VS Code for Mainframe FAQs

How Visual Studio Code provides a high-productivity developer experience

Git for Mainframe FAQ


Code4z Free and open extension pack that transforms VS Code (and compatible tools) into a mainframe developer cockpit. Available on the VS Code marketplace with support included in the Broadcom DevOps Suite.  Visit code4z.broadcom.com
Debug Adapter Protocol (DAP) Enables the implementation of a generic debugger that can communicate with different debuggers via adapters. Debug adapters can be re-used across multiple IDEs. Code4z’s Debugger for Mainframe extension uses DAP..  
Debugger for Mainframe Code4z extension that provides a modern debugging experience for CICS and batch applications written in COBOL and HLASM.  Uses DAP combined with back-end services from the Broadcom DevOps Suite.
Dialects A relatively small variation or extension of a language that does not change its intrinsic nature. Due to its extensibility, VS Code easily supports dialects, including company-specific ones.
Explorer for Endevor Code4z extension that enables VS Code users to interact seamlessly with Endevor inventory locations and elements
GitHub Codespaces, Gitpod, Red Hat OpenShift Dev Spaces, etc. VS Code-compatible, browser-based IDEs hosted in a cloud configuration; provide instant dev environments and greater security while eliminating workstation maintenance; contact Broadcom for up-to-date list.
Intellisense General term for various code editing features including code completion, parameter info, quick info, and member lists. Features are sometimes called by other names such as ‘code completion’, ‘content assist’, and ‘code hinting’.
ISPF An IBM 3270 terminal interface with panels for a range of functions including source code editing.
Language Server Protocol (LSP) Protocol used between an editor or IDE and a language server that provides language features like auto complete, go to definition, find all references, etc. Code4z extensions using LSP include  COBOL Language Support and HLASM.
One of several VS Code UI capabilities that facilitates monolith navigation and understanding; provides a zoomed-out view of the code; others include Breadcrumbs, Go to Definition and Peek.
Visual Studio Microsoft’s rich client IDE and precursor to VS Code; many of its innovations were carried forward into VS Code.
Visual Studio Code
Aka VS Code; Microsoft’s free code editing tool built on open source.  Extraordinary popular with ‘any language, any platform’ extensibility; lightweight client.
VS Code Marketplace Catalog of published VS Code extensions including the Code4z pack and a wide range mainframe extensions; managed by Microsoft
Zowe Explorer Code4z extension used to access z/OS Datasets & Unix file systems; submit JCL, store credentials securely, view and download job output, issue TSO & MVS commands; other extensions built on Zowe Explorer include Data Editor for Mainframe and Zowe Explorer for CICS.


VS Code Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a cost?

Why is VS Code so popular?

Why is VS Code a good fit for mainframe needs?

How does Code4z compare with other options?

Is Zowe required to use VS Code for mainframe development?

Can I use VS Code with Endevor source code?

Can I use VS Code with Git source code?

Can I use VS Code with source code in data sets?

Can I script using VS Code?

How do I get support?

Is VS Code / Code4z for application developers only?

Is it ok to have source code on my workstation?

Is Code4z open source?

What about other editors like Eclipse and IntelliJ?

What additional resources are available?

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