IBM Explorer for z/OS , V2.1 delivers extensible workstation access to key IBM z/OS functionsIBM United States Software Announcement 213-141
April 23, 2013
|Table of contents|
|At a glance|
IBM® z/OS® Explorer V2.1:
For ordering, contact your IBM representative, an IBM Business Partner, or IBM Americas Call Centers at 800-IBM-CALL (Reference: YE001).
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Explorer for z/OS ( z/OS Explorer), V2.1, is an Eclipse-based integration platform for z/OS users that enables the integration of a variety of offerings from IBM , vendors, or in-house development plug-ins. The z/OS Explorer is extendable via the IBM repository of compatible products to fulfill each user's roles and responsibilities. For example, z/OS Explorer can provide a single Eclipse environment with the ability to administer IBM CICS , IBM DB2 , IBM WebSphere MQ, and IBM IMS subsystems, or a different Eclipse environment targeted at development and problem determination of z/OS applications.
In addition to being an integration platform, z/OS Explorer delivers extensible workstation connectivity to key z/OS functions, by providing simple and secure access to z/OS datasets, IBM zSeries® File System (zFS) files, and Job Entry Subsystem (JES) jobs, and output. A host connections framework is part of z/OS Explorer, which is used to manage connections and user credentials. These capabilities are not only available to use but also available as a set of APIs for users to exploit and develop their own Eclipse plug-ins.
The z/OS Explorer is also embedded and used within a number of IBM products, including CICS Explorer V5.1.1, IBM Rational Developer for System z , IMS Enterprise Explorer, and IBM Problem Determination Tools Studio. The feature of z/OS Explorer is used by additional plug-ins for the platform, such as CICS Tools, providing a consistent experience for users of those products.
The z/OS Explorer V2.1 capabilities, that were previously delivered as part of CICS Explorer , are now available for use by all customers with a license for a supported release of z/OS . Third-party software vendors and customers can now integrate their plug-ins with z/OS Explorer with no IBM product dependency, other than z/OS . Furthermore, CICS Explorer V5.1.1 includes the z/OS Explorer V2.1 plug-in. For more information, refer to Software Announcement 213-177, dated April 23, 2013.
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The z/OS Explorer Rich Client Platform (RCP) executable runs on any machine that supports the required Microsoft Windows , Redhat Linux , and SUSE Linux operating systems. The z/OS Explorer plug-in requires at least Eclipse 4.2.2 and Java 7 (Service Refresh 4).
For further details, refer to the Hardware and software requirements section.
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|Planned availability date|
June 14, 2013
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z/OS Explorer V2.1 delivers extensible workstation connectivity to key z/OS functions, by providing simple and secure access to z/OS datasets, zFS files, and JES jobs and output from within an Eclipse-based RCP. The z/OS Explorer is also embedded within other RCPs, including CICS Explorer V5.1.1, Rational Developer for System z , IMS Enterprise Explorer and IBM Problem Determination Tools Studio, providing a consistent experience for users of those products. It can easily be installed into Rational Application Developer and other compatible Eclipse-based RCPs, by providing a consistent experience for users of plug-ins for CICS Tools, IBM Problem Determination Tools, and other IBM and third-party vendor products.
The z/OS Explorer V2.1 capabilities, that were previously delivered as part of CICS Explorer , are now available for use by all customers with a license for a supported release of z/OS . Third-party software vendors and customers can now integrate their plug-ins with z/OS Explorer with no IBM product dependency, other than z/OS .
z/OS Explorer perspectives and views
The z/OS Explorer includes a default perspective with a set of views to help you manage your z/OS artifacts. A Resource perspective is also provided with a basic set of views to help you get started with the management of projects and the resources they contain.
The Console view provides a history of the actions you have performed, such as submitting a job, or changing and saving a file.
Data sets view
When connected to a z/OS system, the Data Sets view lists all the data sets that you are authorized to view and that match the data set name qualifier you specify. You can open a data set to view the members. You can edit Partitioned Data Set (PDS) members that contain text, but you cannot edit members that contain binary code.
Host Connections view
The Host Connections view is the single place to manage all your system connections and login credentials. You can import or load shared connection definitions from an external file, and export definitions to a file.
