They are referred to as applications or jobs in the IT world. Managers call them business processes. The objective is the same: It’s about driving business. 70% of automated IT applications are directly connected to real business. Given the vast amount of data large companies handle on a daily basis, automated applications must thus be subjected to effective quality assurance processes.
So how can large data centers quickly implement new applications or software updates into the production environment without the risk of introducing errors in the process?
The Mainframe as the Central Quality Assurance Authority
Beta 91 checks the data quality on the mainframe and – using agents – on distributed server systems such as Unix, Linux and Windows too. It is on these platforms that a major portion of the jobs relevant for payment transfers and balance sheets – for example in an SAP context – is executed. However, SAP itself does not offer any comparable function for checking if the numbers are correct. The open design of Beta 91 is one of its key advantages, because individual checking procedures allow for integrating the system with any process.
Key to Success: Automated Quality Assurance = Accelerated Time to Market
In a current project, an insurance company is porting its life insurances to a new central IBM application that is operated in the open systems world. Its output will be managed using Beta 91.
- New application rapidly integrated into the live environment
- Errors minimized across all applications
- Reliable software thanks to automatic testing with Beta 91
Benefits include error minimization across all applications as issues are identified and resolved at a very early stage, preventing them from spreading. This means that the insurer’s IT systems are now nearly free of any production delays.
Moreover, automated tests are not only performed in the customer’s production systems but also in the development environments, reaching down to the very lowest level. As a result, the software releases of the insurance company have been operating extremely reliably for many years. Automatic quality assurance helped the customer to significantly optimize its job workflows, as is evidenced by high throughput rates and a tiny error margin.
Manual coordination and checking of reference figures, files, job workflows, data pools and payment transfer documents would draw essential resources from production and development, adversely affecting overall quality. Integrating the SAP processes into the quality assurance workflow has also greatly improved the security of national and international payment transactions.
Global Quality Assurance of SAP Systems
- Detailed error reporting for automated jobs
- 60,000 automatic tests per week
Drawing on Beta 91, the customer can monitor its global SAP landscape in an automated manner. In order to check jobs in SAP and other server landscapes, Beta 91 closely integrates with the strategic file transfer product used at the insurer.
A newly developed interface that connects to SAP jobs run on distributed systems writes relevant values to be reconciled as well as counters from central insurance and financial applications to the SAP spool. From there, the data/process steps are transferred from SAP to the host, where the Beta Systems solution compares the data against relevant target values. This makes it possible to include any distributed application in the quality assurance process performed on the host. For the customer, this translates into top-level data reliability.
The solution is called up approx. 60,000 times a week to reconcile a job’s data. This enables administrators to answer questions such as “which job terminated – for what reasons – what error occurred – and when did this happen?” – not just for SAP, but even for home-grown applications for vehicle insurance policies or payment transfer, some of which are executed on the host, while others run on distributed platforms