Ground-breaking solution used to guarantee key finance applications
Finance giant Capital One planned a major upgrade to its middleware suite.
This mission-critical layer supports key systems for online credit card and loan applications and customer service functions. Capital One set an aggressive timeframe that was to push resources to the limit within the constraint of no interference in customer services. Faced with the classic “quality conundrum” – achieving maximum quality in minimum time and cost – they needed a practical way to ensure zero-defect web applications. The answer – apart from a lot of hard work – was the implementation of Original Software’s TestDrive to drive their applications testing, a solution that really allowed Capital One’s Solution Testing Team to excel.
A new approach required
The major middleware upgrade project would require significant testing and validation prior to release and the testing needed to ensure functional accuracy throughout, especially in the later stages. It soon became apparent that the volume, speed and accuracy required would mean that testing with their existing code-based tools wouldn’t work – it would simply take too long in the available timescale. Chief Technology Officer Jackie Stringer said: “We needed a solution that could deliver results quickly and could also work in the business-focused phases of testing – something that would not be limited to use by technical QA teams.”
We needed a solution that could deliver results quickly and could also work in the business-focused phases of testing – something that would not be limited to use by technical QA teams.
Andrew Wilkinson, Software Test Team Leader, was given the task of finding a solution that would help them meet the system go-live date and with applications quality fully assured. Prerequisites for this were that:
- the solution must be easy to learn
- it must be easily accessible to business users as well as technical staff
- it must radically accelerate the testing process
- it must not compromise on quality or thoroughness at any stage.
Wilkinson evaluated a number of automation tools, and a pilot quickly confirmed that Original Software’s TestDrive was the perfect solution for meeting these tough challenges. TestDrive’s unique approach to testing means that no technical expertise is required for users to become experts in using the product. All script recording, playback and editing is performed through a world-class, intuitive GUI – but with no compromise on functionality as the intelligence required for script editing and maintenance is built into the solution. This makes TestDrive perfect for the fast-start testing that was required. Says Wilkinson: “Original Software said implementation of TestDrive would take two weeks, and it did!”
Following the implementation process, the testing team quickly began to experience some of the major operational benefits of TestDrive. The middle-ware upgrade project entailed almost daily builds, with parameter changes that affected several different systems. Firstly the team has to be sure that they test every component with every run to ensure that every change and its knock-on effects are captured and verified.
TestDrive could easily cope with this, using a test bed of scripts to test every element of the public-facing web applications, picking up and highlighting any variances in the user interface. But the resultant application changes would then have to be incorporated into the new version of the script, and traditionally this would mean time-consuming and tedious script updating.
Unique self-healing technology
Using TestDrive’s unique Self-Healing technology, which allows scripts to be updated automatically, the team was able to save huge amounts of time.
Says Wilkinson: “Test execution windows were all shorter than usual. But because TestDrive enables scripts to be re-used time and time again at the push of a button, and because Self-Healing technology took all the pain out of updating scripts, it enabled us to quickly adapt scripts to the revised application and re-test immediately, re-using the work we had already put in”.
“Quality wasn’t the only area that saw an improvement.”
- Test scripts were recorded faster and more easily
- Scope changes were easier to accommodate
- Regression testing capabilities were improved
- Production issues could be identified almost immediately
Work that would otherwise have taken four man days was completed in a day.
The net result was that, with the help of TestDrive, the Solutions Testing Team were able to deliver the middle-ware project on time and with exceptional levels of quality. This meant that Capital One significantly reduced their time to market, slashing testing times by up to 75% while ensuring maximum quality levels in their web-based applications – and reinforcing their business competitive edge.
Stringer concludes: “We are delighted with the productivity and results achieved with TestDrive and the support provided by Original Software. By directly addressing our strategic need for quality, accuracy and speed of delivery, TestDrive has proven to be a cost-effective solution. This has been an effective partnership and one we will continue to support to maintain our focus on being a well-managed organization.”Talk to us