Mainframe testing involves meticulously examining large-scale computer applications to ensure they function flawlessly and remain secure. This examination is essential because even a tiny glitch can have a ripple effect on the entire system. Here’s where the mainframe testing tools for automation come into play, revolutionizing the testing process and enhancing software quality.
Mainframe applications are complex beasts, often comprising intricate codes and interactions. Testing them manually can be a time-consuming and error-prone endeavor. These tools automate repetitive testing tasks, enabling developers to focus on critical aspects that require human insight. By doing so, these tools not only speed up the testing process but also improve accuracy, leaving little room for human-induced errors.
In the competitive landscape of modern software development, speed is of the essence. Mainframe testing tools contribute significantly to faster development cycles. With automated testing, developers can swiftly assess the functionality of their applications across various scenarios. This expedites the bug detection and resolution process, enabling quicker iterations and updates. As a result, businesses can roll out new features and updates at an accelerated pace, catering to the ever-evolving user demands.
In the following sections, we delve into the landscape of mainframe testing tools, exploring their features, benefits, and their indispensable role in modern software development scenarios.
Table Of Contents
- 1 What is Mainframe Testing?
- 2 What are Mainframe Testing Tools?
- 3 Top 10 Mainframe Automation Testing Tools
- 3.1 Testsigma
- 3.2 Subject7
- 3.3 IBM Rational Functional Tester for Z Systems
- 3.4 Compuware Topaz for Total Test
- 3.5 HeadSpin
- 3.6 TestArchitect
- 3.7 CA Mainframe Application Tuner
- 3.8 BMC AMI DevX
- 3.9 Micro Focus Silk Test
- 3.10 ASG Cloudtest
- 4 Which tool is best for Mainframe Test Automation?
- 5 Conclusion
What is Mainframe Testing?
Mainframe testing is a multifaceted process that encompasses various testing methodologies to ensure the reliability, performance, and security of mainframe applications. By systematically evaluating each aspect of the application, mainframe testing plays a crucial role in delivering software that meets high standards of quality, functionality, and user satisfaction.
Check out this guide on everything you need to know about Mainframe Testing.
What are Mainframe Testing Tools?
Mainframe testing tools are specialized software applications designed to facilitate the testing and quality assurance of mainframe applications. Given the complexity and the critical nature of the functions of mainframes, ensuring the reliability and performance of mainframe applications is of utmost importance.
This is where mainframe testing tools step in, offering a range of functionalities aimed at thorough testing and validation. Let’s delve into what exactly these tools are and how they work:
- Comprehensive Testing Automation: Mainframe testing tools automate the testing process, replacing the need for manual, time-consuming testing efforts. They achieve this by generating automated test scripts that simulate user interactions and actions within the mainframe application.
- Efficient Bug Detection and Resolution: Mainframe testing tools excel at identifying bugs and glitches by running automated test scripts and pinpointing problematic areas. This accelerates the bug detection process, allowing developers to address issues promptly and efficiently.
- Performance Evaluation under Realistic Conditions: Mainframe applications often serve a large number of users simultaneously. Mainframe testing tools conduct stress tests, simulating high-user traffic scenarios to evaluate the application’s performance and identify potential bottlenecks.
- Data Validation and Accuracy: Data accuracy is crucial, especially in sectors dealing with financial transactions or sensitive information. These testing tools validate data accuracy by comparing the application’s output with expected results.
- Regression Testing for Stability: As software evolves with updates and enhancements, it’s vital to ensure that new changes do not break previously working functionalities. Mainframe testing tools perform regression testing, verifying that existing features remain stable and functional even after new updates are introduced.
- Security Assessment and Vulnerability Detection: Security breaches can have severe consequences, ranging from data leaks to financial losses. These tools include security testing features that assess the application’s vulnerabilities. By identifying security gaps, developers can strengthen the application’s defenses against potential threats.
- Data-driven Reporting and Analysis: These automated testing tools generate comprehensive reports and analytics, offering insights into test results, coverage, and overall application health. This data-driven approach empowers developers to make informed decisions regarding further optimization and improvements.
