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z/OS Connect: Product Management summarises 2023 deliverables, and what it has meant for the team


As I settle into the new year and start setting into motion key goals for z/OS Connect in 2024, I find myself reflecting on the outcomes of 2023 to set the stage for 2024. z/OS Connect ships on a monthly continuous delivery cycle, and I'm proud to say that over the last year its driven an enormous amount of capability into our product. Here’s a snapshot of some of the key capabilities we delivered in 2023:

  • API requester for CICS COBOL (January 2023. 3.0.65)

Generate and deploy IBM z/OS Connect API requesters to your z/OS Connect native server so your CICS COBOL applications can call RESTful APIs through IBM z/OS Connect.

  • API provider IMS TM Support (March, 3.0.67)

Map the operation of an OpenAPI 3 document to an IMS TM COBOL application (message segments or Large Data Structures).

  • API First development approach (May, 3.0.69)

Use this new capability to generate the API provider project, .WAR file, and copybooks required to implement a CICS COBOL API.

  • Dev Spaces (June, 3.0.70)

You can now run z/OS Connect Designer in Red Hat OpenShift Dev Spaces using Operator V3.6.0 or later.

  • OpenAPI 3 z/OS native in Simultaneous Instance License (August, 3.0.72) 

This provides users with the ability to run native OpenAPI 3 server instances on z/OS via SMP/E install , in addition to existing OpenAPI 2 server instances.

  • Monitoring (October - provider - 3.0.74, and December - requester - 3.0.76)

Access real-time data and SMF 123 records for OAS3 in API provider and API requester in your current tools.

  • z/OS application (Batch) (November - 3.0.75)

COBOL applications running on z/OS (but not in IMS) can now call API endpoints using an API requester deployed to an IBM z/OS Connect server.

  • Migration guidance (November - 3.0.75)

Guidance on a manual migration process is now available in the IBM z/OS Connect Documentation. Use this to move your existing APIs running on a z/OS Connect OpenAPI 2 server to an OpenAPI 3 server without changing the exposed API.

All of these delivered capabilities have made our OpenAPI 3 support impactful and broad, enabling true hybrid cloud solution for your modernization strategy. And as Product Manager for z/OS Connect, the stand out piece for me has been the delivery of the OpenAPI 3 native deployment capability into our Simultaneous Instance license in addition to our Unlimited license, to make this available to all of our customers. This came from listening to you, the customers, and being able to deliver something fit for purpose and of high value to our existing customer base. We know this is crucial to you in order to support your customers and meet your business drivers for OpenAPI 3.

But I’m just Product Manager, so I went out to the team and asked them for some of their stand out moments of 2023. Here’s just a small selection:

“I was delighted to get a confirmation e-mail from a client that their first OAS 3 provider API had successfully gone into production.

“I have loved the new ability to receive direct feedback on z/OS Connect Documentation from customers and put that feedback into action in our monthly releases to improve our customers experience.

“I've felt very fortunate being able to work closely with our clients as it fundamentally confirms that we're designing value.”

As a valued customer, we’d love to hear what your best moments with z/OS Connect capability in 2023 has been - is there something we’ve delivered that’s enabled you to achieve your business outcomes or accelerated your existing modernization efforts? And is there something you’re looking to z/OS Connect to deliver in 2024/5? Please do reply in the ‘comments’ section of this blog.

The team and I are excited to deliver more in 2024 with your feedback at the core of our design and development. If you are interested in getting more actively involved as a customer in providing feedback and input on the development of z/OS Connect we’d love to hear from you. We run monthly calls as part of the Design Partnership to share our direction and design for z/OS Connect, and we are always keen to expand on existing customer teams and invite net new customers also.  For details on how to sign up, head here: The z/OS Connect Design Partnership Program


Looking forward to working with you all in 2024

Product Manager for API Integration with IBM Z