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Choose from a variety of IDEs for day-to-day development, and accelerate development and testing with a dedicated z/OS sandbox

Learning the ecosystem is one of the biggest challenges facing new IBM Z developers. It’s not enough that you’re new to the mainframe. You might also have to learn a new programming language and a new way to interact with a computer. Frequently, you’re forced to abandon your preferred IDE and instead use tooling that’s specific to IBM Z and your organization.

That’s why I’m thrilled to announce the availability of IBM Wazi for Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces (Wazi Workspaces). This environment addresses all of these onboarding challenges and, in the process, makes cloud-native development on IBM Z a reality.

Wazi Workspaces offers you the ability to choose from a variety of IDEs for day-to-day development tasks. You can use Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces, an in-browser OpenShift-native developer workspace, an IDE on your desktop like Microsoft VS Code, or Eclipse-based IDEs such as IBM Z Open Development. Most importantly, Wazi Workspaces provides a personalized and dedicated z/OS sandbox — running on Red Hat OpenShift — to accelerate development and testing.

With the Wazi Workspaces environment, you can write applications for z/OS using your IDE of choice. Then you can debug, build, and test code in your personal z/OS sandbox on Red Hat OpenShift running on x86 hardware. The sandbox runs the real z/OS — with real CICS, IMS, Db2, compilers, and more — providing a full-fledged development environment. Once you’re ready, you can check-in locally tested changes from your development workspace directly to Git, and trigger build-and-deploy into the containerized z/OS sandbox as part of a standard CI/CD pipeline orchestrated by Jenkins — staged in popular artifact repositories like Artifactory or Nexus.

All of this happens without the need to directly access an IBM Z system; you can use any on-premise or cloud-based x86 OpenShift environment. Then you can deploy these applications into production on native z/OS running on IBM Z hardware. With Wazi Workspaces, true platform-agnostic, enterprise-wide standardization — using popular open-source and third-party tools as part of a DevOps toolchain — is a reality.

How does all this work? In the OpenShift UI, you simply run the IBM Wazi Sandbox operator. Once the sandbox is up and running, you can open your preferred IDE and connect to the sandbox to edit, debug, build, and test your code. This flexible environment empowers you with more than just your own tools; you also have a personalized, dedicated sandbox for z/OS development, optimized for OpenShift. Once again, we’re able to provide an environment where developers can build smart and build secure.

Adi Sakala, Red Hat’s senior director of engineering, summed it up when he said: “Native development for Z continues to play a critical role as organizations go through a digital transformation journey modernizing their data centers and development teams to adopt Hybrid Cloud models. In this journey, a challenge most organizations are faced with is the evolving need for containerized development along with the associated tooling for z/OS. The current world situation has many organizations, including those with large Z investments, rethinking and retooling to scale their development teams along with scaling their applications. IBM Wazi for Red Hat Code Ready Workspaces offers organizations the opportunity to efficiently and effectively deliver z/OS applications for Red Hat OpenShift, and enables z/OS development teams to collaborate on container-native applications. IBM Wazi is built on Red Hat Code Ready Workspaces and optimized for Red Hat OpenShift.”

Learn more — including how to get started — on the IBM Wazi for Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces page. And visit this announcement blog post from Danny Mace, Vice President, IBM App Platform, to get a higher-level view of how IBM Wazi fits into the cloud-native development story for IBM Z.