From Mainframe to Open Frameworks, Linux Foundation Fuels Up with Rocket Software

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Last week, at the Open Source Summit, hosted by The Linux Foundation, the Open Mainframe Project gave birth to Zowe, introduced a new open source software framework “that bridges the divide between modern applications and the mainframe, providing easier interoperability and scalability among products and solutions from multiple vendors,” according to the announcement.

Zowe is the first open source project based on z/OS, a 64-bit operating system for IBM mainframes, produced by IBM. It derives from and is the successor to OS/390, which in turn followed a string of MVS versions, according to Wikipedia’s page on the topic:

Like OS/390, z/OS combines a number of formerly separate, related products, some of which are still optional. z/OS offers the attributes of modern operating systems but also retains much of the functionality originating in the 1960s and each subsequent decade that is still found in daily use z/OS was first introduced in October 2000.

In addition to this technical and even historical milestone, Rocket Software joined the Open Mainframe Project as a Platinum Member, standing among members IBM and CA Technologies as key contributors to the Zowe framework. Rocket Software joins more than 30 other organizations and academic leaders as a member of the Open Mainframe Project, which launched in 2015. As a Platinum member, Rocket Software will appoint its CTO, Joe Devlin, to serve on the Open Mainframe Project Governing Board, which oversees the business and finance operations of the project.

“We are excited to welcome Zowe and Rocket Software as part of the growing community,” said John Mertic, Director of the Open Mainframe Project. “Bringing in a key player in the mainframe industry, along with a large project that will be the basis for many product offerings, showcases our community’s desire to embrace open source development principles to ensure sustainability of mainframe.”

“We are eager to contribute to Zowe and partner with the Open Mainframe Project to foster leadership and incubate innovation to keep the mainframe relevant into the future,” said Andy Youniss, CEO of Rocket Software. “Zowe will help leverage entire teams to open up mainframe DevOps to novice and experienced development teams with new capabilities, all of which instills confidence and promotes open source community collaboration.”

Also, according to the press release, with the ever-increasing deployment of hybrid architectures, a dynamic workforce that spans millennials to baby boomers and rising expectations in user experience, companies need more intuitive, productive and better integrated capabilities for z/OS.

The Zowe mission is to enable delivery of such an environment through an extensible open source framework and the creation of an ecosystem of independent Software Vendors (ISVs), System Integrators, clients and end users.

This new framework will enable an ecosystem of software solutions intended to provide a simple, intuitive environment for a variety of IT professionals performing administrative, development, test and operation tasks on z/OS, and help onboard the next generation of mainframe users.

Initial Zowe modules will include:

?      An extensible z/OS framework that provides new APIs and z/OS REST services to transform enterprise tools and DevOps processes that can incorporate new technology, languages and modern workflows.

?      A unifying workspace providing a browser-based desktop app container that can host both traditional and modern user experiences and is extensible via the latest web toolkits.

?      An innovative interactive and scriptable Command Line interface (CLI) allowing new ways to seamlessly integrate z/OS in cloud and distributed environments. 

 “The mainframe continues to be a critical platform offering new possibilities for next generation applications. We are excited to participate with the OMP and Zowe community members to streamline the development process for applications leveraging the platform,” said Greg Lotko, General Manager, Mainframe, CA Technologies. “We are committed to the Zowe initiative as it provides simplified and familiar infrastructure services for the mainframe benefiting both experienced and newer developers and will help our customers accelerate the time-to-market as they deploy their mission critical digital transformation strategies.”

“This strategic collaboration enables clients that rely on the mainframe for running their core business to simplify and speed application development, deployment and operations on z/OS,” said Barry Baker, Vice President, Z Software, at IBM. “This initiative brings together industry experts to drive innovation for the community of next-generation of mainframe developers that are new to the platform.”

These modules, including more that will be developed over time, will enable development teams to manage, control, script and develop on the mainframe like any other cloud platform. Additionally, the modules reduce risk and cost by allowing teams to use familiar, industry-standard, open-source tools so that they can accelerate mainframe integration into their enterprise DevOps initiatives.

As an open source project under the Open Mainframe Project, any enterprise or solution developer can participate in the development of Zowe. All code from the Zowe project will be made available under the Eclipse Public License 2.0 (read more at https://spdx.org/licenses/EPL-2.0.html )

Hosted by The Linux Foundation, the Open Mainframe Project was created to increase collaboration across the mainframe community and champion shared tool sets and resources. A core part of the project’s mission is to involve academic institutions to assist in teaching and educating the mainframe Linux and open source engineers and developers of tomorrow.

For more information about Zowe, visit https://www.openmainframeproject.org/projects/zowe.




Edited by Ken Briodagh


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