When connected to a z/OS system, the Jobs view lists the completed and running jobs that you are authorized to view and that match the job name prefix and owner ID that you specify.
z/OS Jobs view
When you are connected to a z/OS system, the z/OS Jobs view shows all the output data sets for a specified job. The job name can be entered in the Job ID field, or the Link to Selection button can be selected so that any job that is selected in the Jobs view is automatically displayed in the z/OS Job view. When you select an output data set in the z/OS view, the content of the data set is displayed in the view.
z/OS UNIX Files view
When connected to a z/OS system, the z/OS UNIX Files view shows the HFS and zFS file system structure and contents. The files are shown in a tree structure that can be expanded to show individual files.
The Properties view displays all the properties, or attributes, of the resource being viewed.
z/OS Explorer tasks
You can use the rich client interface of z/OS Explorer to interact with and manage your z/OS datasets, files, and jobs to perform many of the tasks that you do today using ISPF.
Creating local JCL files
You can create and edit a JCL file in your local workspace from the Resource perspective. When the JCL file is complete you can submit the job, or copy the file to a partitioned data set by using your local procedures.
Working with z/OS data sets
Using the Data Sets view in the z/OS perspective, there are a number of actions you can perform against z/OS data sets, such as create, submit, recall, and delete data set. The types of data sets that you can create includes PDS, PDS Extended (PDSE), Library data set, Sequential data set, or a new data set member.
Editing data sets
You can open a file and edit the contents of a data set using the z/OS perspective. From here you can edit only text PDS members or text sequential data sets.
Submitting a batch job
You can submit one or more batch jobs from the z/OS perspective. From here you can either submit the jobs from the Data Sets view, or you can submit a job from the data set editor. You can also view the JES output using the Jobs view. When using a z/OSMF connection, you can also view the output for active jobs. This is useful for long-running jobs associated with CICS regions or WebSphere MQ queue managers.
Working with z/OS UNIX files
There are a number of actions you can perform against z/OS UNIX files, that include changing z/OS UNIX file and directory permissions, by creating a new z/OS UNIX file, creating a new z/OS UNIX directory, and editing z/OS UNIX files.
z/OS Explorer connection framework
z/OS Explorer provides a rich framework that enables you to configure, change, and manage your system connections to FTP and z/OSMF z/OS services. The z/OS Explorer connections framework is extensible using the z/OS Explorer SDK.
Support is also provided for SSL, password phrases, and proxy servers. Note that service updates for z/OS Explorer are available on a pre-configured download site on the Internet. Your organization may require you to connect to the Internet through a proxy server. You can use the Preferences dialog in z/OS Explorer to define a proxy server.
When you connect to a system your credentials, such as your user ID and password or password phrase, are sent to the system for authentication. When you have defined a credential you can use it on all systems that share the credential without reentering the details every time. You must have at least one credential before you can connect to a system.
You can export a set of connection definitions that you have created and share them with other users. If you save the definition file on a shared or web-accessible location, users can import the connection details into their z/OS Explorer. Any changes you make to the central definition file are picked up the next time the user starts z/OS Explorer. Credentials are not exported and must be set for each user.
When used in conjunction with z/OS V1.12, access to datasets, zFS, and JES requires the FTP server provided by IBM Communications Server. If you are licensed for z/OS , V1.13 or later, you can also connect z/OS Explorer to z/OSMF V1.13 by using its z/OS jobs REST interface.
Delivery and deployment options
z/OS Explorer is available in two forms: an executable in an Eclipse-based RCP, and a plug-in for inclusion in compatible RCPs. The z/OS Explorer plug-in is also pre-packaged with CICS Explorer V5.1.1, IBM Problem Determination Tools Studio, Rational Developer for System z , and IMS Enterprise Explorer. It provides unified and extensible access to many z/OS-based resources for all technical roles.
z/OS Explorer is also available for installation using IBM Installation Manager, for easy integration with products like IBM Rational Application Developer and DB2 Data Studio. The current support for the Eclipse P2 software update system is retained.
The IBM update web sites are restructured, and default website addresses are pre-loaded in z/OS Explorer. This enables access to new and updated plug-ins for CICS Tools, IBM Problem Determination Tools, and (potentially) vendor tools much more easily.
