Modern Mainframe
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Modern Mainframe

Top 5 Most Read Modern Mainframe Stories

We took a look back at the topics of most interest to readers over the course of the year. With 32 articles published, we covered a wide range of subjects ranging from the introduction of architecture fitness functions to the results of an internal Zowe hackathon.

Of particular note, 3 of the 5 most read stories describe extensions to the Visual Studio Code IDE so there is plenty of interest in the adoption of this popular tool for mainframe application development. If you’re interested in using this free tool, a good starting point is the Code4z extension package which is available in the VS Code marketplace.

And, beyond VS Code, it should be no surprise that one of the most read articles resulted from the defining event of the year, the global pandemic.

Here are the Top 5:

Introducing the JCL Language Support VS Code Extension [link]

Visual Studio Code provides extensions for a wide array of languages. This article introduces an extension for JCL, which provides syntax highlighting, snippets, linting and more for this critical language. Sysprogs, take note.

Mainframe Batch 101 — Concepts & Why it Matters [link]

To raise the understanding of how mainframe applications work, this comprehensive article provides some perspective on a critical component, batch processing. The article uses a persona-based view of the lifecycle to highlight the most common changes to batch applications.

View Mainframe Data Sets from your Favorite IDE [link]

Learn about a Visual Studio Code extension that enables you to view mainframe data sets, including VSAM, in a Comma Separated Value (CSV) format, using layouts and selection criteria.

COBOL & Mainframe Modernization: COVID-19 Response [link]

2020 will be known for the devastating health crisis but, while the pandemic has been described as a once-in-a-lifetime event, the article illustrates the need for ongoing mainframe modernization and DevOps speed.

Visualize COBOL Programs in VS Code [link]

COBOL applications are often large and monolithic. To facilitate navigation and understanding of these apps, this article describes a Visual Studio Code extension that enables the viewing of paragraphs as interactive graphical nodes.

We’re delighted to see the high volume of traffic to this site, which indicates a high level of interest in mainframe modernization, and we look forward to publishing many more timely stories in the coming year. If you have a particular area of interest on this topic, please share it in the comments section or email mainframedevops at

Best wishes for a healthy and successful 2021!

And don’t forget to visit the Zowe blogsite too!



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David McNierney

David McNierney

DevOps @ Broadcom #devops #zowe #zos #IBMz #mainframe #jenkins #cicd #agile #mhealth #github #vscode