Is there a workable approach to use test-driven development (TDD) in a COBOL application?

Has anyone come across any workable approaches to implementing test-driven development (and potentially behavior-driven development) in/for COBOL applications?

An ideal solution would enable both unit and integration testing of both transactional (CICS) and batch-mode COBOL code, sitting atop the usual combination of DB2 databases and various fixed width datasets.

I've seen, and it looks interesting. Has anyone seen this working in anger? Did it work? What were the gotchas?

Just to get your creative juices flowing, some 'requirements' for an ideal approach:

Comments welcome on the validity/appropriateness of the above requirements.

Just a reminder that what I'm looking for here is good practical advice on the best way of achieving these kinds of things - I'm not necessarily expecting a pre-packaged solution. I'd be happy with an example of where someone has successfully used TDD in COBOL, together with some guidance and gotchas on what works and what doesn't.


  • Maybe check out QA Hiperstation. It could cost a lot though (just like every other mainframe product).

    It only used it briefly a long time ago, so I cannot claim to be an expert. I used it to run and verify a battery of regression tests in a COBOL/CICS/DB2/MQ-SERIES type environment and found it to be quite effective and flexible.

    I would say this could be one of the pieces of your puzzle, but certainly not the whole thing.