Top 10 Mainframe Automation Testing Tools
Mainframe automation testing tools are a game-changer in the software development arena, offering advanced capabilities to streamline the testing process and ensure the high quality of mainframe applications. These tools leverage automation to execute repetitive testing tasks, allowing developers to focus on critical aspects that require human expertise. Let’s discuss the top 10 mainframe automation testing tools along with their exclusive features.
Testsigma is a versatile automation testing platform that empowers developers to achieve comprehensive automated testing of the mainframes as well as mobile, web, and desktop applications.
With its intuitive interface and powerful features, Testsigma significantly reduces the testing cycle while maintaining the integrity of the application. Let’s delve into the key features that make Testsigma an indispensable asset for automated mainframe testing:
- Scriptless Test Automation: Testsigma adopts a scriptless approach to test automation. This means that testers do not need to write complex scripts. Instead, they can create tests using a user-friendly interface and simple natural English, saving time and minimizing coding errors.
- Cross-Browser and Cross-Platform Testing: Mainframe applications often interact with various browsers and platforms. Testsigma ensures that your application functions flawlessly across different environments, enhancing user experiences. It has 2000+ real devices with multiple browser and OS combinations hosted on the Cloud.
- Data-Driven Testing: Data validation is one of the most crucial for mainframe applications. You need to ensure that the different components of your application generate the desired output with different flavors of datasets. Testsigma allows testers to perform data-driven testing by using various datasets, ensuring data accuracy and consistency.
- Parallel Test Execution: Mainframe applications are complex and require huge computational powers to carry out extensive tests. Testsigma enables parallel execution of test cases across different devices and browsers, speeding up the testing process and optimizing resource utilization.
- Intelligent Self-Healing: In case of minor changes in the application’s UI, Testsigma’s intelligent self-healing feature automatically updates the tests, reducing maintenance efforts and improving the stability of the test suite.
- Integrations and Collaboration: Testsigma integrates seamlessly with popular tools like Jira and Slack, enabling efficient collaboration among team members. This integration streamlines bug tracking, communication, and reporting.
- Real-Time Analytics and Reporting: Testsigma provides real-time insights into test execution, coverage, and results. Comprehensive reports and analytics empower developers to make informed decisions for further improvements.
- Support for Web and Mobile Applications: In addition to mainframe applications, Testsigma supports the testing of web and mobile applications, providing a unified platform for testing diverse software projects.
By utilizing Testsigma’s suite of features, automated mainframe testing becomes a more efficient and streamlined process.
Subject7 is a no-code test automation platform that helps businesses accelerate test authoring and maintenance, and scale test execution in the cloud. It is designed for use by anyone, regardless of their technical skills, and supports web, mobile, and desktop applications.
Subject7 is a specialized automated testing tool that shines in the realm of mainframe testing, offering a comprehensive suite of features designed to streamline the testing process and ensure the quality and reliability of mainframe applications.
Key Features of Subject7 for Mainframe Testing:
- Terminal Emulation Testing: Subject7 supports terminal emulation, allowing testers to interact with mainframe applications through terminal interfaces. This capability is crucial for testing applications that rely on traditional mainframe interfaces.
- Scriptless Test Automation: Testers can create automated test cases without writing complex scripts. Subject7’s scriptless approach accelerates test case creation and reduces the risk of coding errors.
- Data-Driven Testing: Mainframe applications often deal with vast amounts of data. Subject7 enables data-driven testing, allowing testers to execute test cases with multiple data sets to ensure comprehensive coverage.
- Customizable Testing Scenarios: The tool provides flexibility in designing test scenarios specific to mainframe applications. Testers can tailor tests to replicate various user interactions, ensuring accurate testing.
- Cross-Platform Compatibility Testing: Subject7 supports cross-platform testing, ensuring that mainframe applications function seamlessly across different browsers and platforms.
- Parallel Test Execution: Testers can execute multiple test cases simultaneously, significantly reducing test execution time and accelerating the overall testing process.
- Realistic Simulation: The tool offers a realistic simulation of mainframe application behaviors, allowing testers to replicate various usage scenarios and validate application performance.
