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IBM Says Automated Testing Tool Completes Mainframe CI/CD Pipeline

IBM continues to modernize development on its z/OS mainframe operating system, announcing an automated unit testing tool that builds on previously introduced Git functionality.

Big Blue this month unveiled IBM Z Open Unit Test, an automated unit testing tool for batch and Customer Information Control System (CICS) programs. The company said it fills a hole in its IBM Z Open Development toolset announced late last year, namely automated unit testing, which it said is necessary for Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipelines.

"IBM Z Open Development is a modern, lean integrated development environment with program understanding, edit, debug and build automation capabilities," IBM says on the toolset's site. "Z Open Development opens the door to a platform neutral, continuous integration and deployment pipeline that is inclusive of z/OS application components.

"It is a starter toolset for z/OS development teams who plan to transform and unify their software delivery practices around modern source code management systems such as Git and Rational Team Concert."

Key features of IBM Z Open Development listed by the company include:

  • Modern editors for COBOL, JCL and PL/I
  • Graphical views to improve program understanding
  • Powerful and modern debugging with IBM z/OS Debugger
  • Intelligent build capabilities
  • Simplified integrations

Now, automated unit testing will be added to the mix.

"A Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipeline is incomplete without automated unit testing," IBM said in a statement last week. "In fact, a core tenant of CI is continuous testing, wherein developers build and unit test code after every change.

"On that note, we are excited to announce IBM Z Open Unit Test: an automated unit testing tool for batch and CICS programs. IBM Z Open Unit Test works in conjunction with IBM Z Open Development to create a powerful continuous development, testing and delivery environment."

Key features of the testing tool include:

  • Automated data capture and recording enables developers to rapidly generate test data for unit tests, helping further reduce the time and effort required for unit testing.
  • The CICS automated unit testing capability operates without the overhead of a debugging tool, lightening the load on the system and systems programmers.
  • Automated unit testing capabilities enable IBM Z developers to implement agile and lean practices in their organization.
  • Unique testing capabilities offer highly-efficient generation, execution, and validation of automated unit tests.

With availability planned for March 22, the tool will be included in: IBM Z Open Unit Test V1.0; IBM Developer for z Systems V14.1.6; and IBM Developer for z Systems Enterprise Edition V14.1.6. Prerequisites for using the tool include IBM Z Open Development and either the z/OS V2.2 or z/OS V2.3 operating systems.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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