• September 28, 2020

Announcing BlueZone Web: The First Commercial Terminal Emulator Solution for Open Mainframe Project’s Zowe

As a global software leader in IBM Z® and IBM® i modernization, we’re always looking for ways to make the mainframe more efficient, accessible, and user-friendly. That’s why we’re proud to have partnered with the Linux Foundation’s Open Mainframe Project (OMP) to create open source software for the mainframe. We’re also proud to announce that we’ve officially launched the market’s first commercial terminal emulator solution for Zowe, Rocket® BlueZone® Web for Zowe.

Rocket and Zowe

Our journey with Zowe began in 2014, with Rocketeers taking on the challenge of modernizing the mainframe at a Rocket.Build event. The innovation from that event created the elements that would soon be called Zowe. From there, we’ve continued to innovate and collaborate, bringing together Rocket, IBM, and CA (now Broadcom/CA) to build the foundation of this open source initiative. 

With Zowe, the possibilities are nearly endless. It allows for innovation on the mainframe, enabling all developers to build applications. This will help expand the developer talent pool for companies that rely on the mainframe. It also provides a powerful framework to modernize on IBM Z, ensuring businesses remain resilient and competitive. Zowe is the framework that allows developers to create whatever they want for the mainframe. 

When the pandemic hit earlier this year, we realized that reliance on the mainframe is as important as ever. The mainframe is consistent, reliable, and secure, which was imperative for businesses moving to remote workforces during the early stages of COVID-19. These business challenges compelled us to reinvigorate the Zowe storyline.

Zowe is the first open source project for the IBM z/OS® operating system, which delivers a modern browser-based GUI and services architecture to the IBM Z platform. It bridges the divide between modern applications and the mainframe, allowing for easier interoperability and scalability among products and solutions from multiple vendors. Until now, there has been no terminal operator available for the Zowe market, leaving users to leverage several applications and cumbersome workarounds.

Rocket BlueZone Web for Zowe

Terminal emulators, such as BlueZone, have always provided connectivity, speed, and ease of use between PCs and back-end systems such as IBM Z and IBM i. For our clients, it also allowed for more customized solutions. Says Kristen Dougherty, Director of Information Technology at BerkOne, a leading provider of content and process automation, “Rocket BlueZone Terminal Emulation allows our clients to connect successfully from various customized systems. We continue to receive positive feedback from those users. It has reduced our overall support costs and frees up time for our technical resources to focus on more strategic initiatives.” Unfortunately, the breadth of features, usability, and customizability vary greatly between terminal emulators.

Rocket BlueZone Web for Zowe, a certified Zowe V1 App Framework application, provides a secure, browser-based terminal emulator that lives within the Zowe desktop environment. Users have greater terminal emulation functionality and more comprehensive access to critical host-based applications and data. BlueZone Web customers can run the latest release of BlueZone Web from the Zowe Desktop alongside other Zowe apps as a plug-in for a consistent experience both within and outside of the Zowe desktop.

With our support for Zowe, we can ensure that as our mainframe customers embrace open source, they can continue to benefit from the continuous innovation that has made BlueZone so efficient and beloved by users. The release of Rocket BlueZone Web on Zowe is a major step forward for the future of the mainframe because it empowers large organizations to modernize the tools they need on powerful open source projects like Zowe. It also helps to reaffirm our goal of supporting open source software development for mainframe users. In the coming years, we hope that we can continue to develop solutions that empower users by building on a growing ecosystem of software and tools.

Rocket BlueZone Web for Zowe will be featured at the inaugural Open Mainframe Summit, a virtual event on September 16-17, 2020.

Chris Wey

Chris Wey 4 Posts

Christopher Wey joined Rocket Software in 2020 as the General Manager of the Power Systems Business Unit, bringing two decades of experience leading product organizations, transforming companies through organic and inorganic growth, and driving business strategy. Prior to joining Rocket, he was Senior Vice President at Carbonite, where he led two lines of business as well as corporate development and strategic partnerships. In the past, Chris was Vice President of Strategy, Technology, and Business Development for Avaya Client Services, and a range of positions at IBM.

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