IBM Rational Functional Tester for Z Systems
IBM Rational Functional Tester for Z Systems is a specialized tool designed to cater to the distinctive requirements of automated testing of mainframe applications on IBM Z Systems. This tool offers a tailored approach, empowering testers to thoroughly assess the functionality and robustness of mainframe applications, thereby contributing to the delivery of high-quality software solutions. Let’s explore the specific features:
Key Features of IBM Rational Functional Tester for Z Systems:
- Terminal-Based Testing: This tool supports terminal-based mainframe applications, allowing testers to interact with mainframe interfaces through terminal emulators. This feature is vital as many mainframe applications rely on traditional terminal interfaces for user interactions.
- Scripting Languages Support: IBM Rational Functional Tester for Z Systems supports scripting languages commonly used in mainframe environments, such as REXX and Java. This enables testers to create scripts that interact with mainframe applications, ensuring accurate and efficient testing.
- Integration with IBM Z Systems: The tool seamlessly integrates with other IBM mainframe tools and technologies. This integration streamlines the testing process and ensures compatibility with the broader mainframe ecosystem.
- Data-Driven Testing: For mainframe applications dealing with extensive datasets, data-driven testing is essential. This tool supports data-driven testing, allowing testers to execute test cases with multiple sets of data, ensuring comprehensive coverage.
- Mainframe UI Testing: The tool facilitates the automation of user interactions with mainframe interfaces. Testers can create scripts to navigate through mainframe screens, enter data, and validate outputs, replicating real-world user interactions.
- Cross-Platform Testing: While focused on mainframe applications, this tool also offers cross-platform testing capabilities. Testers can validate the interoperability of mainframe applications with other systems and platforms.
IBM Rational Functional Tester for Z Systems caters to the intricacies of mainframe testing by providing features tailored to terminal-based applications, supporting mainframe scripting languages, and enabling seamless integration with IBM Z Systems.
Compuware Topaz for Total Test
Compuware Topaz for Total Test is a dedicated automated mainframe testing tool that streamlines the testing process and elevates the quality of mainframe applications. Specifically designed for mainframe environments, this tool addresses the challenges unique to these systems, ensuring reliable and efficient testing.
Features of Compuware Topaz for Total Test for Automated Mainframe Testing:
- Automated Unit Testing: Conduct automated unit tests to verify individual components and ensure they function as intended within the mainframe application.
- Integrated Test Data Management: Seamlessly manage and generate test data, enabling comprehensive testing scenarios that replicate real-world usage conditions.
- Efficient Test Scripting: Create and manage test scripts effortlessly, keeping them organized and easy to maintain as the mainframe application evolves.
- Comprehensive Code Coverage Analysis: Gain insights into code coverage, identifying areas that require further testing and ensuring comprehensive coverage of mainframe code.
- Performance Testing Support: Evaluate the performance of your mainframe application under various load conditions, ensuring optimal functionality even during peak usage.
- Regression Testing Capabilities: Perform regression testing to validate that new updates or changes do not adversely affect existing functionalities in the mainframe application.
Compuware Topaz for Total Test streamlines the mainframe testing process through features that collectively enhance the precision and reliability of mainframe applications, contributing to their overall quality and successful deployment.
HeadSpin is a cloud-based test automation platform that can be used to test mainframe applications. While HeadSpin is not commonly mentioned as a dedicated mainframe testing tool, its features can potentially be adapted to address various aspects of mainframe application testing. It offers a number of features that make it well-suited for mainframe testing, including:
- Support for a wide range of mainframe testing types: HeadSpin supports a wide range of mainframe testing types, including functional, regression, performance, and security testing.
- Scalability and Security: HeadSpin can scale to support large numbers of tests and users. HeadSpin is compliant with industry standards such as SOC2 Type II and ISO 27001.
- Network Performance Testing: HeadSpin’s network performance testing capabilities help assess how mainframe applications perform under varying network conditions, ensuring optimal user experiences.
- Global Testing Infrastructure: With a global network of testing locations, HeadSpin facilitates testing mainframe applications from different geographic regions, helping to identify regional variations and challenges.
- Scriptless Automation: Testers can create automated test scenarios without the need for complex scripting, allowing for faster test creation and reducing potential coding errors.
- Real-Time Analytics: The tool offers real-time insights into test execution, performance metrics, and user experiences, empowering testers with actionable information.
- Customizable Testing Scenarios: HeadSpin allows testers to design testing scenarios tailored to mainframe applications, ensuring that tests accurately replicate user interactions.
