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IBM with its partners, Rocket Software and CA Technologies, have announced the launch of Zowe at the ongoing Open Source Summit in Vancouver, Canada. It is the first z/OS open source project, which is part of the Linux Foundation’s Open Mainframe Project community.

Why is Zowe introduced?

The rapid technology advancements and rising expectations in user experience demands  more productive and better integrated capabilities for z/OS, an operating system for IBM mainframes. Zowe enables delivery of such an environment through an extensible open source framework. It aims to create an ecosystem of Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), System Integrators, clients, and end users. By using it, development and operations teams can securely manage, control, script and develop on the mainframe like any other cloud platform.

What are its components?

The four main components of Zowe are: the Explorer server, API Mediation Layer, zLUX, and Zowe CLI.

Zowe

Source: Zowe

Zowe APIs and Explorers

z/OS Management Facility (z/OSMF) supports the use of REST APIs, which are public APIs that your application can use to work with system resources and can also extract system data. With the help of these REST APIs, Zowe submits jobs, works with the Job Entry Subsystem (JES) queue, and manipulates UNIX System Services (USS) or Multiple Virtual Storage (MVS) datasets.

Explorers are visual representations of these APIs that are wrapped in the Zowe web UI application. They create an extensible z/OS framework that provides new z/OS REST services to transform enterprise tools and DevOps processes to incorporate new technology, languages, and modern workflows.

Zowe API Mediation Layer

The following are the key components of API Mediation Layer:

  • API Gateway: It is built using Netflix Zuul and Spring Boot technology. Its purpose is to forward API requests to the appropriate corresponding service through the microservice endpoint UI.
  • Discovery Service: It is built on Eureka and Spring Boot technology. It acts as the central point in the API Gateway that accepts announcements of REST services, and is a repository for active services.
  • API Catalog: It is used to view the services running in API Mediation Layer. You can also view the corresponding API documentation to a service.

Zowe Web UI

Web UI named zLUX, modernizes and simplifies working on the mainframe.The UI works with the underlying REST APIs for data, jobs, and subsystems, and presents the information in a full-screen mode. It gives users a unifying experience where various applications can work together.

Zowe Command Line Interface (CLI)

Zowe CLI is used to allow user interactions from different platforms with z/OS. The platforms which can be cloud or distributed systems are able to submit jobs, issue TSO and z/OS console commands, integrate z/OS actions into scripts, and produce responses as JSON documents with the help of Zowe CLI.

Currently, the Zowe is available in beta and is not intended for production use. The Zowe Leadership Committee is targeting to have a stable release by the end of the year.

To know more about the launch of Zowe, refer to IBM’s announcement on their official website.

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