Infotel Corp. Announces Latest Release of Its Container-based Eccox Application Parallel Testing Product for IBM® z/OS® is Generally Available

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Infotel Corp., in partnership with Sao Paulo-based Eccox, announces the launch of its Eccox Application Parallel Testing product with a new release version 2.0, designed to bring new continuous application testing and delivery methods for DevOps to the mainframe.

Setting up testing environments on a mainframe is very time consuming, and it becomes more difficult as organizations seek to drive automation at scale. Mainframe resources are scarce, and this product will allow non-mainframers to step in and help accelerate the application dev process.

Infotel, a leading global enterprise software and services vendor, today announced a new container-based mainframe application testing product to the U.S. marketplace. Infotel’s Eccox Application Parallel Testing (Eccox APT®) solution was designed with the idea of quickly spinning up developer testing “containers” on the mainframe much like distributed developers create in Windows/Unix/Open source environments. With the prevalence of DevOps now established in mainframe environments (56% adoption according to BMC’s Annual Mainframe Survey 2020), the demands of faster application development is putting a strain on already-thin mainframe application development teams. Eccox APT delivers a simpler method of creating test environments in a browser-based graphical user interface allowing non-mainframe IT resources to assist with mainframe development cycles by quickly spinning up application testing containers.

“The problem today with application testing is not a lack of awareness; that problem is well known,” said Jeff Castella, Infotel Corp.’s software division managing director. "Setting up testing environments on a mainframe is very time consuming, and it becomes more difficult as organizations seek to drive automation at scale. Mainframe resources are scarce, and this product will allow non-mainframers to step in and help accelerate the application dev process with the ability to quickly spin up a test container.”

This latest release of Eccox APT, version 2.0, includes several enhancements and features that improve continuous testing and delivery methods for the mainframe test-track creation process. Built for Agile and DevOps methods, Eccox APT dramatically accelerates application production on z/OS by running tests in parallel, allowing a team of developers their own “sandbox” to test and release iterations of their code. With testing on the mainframe mostly done in series and the complexity of setting up testing environments (estimated at just over 50% of application development time), the ability to use containers in parallel for testing enhances the DevOps continuous delivery (CD) model.

Customer sites running Eccox APT, report testing times have been reduced by more than 90%. With a few clicks and simple commands in a web browser, Eccox APT clones (as opposed to simulates) entities such as load modules, Db2 tables, files and JCL, quickly spinning up test environment “containers” that behave as if the application being tested was in a live production environment. Eccox APT allows the provisioning of multiple instances of databases and application code, all on a single mainframe LPAR so multiple developers can work concurrently on the same iteration of an app or multiple modules in development simultaneously. A test suite of 100 application test cases that might normally take days to complete can be provisioned in minutes with Eccox APT.

To learn more about Eccox APT, click here.

Software enhancements for Eccox APT version 2.0 include:

Agile Mobile Testing
--All program components are copied into the test container with a few clicks in a browser – the name of program, all Db2 tables and any other files accessed by the application.
--Eccox APT can find all the components of a CICS or IMS transaction with a click, and all programs and tables that the transaction uses are cloned in a test container.
--Eccox APT supports the Agile processes of creating a track for online and batch applications, mobile applications, or micro-services and APIs.
--Mobile application and internet development teams can create their test tracks of all the IMS or CICS transactions required and work completely independent of the mainframe developer teams.

Test Track (Container) Component Maintenance
--Eccox APT allows users to update track components without deconstruction, including adding a unique identifier for auditing.

  • Use Case 1: The user creates a track and, after three days of testing, adjusts a program that was already on the track. After compiling it, with one click, the user can REPLACE this program on the track.
  • Use Case 2: The user wants to update a Db2 table that was already on the track or wants to include a new Db2 table on the track. This can be done in one click.

--Eccox APT automatically displays components of each package in the track record.

Container Component Change Alert
--Eccox APT issues an alert if any program on the track is altered or compiled by a user.
--The user can configure this component to take the following actions automatically:

  • Block the compiling of this program.
  • Automatically replace the program compiled on the track.
  • Make the track INACTIVE because of this compiling.
  • Alert managers who approve changes that program “X” is being changed by user “Y.”

Agile Continuous Testing
--Eccox APT allows developers to track (Automatic Cross Reference) all programs used in the execution chain and all accesses (CRUD matrix) to code executed in an online transaction to supplement the automatic process of creating a test container.
--Supports the automatic process of creating a mobile or internet service track without depending on the mainframe teams.

Software new features in Eccox APT version 2.0 include:

Eccox APT Containerization for Jobs
--Containerization allows users to isolate executions of their jobs, program versions, Db2 tables, and VSAM or sequential files, ending conflicts with tests of the same components across other projects or users, eliminating the rework generated by the conflicts. While creating a test track, the user informs which components he intends to isolate for his test (including the JCL for execution). These components are cloned, and his test will be executed without conflicts with the other components in common. After the end of the tests, the user, with a simple click, destroys the created track, eliminating the environment's cloned components. If there is a need to perform new tests on this track, the user does not need to register the components again as every track created becomes an asset and serves as a knowledge base for as many new tests as needed.

Eccox APT Db2 Layout Modifier Framework
--This feature allows users to clone a table, change its layout by means of, for example, SQL ALTER TABLE commands, and use this modified version in programs that use that table and are in the same change package (of preferred Version Control Tool). This allows users to generate clones that, in addition to having changes in the code in relation to the production version, also use a Db2 table with a different layout than the existing one in the environment, without any interference in the other modules that use the same DB2 table.

Eccox APT Containerization for IBM® MQ
--The feature enables users of Eccox APT to use queues and MQ messages, considering the following scenarios:

  • Cloning all messages from a given MQ queue in the mainframe environment, under CICS and IMS; the queue name would be used as the unique identifier. All messages in that queue would be redirected to a cloned transaction.
  • Cloning separately from messages in a queue. This process will be implemented through the following functions:
  • Cloning an MQ queue – definition of an MQ queue similar to the original, directed to a clone transaction.
  • Use of MQ EXITs to intervene in MQPUT to direct certain messages, according to their content, to the cloned queue on the mainframe platform.

About Infotel Corp.

Infotel Corp. is the North American headquarters of Insoft Infotel, the software division of the Paris-based Infotel Group. Infotel Group provides enterprise software solutions and services that help organizations manage the data and application sprawl created by the prevalence of the world wide web. The product portfolio features solution capabilities ranging from mobile technologies to the mainframe.

Founded in 1979, Infotel has the experience to work across varying network systems, relational databases, object languages, servers, and operating systems inside the largest organizations in the world.

For more information on Infotel Corp., please visit https://www.infotel.com/us/.

About Eccox

With more than 25 years of experience in the global software market, Eccox delivers results to clients in the financial market, industry, government, data centers, among others. Its portfolio of solutions and services allows to reduce the consumption of MIPS/MSUs and increase the availability of IT resources. In line with global trends, Eccox effectively seeks to continuously improve processes, quality and operational efficiency for its customers. https://www.eccox.com.

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