The Linux Foundation Projects
Skip to main content
Blog | News | Zowe

Zowe named as finalist for Best DevOps for Mainframe Solution in 2021 DevOps Dozen awards

By | December 10, 2021

Written by Joe Winchester, Member of the Zowe Community, Open Mainframe Project Ambassador and Senior Technical Lead at IBM

We need your help to finish 2021 with a big win for Zowe!

The DevOps Dozen is a community driven award to choose which software tools have demonstrated exceptional performance and service during the past year.  At the Open Mainframe Project, we’re very proud that Zowe has been nominated in the category Best DevOps for Mainframe Solution.  This reflects the growing movement and influence Zowe has with IT organizations across the globe, as well as the IT Analyst community who’ve recognized this project as providing  important foundational elements for mainframe modernization.  

As a means to showcase the amazing community, and demonstrate our strength and commitment to the success of Zowe, please take a few short minutes to vote now!  

As you know, one of Zowe‘s guiding principles is to make the mainframe platform Open, Simple and Familiar.   When talking to a recent customer they were so thrilled with its capabilities they remarked that in their company “Zowe is the new face of the mainframe.”  

Another customer stated:

 “Zowe completely changed our thinking of what it means to deploy mainframe DevOps… We’ve solved problems in brand new ways that weren’t possible 5 years ago!”

Zowe in DevOps toolchains

Zowe enables IT teams to treat the mainframe like any other platform, allowing them to use popular off-platform DevOps tools and frameworks.   This can be through the powerful command line interface (CLI) through which desktop users can type commands to orchestrate mainframe operations.  These commands can be embedded in languages such as Python, Perl, PhP or just plain unix shell scripts.  The scripts are then driven from within tools like GitHub, SonarCube, Travis, Bamboo and others that are part of a DevOps toolchain.  IT users who are familiar with best practices for DevOps no longer have to consider  the mainframe as being “something different” that requires different skills or different tools to operate,  they can seamlessly blend mainframe tasks into their existing environment.  One of the most rewarding feedbacks we receive from Zowe users is how it is bridging the gap between older experienced mainframers with their younger counterparts starting their IT journey. 

Zowe in Visual Studio Code

The Zowe Explorer is an extension to Visual Studio Code,  which allows users to work directly with mainframe data sets, unix system services, and jobs from within their familiar Integrated Development Environment (IDE).  The Zowe Explorer is included in training courses such as The Open Mainframe Project COBOL training course that is being used worldwide by universities and companies to teach the next generation of COBOL developers to maintain and enhance mission critical business systems that form so much of the backbone of enterprise IT today.  The Zowe Explorer is also included a number of other education initiatives that are teaching students across the globe how to gain hands-on experience and accreditation to launch their mainframe career

Zowe in a web browser

One of the challenges facing mainframe shops can be how to deploy PC based software to their teams, often spread across multiple geographies possibly with outsourcing relationships, and do this in a secure scalable way.  Zowe provides a web browser front end to answer this, that mixes a set of rich modern GUIs for working with files and jobs, together with more traditional apps such as a 3270 emulator.  This is another of Zowe’s guiding principles, where you have the freedom to use what works best for your environment or organization alongside what works you already know. Whether you’re more comfortable with green screen form factor or a tree navigator of your data sets, Zowe is the right tool for you.

Zowe as an extensible platform

The success of any IT tool isn’t just what comes in the box, but what add-ons you can get to expand and grow its capabilities.  Just as with my mobile phone I use some apps the phone OS provider delivered together with others I got from third parties, the Zowe platform has a set of extension APIs to allow tools vendors to plug their offerings on top.  These are underpinned by the Zowe Conformance Program, a certification process that ensures consistency and interoperability between different extensions.  This means users can enjoy a joined up experience across features such as single sign-on and navigation between plugins built by different vendors who have received Zowe conformance accreditation.

Currently there are 74 Zowe Conformance extensions available from 7 different software vendors (ASG, Broadcom, IBM, MicroFocus, Rocket Software, Segus Engineering, and Phoenix International).  These cover everything from Zowe Desktop extensions for Db2 system management and performance tuning, invoking   Endevor actions, connecting to EJS,  programming for z/OS Connect, and many more.   A full list of Zowe Conformant extensions can be found at   What’s really pleasing to see in the 2021 awards is that some of the other finalists alongside Zowe actually use Zowe technology in their solution stack, underpinning its importance as an extensible tools platform!

Zowe is open source and community driven

Zowe is not just read-only open source, but a read-write project from top to bottom.  All of Zowe’s squads’ meetings are held in public meetings whose details are on the community calendar,  the source code and all issues are held in repositories, and you can engage with any of the squads, committers, or subject matter experts on slack.   There are also mailing lists and details of other ways to reach out to the community or get involved can be found on the documentation site.

If you haven’t checked out Zowe please do, let us know what you like, what you don’t like, what’s missing, what the community should be working on next.  The best part is that because Zowe is open source, by doing so you’re joining that community to help continue creating The New Face of the Mainframe, and your journey can grow into becoming a code contributor or even leading a new incubator project to create the next piece of the jigsaw that makes up Zowe’s and IBM System z’s future.

Don’t wait, Vote for Zowe!

Support Zowe by going to and vote!