IBM Open Enterprise SDK for Python

Accelerate business transformation and modernization by enabling powerful frameworks for AI and ML, DevOps and automation

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IBM® Open Enterprise SDK for Python is a Python compiler and interpreter for IBM z/OS®. It helps support your z/OS applications written in Python. Use it to modernize your critical applications by developing APIs, plug-ins and wrappers to extend business-critical applications for faster delivery.


The Python programming language provides a robust framework for building fast and scalable applications for z/OS using a rich ecosystem of modules, just as you would on any other platform.

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What's new

Updates to features and functions

Benefits Run Python on z/OS

Use one of the most popular and fastest-growing programming languages on z/OS. The included Python codecs package allows you to interoperate with EBCDIC and Unicode Transformation Format (UTF) encodings.

Integrate AI/ML for advanced data analysis

Use the most popular Python packages on the mainframe to perform advanced data analysis with the Python AI Toolkit for IBM z/OS.

Streamline automation

Automate applications and IT infrastructure using Python and Ansible® to manage your z/OS resources the same way you would on any other platform.

Interact with z/OS

Use IBM Z Open Automation Utilities and other open source packages, for example, pyzfile and pyracf, to leverage existing infrastructure and interact with datasets, submit JCL and more.

Develop new applications

Take advantage of Python’s rich ecosystem of modules and packages to develop and run new applications faster with fewer lines of code.

Save development effort

Use your existing Python skills to easily build end-to-end applications. 

Native Python compiler and interpreter for z/OS

Bring the modern Python programming language to the z/OS platform. Python is an easy-to-learn, high-level, interpreted and general-purpose dynamic programming language that focuses on code readability, enabling you to build fast and scalable applications. Take advantage of the colocation of your data and existing applications on IBM Z® to increase throughput and reduce response time. You can control which data will be exposed externally, while keeping your confidential data secure on the IBM Z platform.

Python Standard Library

Access to the Python Standard Library provides you with an extensive set of functions that can save development resources and reduce costs when creating applications. The library includes highly used programming tasks in areas like string operations, cryptology, threading, networking, internet and web service tools, operating system interfaces and protocols. Developers can use these modules to fulfill common application tasks, allowing them to concentrate on implementing business functions while writing fewer lines of code.

Access to Python AI Toolkit for z/OS and Python Package Index packages (PyPI) 

Get pre-built Python AI packages from Access to Python AI Toolkit for IBM z/OS and Python Package Index packages (PyPI) and gain access to a growing collection of several thousand freely available Python community modules and frameworks (from individual programs and components to packages and even entire application development frameworks). These modules are available from the Python Package Index. 

Explore Python AI Toolkit for IBM z/OS Explore Python Package Index packages

Ability to convert code sets

Using Python's codecs package—the standard Python encoding facilities—you can produce and consume data in EBCDIC, UTF and several other encodings.

Explore code sets and translation

Optional access to IBM Subscription and Support

Optional priced world-class IBM Subscription and Support is only available with the SMP/E edition.

zIIP eligibility

Leverage zIIP specialty processors to offload Python workloads that normally run on general processors. This enables flexible deployment of Python applications to reduce cost, accelerate digital transformation and free up CPU resources.

Explore z Integrated Information Processor
Compare editions

The pax download format, including z/OS UNIX System Services, is popular in UNIX environments and offers a similar user experience. The SMP/E software installation and maintenance tool on z/OS can manage SMP/E installable images and their fix packs. Take advantage of IBM support to open service requests addressed in documented turnaround times with optional S&S.

Editions PAX edition

PAX archive installable format, which is consistent with distributed platforms.

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SMP/E edition

The SMP/E (CBPDO, ServerPac) installable format allows for easy update management. It is recommended for production deployments. Both licenses and S&S are available through Shopz.

