Here are the prerequisites for installing this extension in VS Code:
IBM Java™ version 8 or later - 64 bit: The COBOL and PL/I language servers included in this extension are implemented in Java. Therefore, you need to install and configure a 64-bit Java runtime in order to start it successfully.
Various settings are provided to configure how the extension uses Java. See the Configuring Java section below for more details.
(Optional) Git: To use the features that involve Git, you must install Git and have it available in your system path so that VS Code can display it. On Macs, Git comes out of the box. On Linux, you can install Git with your distribution's package manager. On Windows, you can get Git from https://git-scm.com.
(Optional) Zowe CLI 2.22 and the Zowe VS Code extension 0.24.1 or later: To make use of Zowe to open and edit files directly from z/OS MVS or USS, you need Zowe client software and z/OSMF configured. For more information, see Installing Zowe CLI and VS Code Extension for Zowe. Once installed, you must create a Zowe CLI user profile so that data sets can be found and accessed.
If you are looking for some COBOL, PL/I, or JCL code that you can use to explore the editor features then you can use samples that we maintain on GitHub. Assuming that you have Git installed, create a work directory somewhere on your machine and clone the sample repository:
git clone https://github.com/IBM/zopeneditor-sample.git
Then once you finished installing the IBM Z Open Editor extension open the directory
zopeneditor-sample using the
File > Open... menu.
When a Java runtime is installed, you can get the extension in any of the following ways:
File > Preferences > Extensions, and search for
IBM Z Open Editor.
Then, click the
Install button and wait for the installation to complete.
For more detailed information about installation and prerequisites please visit our docs site.
IBM Z Open Editor is available as an extension for VS Code, which is becoming the most popular development environment according to recent surveys. With so many current and next generation developers having experience with VS Code, IBM® Enterprise language support in VS Code makes enterprise programming more attractive and productive by allowing developers to use this popular editor, with the option to integrate numerous other extensions from the VS Code Marketplace.
IBM Z Open Editor is designed to integrate seamlessly with the VS Code Extension for Zowe. The VS Code Extension for Zowe allows you to connect remotely to the IBM z/OS mainframe system, where you can manage your data sets, files, and jobs. IBM Z Open Editor allows you to efficiently and effectively edit your COBOL and PL/I applications.
IBM Z Open Editor has been tested to work in Cloud-based environments as well. Add it to any Eclipse Theia installation as a plug-in and it will automatically integrate its capabilities into that Browser-based editor. Alternatively, you can configure it as an editor plug-in in Eclipse Che to have a full COBOL and PL/I editing experience inside Che.
If you have z/OSMF configured, you can use Zowe CLI and the Zowe VS Code Extension to load and edit your files directly from z/OS or download them into your local workspace, add them to Git to control your changes, and then upload the changed files into the same or new data sets to compile and run your application. You can do all of these operations from IBM Z Open Editor directly with right-clicks and dialog interactions, and command-line operations using the VS Code Terminal view that integrates right below your editor, giving you one central view to everything.
After configuration, IBM Z Open Editor can also take advantage of the Zowe CLI protocol for resolving dependencies over the network. For example, you can edit your COBOL programs locally, but resolve copybook dependencies directly out of MVS using the same Zowe connections.
To preview the contents of a copybook, move your mouse cursor over the copybook name in a COPY statement. You can also open the copybook in a separate editor by pressing Ctrl+Click (Windows) or Cmd+Click (Mac). Resolving PL/I include files works similarly.
Use VS Code's custom Keyboard Shortcut and Keymaps feature to define your own shortcuts and custom ways of navigating your programs in the editor the way you want.
Use the built-in VS Code Git capabilities to quickly find and access recently edited code. Use colored bars highlighting recently changed lines in an open editor window. Clicking on the SCM (Git) view will reveal and provide access to files that have been recently modified. If you have the GitLens extension installed, then you can also view in-editor annotations to see the most recent commit modifying each line of code.
Boost your productivity with a modern and language-sensitive editor.
Using the Language Server Protocol (LSP), IBM Z Open Editor supports COBOL and PL/I outline view, syntax highlighting, code completion, code templates, find all references, peek definition, search and rename refactoring across multiple program files, and much more.
You do not need to compile your COBOL or PL/I code anymore to find syntax errors. The editor will show them to you inside the editor as well as a dedicated Problems View just while you type.
Explore and navigate your COBOL and PL/I code efficiently with a complete sortable and interactive table of contents for your code. Use the Outline View to quickly jump to any part of your code by clicking its section header, or search for identifiers within the outline. Icons next to each Outline View item make it easy to identify procedures, loops, and more.
Experience a full integration of standard VS Code language feature such as CodeLens. These are mini-views that overlay the editor showing you content from another location. For example, right-click a variable or paragraph and select Peek References from the context menu, which opens a code lens showing all the places that reference the item. Then quickly review the code for each occurrence or navigate the editor to that location.
Utilize various refactoring operations such as Rename Symbol, which updates selected variable or paragraph name in the entire program as well as copybook or includes if it is attached to that symbol. Or, use Search-and-Replace operations with regular expressions to find and update and content over multiple files with a few mouse-clicks.
Boost your productivity not only with code completion, but a curated list of larger COBOL and PL/I code snippets that ship with this extension. You can also create and manage your own code snippets that then integrate into the editing experience appearing just next to the pre-packaged snippets.
VS Code integrates a full terminal directly into the editor, which allows you to execute commands and scripts against your files inside the editor experience. Use it to ssh to USS and combined with a Zowe CLI installation directly interact with z/OS from that terminal starting jobs, uploading, downloading files etc.