Before any test approach is designed, we basically forsee and analyze what could be the possible challenges which is relavant to that specific application/interface or infrastructure.
As we are talking about Mainframes, we can basically forsee some of the very common factors/challenges like
- Buiding a Test environment is a difficult task to start with.
- The mainframe application streams use complex processing methods/models, due to the extreme volume of interface combinations.
- As mainframes are usually internal and intranet based, testing the business operations externally in a user’s prespective is very hard.
- There is high vulnerability that the approach taken to test other applications may not be structured enough to suite a mainframe based application testing.
- The test tools which are required for automating mainframe application is an very unique ask and very few tools out there have this capability.
The Test approach should primarily address the need of
- Extensive use of Test Harness and Test Stubs
- Critical focus has been put on Unit testing, for the developers to execute. Unit Test results should be shared with test teams
- Test approach should make sure that all related interfaces are tested.
Use of structured test automation tools should be considered, Example : QA Hiperstation (which intercepts 3270 Datastreams), Compuware FileAid (for IMS/DB2), QTP (with Terminal Emulator Add-in) for automating manual process.
- Testing should emphasize on user operations and business objectives.