Metamon Discover, our mainframe software testing tool for COBOL and Assembler programs, provides positive proof whether source code changes have been executed without any modification to your source code or special compiler requirements.


Mainframe testing tools have long been the cornerstone of software quality assurance but until Metamon Discover there was no way to effectively test mainframe COBOL and Assembler programs in their native environment without introducing additional variables to the equation. Our mainframe testing tool provides positive proof whether source code changes have been executed in a given series of test runs, without any modification to your source code or special compiler requirements. In addition, Metamon tells you which lines of code were changed from version to version of the source code. This insures adequate test coverage of the changed code and can greatly improve software quality and reduce system outages. Metamon rolls up software test code coverage metrics from an unlimited number of programs to the application and system level to meet the needs of the largest IT organizations. Before Metamon Discover, mainframe testing tools fell into one of three types:

  • Mainframe testing tools that “instrument” the code (i.e., insert markers into the code that can be detected at run time.) These test tools have the inherent flaw that the code that in testing is not the same as the code that will go into production. In addition, the “instruments” need to be removed before doing a recompile and then moving into production.
  • Mainframe test tools that use a special compiler option to allow measurement of code coverage. This requires an additional operation and has the same limitation as above in that the code in testing is not compiled the same way as the production code.
  • Mainframe testing tools that run on a PC platform and require mirroring of the mainframe test environment on the PC. These test tools require special skill sets to run, are very time consuming to set up and maintain, and run the applications in a different environment than they would normally run in.

METAMON Discover is a cost effective mainframe testing tool that is easy to implement and maintain. Our mainframe test tool will work for both batch and CICS COBOL and Assembler programs (including DB2 stored procedures). For the programmer, the software test is run as usual with a small change to the execution JCL first invoking Metamon. The test result is a report, familiar to mainframe programmers, that shows what lines of code were executed and what lines were not executed, highlighting what were new lines of code. The mainframe test tool allows multiple tests to be run and merged so that the programmer can attempt to approach 100% execution of the new code. For the QA team, set-up is the same and they see the percentage of executed code reported. A drop in the executed code percentage and the input test scripts and data files will require updating until the level reaches an acceptable threshold.

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With our mainframe testing tools, there is no disruption to existing work flows, no use of proprietary databases, no need to utilize complex data stores, and you do not require specialized expertise to use the tool or to review the results.


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Q. What is code coverage?
A. Code coverage shows what statements are executed, or not, when a program is executed.

Q. Why would I use code coverage?
A1. When adding new lines of code it is vital that proof is obtained that the new lines of code were executed in testing, and code coverage will provide this evidence as an artifact.
A2. Code coverage enables system and quality assurance testing to maintain a high level of confidence that enough code is being executed to validate changes being tested. Put another way, code coverage enables regression testing test data to be monitored so that it can be identified when the test data is not executing enough of the code.
A3. If you’re re-engineering an application you must create test records that execute all the executable code. Code coverage enables the programmer to see what code is not being executed and to create test records to execute the unexecuted code, or to document the code as dead code.