Overall, HeadSpin is a powerful tool that can help businesses improve the quality and efficiency of their mainframe testing processes.
TestArchitect is a comprehensive and versatile automated testing tool designed to streamline the testing process across a wide range of applications, including mainframe systems. Developed by LogiGear, TestArchitect provides an integrated platform for designing, executing, and managing automated tests, catering to the complexities and unique challenges associated with mainframe testing.
Key Features of TestArchitect:
- Scriptless Test Automation: TestArchitect adopts a scriptless approach to automation. This is particularly valuable for mainframe testing, where legacy systems may lack modern interfaces or APIs. TestArchitect’s model-based automation empowers testers to create and manage automated tests using visual models and elements, reducing the need for coding expertise.
- Mainframe Emulation: One of the most critical challenges in mainframe testing is replicating the actual mainframe environment for testing purposes. TestArchitect provides functionalities to emulate mainframe interactions, allowing testers to simulate the behavior of mainframe applications, interact with screens, and validate outputs.
- Data-Driven Testing: Mainframe applications often deal with massive volumes of data. TestArchitect supports data-driven testing, enabling testers to execute a single test case with multiple data sets. This is particularly useful for testing different scenarios and ensuring the application’s robustness.
- Regression Testing: Mainframe systems frequently undergo updates and modifications. TestArchitect’s regression testing capabilities help ensure that new changes do not negatively impact existing functionalities. Automated regression testing accelerates the testing process while maintaining the quality of the mainframe application.
- Test Reusability: With the modular architecture of TestArchitect, testers can create reusable components and test modules. This is particularly advantageous for mainframe testing, where similar operations or interactions might be required across multiple tests.
- Reporting and Analytics: TestArchitect provides detailed test execution reports and analytics, offering insights into test coverage, pass rates, and issues encountered during testing. This data helps teams make informed decisions about the readiness of the mainframe application for deployment.
- Integration with DevOps: It can be seamlessly integrated into the DevOps pipeline, ensuring that automated tests are executed at various stages of development. This integration fosters continuous testing, early bug detection, and faster feedback loops.
TestArchitect stands out as a reliable and efficient automated testing tool for mainframe applications. By leveraging TestArchitect, organizations can reduce manual testing efforts, accelerate time-to-market, and enhance the overall quality of their mainframe applications.
CA Mainframe Application Tuner
CA Mainframe Application Tuner developed by CA Technologies (now part of Broadcom Inc.), emerges as a powerful solution for automated mainframe testing and performance optimization. It is a specialized tool designed to streamline the testing and optimization of mainframe applications. It focuses on identifying performance bottlenecks, improving response times, and enhancing the overall efficiency of mainframe systems.
Key Features of CA Mainframe Application Tuner:
- Performance Analysis: The heart of the CA Mainframe Application Tuner is its ability to analyze the performance of mainframe applications. It monitors various aspects of application behavior, including CPU utilization, memory consumption, I/O operations, and response times. This deep insight helps in identifying areas of concern and potential performance bottlenecks.
- Automated Testing: The tool offers automated testing capabilities, allowing users to simulate various load conditions and workloads on the mainframe application. By emulating real-world scenarios, testers can observe how the application performs under different levels of stress and load.
- Bottleneck Identification: The CA Mainframe Application Tuner excels in pinpointing bottlenecks that might be hampering the application’s performance. It identifies resource-intensive sections of the code, inefficient database queries, or areas where excessive locking is occurring.
- Tuning Recommendations: Once the tool identifies performance bottlenecks, it provides actionable recommendations for optimization. These recommendations can range from code-level changes to database query optimizations, enabling developers and performance engineers to fine-tune the application for better performance.
- Historical Analysis: The tool maintains historical performance data, allowing users to compare performance metrics across different timeframes. This feature is crucial for tracking improvements or regressions in performance over time.
- Integration with Mainframe Tools: The CA Mainframe Application Tuner seamlessly integrates with other mainframe tools and technologies. It can work in harmony with tools for debugging, profiling, and monitoring, creating a comprehensive ecosystem for optimizing mainframe applications.
- Reduced Downtime: By proactively identifying and addressing performance bottlenecks, the tool helps reduce the risk of unplanned downtime or slowdowns in mainframe applications, which can have significant financial and operational implications.
