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A new Zowe trial experience for YOU!

The Zowe trial on IBM Z Trial is a fully configured z/OS environment with Zowe preinstalled and set up along with a set of integrated easy-to-follow tutorials. Since launched in June 2019, the Zowe trial has helped hundreds of users to get hands-on experience with Zowe. For each trial, feedback is key to continuous improvement and enhanced learning. We gathered and analyzed the feedback on the trial experience and took action to revamp and update it. Now we are pleased to announce the launch of the redesigned Zowe trial.

Complete with a design-driven approach, the enhanced trial updated the preinstalled Zowe version to v1.13.0 and allows you to learn about Zowe more quickly and comprehensively. Content has been rewritten and enriched making it easier to read and digest the information. Stories are redefined to walk you through the latest Zowe components and features. Here are some improvements that the new design brings.

Improved user experience

Enhanced introduction module
The introduction module helps you rapidly understand Zowe’s purpose and architecture. In this module, 
  • A Zowe architecture diagram was added at the beginning of each scenario to piece together the scenarios and show progress.
  • An FAQ section in the Get started scenario provides more information to help you understand Zowe’s value proposition and get started with Zowe.

Figure 1: Zowe architecture diagrams used in the trial

Support at hand
The support channels are better clarified. A "Do you know" section contains all the tips and hints for playing with the wizard and getting support if you encounter an issue. 
More resources for diving deeper
Have you ever been confused about what to do next and where to look for more functionalities about Zowe after you complete the trial? An enriched “Go deeper with Zowe” section at the end of each scenario shows you how to deepen the engagement with Zowe upon completion. It lists many useful resources to help you dive deeper into Zowe outside of the trial environment.
Simpler operations
Previously, you might encounter errors due to a wrong command entered or wrong directory switched. Now we make the operations easy for you. Long-run commands or directory paths are simplified in the environment. By entering simple commands such as open-app, you can easily find the directories or deploy changes. 

Redefined story 
The new design brings more recent and core Zowe capabilities to you. The Zowe version in the trial environment has been upgraded to v1.13.0 release and we'll keep updating it in the future. We still keep four scenarios but the stories are redefined to show you the typical use cases and development scenarios on Zowe. 
Get started scenario
The Get started scenario serves as an introductory scenario that gets you familiar with Zowe. In the new design, Zowe Explorer and API Catalog are included. 
  • Zowe Explorer is one of the most popular components of Zowe with more than 19,600 unique installs. It is an extension to VS Code that modernizes the way developers and system administrators interact with z/OS, and people like the simplicity of the text editor.
  • The API Catalog allows you to view all discovered microservices that have been integrated or “onboarded” with the API Mediation Layer, as well as their associated APIs, and Swagger documentation. 
Those are also the reasons why they are added in the Get started scenario in the trial. You won't want to miss them in your first touchpoint with Zowe. 
   Figure 2: Zowe Explorer in the trial

Extend API scenario
This scenario guides you to add an API to the API Mediation Layer. In the new design, you’ll not only learn how to register an API with Zowe but know how to configure multiple API service instances for high availability. 
Extend Zowe App Framework scenario
You’ll experience a typical development scenario of adding a React app to the Zowe desktop. This time we've installed a local zLUX instance that allows you to configure and add the app locally first making it quicker and easier to verify changes. You’ll touch the definition files for the app in the process and deploy the changes to the Zowe server. Some frequently used functionalities such as Refresh applications are also included.
Figure 3: The refresh applications functionality

Extend Zowe CLI scenario
This scenario guides you to install a new plug-in command group and add a new command option to surface REST API data on the sample CLI plug-in. We have improved the content to make it more visual and easier to digest.  
We hope you’ll love the refreshed trial and welcome any feedback you may have on how we can further improve the experience. 
Click here to get started:  Register for the trial   
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