Automation, Testing and Quality Checks in Mainframe Development
As organizations undergo digital transformations with IT at the center of their business models, many are beginning to place their software development and delivery under the same scrutiny manufacturers have long placed their production systems under to improve quality, velocity and efficiency.
Many organizations are also realizing their mainframes, as the systems of record supporting customer-facing cross-platform enterprise applications, can’t be left behind as they embark on transformation journeys. However, mainframe environments typically lack the proper tools and processes to produce the same levels of quality, velocity and efficiency as distributed environments they’re intertwined with.
While there are several areas where mainframe teams must improve, the lack of automation, testing and quality checks on the mainframe will turn out to be a serious detriment to any progress organizations strive for if it involves that platform.
Mainframe application development and maintenance are still very manual. To improve velocity, your organization must let software manage repeatable tasks with automation while your DevOps teams focus on ideating and producing innovation that exceeds customer expectations and differentiates your organization from the competition.
Mainframe applications are too complex to comprehensively test manually. Often, unit testing—a vital testing stage where developers root out bugs in the small parts of applications—is ignored or left unfinished because the process is too time-consuming and tedious.
That’s why your teams should automate test execution with repeatable unit tests initiated after successful compiles. But they should also measure the effectiveness of those tests with code coverage statistics.
Poorly written code should not even get to your compiler. Instead, you should fix bad coding practices. Nothing should get promoted to the next level (and certainly not to production) until:
- Code meets standards
- All tests have passed
- Code coverage metrics meet a pre-determined threshold
This combination of automation, testing and quality checks on the mainframe can help your organization continuously improve development quality, velocity and efficiency on the platform. We talk more about this in “Bring Testing Metrics into the Light with Code Coverage and SonarQube,” a webcast in Compuware’s monthly “Did You Know?” series.
Learn how developers and testers leverage the integrations of Compuware Xpediter Code Coverage and Compuware Topaz for Total Test with SonarSource SonarQube (all driven by Jenkins) to improve the quality, velocity and efficiency of development and delivery through improved automation, testing and quality checks on the mainframe.
Here’s what each tool helps you accomplish:
- Xpediter Code Coverage provides visual, documented proof that code has been executed.
- Topaz for Total Test automates the creation and execution of unit tests.
- SonarSource SonarQube provides a dashboard for tracking defects, complexity and technical debt.
- Jenkins accelerates the software development process through orchestration and automation.
How the Integrations Work
Developers or testers capture unit tests in Topaz for Total Test and make their code changes. A Jenkins process can then be started to:
- Tell ISPW—our Agile source code management and release automation solution—to do a promotion of the changed code
- Turn on Xpediter Code Coverage
- Run the Topaz for Total Test unit tests
- Collect the Code Coverage data and feed it into SonarQube for analysis and reporting
If SonarQube passes the changes according to quality thresholds, the code is ready for deployment when that is required.
Through these integrations, developers can make more code changes and deliver more value to your business faster whilst being assured quality standards are being met. By measuring what has happened, it’s possible to quantify quality and continuously improve.
Leveraging the power of automation, testing and quality checks will quickly drive your organization further on its transformation journey. Watch “Bring Testing Metrics into the Light with Code Coverage and SonarQube” to learn how Compuware and SonarSource are partnering to help you deliver higher-quality code faster to your business to ultimately deliver higher-quality, competitive innovation faster to your customers.
Roland Kinsman and Terry Capriotti
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- Automation, Testing and Quality Checks in Mainframe Development - June 21, 2018