Compuware gets 'Java-ish' on mainframe testing

Not 100% open source, but open source-ish due to Java-like proximity, the latest news from Compuware sees the mainframe application development company announce the availability of Topaz for Total Test, a new package that brings ‘Java-like’ unit testing to the world of COBOL applications.

The firm is seeking to give “even novice developers” the chance to validate and troubleshoot changes they make to existing COBOL applications, if indeed those developers find themselves working in mainframe environments where COBOL exists.

Mainframes need love too

But let us not be quick to decry this fact i.e. many financial institutions, retailers and airlines run mainframes with a presence of COBOL.

Compuware claims that Topaz for Total Test “effectively eliminates” the notion that COBOL applications are legacy code that can’t be updated as frequently with the same confidence as other types of applications.

There is of course an ongoing loss of specialised COBOL programming knowledge… which leads to a risk and associated fear of introducing even the slightest defect into core mainframe systems of record.

“Compuware Topaz for Total Test transforms mainframe application development by automatically creating tests for logical units of code. Developers at all skill levels can thus quickly and easily perform unit testing on COBOL code just as they do in Java, PHP and other popular programming languages. In fact, Topaz is more advanced than typical Java tools, because it requires no coding and automatically generates default unit test result assertions for developers,” states the firm.

Features include

Visual analysis of even the most complex and poorly documented mainframe programs and data structures (Topaz for Program Analysis and Topaz for Enterprise Data).

Real-time quality control and error detection of mainframe coding syntax (Topaz integration with SonarSource)

Automated creation and execution of unit tests (Topaz for Total Test)

Agile cross-platform source code management and release automation (ISPW and integration with XebiaLabs)

“Unit Testing on the mainframe is overdue,” said Randy Dray, Director of IT at Pekin Insurance. “I’m glad to see Topaz for Total Test focusing on unit test automation.”

Compuware today also announced the acquisition of MVS Solutions, its fourth acquisition in the past twelve months.