Open Mainframe Project Announces Major Technical Milestone with Zowe’s Long Term Support Release

  • The LTS Release and Zowe V1 Conformance Program supports product stability, security and interoperability
  • Open Mainframe Project continues momentum with two new global members and new COBOL resources
  • Open Mainframe Project will have sessions at the Open Source Summit on June 29-July 2

SAN FRANCISCO, June 24, 2020 – The Open Mainframe Project (OMP) announced today that Zowe, an open source software framework for the mainframe that strengthens integration with modern enterprise applications, marks a major technical milestone with the first Long Term Support (LTS) release. The Zowe LTS release will offer vendors and customers product stability, security, interoperability as well as easy installation and upgrades.

OMP launched Zowe, the first-ever open source project based on z/OS, in 2018 to serve as an integration platform for the next generation of   administration, management and development tools on z/OS mainframes.  The Zowe framework uses the latest web technologies among products and solutions from multiple vendors. Zowe enables developers to use   familiar, industry-standard, open source tools to access mainframe resources and services.

“Mainframes are the foundation of businesses in every industry,” said John Mertic, Director of Program Management for the Linux Foundation and Open Mainframe Project. “Zowe continues to evolve rapidly due to numerous contributions from the open source community. The LTS release is our first major step into longevity and security that will offer innovative possibilities for the next generation of products and solutions.”

Benefits of the Zowe LTS release include:

  • Stability: Organizations can confidently adopt the technology for enterprise use and upgrade when appropriate for their environment, minimizing the risk of disruption
  • Interoperability: Zowe consumers can be assured LTS-conformant extensions have adapted to and support LTS features
  • Longevity: Zowe is designed for years of use and plans are in place for continued updates and support
  • Ease of Use: Mainframe System Administrators can use standard z/OS processes to install and upgrade Zowe z/OS components including SMP/E, Unix Shell Scripts, and z/OSMF workflows
  • Smaller Footprint: The updated install process leverages standard z/OS technology. In addition to being more intuitive, by eliminating optional services at install time the process lowers the number of configuration changes required for software updates and reduces the complexity of the Zowe footprint

The Zowe Conformance Program is Updated with LTS Guidelines

Aimed to build a vendor-neutral ecosystem around Zowe, Open Mainframe Project’s Zowe Conformance Program launched last year.  The program has helped Open Mainframe Project members such as Broadcom, IBM, Phoenix Software and Rocket Software incorporate Zowe with new and existing products that enable integration of mainframe applications and data across the enterprise. To date, more than 28 products have implemented extensions based on the Zowe framework and earned these members conformance badges.

“The extensible nature of Zowe offers an infinite number of pluggable products, processes and services,” said Leonard J Santalucia, Chair of the Open Mainframe Governing Board and CTO of Vicom Infinity.  “Extenders can creatively address business challenges with their own service APIs, web applications or drive product actions from off-platform using a command line plug-in. Consumers of these extensions need the same assurance that they are stable, reliable, interoperable, and consistent with core Zowe. The updated Zowe Conformance Program does just that.”

“When it comes to mission critical software, end users want to know that it will behave as expected, period,” said David Stokes, senior director engineering, Mainframe Division, Broadcom. “Achieving Zowe Conformant status for our products provides our customers with the assurance that they can expect smooth compatibility and a superior overall user experience from the extensions they adopt. As a major contributor to the program, Broadcom fully embraces the customer value that conformance delivers as a priority for all of our open and commercial Zowe extensions.”

“Rocket Software, as original authors and contributors to Zowe’s mainframe virtual desktop, is uniquely positioned to leverage the Zowe Application Framework for developing new virtual desktop products,” said Milan Shetti, President, Z Systems Business Unit, Rocket Software. “Rocket® is excited to see the Zowe Conformance Program taken to the next level as part of the broader effort to get Zowe ready for production deployment and drive Zowe adoption. Rocket has more Zowe plug-ins in the pipeline for 2020 as we develop a portfolio of apps for the virtual desktop.”

