Mainframe Testing

What is Mainframe?

A Mainframe is the computer system used for the purpose of carrying out large and complex computation of huge volume data, rapidly in a very minimal time. Use of mainframe systems could be seen in the e-commerce, insurance, financial, banking, retailing and all other sectors involving the usage, flow, execution and management of large repositories of data, repeatedly and multiple times as regular basis operations.

Mainframe system considered to be very much reliable, available, scalable and secure for the gigantic pool of different forms of data. With the execution speed around million instructions per second (MIPS) and other useful features like multi-thread programming, spooling, virtual storage, maximum I/O connectivity, bandwidth, batch processing mainframe system fulfils the organizational need of high performance and speedy executions of business processes.

With the brief understanding of mainframe system, we can now move on to our topic of discussion i.e. mainframe testing.

What is mainframe testing?

It simply means testing the mainframe system. Mainframe application testing is mostly similar to client-server application testing, and is being carried out on the deployed code, where application installed & running on the mainframe may be called and accessed using emulators installed at client machine.

What should be the approach for mainframe testing?

Mainframe testing approach may involve the testing the mainframe system based on the specified requirements to ensure functionalities and changes introduced in the system. In addition, the approach may include the regression testing of the system to ensure originality of the functionalities in the event of changes.

Testing to be Performed

  • System Testing
  • Front-end functionalities, along with batch processing task subjected to change in data, may be evaluated under system testing of the mainframe. In addition, database testing may also be performed to validate the data coming from or getting stored in the mainframe application.

  • System Integration Testing
  • System integration testing is done to ensure proper interfacing, communication and flow of data amongst all the systems and the application installed or involved in the mainframe system.

  • Performance Testing
  • Loopholes and gaps which may impact and degrade the performance of the mainframe system in executing critical functionalities and activities like scalability of the application, are scanned through performance testing technique.

  • Security Testing
  • Security testing focuses on & validates the security mechanism for both mainframe system and the network with the end purpose to ensure integrity, authenticity, authorization, confidentiality attributes of the system.


Mainframe testing is a lengthy process, which requires plenty of time and efforts, as it involves proper execution of all the stages/phases/activities ranging from requirement gathering to defect reporting.