Participation Requirements

What's needed to join and what's supported by the program 


PartnerWorld Membership

  • The program participants must be an IBM PartnerWorld (PW) member in good standing. Their PW location ID must be for the specific location where the development system would be installed.

Must Be Developing Commercially Available Applications/Tools

  • The program participants must be actively developing and supporting commercially marketed applications/tools/Middleware products ("applications") that operate on IBM Z Systems.

Amplify IBM Z Positioning

  • Program participants will collaborate to drive success of the platform. Companies participating in negative marketing toward mainframe computing, discouraging mainframe solutions in customer sales situations, working to negatively impact mainframe workload and environments, or actively promoting migrating workloads off the mainframe, are not eligible to participate or continue in the program.

Maintain Positive Relations With IBM

  • Program participants must maintain positive relations with IBM and IBM's affiliates.

Dedicated to Development Purposes Only

  • The development system must be used for the development of marketed applications/tools, testing, support, and demo activity of the commercial applications.

Hardware And Software Currency Requirements

  • Program participants must meet hardware and software currency requirements as determined by IBM to be eligible for program benefits.

Acceptance Of Contract Terms And Conditions

  • All program participants  must accept and sign the IBM Customer Relationship Agreement (or IBM Customer Agreement) Attachment and Addendum for Developer Discount for IBM Z ("Discount Contract") which define the terms and conditions for the use of the IBM Z software on the development system.

Annual Evaluation

  • Ongoing participation in the program is subject to an annual evaluation process.

Annual Certification

  • Program partcipants must complete an annual certification providing IBM with updated information about their application development activities and update their IBM Global Solution Directory entries. Completion of the annual certification is required for ongoing participation in the program and is used as input to the annual compliance evaluation and renewal process as appropriate.

IBM Right to limit participation

  • IBM reserves the right to limit participation at its sole discretion and may revise the program terms at any time without notice.


Production Workloads

  • IBM considers production workloads: outsourcing, consulting, systems integration, education services, custom application development, service provider, or any other fee-based activities or other workloads not dedicated to the development and support of software products for the IBM Z platform. 

Development LPARs

  • Development LPARs on production systems or production LPARs on the development systems are not supported.


  • Sub-capacity is not supported.

Royalty Bearing Software Products

IBM products that are royalty-bearing are not available at a discount through this program unless specifically approved by IBM. Program participants may purchase Royalty Bearing products at list price, outside the IBM Z On-Premises Program.

Software Discounts For Cloud Providers

  • The program does not extend software discounts to cloud providers.

Value Unit Edition (VUE)

  • Value Unit Edition (VUE) or other IBM Z software pricing methodologies or discounts are not supported unless specifically approved by IBM. 

On Off Capacity On Demand

  • On Off Capacity on Demand (OOCOD) or other technologies that change capacity settings are not supported.

Linux Distributions

  • Linux for IBM Z distributions are not eligible for discounts under this program and must be obtained from the Linux distributors.

Competitive Products

  • IBM products that directly compete with the program participants products and offerings, as determined by IBM, may not be eligible for a discount through the program.

Sharing Of The Development System

  • Sharing of the development system by multiple entities or third parties is not supported.

Use in a Sysplex Environment

  • Use of the development system in a sysplex environment requires prior written approval from IBM.  IBM Z On-Premises Development Program systems cannot be part of any sysplex that contains production workloads/systems.

Competitive Evaluations

  • Any IBM Z software products discounted through the program cannot be used for purposes of competitive evaluation.

Used IBM Z Systems

  • Used systems cannot be purchased and brought into the program.

Software Products Not Supported

  • Only IBM Z software products that are configured and ordered through IBM's standard IBM Z software ordering and distribution channels are eligible for  a discount through this program. PassPort Advantage products or other distributed software through the IBM PartnerWorld Software Access Option are not discounted.



  • IBM Z systems must meet a hardware currency level of at least N-1 to be eligible for the benefits of the program where N represents IBM's latest generally available release. Program participants will have 12 months to meet hardware currency requirements once a new hardware system becomes generally available (GA) when N-1 becomes N-2. zPDT systems are not subject to hardware currency requirements.


  • Program participants  must own or lease the development-use-only system and the system must be under its IBM customer number. Development system(s) can be a traditional IBM Z Systems, a zPDT-based system, or both.

Full Capacity

  • All IBM Z Systems in the program must be at full capacity, sub-capacity is not supported. Any loaned capacity is factored into installed capacity sizing's.

Hosted Systems

  • The development system can physically reside (hosted) at a different location than that of the program participant address, but it must be owned by the participant , the z software must be licensed to the participant, under the participant control, and only used by the program participant. The use of the development system in a hosted environment requires prior written approval from IBM.

New and Upgrade Approvals

  • All requests for new developer systems or hardware upgrades to existing developer systems must be reviewed and pre-approved by IBM prior to purchase decision.

Hardware Pricing

  • Hardware pricing is set independently by IBM Business Partners or the IBM Sales Team.



  • Software currency is at least N-1 where N is the most current Generally Available (GA) version of any specific product. The software currency requirement applies to operating systems, middleware (CICS, IMS, DB2, WAS) and compilers used. Program participants will have 12 months to meet and software currency requirements when a new software product version becomes GA and what was N-1 becomes N-2.

Software Discount Level

  • The level of software discount for program participants is determined by IBM as part of the assessment process.

Operating Systems Supported

  • z/OS, z/VM, and z/VSE software is supported; z/TPF is not a supported operating system through the program.

Types Of Software Products Supported

  • Software discounts are provided for Monthly License Charge (MLC), One Time Charge (OTC), and Annual License Charge (ALC) products. All requests for software products must be reviewed and approved on an individual basis. 

Software Billings

  • Software billings are against installed capacity which includes any loaned capacity. 

Multi-Version Waiver

  • Program participants with IBM Z Systems who receive less than a 100% software discount can request Multi-Version Waiver (MVW). MVW provides a 100% software discount on older versions of a product when the participant is licensed to a newer version of the same product. Program participants must identify products for MVW, IBM does not automatically provide MVW.

Software Product Adds

  • All requests for IBM Z software must be reviewed and approved by IBM.  There are no automatic approvals. The requested software must be identified by IBM product name and product number.

ADCD Software Stacks

  • z/OS, z/VM, and z/VSE Application Developer Controlled Distributions (ADCD) software stacks are available to approved participants as part of the IBM Z On-Premises Development Program and only for use on zPDT systems. The ADCD software stacks cannot be used on any other hardware systems.

Additional Software For zPDT Systems

  • Additional IBM Z software that is not provided as part of ADCD builds may also be available to zPDT users depending on the country where the development system is to be installed and what software is being requested.


Program Tiers, Criteria, and Benefits 


How the program works  

Program Criteria

Assessment definitions for Program Tiers