CA Brightside and Zowe LTS

Goran Begic
Modern Mainframe
Published in
6 min readMar 12, 2020


Introducing CA Brightside 3.0

CA Brightside is a support offering from Broadcom that helps with scaled adoption of open source projects for Mainframe DevOps. It includes enterprise-grade support, convenience installers, training, IP legal assurance, and additional testing for all extensions included in the subscription.

Open source allows you to consume software released under an open-source license, join the community, and contribute your code and ideas to the project. When businesses decide to adopt open-source software beyond individual use, they either hire developers to provide support and bugfixes, or they rely on software vendors to ensure continuous delivery of value with as few interruptions as possible.

Zowe, which is hosted by the Open Mainframe Project, and Mainframe development extensions for the Eclipse Foundation’s project Che are both included in the Brightside subscription.

In this article, I explain what is new in CA Brightside 3.0 and how Zowe Long Term Support (LTS) changes how businesses adopt new, transformative, fast-moving technology.

Easy access to all Core Zowe and Broadcom Commercial Extensions

With release 3.0, if you have an active Brightside subscription, you don’t have to search for plugins for your favorite tools or wonder about compatibility with the core version of Zowe. Also, if your organization restricts access to public software housing sites, you don’t need to whitelist the domain to enable your developers to access Zowe.

Everything you need to deploy Zowe automation infrastructure in your organization reliably is available for download from a single, secure location.

Brightside local installer for Zowe CLI includes the following plugins:

  • CA Endevor Bridge for Git Plug-in for Zowe CLI
  • CA Endevor SCM Plug-in for Zowe CLI
  • CA File Master Plus Plug-in for Zowe CLI
  • CA OPS/MVS Plug-in for Zowe CLI
  • CA View Plug-in for Zowe CLI
  • CA Secure Credential Store for Zowe CLI
  • CA z/OS Extended Files Plug-in for Zowe CLI
  • CA z/OS Extended Jobs Plug-in for Zowe CLI
  • IBM CICS Plug-in for Zowe CLI
  • IBM Db2 Plug-in for Zowe CLI
  • IBM IMS Plug-in for Zowe CLI
  • IBM MQ Plug-in for Zowe CLI
  • IBM z/OS FTP Plug-in for Zowe CLI

The z/OS installer packages for SMP/E included in CA Brightside 3.0 are identical to the LTS packages provided by the Zowe project.

Here is a screenshot of the installer packages available for download in the Broadcom Support Portal:

All z/OS components are in one package called “CA Brightside 3.0 LTS 1.9.0 SMPE — zOS Components” and all distributed components, and all the plugins are in the package: “CA Brightside 3.0 Zowe v1 LTS local package”.

Note that if you’ve already started by downloading and installing the LTS packages from, you can also choose to install the CA Brightside extensions on top of that. The choice is yours!

Official Zowe LTS Packages Included

Zowe uses a modular architecture to enable extensions of core capabilities without changing any of its binaries. It also allows the development of commercial solutions on top of the core Zowe infrastructure.

In any given z/OS environment, there may be several commercial products from different vendors that depend on the Zowe. For all the solutions built on top of Zowe to co-exist, they need to use the same instance of Zowe. To help with adoption, the Zowe community has released a Long Term Support version with a carefully managed lifecycle and a predictable release schedule. Brightside 3.0 now aligns with Zowe LTS.

Each Zowe release stream goes through three lifecycle phases:

  1. Current releases where contributors can introduce breaking changes. These releases are not a part of the Long Term Support stream, and they are used by open source contributors to ensure compatibility of their solutions in preparation for the new Long Term Release build (marked green in the picture below).
  2. Active Long Term Support build (blue). Zowe has recently released the first Active LTS based on Zowe 1.9, and this release is in Brightside 3.0 installation packages. Active LTS releases may deliver new features, as long as these do not introduce breaking changes.
  3. At some point, the next Active LTS stream based on the new Zowe branch will become available (tentatively scheduled for 2021). At that point, the current Active LTS will mature into the maintenance stream. All enhancements will go into the next generation of Active Zowe LTS, and Brightside will increment its release number to 4.

Here is the screenshot from the Zowe LTS release timeline overview document:

Zowe LTS release timeline (courtesy of

Support for New Zowe Features

Here are some of the key new capabilities that are distributed and supported with the Brightside 3.0 subscription. These features were not supported in the previous versions of the support offering. The full list of new Zowe features is available in Zowe release notes.

  • Zowe CLI is now supported on Unix System Services (USS) on z/OS.
  • Zowe z/OS installers are delivered as SMP/E allowing for easier installation and maintenance.
  • API Mediation Layer now supports special characters and Pass Ticket support.
  • App Server includes support for Out-of-band multi-factor authentication.
  • Zowe zos-files command group is enhanced and includes commands to copy the contents of a data set or member to another data set or member, list mount and unmount file systems as well as create USS files and directories.

Eclipse Che4z Premium Stack and Visual Studio Code4z Extension Packages integrate with CA InterTest for CICS

Brightside subscription in version 2 already included support for extensions for modern IDEs — Eclipse Che and Visual Studio Code. While the name Eclipse sounds familiar, the Che project is very different. Instead of rich Java clients, it uses web technology and shares the user interface with Visual Studio Code.

Previous versions of the Brightside subscription included support for both IDE stacks. In version 3, the two stacks include support for COBOL debugging. You can install the new extension Debugger for Mainframe directly from Visual Studio Marketplace. Debugging support is also included in Che4z Premium Stack.


Open source software and commercial software are two sides of the same coin. They both have a purpose and place in the software ecosystem. Innovators benefit from the open-source because they want to go fast, lead the way, and contribute. Businesses benefit from code and components that are adopted by multiple vendors to avoid vendor lockout.

To scale up the adoption of open source in business environments where business risk is carefully managed, one needs a healthy ecosystem of commercial offerings built around open source to reduce the cost of maintenance and support of open source solutions.

Brightside subscription addresses business risk and investment associated with scaled adoption of open source. It is a bridge between modern DevOps practices and the Mainframe. It is also a bridge between the world of open source and commercial solutions built on top of open source.

In this latest release, Brightside subscription embraces Zowe LTS, it makes it easier to acquire and install, and it provides access to powerful innovations and Broadcom product extensions.

To learn more about Zowe and CA Brightside, join us for awebinar on April 2nd:



Goran Begic
Modern Mainframe

Offering manager at Broadcom. Interested in innovations that solve real-life problems. Always learning.