While its inaugural release was just over a few months ago, IBM Remote System Explorer API
has covered a lot of new ground with the latest edition. Besides offering modern, easy access to MVS data sets, UNIX files and jobs, RSE API now supports TSO commands, MVS searches, streaming file transfers and more. If you use IBM Developer for z/OS
, IBM Explorer for z/OS
or other Aqua products, then you probably already have the requisite z/OS Explorer server. If you use IBM Wazi Developer for VS Code
or IBM Wazi Developer for Workspaces
then you may already be leveraging the RSE API plugin for the Zowe CLI
to communicate with the RSE API server. However, even if you don't have a dedicated client, you can still work with these APIs, directly.
Of course you need to have the server running first. A sysprog can install and configure RSE API in much the same way as the z/OS Explorer (RSE) server. RSE API uses the same underlying libraries and technologies to interact with the mainframe but in a modern way via HTTP requests and JSON objects. In order to use the APIs, you need a way to understand what they do and how to call them. RSE API uses the Open API Specification so you can discover and try out APIs via Swagger UI. With the RSE API server running, the API docs can be accessed via a URL in this form:
As of version 1.0.2, the Swagger API docs look like this:
API conveniently provides a response in JSON format. Using JSON is handy because it is common industry practice and most modern programming languages provide the means to easily parse and generate it.
The TSO Commands API lets you run TSO commands in a way similar to the UNIX Commands API. The Swagger provides a text field where you can specify the command. There's also a header request option that lets you display output in pretty or flat format.
Another capability that you may find useful are the MVS Search APIs. Suppose you're looking for instances of a particular textual pattern in members of a partitioned data set. Say you're looking for occurrences of
within SYS1.MACLIB. Navigate to
and specify the search parameters as follows.
The result is a JSON indicating where each match can be found:
For an end user, there's a lot of response data here to sift through but the Swagger UI is ultimately there to help developers
. The real value for the end user and the organization arrives when developers write tools or scripts that exploit these APIs.
IBM RSE API is free and there are a couple ways to get it. First, you'll need either the 3.1 or 3.2 version of the z/OS Explorer host component
as a prerequisite. You can download RSE API from here
or you can order it from ShopZ (PID 5655-EX1).