Best Practices for Mainframe Testing

I am looking for some tools and best practices which are best to be used for testing Mainframes especially batch. I have had list of tools namely Xpediter, Smartest,IBM's debugger, QA Hiperstation,CA Inter Test etc... Could anyone guide me as to which tool is best for Testing Mainframe Batch. The tool may not have to be necessarily from the one listed. If I could get a list of specific tasks & a tool best for that task that would be great. Eg of some of tasks: Verification of Database after execution of job creation of JCLs.. Data Setup etc..

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We do not use any tools for testing batch on the mainframe.
For every conversion/migration to a new OS version or processor, we prepare a test script for every application system we have. The lead person for each application is tasked with maintaining the script.
When testing, we strictly follow the script which calls for execution of every major function in each system. Once the test is successfully completed, it is checked off. In this manner we can test JCL, reports, utilities, FTP, etc. We also coordinate testing with the state so we know our interface with the DMV and warrant systems works under the new system. Likewise we test EFT transmissions with the banks test system so we know that works as well.

By the time testing is completed for each application system, we know what problems, if any, need to be worked on prior to final cutover. We use the same methodology with our on-line systems as well except we also test the debugging tools such as InterTest. We also make sure that all CICS screens appear as they should.

In both batch and on-line testing, we use known data so we can verify correct format of reports, screens and know totals are correct.

We’re getting ready to go through the process once again as we move from our 7060-H50 to a new zSeries box once it arrives.

I don’t know how much help this is, but it at least gives you a basic idea of how our shop goes about testing.

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