Friday, February 24, 2006

Outsourcing software and performance testing

Teletext has outsourced their testing services to independent testing consultancy, Acutest. Under the deal, Acutest will take responsibility for delivering testing and assurance services as well as helping improve the way these services are used throughout the development lifecycle.
Acutest first began work with Teletext on a single performance testing assignment in 2005, during which they quickly got to grips with what was required and also introduced improvements to the underlying testing processes.

“In recent years, we have used a mix of in house resources, contractors and external testing companies to service our testing needs. When we first brought in Acutest, their approach and services set them apart from what we had come to expect from the independent testing market,” explained Bill Welsh, Head of Development Operations at Teletext. “We were particularly impressed with their performance and load testing services and the way they helped us align our testing with our business and technical risks in a string of new releases in 2005.”

Barry Varley, CEO, Acutest commented: “We’re delighted to have been selected by Teletext to provide their testing services. There is a growing trend in the UK to outsource testing to independent specialists, as opposed to the large outsource deals which dominated the last decade and embraced both development and testing. We’ve developed a range of client side assurance services to help our customers get the benefits of their technology-enabled change faster and we are looking forward to implementing these for Teletext.”

“We chose Acutest ahead of the competition for two key reasons. Firstly, they had already proven themselves and we knew we could work well with them. Secondly, the approach they proposed for the outsourced testing service demonstrated they had listened to our needs and come up with a unique proposition. Acutest have combined a consistently high standard of service with the great flexibility we need,” said Nigel Beighton, CTO at Teletext. “Testing is a strategically important part of our development process. The impact of this outsource service is already providing improvements in other areas of our development as well the management information we have during assignments. “

Friday, February 17, 2006

Software testing tools from MSN - Top Ten

These are the top ten links found by entering software testing tools into MSN UK Search:

1. Software testing tools
... Software testing tools and the selection process Geoff Quentin QBIT TestExpo 13th October 2005

2. Software Testing tools
Software Testing tools

3. Software Testing Books
... German sister site software qualität carries our extensive list of Software Testing books. Shortly German language versions and translations will be added. We have a list of Software Testing tools

3. Software Testing Tools Index
Software Testing Tools Index Compendium Developments' Tools ...

4. Load Testing and Performance Testing Tools from Facilita Software ...
A suite of low footprint load testing tools for web, .NET and Java applications as well as for networks, databases and custom C, C++, .NET and Java APIs. [Commercial]

5. Software Testing Tools
links to open source testing tools Software Engineering Archives links to several SW development tools, including testing tools

6. testing_tools:testing_tools [SoftwareTestingWiki]
Created by the Software Testing community for the Software Testing Community ... testing_tools\testing_tools.txt · Last modified: 2006/01/27 13:43 by

7. Quality testing tools could aid developers
Developers building high-quality software could benefit from two new application quality testing tools from Compuware. The products, QACenter Enterprise Edition 5.1 and Cars 5.1, combine technology and ...

8. Performance testing tools
The top three providers, by market share, of performance testing tools are: The load testing software from Mercury Interactive is Loadrunner

9. Software Testing Tools Return on Investment (ROI)
Software Testing Tools Return on Investment (ROI) Executive Summary This paper addresses the question of ‘Return on Investment’ in testing tools

10. Tools for .NET from Red Gate Software
The Advanced .NET Testing System (ANTS) is for load and scalability testing of .NET web services and other web applications. [Commercial, trial version]

Friday, February 10, 2006

Software Testing FAQ - No. 10

Would you recommend that software testers ever use statistics creatively to disguise what could be huge black holes in budgetary forecasts?

Another question from Oliver. Thanks Oliver. I think, perhaps, you have a secret passion for software testing. Many politicians do have secret passions. Stephen Milligan had a passion for satsuma segments, Harvey Proctor had a passion for striped shirts (amongst many secret passions, it seems, although he wasn't the greatest at keeping them secret) and Nicholas Soames appears to have a passion for pies.

Colchester is supposed to be the pie capital of England but Nicholas is the MP for Mid Sussex. Which shows that one man, even a determined and capable man such as Rt Hon Nicholas Soames, can't out eat an entire metropolitan community. Maybe that will become a pithy quote that appears in a book of quotations. But back to the question. I say no they should not. And I say it without equivocation. One man's advice is another man's virtue. There you go. Another pithy saying for the book.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Disaster recovery testing

Disaster recovery, business continuity and resilience are often confused.

To many companies the term business continuity relates to the ability of the organization to continue functioning following a major problem. Disaster recovery usually refers to the IT side of business continuity; to cope with a major problem affecting IT systems, covering both the data centre and the desktop. Resilience (also used mainly as an IT term) tends to refer to the ability to recover from a problem on the main site of the company, such as ensuring server machines have dual power supplies.

This therefore means that resilience can form a part of disaster recovery which in turn forms the IT part of business continuity. All companies needs a combination of the 3 areas above to be able to survive whatever is thrown at it.

Resilience in IT terms includes:

  • Dual power supplies for critical computers
  • Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) for critical systems and network equipment
  • RAID or mirrored (which is also a type of RAID) disks to preserve important data
  • Clustered servers

Resilience goes further than just ensuring that IT equipment is protected (to a degree). It can also be applied to the wider areas of the company, for example, ensuring that more than one telephone supply company is used, multiple electricity suppliers provide the necessary power and that multiple ISPs (Internet Service Providers) are used. Each of these actions reduces (but does not eliminate) any risk to the business.

All the work employed to ensure resilience, disaster recovery and business continuity is wasted if everything is not tested correctly. Testing must be performed based on risks to the business, as these are the only types of risk that really matter. Although the items above concentrate on the IT aspects of any organisation, it is the business side that matters but there are few businesses today that would continue to exist without their computers and systems.