The CICS Explorer V5.1.1 plug-in and the plug-ins for the following products in the IBM CICS Tools family are also updated. They deliver updated capabilities, support the latest z/OS Explorer and Eclipse levels, and provide plug-ins in Installation Manager format:
The plug-ins for the following products in the IBM Problem Determination Tools family are also updated, in support of z/OS Explorer V2.1:
Developers of complementary tools, whether from IBM teams, business partners, or customers, can use the z/OS Explorer Software Development Kit (SDK) that is built into z/OS Explorer. The SDK can be used to extend and integrate developer's software tools as plug-ins to compatible RCPs. z/OS Explorer includes the Eclipse plug-in development environment (PDE), Javadoc describing the z/OS Explorer connection framework, and z/OS Explorer APIs. It also includes a sample that integrates a Telnet interface with z/OS Explorer and a wizard to help add menu actions to files and jobs.
Accessibility by people with disabilities
A US Section 508 Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) containing details on accessibility compliance can be requested at
Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act
z/OS Explorer V2.1 is capable, as of June 14, 2013, when used in accordance with the associated IBM documentation, of satisfying the applicable requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, provided that any assistive technology used with the product properly interoperates with it.
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The license terms for z/OS Explorer V2.1 allow it to be used by anyone with a license for a supported release of z/OS . This makes it a valuable tool for z/OS-based technical roles, as well as a suitable platform for both third-party and customer-developed tooling.
The z/OS Explorer is ideally placed to provide additional value to anyone with IBM Problem Determination Tools, CICS Tools, IMS Explorer, or Rational Developer for System z , because it provides a way to bring these tools together.
The technology within z/OS Explorer is embedded in CICS Explorer V5.1.1, IBM Problem Determination Tools Studio, and IMS Enterprise Explorer for more than two years, providing users with a common way to manage host connections and access z/OS system resources. The technology within z/OS Explorer V2.1 is repackaged to provide a stand-alone client from IBM , as well as enabling third-party software vendors to provide plug-ins for a broad range of Eclipse-based clients.
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|Statement of direction|
IBM makes the following statements of general direction:
IBM's statements regarding its plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice at IBM's sole discretion. Information regarding potential future products is intended to outline our general product direction and it should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision. The information mentioned regarding potential future products is not a commitment, promise, or legal obligation to deliver any material, code, or functionality. Information about potential future products may not be incorporated into any contract. The development, release, and timing of any future features or functionality described for our products remains at our sole discretion.
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For information on CICS Explorer , refer to Software Announcement 212-325, dated October 3, 2012.
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Program Program number VRM name CSZE 2.1.0 IBM Explorer for z/OS
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Product information is available via the Offering Information website
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No publications are shipped with this program.
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Specified operating environment
Hardware and software requirements
z/OS Explorer runs on any machine that supports the required Microsoft Windows , Redhat Linux , and SUSE Linux operating systems. The z/OS Explorer plug-in requires at least Eclipse 4.2.2 and Java 7 (Service Refresh 4).
For specific details of the system requirements for z/OS Explorer, visit
The program's specifications and specified operating environment information may be found in documentation accompanying the program, if available, such as a README file, or other information published by IBM , such as an announcement letter. Documentation and other program content may be supplied only in the English language.
For information, refer to Usage restriction in the Terms and conditions section of this announcement, or to the license information document that is available on the IBM Software License Agreement website
IBM Electronic Support
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Customer and user group requirements
Requirements for z/OS Explorer can be created, viewed, and voted for in the IBM Request For Enhancement (RFE) community. Visit
z/OS Explorer is available for download only. Visit
Security, auditability, and control
z/OS Explorer V2.1 uses the security and auditability features of the operating system under which it is running.
The customer is responsible for evaluation, selection, and implementation of security features, administrative procedures, and appropriate controls in application systems and communication facilities.
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This software license includes Software Maintenance, previously referred to as Software Subscription and Technical Support.
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|Terms and conditions|
The information provided in this announcement letter is for reference and convenience purposes only. The terms and conditions that govern any transaction with IBM are contained in the applicable contract documents such as the IBM International Program License Agreement, IBM International Passport Advantage® Agreement, and the IBM Agreement for Acquisition of Software Maintenance.
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This program is licensed under the IBM Program License Agreement (IPLA) and the associated Agreement for Acquisition of Software Maintenance, which provide for support with ongoing access to releases and versions of the program. IBM includes one year of Software Subscription and Support (also referred to as Software Maintenance) with the initial license acquisition of each program acquired. The initial period of Software Subscription and Support (also referred to as Software Maintenance) can be extended by the purchase of a renewal option, if available. This program has a one-time license charge for use of the program and an annual renewable charge for the enhanced support that includes telephone assistance (voice support for defects during normal business hours), as well as access to updates, releases, and versions of the program as long as support is in effect.
