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There are many other commands used when required, but they are not that frequent. Pre-requisites to start mainframe testing Basic details needed for mainframe testing are: Login ID and password for logging into the application. Brief knowledge on ISPF commands. Names of the files, file qualifier and their types. Before starting mainframe testing, the below aspects should be verified. CLASS parameter should be pointed to the test class. Reroute the email in the job to spool or a test mail ID.

Comment the FTP steps for initial testing and then point the job to a test server. All the production libraries in the job should be changed and pointed to test libraries. The job should not be left unattended. To prevent the job to run in an infinite loop incase of any error, TIME parameter should be added with specified time. Save the output of the job including the spool. The spool can be saved using XDC.

File Create test file of needed size only. GV00 so on when necessary to store data into consecutive files with the same name. The DISP Disposition - describes the system to perform keep or delete the dataset after normal or abnormal termination of the step or job parameter for the files should be coded correctly.

Ensure that all the files used for job execution are saved and closed properly to prevent job to go into HOLD. While testing using GDGs make sure that the right version is pointed at. Database While executing the job or online program, ensure that unintended data is not inserted or updated or deleted. Also, ensure that the correct DB2 region is used for testing. Test cases Always test for boundary conditions like — Empty file, First record processing, Last record processing, etc.

Always include both positive and negative test conditions. In case if standard procedures are used in the program like Check point restart, Abend Modules, Control files, etc. Test Data Test data setup should be done before the beginning of the testing. Never modify the data on the test region without notifying.

There may be other teams working with same data, and their test would fail. In case the production files are needed during the execution, proper authorization should be obtained before copying or using them.

It does not mean that the functionality is working fine. The job will run successfully even when the output is empty or not as per the expectation. So it is always expected to check all the outputs before declaring the job successful. It is always a good practice to do a dry run of the job under test. Dry run is done with empty input files. This process should be followed for the jobs which are impacted by the changes made for the test cycle.

Before the test cycle begins the test job set up should be done well in advance. This will help in finding out any JCL error in advance hence saving time during execution. Test Data availability is the primary challenge in batch testing. Required data should be created well in advance of the test cycle and should be checked for completeness. Some online transactions and batch jobs may write data into MQs Message Queue for transmitting data to other applications.

It is a good practice to check that MQs are working fine after testing. Testers should be involved in the SDLC from the requirements phase onwards. This will help to verify if the requirements are testable. It is sometimes difficult to identify the required data from the existing data. For data setup, homegrown tools can be used as per the need. For fetching existing data, queries should be built in advance. In case of any difficulty, a request can be placed to data management team for creating or cloning required data.

So that the jobs are not submitted with production qualifier or path detail. Job setup tools should be used so as to overcome human errors made during setup. Ad-hoc Request There may be situations when end to end testing needs to be supported due to a problem in upstream or downstream application issues. These requests increase the time and effort in execution cycle. Use of automation scripts, regression scripts, and skeleton scripts could help in reducing the time and effort overhead. On-Time Releases for scope change There may be a situation where the code impact may completely change the look and feel of the system.

This may require a change to test cases, scripts, and data. Scope change management process and Impact analysis should be in place. Reason — Reading at the end of the file, file length error, attempt to write into read-only file. Reason — Attempt to write a record longer than record length. Reason — PDS member does not exist, record length in the program does not match the actual record length. Sx22 — Job has been canceled S — Job canceled by the user without a dump.

S — Job or Step time exceeded the specified limit, or the program is in a loop or insufficient time parameter. S — TSO session timeout. S —Unable to link or load. Reason - Job id unable to find the specified load module. S — Trying to access the dataset which the user is not authorized. Sx37 — Unable to allocate enough storage to the dataset. Error Assist — A very popular tool to get detailed information on various types of abends.

Common issue faced during mainframe testing Job Abends — For successful completion of the job, you should check the data, input file and the modules present at the specific location or not. Abends can be faced due to multiple reasons, the most common being — Invalid data, Incorrect input field, date mismatch, environmental issues, etc.

Output file empty—Though the job might run successfully MaxCC 0 , the output might not be as expected. So before passing any test case, the tester have to make sure that the output is cross verified.

Only then proceed further. Input file empty — In some applications, files will be received from the upstream processes. Before using the received file for testing current application, the data should be cross verified to avoid re-execution and rework.

Summary: Mainframe testing is like any other testing procedure starting from Requirement gathering, test design, test execution and result reporting. In order to test the application effectively, the tester should participate in design meetings scheduled by development and business teams.

It is mandatory for the tester to get accustomed to various mainframe test function. Like screen navigation, file and PDS creation, saving test results, etc. Mainframe application testing is a time taking process. A clear test schedule should be followed for test design, data setup and execution. Batch testing and Online testing should be done effectively without missing any functionality mentioned on Requirement document, and no Test Case should be spared.


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