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z/OS Connect Designer runs in any Open Container Initiative (OCI) compliant container platform


The z/OS Connect Designer is our low-code, browser-based tooling for building and creating OpenAPI 3 APIs. This article will focus on options for running the Designer - for a more detailed introduction to the Designer, including how to get started, see Developing APIs with the z/OS Connect Designer.

Whilst IBM’s strategic choice for a containerized runtime is Red Hat OpenShift, this is not a prerequisite for running z/OS Connect Designer on your local development machine or in the cloud. The z/OS Connect Designer is supported on any OCI-compliant container platform that runs on s390x and amd64 architecture (to learn more about the Open Container Initiative (OCI), see this page: https://opencontainers.org/).

Our documentation and tutorials usually show z/OS Connect Designer used with Docker Desktop, but Designer is by no means restricted to this specific container runtime. Alternatives to Docker Desktop include Podman and Rancher, both of which can also run on your local development machine. This enables developers to build APIs without needing access to additional cloud infrastructure, with easy install and updates from a single command.

You can still follow our Documentation with other container runtimes: for example, if you’re using Podman, simply replace 'docker' with 'podman’ in the pull command.

Image: z/OS Connect Designer with Podman Desktop

The Designer can also be run in cloud-native environments, such as AWS’ Cloud9 or Red Hat Dev Spaces. This provides a standard environment in which developers can work on API Projects without the overhead of installing additional prerequisites on their local machines.

Image: z/OS Connect Designer deployed on AWS Cloud9

To find out more…

There is a series of introductory 'how-to' videos on z/OS Connect Designer that demonstrate the wide set of capabilities available in the z/OS Connect Designer. To view these videos, see the following play list: z/OS Connect Designer video tutorials.


There is also a series of ‘how-to’ Getting Started tutorials for users on creating and editing OpenAPI 3 documents, creating an IMS z/OS Connect API, a CICS z/OS Connect API and a Db2 z/OS Connect API. For the ‘how-to’ Getting Started tutorials and a closer look at how z/OS Connect Designer works, see our Getting Started tutorials.

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