IBM Wazi for Red Hat Code-Ready Workspaces Enables Cloud-Native Development on Z

IBM has announced the availability of IBM Wazi for Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces (Wazi Workspaces). The environment addresses common onboarding challenges for new developers and, in the process, makes cloud-native development on IBM Z a reality, according to Willie Tejada, GM & chief developer advocate at IBM, who provided information about Wazi Workspaces in an IBM developer blog post.

"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," explained Tejada.

According to Tejada,Wazi Workspaces offers the ability to choose from a variety of IDEs for day-to-day development tasks, including Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces, an in-browser OpenShift-native developer workspace, an IDE on a desktop like Microsoft VS Code, or Eclipse-based IDEs such as IBM Z Open Development. In addition, 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, developers can write applications for z/OS using their IDE of choice, and then debug, build, and test code in their 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, explained Tejada.

"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," said Tejada. "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."

In the post, Tejada also quotes Adi Sakala, Red Hat’s senior director of engineering, in regard to the enduring importance of Z for many organizations: “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.”

For more information, go to the IBM Wazi for Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces page.