Wazi ā A web IDE for Z Open Development powered by Zowe
Wazi is a technology preview of a Web IDE for Z Open Development powered by Zowe. In this technology preview, we will show how COBOL applications can be edited within your browser. We will also show how you can interact with z/OS remotely from within your browser and run JCLs to compile and run your applications. You can perform all of these operations from your local SCM workspace such as Git.
Wazi runs entirely in the browser and is provided to you via an easy to use Docker image which runs on any platform that can run Docker including laptops (Download it from here). That Docker image contains all the required prerequisites and runs the Web server. The IDE experience is based on the popular Theia open source project.
This Wazi technology preview extends Theia with two components:
1. A COBOL editing experience: We are providing a fully functional language server for COBOL that enables code completion, finding and navigating references, refactoring and more. We also provide various editor extensions such as syntax highlights, preview of included copybooks, code templates and many other advanced capabilities.
2. Integration with Zowe REST APIs and the Zowe CLI: Integration with Zowe REST APIs allows you to interact with z/OS remotely to create and read datasets, as well as to load and save COBOL program files. Integration with the Zowe CLI provides additional command line operations such as running JCL to compile and run your applications. To learn more about Zowe, visit this Blog post and the Zowe Documentation home page.
Zero-client install experience using the Web: What if your editor with your settings and your application files would just be there on any machine that you have just logged on to? By navigating to a URL in a browser you would be able to get there and see everything the way you left it in your previous session. No installation required, but still a full modern editing experience with all the language-specific features and technology integration that you would expect from an IDE? The editor and files could be hosted in your organization’s protected and/or private-cloud using Docker and virtual drives, and you would be able to open your z/OS resources directly here, as well. All changes you make can optionally be saved automatically back to its source to make sure you do not lose anything if the connection is lost.
Figure: 1 Wazi launched from a browser with Editor view and File explorer
Edit COBOL Applications on the Web : Even though your editor would run on the Web and in your browser, it would be just as fast and responsive as a local IDE with all the tools you expect for working with COBOL. Additionally, there would be many new tools that you have seen in other modern IDEs for other languages. Some of the key tools Wazi provides for COBOL are outline view, syntax highlighting, code completion, code templates, find all references, peek definition, search and rename refactoring across multiple program files, and many other capabilities you would want from a modern, language-sensitive editor.