Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Testing as a Service for contact centers

I have just been reading about a new service from Empirix called “Testing as a Service”. As the name suggests its a testing service, but more specifically it’s a Quality Assurance (QA) solution for contact centers (I think these are what the good old call centre used to be) installing new plaforms or upgrading/refreshing existing technology.

The Empirix Testing as a Service, is scalable: it allows contact centres of all sizes (even to large contact centers) to determine the quality of the customer experience as well as the overall performance to ensure the ROI for a contact center. The testing service is highly adaptable and covers the complete contact center infrastructure.

Testing as a Service uses Empirix’s Hammer Test Engine., for both in and out-of-service testing and in-service monitoring basis. There is also a secure, real time reporting function to monitor the testing activities of Empirix’s Testing as a Service.

For more information you can visit Empirix

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Testing center of excellence

The Center of Excellence (which, as we have noted in the past, has now replaced Centre of Excellence) is a concept which has been around for some time. It has gone in and out of favour as organisations have changed and adapted to different approaches for building and delivery IT.

HP software have been using the term to cover their QA and testing offerings. HP Performance Center is performance testing software aimed at supporting a performance testing center of excellence (COE). Qualtiy Center is a test management tool for managing a QA Centre of Excellence. You can get an HP white paper on Building and Managing a Quality CoE

There is also the HP appliction security center. And Paladion have announced that they have built an Application Security Testing Centre of Excellence around this HP tool, in India. It combines an IT infrastructure with experienced security testers and best practices in using HP application security center. Its purpose it to locate and fix security vulnerabilities in computer software applications throughout the full Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).

Monday, July 27, 2009

Acceptance Test Engineering Guide

Microsoft have released a draft version of a guide on Acceptance Testing. As well as covering the testing aspects of the acceptance process it covers the collection of data in order to making a decision during the acceptance activities. It also covers preparation for acceptance testing and the approaches to acceptance testing: specifically whether you do it in a separate stage (an acecptance testing phase) or throughout the full Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). The latter they call Incremental Acceptance Testing.

You can download a copy of the Acceptance Test Engineering Guide and provide feedback on the same website in the discussion forum.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Software testing books

Looking at software testing books, I came across some interesting lists at As well as a list on software testing books list there were lists of automated testing books, QA books and a host of other IT topics like project management and risk management. But back to the software testing list. The top five books in the list, which are the ones most recommended by the site, had a mini review. For those interested in the choices they are:

  1. Lessons Learned in Software Testing, by C. Kaner, J. Bach, and B. Pettichord (2001)
  2. Testing Computer Software, by C. Kaner, J. Falk, and H. Nguyen (1999)
  3. Perfect Software and Other Illusions About Testing, by G. Weinberg (2008)
  4. How to Break Web Software, by M. Andrews and J. Whittaker (2006)
  5. Testing Applications on the Web, by H. Nguyen, R. Johnson, and M. Hackett (2003)

If you want to see the reviews, you can visit the site. Or better still get the book and make up your own mind.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Digital Britian - Telecoms infrastructure commitments by the UK Government

Digital Britian aims to connect all of Britian so that everyone can have access to 2Mbs Broadband by 2012. Its a long report at over 200 pages. So rather than try to read it all you could just go for a summary like this one which is called a tea-break guide to this planned revolution in Telecoms.

First interesting point in that article is how low Britian is in the league table of Broadband speeds. Some countries have really embraced it but the UK languishes at 21st. Then there is some information on the way the change in telecom infrastructure will be funded. But the best bit is saved to the end. It identifies not only the best word in the report (e-readiness) but also the best sentence:

"Work is well under way to create a PSN to supersede the overlapping and duplicative patchwork quilt or departmental or sectoral networks."

Sounds a good aim to me. If you want to read the other sentences you can read the full report or the executive summary at the Deparment of Culture and Media here

And for a super brief summary the two key commitments are:

"Availability of broadband has two components: the right network today and the right network tomorrow. To ensure all can access and benefit from the network of today, we confirm our intention to deliver the Universal Service Broadband Commitment at 2Mbps by 2012. This can be delivered through upgrades to the existing copper and wireless networks. We also propose public support for the network of tomorrow so that consumers in the Final Third who will not be reached by the market can enjoy next generation broadband. This will be a longer project which involves what amounts to installing a new network. The Universal Service Commitment and the Next Generation Final Third project are separate projects and need to be addressed in turn."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Software Planner: New version of SDLC management tool

Software Planner has released a version with significant new enhancements for all stages of the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle). New features include:

  • Advanced workflow support, which allows the you to configure business rules with the Software Planner SDLC testing tool, to define and manage the status and transition of data items. The example given with the new release is creating new defects: you may want to automatically assign a status of New and set mandatory requirements for some attributes (such as name and description) when a defect is raised. Once the defect has been assigned the status would change, progressing ideally to Resolved with the tool configured to require data items such as a resolution description are input before it can be closed.
  • The new release of Software Planner is integrated with Microsoft Visual Source Safe. Defects can be associated with the source code that was fixed due to the defect. This allows you to determine what source code models are affected by specific types of defects, making analysis of code impact easier to understand.
  • More robust reporting, including many new defect, test case, functional specification and project management reports. The newer reports allow trending of defects, test cases and functional specifications over time, allowing teams to spot trends and determine if the quality of their software is improving as the project progresses towards production. Software Planner has also been integrated with Business Objects Crystal Reports, so you can create your own reports and post them into Software Planner for others to use. You can also import reports from other SQL based databases (like Oracle, SQL Server, etc), allowing Software Planner to double as a full reporting solution for all areas of your business.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Governance and Silo's

I read an article about governance and silos which I found interesting. The analyst was of the view that organisations were recreating new silos of governance rather than applying successful governance styles that are already proven.

In the article they use the example of Service Oriented Architectures (SOA):

"Well, SOA, for instance. If you look at an SOA project, it’s often defined by an elite group of architects and developers who are benefiting from all the lessons of 20 years of iterative development and they then develop their own processes, almost in this little vacuum.

Theoretically, a lot of organisations really have a lack of governance in their software development processes, but even if there is a lack of governance, there is some governance there. With the SOA lifecycle, we’ve actually spent a great deal of energy defining the stages of it and while they're parallel to what should be the SDLC - the software development lifecycle - very often they're instituted by a separate group and it’s kind of like parallel lives. So, in effect, we’re creating an additional layer of governance. Just what we need when IT organisations are trying to simplify lives for themselves."