The CA Mainframe Application Tuner’s ability to identify performance bottlenecks, provide tuning recommendations, and facilitate automated testing in a mainframe environment makes it an invaluable asset for organizations reliant on mainframe systems.
BMC AMI DevX
BMC AMI DevX is a cutting-edge automated mainframe testing tool developed by BMC Software, designed to revolutionize the way mainframe applications are tested, ensuring their reliability and performance. BMC AMI DevX is at the forefront of modernizing automated mainframe testing.
By blending agile methodologies, automated test generation, test data management, and seamless integration with modern development practices, it empowers development and testing teams to deliver high-quality mainframe applications more efficiently.
Key Features of BMC AMI DevX:
- Agile Development and Testing: BMC AMI DevX facilitates agile development practices on the mainframe platform. It supports iterative development, continuous integration, and automated testing, ensuring that mainframe applications keep pace with modern software development methodologies.
- Automated Test Creation: One of the standout features of BMC AMI DevX is its capability to generate automated tests directly from existing mainframe applications. This minimizes the effort required to create test cases and accelerates the testing process.
- Test Data Management: The tool provides functionalities for managing and provisioning test data. This ensures that mainframe applications are tested with realistic data sets, enhancing the accuracy and coverage of tests.
- End-to-End Testing: BMC AMI DevX supports end-to-end testing, which involves testing the entire workflow of a mainframe application, from data input to output. This comprehensive testing approach helps identify integration issues and ensures the overall reliability of the application.
- Code Coverage Analysis: The tool offers code coverage analysis, which helps developers and testers ascertain the extent to which their code has been tested. This feature aids in ensuring comprehensive test coverage and identifying areas that might need additional testing.
- Integration with CI/CD: BMC AMI DevX seamlessly integrates with Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines, allowing automated tests to be part of the development workflow. This integration promotes faster feedback loops and faster delivery of mainframe applications.
- Virtualized Mainframe Environment: BMC AMI DevX provides the ability to virtualize mainframe environments, enabling developers and testers to work in isolated sandboxes. This eliminates contention for mainframe resources and enhances testing efficiency.
Micro Focus Silk Test
Micro Focus Silk Test for Mainframe stands as a valuable tool in the arsenal of automated mainframe testing. Its scriptless automation, support for terminal emulation, data-driven testing, and integration with modern development practices make it well-suited for tackling the challenges of mainframe application testing.
Key Features of Micro Focus Silk Test:
- Silk Test for Mainframe embraces a scriptless automation approach. This is especially advantageous in mainframe testing, where the systems might have unique interfaces that can be challenging to automate using traditional scripting methods.
- Mainframe applications often rely on terminal emulation for user interaction. Silk Test for Mainframe supports terminal emulators, enabling testers to interact with mainframe applications just as users would, while also capturing and automating these interactions.
- With mainframe applications handling substantial volumes of data, data-driven testing becomes crucial. Silk Test allows testers to execute the same test scenario with multiple data sets, ensuring the application’s robustness under various conditions.
- Mainframe applications undergo updates and changes regularly. Silk Test’s regression testing capabilities help in swiftly validating that new changes do not negatively impact existing functionalities.
- Silk Test is designed to work across different platforms and environments, providing versatility and consistency in testing regardless of the underlying infrastructure.
- The tool offers a user-friendly IDE for designing, editing, and managing test cases. This intuitive environment streamlines the test creation process and reduces the learning curve for new users.
- Silk Test provides detailed reporting and analytics capabilities. Test execution results, coverage metrics, and any issues encountered during testing are presented in a clear and informative manner, assisting teams in making informed decisions.
- Silk Test can be integrated into Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines, ensuring that automated tests are seamlessly incorporated into the development workflow.
ASG Cloudtest is a trailblazing automated testing solution engineered by ASG Technologies. This tool redefines mainframe testing, seamlessly fusing the heritage of legacy systems with the demands of contemporary technology. ASG Cloudtest serves as a bridge, elegantly connecting the legacy mainframe environment with the fast-paced world of modern software development. While its focus is on mainframe testing, it does so with a forward-thinking approach, offering compatibility and integration that transcend the confines of traditional systems.
