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Version: v1.8.x

Using the Zowe Desktop

You can use the Zowe™ Application Framework to create application plug-ins for the Zowe Desktop. For more information, see Extending the Zowe Application Framework.

Navigating the Zowe Desktop#

From the Zowe Desktop, you can access Zowe applications.

Accessing the Zowe Desktop#

From a supported browser, open the Zowe Desktop at https://myhost:httpsPort/ZLUX/plugins/org.zowe.zlux.bootstrap/web/index.html


  • myHost is the host on which you are running the Zowe Application Server.
  • httpsPort is the value that was assigned to node.https.port in zluxserver.json. For example, if you run the Zowe Application Server on host myhost and the value that is assigned to node.https.port in zluxserver.json is 12345, you would specify https://myhost:12345/ZLUX/plugins/org.zowe.zlux.bootstrap/web/index.html.

Logging in and out of the Zowe Desktop#

  1. To log in, enter your mainframe credentials in the Username and Password fields.
  2. Press Enter. Upon authentication of your user name and password, the desktop opens.

To log out, click the the avatar in the lower right corner and click Sign Out.

Pinning applications to the task bar#

  1. Click the Start menu.
  2. Locate the application you want to pin.
  3. Right-click the on the application icon and select Pin to taskbar.

Changing the desktop language#

Use the Languages setting in the personalization panel to change the desktop language. After you change the language and restart Zowe, desktop menus and text display in the specified language. Applications that support the specified desktop language also display in that language.

  1. Click the personalization icon in the lower right corner.
  2. Click Languages.
  3. In the Languages dialog, click a language, and then click Apply.
  4. When you are prompted, restart Zowe.

Zowe Desktop application plug-ins#

Application plug-ins are applications that you can use to access the mainframe and to perform various tasks. Developers can create application plug-ins using a sample application as a guide. The following application plug-ins are installed by default:

Hello World Sample#

The Hello World sample application plug-in for developers demonstrates how to create a dataservice and how to create an application plug-in using Angular.

IFrame Sample#

The IFrame sample application plug-in for developers demonstrates how to embed pre-made webpages within the desktop as an application and how an application can request an action of another application (see the source code for more information).

z/OS Subsystems#

The z/OS Subsystems plug-in helps you find information about the important services on the mainframe, such as CICS, Db2, and IMS.


This TN3270 plug-in provides a 3270 connection to the mainframe on which the Zowe Application Server runs.

VT Terminal#

The VT Terminal plug-in provides a connection to UNIX System Services and UNIX.

API Catalog#

The API Catalog plug-in lets you view API services that have been discovered by the API Mediation Layer. For more information about the API Mediation Layer, Discovery Service, and API Catalog, see API Mediation Layer Overview.


With the Zowe Editor you can create and edit files on the system that Zowe serves.


From the Workflows application plug-in you can create, manage, and use z/OSMF workflows to manage your system.

JES Explorer#

Use this application to query JES jobs with filters, and view the related steps, files, and status. You can also purge jobs from this view.

MVS Explorer#

Use this application to browse the MVS™ file system by using a high-level qualifier filter. With the MVS Explorer, you can complete the following tasks:

  • List the members of partitioned data sets.
  • Create new data sets using attributes or the attributes of an existing data set ("Allocate Like").
  • Submit data sets that contain JCL to Job Entry Subsystem (JES).
  • Edit sequential data sets and partitioned data set members with basic syntax highlighting and content assist for JCL and REXX.
  • Conduct basic validation of record length when editing JCL.
  • Delete data sets and members.
  • Open data sets in full screen editor mode, which gives you a fully qualified link to that file. The link is then reusable for example in help tickets.

USS Explorer#

Use this application to browse the USS files by using a path. With the USS Explorer, you can complete the following tasks:

  • List files and folders.
  • Create new files and folders.
  • Edit files with basic syntax highlighting and content assist for JCL and REXX.
  • Delete files and folders.

Using the Workflows application plug-in#

The Workflows application plug-in is available from the Zowe Deskstop Start menu. To launch Workflows, click the Start menu in the lower-left corner of the desktop and click the Workflows application plug-in icon. The Users/Tasks Workflows window opens.

Logging on to the system#

If you are prompted to log on to the system, complete these steps:

  1. Enter your user ID and password.
  2. Click Sign in.

Updating the data display#

To refresh the data on any tab, click

the circular arrow
in the upper right corner of the window.


