Activating advanced capabilities

Z Open Editor's advanced capabilities require activation when the 60-day trial period ends. Currently, you can activate a permanent license key in two ways:

  1. Automatic activation using an RSE API server.
  2. Manual activation by importing an activation kit.

The IBM Z Open Editor Welcome page is used to report on the status of the trial license, the status of the automatic activation, as well as provides the means to import a manual activation kit. If the Welcome page does not open automatically at startup or you have already closed it, you can open it by entering cmd/ctrl-shift-p and typing or selecting IBM Z Open Editor: Welcome.

Automatic activation

Automatic activation uses the same technology that development clients for IBM Developer for z/OS Enterprise Edition use. It is ideal for organizations who run IBM Remote Systems Explorer (RSE) and allow their developers to choose between an Eclipse and VS Code development client. A system programmer provisioning RSE will install activation tokens that the editors retrieve automatically when they connect to RSE.

To enable activation tokens via RSE API on z/OS, the z/OS administrator needs to complete the following steps:

  1. Install and complete basic configuration of z/OS host component IBM z/OS Explorer Extensions, FMID HHOPxxx. For more information, see Installing and configuring the host componentsopen in new window.
  2. Install and complete basic configuration of z/OS host component IBM Remote System Explorer API (RSE API), FMID HAMAxxx.
  3. Make sure z/OS Explorer knows where to find z/OS Explorer Extensions. Depending on where z/OS Explorer Extensions was installed, this detection is automatic, or done via an environment variable in the configuration file rse.envopen in new window.
  4. Allow z/OS Explorer Extensions to register as ADFz or IDzEE. For more information, see Product enablement in IFAPRDxxopen in new window.
  5. Allow z/OS Explorer Extensions to write SM122 recordsopen in new window to track that it provided an activation token.

You can find more detailed instruction in the documentation for system programmers, such as in IBM Shopzopen in new window.

The Z Open Editor end users can then use the VS Code user setting zopeneditor.advancedCapabilities.enableRseApiActivationCheck to enable the automatic RSE check. The Z Open Editor Welcome page also provides a convenient check box to enable these settings.

Once enabled, the next time you connect to the RSE API server via Zowe Explorer or Z Open Editor, an automatic check for activation will be executed. If successful, the Z Open Editor Welcome page will report the activation status in a table.


  • Host component IBM Explorer for z/OS, FMID HALGxxx, is a prerequisite for both IBM z/OS Explorer Extensions and IBM Remote System Explorer API (RSE API).
  • You can use the Host Configuration Assistant at in new window to guide you through the required host configuration.
  • The provided activation tokens operate for a limited time. However, activation tokens are automatically renewed each time the client connects to the z/OS host.

Manual activation

If your organization uses z/OSMF instead of RSE API, you can activate your Z Open Editor client with an activation kit. You receive the activation kit through Shopz and your administrative system programmer or directly from your IBM sales representative. The kit comprises a single file that needs to be imported by every Z Open Editor user to activate the advanced capabilities.

  1. Open the Z Open Editor Welcome page and scroll to the Advanced capabilities section.
  2. Click the Update activation key link below the table that presents the status of your trial.
  3. Click Browse in the dialog, and select the activation kit file that you received.
  4. Click Import in the dialog to finish activation.
  5. The table will now show information about the activation kit that you imported.
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Contributors: Hestia Zhang, PETER HAUMER, Benjamin Santos, Peter Haumer