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Modern Mainframe Access Via Zowe Desktop

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Zowe is an open source software framework that enables development and operations teams who may not have platform experience to develop on the mainframe like any other cloud platform. Zowe Desktop is a web user interface containing apps that access the z/OS functionality.

In this episode of TFiR: Mainframe Matters recorded at the Open Mainframe Summit in Philadelphia, Swapnil Bhartiya sits down with Robert Blum, Senior Software Developer at Phoenix Software and member of the Zowe community, to discuss the benefits of Zowe Desktop and Phoenix Software’s contributions to the project.

Key highlights of this video interview:

  • Phoenix Software provides cutting-edge enterprise software solutions for its customers. It even has support for armored 64 format in some of their products.
  • For the Open Mainframe Project Zowe, Blum was initially involved in command line interface (CLI) work.
  • Phoenix Software has a web app for its E(JES) system management tool. Since some of its customers do not have 3270 access or they may have locked-down desktops, Blum worked on getting the web app to show up on the Zowe Desktop.
  • Blum believes curated desktops like the Zowe Desktop are important to the community because they provide secure access to the mainframe. Even on a Chromebook, for example, it only appears in the browser with no other access and very little app pollution.
  • Zowe documentation is very thorough. Blum’s presentation at the Summit simplified how developers can migrate web apps onto Zowe Desktop.
    Phoenix Software contributions to the Project include the plugin for Zowe CLI and the REST APIs that can be used from a web app inside or outside Zowe.
  • For developers that are new to the mainframe and Zowe, Blum recommends allowing plenty of time to research it and going through the documentation. He also suggests contacting the main developers via Slack.
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