Obtain from Shopz

Flexible installation, update and maintenance

Local and DIY installation for flexible deployment

Managed using SMP/E

No license charge

Run your own applications

Full functionality

IBM Software Subscription and Support (S&S)

Optional: entitled via S&S PID 5655-PYS
Python allows you to write elegant, high-quality codes that are easy to understand and maintain. Vice president, Db2 and Analytics Large European Bank Read the case study
Technical details

Requirements, installation and configuration information for editions. 

Software requirements
  • z/OS 3.1 (5655-ZOS) 
  • z/OS 2.5 (5650-ZOS)
  • z/OS 2.4 (5650-ZOS)
Hardware requirements
  • z16™ (all models)
  • z15® (all models)
  • z14® (all models)
  • z13® (all models)
  • zEnterprise® EC12/BC12
PAX edition

The requirements for installing IBM Open Enterprise SDK for Python pax edition.

SMP/E edition

A checklist providing the key configuration steps for a successful installation.

Frequently asked questions

It is available with no cost license. Overall costs to deploy on z/OS can be reduced as workloads may be eligible to use the New Application Solution pricing model for new production workloads on z13® and later.

Optional Subscription and Support is available for SMP/E edition.
Subscription and Support is included in the IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack solution, without extra charge.

Find out more

Starting with IBM Open Enterprise SDK for Python 3.11 with APAR PH52983, when accompanied with z/OS 2.4 or 2.5 APAR OA63406, Python applications will become eligible for execution on zIIP processors as described in The IBM Authorized Use Table for IBM Machines.

Learn more about ordering process at ShopZ, read the blog Streamlined Shopz ordering process for Python on z/OS.

How to Running Pandas on IBM Open Enterprise SDK for Python

Learn more about Pandas, a free and open-source Python package used for data manipulation and analysis.

Using Python for z/OS to work with Db2 data

A step-by-step guide to use Python to connect to Db2 without the data ever leaving the system.

Using IBM Open Enterprise SDK for Python

IBM Z Open Automation Utilities (ZOAU) is a set of tools designed to help bridge the gap between a traditional z/OS system and IBM z/OS UNIX System Services. It provides equivalent utilities to many UNIX commands that can operate on z/OS specific file types.

Installing PyPI packages without an internet connection

Learn how to install PyPI packages in a no-internet environment step-by-step by using pip, a package manager.

Resources Ansible support for IBM Open Enterprise SDK for Python

Discover how IBM Open Enterprise SDK for Python impacts Ansible® on IBM Z.

Why Python is the perfect development tool for you

Learn some easy-to-implement use cases such as data manipulation, web development, streamlining automation, continuous integration and more.

Best Practices – Managing Python installs

Learn the popular installation scenarios showing common use cases and best practices.

Video demos Overview

Discover how the Python AI Toolkit for IBM z/OS delivers industry-leading AI Python packages backed by IBM supply chain security and makes them available on z/OS.

How to create a native package

Discover how to properly structure a Python package and how to use the development environment to create the package.

How to set up a virtual environment

Learn how to use the libraries provided with IBM Open Enterprise SDK for Python in virtual environments and how to use pip for dependency management.

Related products Python AI Toolkit for IBM z/OS

A new product that delivers industry-leading AI Python packages and makes them available on z/OS.

IBM Z Open Automation Utilities

Get the underlying runtime necessary to support executing automation tasks on z/OS via Java, Python and shell commands.

Red Hat® Ansible® Certified Content for IBM Z

Use the de facto language to develop Ansible modules and streamline automation operations for your hybrid IT environment.

IBM Machine Learning for z/OS

Bring AI to your transactional applications on IBM Z and deploy your AI models on z/OS for real-time business insights at scale.

IBM Wazi as a Service

Enable cloud-native development and testing for z/OS on IBM Cloud as your own protected space with the security of a private cloud and the agility of a public cloud.

Next steps

Discover the Open Enterprise SDK for Python. Schedule a no-cost 30-minute meeting with an IBM Z representative.

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