When it comes to Information Technology, the typical government department is faced with far more challenges than similar sized private sector counterparts. Multiple platforms, applications of various sizes and technologies that span generations have to be supported Technology and methodologies lag, departments are understaffed and overworked. Staff skill sets are difficult to update. Reliance on contractors create problems with continuity. Overheads such as compliance, audits, reporting, security, COOP eat away resources and budgets from core business. And when it comes to testing, a task that gets short changed even in best of private sector companies, it is no surprise that it is not where it should be.
Our first hand experience in government projects enables us to empathize and build EAF Tester to address the above challenges.
Whether moving from manual testing to automated testing or looking to significantly reduce costs of existing automated testing, we believe EAF Tester is the answer. Whether COTS or custom, EAF Tester will work with any application regardless of underlying technology. Note: Currently EAF Tester automates browser based applications only.
Easy. Our first goal was to make EAF Tester easy across the board. Installation requires expanding a compressed file. No administration or elevated privileges are required for the user installing EAF Tester making it a self service step instead of requiring a ticket to the desktop support team. For setup, typically a DBA will create the necessary database tables which is a one time step. Updates and upgrades are similar to install and setup steps.
Lower TCO: Total Cost of Ownership includes the overhead of managing the product itself. This covers deployment effort which includes install and setup and then managing upgrades and updates to the product. EAF Tester is a self contained application and requires no additional software other than enterprise database. Since all government I.T. departments operate an enterprise database, there should be no additional DB costs including DB licensing cost. Operating EAF Tester is cost effective relative to manual testing or other test automation tools - no programming, no managing complex test code base, operable by all types of uses, short learning curve, standard enforced workflow, easy test effort management and reporting, easier interaction with third party vendors.
EAF Tester is designed to be usable by all user types - business, technical, contractors, beginners, managers etc. EAF Tester has a simple, uncluttered interface - full GUI and requires no programming or scripting. Making it usable by business users allows work to be shifted out of I.T. departments without affecting quality. Making it usable by inexperienced users reduces cost to operate. Both options make it possible to reduce testing costs by reducing labor costs. And involving business users in system development and operation engages participation and sense of ownership resulting in a better cohesive cooperation between business and I.T.
Managing change: Updates to system environment are inevitable and frequent in Government. Since tests in EAF Tester can be built quickly, easily and economically, it is easy to add automated testing to all systems - primary, secondary or legacy. Why? Instead of manual tests to evaluate effect of environment changes such as browser updates, OS updates, database updates etc., EAF Tester can now execute a complete test cycle effortlessly.
Audit: EAF Tester maintains results of tests which serve as a verifiable record of work and usable to audit the system. Records of tests ensure accountability and are traceable should the need arise.
Status: Test activity in EAF Tester can provide a verifiable true snapshot of system status. Managers, regardless of location can view real time testing progress for all systems.
Import & Export: Tests can be freely imported and exported between EAF Tester installations. Vendors or other client agencies can exchange test artifacts and either verify testing results or re-execute tests in their environment. Another option available is sending test execution result reports in lieu or in addition to as the need dictates.
Even if test automation is not feasible currently, EAF Tester can be used just as a Test Repository. Tests are entered as usual but not automated. Benefits include a single test documentation repository that is manageable across the enterprise.
Using contractors to build new systems or O&M existing systems is a way of life for Government agencies. Whether remote or co-located, communicating system requirements and acceptance criteria using tests defined in EAF Tester is easy and ensures delivery and acceptance phase is unambiguous.
In conclusion, EAF Tester makes it easy for the Government to manage entire testing effort by providing an enterprise-wide common repository, standard testing workflow and data interchange functionality. Testing steps can be farmed out to different teams. Offsite teams can be utilized to create or built tests which can then be easily imported into enterprise repository.