Rational Team Concert product has been renamed IBM Engineering Workflow Management. This change is now reflected in IBM Documentation.
z/OS Automated Unit Testing Framework (ZUnit)
  • Introducing the IBM z/OS Dynamic Test Runner to the test case recorder function of ZUnit. The z/OS Dynamic Test Runner can intercept calls made by CICS and Db2 application programs to record details about those calls. After the data is recorded, those same application programs can be rerun in batch, without the need for the original environment, and be fed back the values from the recorded data. The programs can also be modified and then rerun to ensure they perform without regression. The z/OS Dynamic Test Runner enables automation of the testing process for online transactions and batch programs, both single programs and thousands of transactions making up an entire system test.
  • The ZUnit Preferences page has been moved to a more visible location in the Preferences window navigation. To open the ZUnit Preferences page, select Window > Preferences > z/OS Automated Unit Testing Framework (ZUnit).
  • The Test Case Editor includes filters for showing or hiding DFHEIBLK and SQLCA fields. This filter can make the Test Case Editor easier to navigate.
  • When exporting a playback file, you can now directly create a new file or update an existing one.
  • Support for opening the Test Case Editor in browse mode so that test cases can be viewed, but not modified.
  • A new preference option allows the test case name prefix to replace the initial characters of the test case name. This option can make it easier to create test case name prefixes that adhere to your test case naming conventions.
  • You can now specify the AZUZ2S21.xsl style sheet to format version test runner results into SonarQube-consumable results.
z/OS Integrated Development Environment (zIDE)
When you open a new workspace, the z/OS Projects view contains links for creating a z/OS project, importing a z/OS project, creating a local z/OS project, and opening help for z/OS projects.

Version 14.2

The following changes were added for IBM Developer for z/OS Version 14.2.

  • C/C++ Development Tooling (CDT) package upgrade and enhancements
    • The C/C++ Development Tooling (CDT) package has been upgraded to version 9.2. Enhancements were made to the editor, parsing support, and the code debugging environment. In addition to enhancements, the 9.2 CDT package includes bug fixes.
    • The editor enhancements include:
      • A quick fix was added for C++ to create a class by a wizard if it is not found.
      • Files can be formatted partially or completely when they are saved.
      • Code completion for function calls in the source code will list suitable substitutions.
      • Syntax coloring for variables passed by non-const reference is now available.
  • Menu Manager enhancements
    • A new menu manager action for running USS shell scripts is now available.
  • Using Alt+Shift+U to toggle vertical line indicator in COBOL and PL/I editors
  • Saving software analysis reports in both HTML and PDF formats
    • You can print or save a software analysis report in the HTML or the PDF format.
  • z/OS Automated Unit Testing Framework (ZUnit)
    • You can now filter recorded CICS/Db2 COBOL data, export and import playback files, and remove unwanted data from the recording using the enhanced Test Data Editor.
  • Integrating IBM Developer for z/OS and Dependency Based Build
    • You can now save, export, and import a DBB User Build configuration and apply it as the project default to apply it to all related project files.
    • You can start a quick build on a file or a project after a configuration has been applied to it.
    • You can now customize your groovy script calls with custom arguments.
    • Resolving dependencies now uses the "Content Types" preference to determine what extensions to check. Adding extensions to these preferences allows you to use custom extension names for copybooks or include files.
  • Removal of support for SCLM
    • IBM Developer for z/OS no longer supports SCLM which was deprecated.