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License ID: L-ACRR-949L5X
The program's License Information will be available for review on the IBM Software License Agreement website
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Software Subscription and Support applies
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Variable charges apply
Educational allowance available
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|Statement of good security practices|
IT system security involves protecting systems and information through prevention, detection, and response to improper access from within and outside your enterprise. Improper access can result in information being altered destroyed or misappropriated or can result in misuse of your systems to attack others. Without a comprehensive approach to security, no IT system or product should be considered completely secure and no single product or security measure can be completely effective in preventing improper access. IBM systems and products are designed to be part of a comprehensive security approach, which will necessarily involve additional operational procedures, and may require other systems, products, or services to be most effective. IBM does not warrant that systems and products are immune from the malicious or illegal conduct of any party.
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|IBM Electronic Services|
Electronic Service Agent and the IBM Electronic Support web portal are dedicated to providing fast, exceptional support to IBM Systems customers. The IBM Electronic Service Agent tool is a no-additional-charge tool that proactively monitors and reports hardware events, such as system errors, performance issues, and inventory. The Electronic Service Agent tool can help you stay focused on your company's strategic business initiatives, save time, and spend less effort managing day-to-day IT maintenance issues. Servers enabled with this tool can be monitored remotely around the clock by IBM Support all at no additional cost to you.
Now integrated into the base operating system of AIX® 5.3, AIX 6.1, and AIX 7.1, Electronic Service Agent is designed to automatically and electronically report system failures and utilization issues to IBM , which can result in faster problem resolution and increased availability. System configuration and inventory information collected by the Electronic Service Agent tool also can be viewed on the secure Electronic Support web portal, and used to improve problem determination and resolution by you and the IBM support team. To access the tool main menu, simply type "smitty esa_main", and select "Configure Electronic Service Agent ." In addition, ESA now includes a powerful Web user interface, giving the administrator easy access to status, tool settings, problem information, and filters. For more information and documentation on how to configure and use Electronic Service Agent , refer to
The IBM Electronic Support portal is a single Internet entry point that replaces the multiple entry points traditionally used to access IBM Internet services and support. This portal enables you to gain easier access to IBM resources for assistance in resolving technical problems. The My Systems and Premium Search functions make it even easier for Electronic Service Agent tool-enabled customers to track system inventory and find pertinent fixes.
Increased uptime: The Electronic Service Agent tool is designed to enhance the Warranty or Maintenance Agreement by providing faster hardware error reporting and uploading system information to IBM Support. This can translate to less wasted time monitoring the "symptoms," diagnosing the error, and manually calling IBM Support to open a problem record. Its 24 x 7 monitoring and reporting mean no more dependence on human intervention or off-hours customer personnel when errors are encountered in the middle of the night.
Security: The Electronic Service Agent tool is designed to be secure in monitoring, reporting, and storing the data at IBM . The Electronic Service Agent tool securely transmits either via the Internet (HTTPS or VPN) or modem, and can be configured to communicate securely through gateways to provide customers a single point of exit from their site. Communication is one way. Activating Electronic Service Agent does not enable IBM to call into a customer's system. System inventory information is stored in a secure database, which is protected behind IBM firewalls. It is viewable only by the customer and IBM . The customer's business applications or business data is never transmitted to IBM .
More accurate reporting: Since system information and error logs are automatically uploaded to the IBM Support center in conjunction with the service request, customers are not required to find and send system information, decreasing the risk of misreported or misdiagnosed errors. Once inside IBM , problem error data is run through a data knowledge management system and knowledge articles are appended to the problem record.
Customized support: Using the IBM ID entered during activation, customers can view system and support information in the "My Systems" and "Premium Search" sections of the Electronic Support Web site at
My Systems provides valuable reports of installed hardware and software using information collected from the systems by Electronic Service Agent . Reports are available for any system associated with the customer's IBM ID. Premium Search combines the function of search and the value of Electronic Service Agent information, providing advanced search of the technical support knowledgebase. Using Premium Search and the Electronic Service Agent information that has been collected from your system, customers are able to see search results that apply specifically to their systems.
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z/OS Explorer is available for download only. Visit
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