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Zoweian Issue One – November 2019

By | November 12, 2019

Welcome to the first issue of the Zoweian. This is a monthly roundup of activity going on in the Open Mainframe Project’s Zowe, giving a summary of what’s happened in the previous month, what’s happening looking forward, and any topics of interest and activity in the community.

Zowe is open source and if anyone feels something is missing or would like to get involved in providing content to a future monthly Zoweian please reach out to the onboarders squad slack channel.


In October Zowe 1.6.0 was released. This is the 7th release of the Zowe convenience build since GA in February earlier this year. There were problems encountered using the Web Desktop with node 8.16.1 so the recommendation is to stay with node 8.16.0.

The 1.6.0 build is also available as a Zowe SMP/E package. The SMP/E package is currently in alpha mode and covered more below in the write up for the Install and Packaging squad.

The updated content for 1.6.0 release is summarized in the documentation.

The next release 1.7.0 is scheduled for November 12th. When each release is ready there is a zoom meeting playback each squad will demo and discuss their new and updated content. For 1.7.0 release this will take place on November 11th at 9am EST using Zoom meeting and is open to anyone and everyone.

Details of all meetings for all development squads are published on the Open Mainframe Project Zowe calendar.

Long Term Support

The Zowe leadership committe (ZLC) is driving the squads to commit to a LTS (long term support) release and which items would be included in that. All git issues being considered for the LTS release are flagged with the LTSR tag and can be seen in an aggregated ZenHub board. (To open the ZenHub board ensure you have installed the ZenHub plugin for Github).

Broadcom Hackathon

Broadcom hosted a hackathon with 39 teams spread between different labs ranging from Prague Czech Republic, Lisle Illinois USA, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA and Plano Texas USA. Great social media updates and a wonderful video about Mainframe Michelle that shows much fun the folks clearly had working on this exciting effort. A summary of the hackathon is written up as a great blog post on the Zowe medium site.

Zowe tutorials

Bill Pierera of the Zowe onboarders squad continued to post great content on youtube including a great Part 3 – Challenge 6 with Zowe tutorial showing the VS code Zowe plugin. Bill also did a live stream of Zowe as part of his effort to show how to Master the Mainframe using Zowe.


The site is continuing to grow its content with some expert authors from across the Zowe squads. Last month there were articles on Error Handling REST APIsUsing the Zowe CLI npm package, an explanation of the Zowe conformance program, some great tips for adopting Zowe in an enterprise z shop, as well as great write ups of the Broadcom Zowe hackathon and a CA Brightside Zowe workshop writeup describing how a new team were able to use Zowe to put together a DevOps pipeline from scratch in just two days ! Huge thanks to Gene Johnson, Petr Plavjanik, Antonio Diaz, Petr Galik, Dan Kelosky and Goran Begic for the great content.

Conferences and Zowe in the news

Zowe featured at the DevOps Enterprise Summit in Las Vegas with keynotes, breakouts, and technical sessions.

At the IDUG DB2 conference in Rotterdam there was a full day of Zowe content on October 22nd with four back to back talks.

The Open Mainframe Project’s director John Mertic was interviewed by the Irish Times where he gave a great write up of all the great things that are going on in when mainframe and open source meet.

Broadcom’s Jiri Aichler did a talk at Open Source Summit Europe in Lyon entitled “Open Source Meets Mainframe – Zowe, Security, and Open Infrastructure” on October 29th, giving a great overview of Zowe and dived deeper into Zowe’s security roadmap and the open infrastructure which supports our community from source to solution.

Web UI Squad

The Web UI squad look after the web desktop and have their weekly stand-up meeting every Friday 9am EST. Items being worked on enhancing the iFrame support for app2app (one desktop plugin communicating with another) as well as improvements to the File Explorer. All items being worked on are visible in the issue list.

Visual Studio

The Visual Studio plugin is close to 2000 unique downloads. The CLI squad are working hard to get to GA and you can see the great progress being made towards this in the github milestone

Command line interface

The CLI squad have welcomed three new members to their squad: Pranay Sodani, Craig Forrest and Xue Yong Zhang. One of the great things about the CLI is that it can be extended through plugins, one of which is support for connectivity to CICS. When this was first created it supported programs and transactions, however customers have asked for the list of resource types to be extended to cover web services. The squad are including URI map. The CLI team are using milestones to help aggregate related git issues and track and plan items together with more visibility.

API mediation layer

The API mediation squad are working to clean up many of the logs between the different components to make diagnosing issues and servicing easier and more centralized. The squad’s issues are tracked in and if you’d like to reach out to the team they have an active slack channel and have a public zoom hosted call every Tuesday at 8am EST.

Install and Packaging Squad

This squad is touchingly named Cupids, an acronym for Componentize, Update, Package, Install, Distribute, Service. As Zowe moves towards having a Long Term Support release a big piece of work is to refactor Zowe that it is available through SMP/E with maintenance delivered as PTFs (the first five releases of Zowe were only available as USS shell script installable wrapping a .pax file that had no upgrade path and required re-install if any configuration changes were required). For anyone who is interested in enterprise installing of Zowe, or anyone building extensions to Zowe who wants to give input into or see how they can pre-req the Zowe FMID and have their configuration preserved during base maintenance please join the Cupids scrums or slack channel

Staying in touch

All Zowe meetings are open to everyone and anyone and the schedule is on the open mainframe project calendar.

As this is the first issue of the Zoweian we may have left out things that happened in the past month. Apologies if that’s the case and please get in touch if you’d like this updated or if you have something you’d like to see covered in the December issue.