Opening the Mainframe: Meet Zowe

During the day-two keynote at SHARE St. Louis, a new member of the community was introduced: Zowe.

Zowe is the first-ever open source project launched on z/OS, and was created to address IT’s rapidly changing landscape, accommodate companies’ digital transformations and respond to the growing interest from younger generations to lower barriers to access the mainframe environment. According to its website, zowe.org, "Zowe is a framework of software services that offers industry standard REST APIs, API catalog, extensible command line interface and web-based UI framework. Zowe will help IT professionals perform administrative, development, test and operation tasks on z/OS using their preferred applications, both existing and new."

While the infrastructure of IT continues to change, with increased use of platforms such as the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT), this does not necessarily mean older systems are no longer of use. In fact, many IT leaders believe the mainframe can, in fact, be augmented by new technologies.

The introduction of Zowe is a prime example of how the mainframe can adapt to a changing landscape. With Zowe’s open nature, innovation on the mainframe is a community-driven effort and gives everyone a seat at the table. Vendors, customers and even university students can contribute to the ecosystem, dig into code and create new solutions that will make the mainframe even stronger.

Zowe also sets out to help address rising expectations in user experience and accessibility of the mainframe. Part of the shift in the enterprise IT landscape includes more and more developers influencing buying decisions. While CIOs may be the ones writing the checks to purchase new technology, they are increasingly looking to developers for their input. In turn, developers are looking for technology that is easy to access with a lower barrier to entry, and in some cases that means open source.

Those interested in diving in to the community can visit zowe.org. Code guidelines, a beta version to download and other resources are available on the website. 

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