From the Configuration tab, you can view, add, and remove servers.

Adding a z/OSMF server#

Complete these steps to add a new z/OSMF server:

  1. Click the Configuration tab.
  2. Click the plus sign (+) on the left side of the window.
  3. In the Host field, type the name of the host.
  4. In the Port field, type the port number.
  5. Click OK.

Testing a server connection#

To test the connection, click Test. When the server is online the Online indicator next to the server Host and Port is green.

Setting a server as the default z/OSMF server#

Complete these steps to set a default z/OSMF server:

  1. Click Set as default.
  2. Enter your user ID and password.
  3. Click Sign in.

Note: You must specify a default server.

Removing a server#

To remove a server, click x next to the server that you want to remove.

Reload a server configuration#

To reload a server configuration, click Reload.

Save a server configuration#

To save a server configuration, click Save.


To display all workflows on the system, click the Workflows tab.

You can sort the workflows based on the following information:


The name of the workflow.


The description of the workflow.


The version number.


The user ID of the workflow owner.


The system identifier.


The status of the workflow (In progress or Completed).


Indicates how much of the workflow has been completed based on the number of tasks completed.

Searching workflows#

To locate a specific workflow, type a search string in the search box in the upper right corner of the window.

Defining a workflow#

To define a workflow, complete these steps:

  1. From the Workflows tab, click Actions > New workflow. (By default, the Advanced Mode check box is selected.)
  2. In the Name field, specify a descriptive name for the workflow.
  3. In the Workflow definition file field, specify the primary XML file for this workflow.
  4. In the System field, specify a system.
  5. In the Owner field, specify the user ID of the person that is responsible for assigning the tasks in the workflow. (To set the owner to the current user, select the Set owner to current user check box.)
  6. Click OK.

Viewing tasks#

To view the tasks associated with a workflow, click the My Tasks tab. Workflows that have assigned tasks are shown on the left side of the window. The task work area is on the right side of the window.

You can choose to view workflows that have Pending or Completed tasks or you can choose to view all workflows (Pending and Completed) and their tasks, regardless of the task status.

For each workflow, you can click the arrow to expand or collapse the task list. Assigned tasks display below each workflow. Hovering over each task displays more information about the task, such as the status and the owner.

Each task has a indicator of PERFORM (a step to be performed) or CHECK (Check the step that was performed). Clicking CHECK or PERFORM opens a work area on the right side of the window. When a task is complete, a green clipboard icon with a checkmark is displayed.

Note: If you are viewing tasks on a Pending or Completed tab, only those workflows that have tasks with a corresponding status, are displayed.

Task work area#

When you click CHECK or PERFORM, a work area on the right side of the window opens to display the steps to complete the task. Expand or collapse the work area by clicking

alt text

Tip: Hovering over the task description in the title bar of the work area window on the right side displays more information about the corresponding workflow and the step description.

Performing a task#

  1. To perform a task that has steps that are assigned to you, click PERFORM.
  2. Use the work area to perform the steps associated with the selected task. Depending on the task, you might use an embedded tool (such as another application) or you might complete a series of steps to complete the task.
  3. If there are multiple steps to perform, click Next to advance to the next step for the task.
  4. Click Finish.

Note: When a task is complete, a green clipboard icon with a checkmark is displayed next to the task.

Checking a task#

  1. To check a task, click CHECK.
  2. In the task work area, view the JESMSGLG, JESJCL, JESYSMSG, or SYSTSPRT output that is associated with the selected task.

Managing tasks#

To manage a task in the PERFORM status, click

alt text
to the right of the task status. Choose from the following options:


Display the title and description of the task.


Perform the first step.


Skip this step.

Override Complete

Override the completion of the step. The selected step will be bypassed and will not be performed for this workflow. You must ensure that the step is performed manually.


Opens the Manage Assignees window where authorized users can add or remove the user ID of the person that is assigned to the step.


Remove ownership of the step.

Viewing warnings#

To view any warning messages that were encountered, click the Warnings tab. A message is listed in this tab each time it is encountered.

To locate a specific message, type a search string in the search box in the upper right corner of the window.

You can sort the warning messages based on the following information.

Message Code

The message code that is associated with the warning.


A description of the warning.


The date of the warning.

Corresponding Workflow

The workflow that is associated with the warning.