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Mainframes Get GUI with Zowe Project

Friday Aug 31st 2018 by Sean Michael Kerner

VIDEO: John Merton, Director of Program Management at the Open Mainframe project, announces the new Zowe project.

Vancouver, B.C. - For the last 50 years, mainframes have literally been the big iron systems that have helped power critical elements of IT infrastructure. Yet despite the core role that mainframes have held, the primary interface to the mainframe throughout its history has been the "green screen" command line.

At the Open Source Summit, the Linux Foundation's Open Mainframe project announced the new Zowe effort, which for the first time brings a real graphical user interface to the mainframe. The Open Mainframe project itself was first announced at Linux Foundation's LinuxCon 2015 event in Seattle.

In a press conference at the Open Source Summit, John Merton, Director of Program Management at the Open Mainframe project, explained that Zowe doesn't actually stand for anything and is not an acronym.

"Zowe is a Web UI; it's a destkop app container in a browser," he said.

While it has been possible to run a Linux operating system that includes a graphical user interface on top of a mainframe, Merton said the core IBM zOS mainframe operating system has not had a UI.

With Zowe, the goal is to help make it easier for developers to develop and deploy on mainframes faster than ever before.

Watch the full Zowe press conference below.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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