Each vendor follows the Testing Guidelines to ensure their offering is aligned with the conformance standards. For the LTS release, each extensible component’s test criteria was modified to allow exploitation of the new Zowe LTS capabilities. Applications that satisfy the new testing criteria requirements will earn a Zowe “V1” conformance badge as soon as they submit for / are approved for V1.

New products or solutions recently accepted into the updated Zowe Conformance Program include:

  • CA SYSVIEW® PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
  • CA File Master™ Plus
  • CA JCLCheck Workload Automation
  • CA Endevor® Bridge for Git
  • IBM RSE API Plug-in for Zowe CLI v1.0.0

The Open Mainframe Project hosted a Zowe LTS Release webinar earlier this month that shares more details. To watch the webinar on-demand, click here.

Open Mainframe Project Momentum Continues

Hosted by The Linux Foundation, the Open Mainframe Project is comprised of business and academic leaders within the mainframe community that collaborate to develop shared tool sets and resources. Today, the project welcomes YADRO, the largest technology vendor in Russia with full-cycle in-house R&D, manufacturing and services, and SOFTWARE ENGINEERING GmbH, providing strong Db2 z/OS solutions for more than 40 years.

“International technology collaboration and global partnerships are the core drivers in the YADRO strategy,” said Anna Egorova, Chief Delivery Officer for YADRO. “In this journey, we contribute significantly to the development and support of open source technologies and communities. The Open Mainframe Project ecosystem is perfect to leverage our hardware expertise and knowledge of local customers’ needs along with the resources available worldwide through the project community.”

“As experts in the mainframe industry continue to evolve, there is still time to modernize the mainframe and join forces with 3rd party vendors to work out a unified framework that merges proven and latest technology,” said Ulf Heinrich, Managing Director of SOFTWARE ENGINEERING GmbH. “With ZOWE being the very first open source project on z/OS designed to make the mainframe an agile, integrated platform. The common UI for senior mainframe staff and the new workforce will simplify the architecture and reduce the operational costs. For SOFTWARE ENGINEERING GmbH, Zowe is THE  ecosystem addressing everything from application developers, system programmers, DBA’s and DevOps architects.”

Last year, the number of projects that are hosted under the Open Mainframe Project doubled and include ADE, Ambitus, ATOM, Feilong, Mentorship, Polycephaly, TerseDecompress, Zorow. This year, the momentum continues with resources and a new project for COBOL.

In April, Open Mainframe Project announced several COBOL resources in response to the desperate call for help from government officials. The project followed this up with the availability of a COBOL Training Course that offers introductory-level COBOL materials with Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code editor (VS Code). The free COBOL Training Course educates those developers or students who would like to learn COBOL skills with VS Code and extensions. These materials provide an overview of the language with hands-on labs. The course has already gained lots of traction with more than 100,000 views and 27,000 unique visitors.

Open Mainframe Project will host a booth and several sessions at the Linux Foundation’s Open Source Summit + Embedded Linux Conference virtual event on June 29-July 2 and a Mini-Summit on July 2 from 2-3:30 pm. The Mini-Summit is free to OSS + ELC attendees. To register, click here. Learn more about the OMP sessions here.

Additional Resources:

About the Open Mainframe Project

The Open Mainframe Project is intended to serve as a focal point for deployment and use of Linux and Open Source in a mainframe computing environment. With a vision of Open Source on the Mainframe as the standard for enterprise class systems and applications, the project’s mission is to Build community and adoption of Open Source on the mainframe by eliminating barriers to Open Source adoption on the mainframe, demonstrating value of the mainframe on technical and business levels, and strengthening collaboration points and resources for the community to thrive. Learn more about the project at https://www.openmainframeproject.org.

About The Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation is the organization of choice for the world’s top developers and companies to build ecosystems that accelerate open technology development and commercial adoption. Together with the worldwide open source community, it is solving the hardest technology problems by creating the largest shared technology investment in history. Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation today provides tools, training and events to scale any open source project, which together deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one company. More information can be found at www.linuxfoundation.org.

The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see its trademark usage page: www.linuxfoundation.org/trademark-usage. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

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