Features of ASG Cloudtest:
- Seamless Mainframe Integration: Tailored to address mainframe testing intricacies while aligning with modern testing methodologies.
- Scriptless Test Creation: Intuitive UI empowers testers to design and manage test cases without extensive coding.
- Terminal Emulation: Allows precise interaction testing, replicating user experiences within the mainframe environment.
- Data-Driven Testing: Evaluate application resilience using a variety of data sets, ensuring stability and accuracy.
- Cross-Platform Compatibility: Not confined to the mainframe; harmoniously integrates with modern technology landscapes.
- Agile DevOps Collaboration: Seamlessly integrates into DevOps workflows, fostering continuous testing and feedback loops.
- Comprehensive Reporting: Generates detailed reports and analytics for informed decision-making and optimization.
- User Interface (UI) Brilliance: Effortlessly navigates mainframe interfaces for thorough UI testing and validation.
Which tool is best for Mainframe Test Automation?
Choosing the right tool for this task requires a thorough evaluation of various factors to ensure it aligns with your organization’s needs and the intricacies of mainframe testing. Here’s what you should consider when selecting a tool for automated mainframe test automation:
- Mainframe Compatibility: Ensure that the tool is designed specifically for mainframe testing. It should understand and accommodate the unique nature of mainframe systems, such as terminal emulation and interaction.
- Terminal Emulation: Mainframe applications often rely on terminal interfaces. The chosen tool should offer robust terminal emulation capabilities to accurately interact with mainframe screens.
- Scripting Flexibility: While a scriptless approach might be ideal, having scripting capabilities is valuable for more complex test scenarios. The tool should support scripting languages relevant to mainframe technologies.
- Data Handling: Mainframe applications deal with vast amounts of data. The tool should support data-driven testing, allowing you to test various data scenarios to ensure application stability.
- Integration with DevOps: Modern development practices emphasize DevOps. Ensure the tool can be seamlessly integrated into your DevOps pipeline for continuous testing and faster feedback loops.
- Cross-Platform Testing: Consider whether the tool can also test modern technologies beyond the mainframe, allowing for end-to-end testing across different platforms.
- Reporting and Analytics: Detailed reporting and analytics are crucial for insights into test outcomes. The tool should provide comprehensive reports to help you make informed decisions.
- Security and Compliance: Mainframe applications often handle sensitive data. Verify that the tool aligns with security and compliance requirements.
You should consider the above-discussed points carefully while selecting the perfect mainframe automation testing tool for your organization.
One such tool that has all the functionalities essential for any automated mainframe testing tool and more is Testsigma. Testsigma is an AI-powered automation testing tool that caters to all the mainframe testing stages with ultimate simplicity. Creating test cases and performing high-performance parallel testing with Testsigma is as easy as it comes.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider Testsigma as your go-to automated mainframe testing tool.
- No-code test case creation in simple natural English.
- Multi-platform support for web, mobile, API, desktop , mainframe applications.
- AI-supported features such as automatic script maintenance, bug reporting, and test optimization.
- Test execution on 2000+ devices on the cloud.
- Debugging features such as screenshots, videos, and logs during test runs.
- Customizable reports where you can choose the metrics to report on and how to format them.
- Collaborative setup by integrating with popular CI/CD tools.
- Parallel Testing reduces testing time by running multiple tests simultaneously.
- Data-driven testing allows users to test their apps with a variety of data inputs.
- Image recognition can help identify visual changes to an app.
- Testsigma offers round-the-clock support to users, ensuring that any issues or questions are addressed promptly.
Testsigma has both open-source and free versions. Start automating your mainframe tests, in minutes, with Testsigma Open Source.
In the realm of mainframe testing, the array of specialized tools has emerged as a crucial asset for ensuring the precision, reliability, and efficiency of mainframe applications. From Testsigma’s advanced automation capabilities to IBM Rational Functional Tester for Z Systems’ tailored terminal-based testing, these tools have evolved to meet the unique demands of mainframe software solutions.
While specific functionalities vary, the common goal of streamlining testing cycles, enhancing accuracy, and fostering collaboration among development teams resonates across the landscape of these tools. As technology advances, these mainframe testing tools stand as essential companions, steering software development toward quality-driven success in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.