In September 2017 we delivered IBM Developer for z Systems (IDz) V14.1, our first Continuous Delivery release. Today we are providing the first update package for that release in IDz V14.1.1. This software update allows IBM to provide customers with new innovative capabilities and product maintenance sooner than the traditional release models we have used in the past. If you want to know about the new functions we are providing, keep reading this blog and then have a look at the What’s new page in the Knowledge Center. If you are looking for particular Authorized Program Analysis Records (APARs) then head over to the Fix list for IDz.
The first new capability I want to share with you is not a new feature but instead support for a new operating system. That is right, the much anticipated day has finally arrived… Tada! IDz V14.1.1 is supported on Mac OS. I do not want the comments section of this blog to turn into a debate about whether a Mac or a PC is better. I have been using both the past several months and there are features I prefer on each platform. So if you are a PC person then have no fear, IDz continues to run on Windows and Linux as always. But if you prefer a Mac, now you can run your favorite IDE directly on your device without the need for a virtual machine, a dual boot setup or some other emulation software. As this is our first foray into supporting Mac OS X, there are some known limitations such as J2C and [Deprecated] SCLM support cannot be chosen as install-able features. Also the Enterprise Service Tools capabilities, such as web services and service flow depend upon an internal component that does not yet run on Mac and therefore these EST features are not supported.
Figure 1. – IDz 14.1.1 running on Mac OS X
One important item to note about the install of IDz on Mac, at the very end of the install process while using Installation Manager some users have seen a popup dialog informing them that Java 6 is required to be downloaded. Please disregard this message. The IDz 14.1.1 client comes with Java 8 and will use that version at startup so there is no need to install Java 6 on your Mac. Just like other apps on Mac, the IBM Developer for z Systems.app can be found using Launchpad, Spotlight or Finder.
Figure 2. – Java 6 message from Installation Manager can be ignored for IDz 14.1.1
IBM Developer for z Systems 14.1.1 provides a new Technical Preview for integration with the Beta version of IBM Dependency Based Build (DBB). DBB is an intelligent build tool for building z/OS applications as part of a Continuous Integration pipeline, in the same way that many distributed applications are being built today. As part of this feature, IBM is providing a sample COBOL application which can be version controlled in a Git for z/OS repository. Using the EGit plugins for Eclipse a developer can modify the COBOL source, make use of all the great editor and program understanding tools in IDz, and then submit a User Build. This action will build the COBOL on the z/OS system using the same build scripts as a full, team build. The output from the DBBz build scripts and the results of the build can then be viewed in IDz on the local workstation. If you want to try it out, in conjunction with the DBB Beta, then make sure you select the Technical Preview feature during the install and review the documentation in the Knowledge Center.
Figure 3. – Technical Preview feature during Install
In addition to the aforementioned improvements to IDz, version 14.1.1 also includes several enhancements requested directly by our ever-growing user community. Such enhancements include:
- Generating a Symbolic Map for BMS source that contains LANG=PLI
- Support for custom NOT and custom OR characters for zUnit PL/I test cases
- Change the New > View dialog for CA Endevor Packages to NOT have all of the checkboxes checked by default
- Add a message to the Refactor > Extract Paragraph dialog when End Paragraph Name is used
- Update the Web Services preferences UI for support of all the available CICS Assistants options
- Show SQL INCLUDE statements in the results for LPEX Filter view > COPY statements
- Show a hint for users regarding the benefits of associating a Property Group with JCL
- Provide a read-only option for the Compare With > Each Other menu action
- Allow the Remote System Details view to be exported as a CSV file
Thanks again to everyone that has submitted enhancement requests for Developer for z Systems in the past. If you were not aware that you could collaborate with product development and other product users regarding enhancement requests, then let me introduce you to the RFE Community. All that you need to participate is a free IBM ID and an idea for enhancing the product. If you do not feel that you know the product well enough to contribute, then I might suggest taking the opportunity to participate in our free remote learning sessions. The plan is to start these sessions again in February 2018, so stay tuned.
Finally, I just wanted to mention that IBM Data Studio version 4.1.3, which is also based on Eclipse 4.6 is now available from our downloads page and it can be installed with IDz 14.1.1. Installing the two offerings together allows users to Add Data Access Development Support to z/OS Projects and Run SQL directly from within the editor while modifying COBOL or PL/I source. For more information about this capability review the Editing, running and tuning EXEC SQL statements section of the Knowledge Center.