Software Quality Matters Blog
A Business Case for a Pre-Prepared Oracle E-Business Suite Quality Management Solution
Download the Oracle E-Business Suite Original Software Business Case
There’s no denying it – oracle systems are complex, very often business-critical and are the heartbeat of many companies. If you run your business on Oracle, you rely on it to receive orders, ship products, invoice customers, control financials, manage human resources and do so much more.
Embarking on a journey to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 may be a step you would prefer to avoid, especially if your environment is stable and your business is running smoothly. It’s an expensive,disruptive and time-consuming exercise, dominating an organisation for several months and demanding a significant budget.
But the fact is you have little choice. Extended Support for Release 11 ends in November 2013 and, with your business relying on Oracle applications, you can’t afford to take the chance of running an unsupported release after that date.
Your only protection against failure or downtime, and the subsequent impact it can have on the business, is a robust quality assurance process within your own Oracle testing team. Effective Oracle testing has to be a vital part of your strategy, elevating it from a tactical function to a strategic and critical process for the business. This approach will not only minimise downtime, but will also protect the value of your Oracle implementation to the business.
This Oracle E-Business Suite Business Case has been put together to help you survive, adapt, and thrive in the Oracle testing of your complex Oracle eco-system. You can download the PDF by going here: http://www.origsoft.com/oracle-ebusiness-suite
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Although more and more organisations are moving towards agile software delivery, agile methodologies bring their own set of challenges.
The truth of the matter is that traditional test tools struggle to work in an agile environment. This is mainly due to the fact that they were designed to work in a ‘test last’ environment whereas the agile model is more a ‘test first, test continuously’ model.
Traditional or legacy testing tools force QA teams to wait until after the software is complete (or at least the interface) before test automation can begin. After all, it’s difficult to record scripts against an interface that doesn’t yet exist.
These kinds of tools only really suit application testing that involves long development cycles and strict change management regulations. Otherwise they simply won’t work.
Typically, these tools require users to have specialist skills. The cost of licences for these products is so huge that many organisations tend to only buy licenses for just a select few. This goes against the ethos of tight communications and close-knit working groups that are necessary in a successful agile testing environment.
Finding the right agile automation tool is therefore incredibly important if agile teams are to have a bug-free version of the software with each iteration.
Furthermore, the number of tests increases exponentially with each story to the point where, if the tests were done 100% manually, the testing could actually exceed the length of the total iteration. It is therefore imperative that agile teams have an option that reduces the time taken for manual testing.
Whatever your agile methodology, projects require a change in the way QA and development work together. The use of technology and automation are much more difficult and finding a practical approach to testing is critical for successful agile projects.
Join us on this Webinar “Optimising Quality Assurance in an Agile World” ( http://www.origsoft.com/webinars/agile-quality-assurance.php ), where you will learn the best practices needed for an efficient Agile testing process and look at some of the potential pitfalls when adopting Agile in general. Even if you can’t attend on the day, it is still worth registering so you can have access to the recording on demand.
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Resources, risk and application time to market are often in conflict as IT teams strive to deliver quality applications within their budgetary constrains. This is the Quality Conundrum.
Pressure is a way of life for IT development organisations. The demand from the business for new application functionality is unrelenting. At the same time, resources are limited because of the ever present need to contain costs.
For these reasons it is absolutely vital that everyone on your quality team, from designers and developers through to QA and users have the best tools to maximise their productivity and respond to business needs quickly.
Our mission is to provide a solution suite that will enable everyone involved in the development and implementation of new or enhanced applications to participate in the software quality process.
Complete Application Quality Management is both a mindset and an agenda. An unacceptable proportion of testing is focused on the visual layer simply because it is the only area that legacy test automation software can address adequately. It is our view that every aspect of an application must be tested, from the visual layer through to the underlying processes and database.
With industry leading innovation such as our code-free script building, and the ability of these scripts to change or ‘heal’ themselves when a change is detected in the application, means we have broken down the barriers associated with software test automation. Original Software makes application quality available to the widest possible audience. Our short learning curves and reduction in the need for specialised skills go a long way in improving your return on investment.
If you click here you can navigate through our Quality Conundrum wheel and learn more about Resource, Time and Cost in the battle to improve software quality: http://www.origsoft.com/quality/quality-conundrum-resource/
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The amount of effort involved in software testing varies from one project to another. A key management challenge is to balance the risk of errors against the testing effort. Very often a greater degree of testing is desirable but impractical due, partly, to time constraints and partly due to the sheer effort involved in finding a reducing number of errors in subsequent test cycles.
It is obvious that if the testing process can be made more effective in determining errors and if it can also become less time and resource consuming, projects will be delivered on-time or early, at a reduced cost and implementation will be easier.
A key factor in a successful testing strategy is to maximize testing at the earliest opportunity. This is when the effort in detecting, documenting, fixing and re-testing an error is at its lowest. Very often, testing performed in the development/coding phase is not even considered to be ‘real testing’, yet it has the greatest opportunity to impact the remainder of the project. In the case of a modification in an existing system, the code change might be relatively small, say two or three hours work, yet the testing that will be involved could easily be measured in days if the change affects a core part of a system. By starting improvements here, it could be possible to eliminate 80% of this testing effort and reduce testing and required re-work because more errors have already been eliminated.
In this paper you can read more about the automation of those testing processes that can not only drastically reduce the inefficiencies and downtime, but also improve the quality and the speed of application development programs. You will learn about the shortcomings of traditional automation tools and that they can be overcome by looking at solutions with more functionality and a design ethos centered around the user.
You can download this paper from: http://www.origsoft.com/whitepapers/cio-insight-strategic-software-quality/
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Most IT executives agree that any company that is able to rapidly deliver software applications of a consistently high quality within minimum budgets will enjoy significant competitive advantage. However, despite this, it is generally accepted that the challenges surrounding software quality remain untouched. Testing is still perceived as a huge bottleneck. Despite vast sums having been spent on big branded automation tools, the large majority of testing is still carried out manually.
Because testing is still so inefficient, it invariably accounts for a unacceptably large portion of a project’s time and budget. But it’s not just a time and money thing; poor software quality can adversely affect brand, customer perception, employee morale and the ability of your company to comply with regulatory legislation. Software quality is serious business. Companies that do not strive to make it a strategic business imperative, lose the fight for the competitive advantage and true return on investment to all areas of the business.
By improving quality processes, less resource is required and employees benefit from far improved efficiency. Weeks of effort and costs from a project deadline can be cut in half. At the same time a project’s chances of success increase and a healthy reputation for delivering applications that are increasingly stable with each release is realistic.
The CIO challenge
At the CIO level, a potent mixture of restricted budgets, aggressive timelines, and businesses seeking a competitive advantage through new technologies, increase the pressure and risk associated with managing high profile initiatives.
Executive boards are challenging CIOs to conceive and deliver strategic initiatives that will in turn provide competitive advantage and future business benefits. These will involve projects such as re-engineering existing systems, implementing new technologies, upgrading core vendor packages to current releases, delivering business driven enhancements, and enhancements mandated by legislation.
A cold hard look at these projects will reveal a common and sizeable component: testing. When all of the testing elements are added together (requirements, unit, system, QA, regression, UAT), they account for a minimum of 30% of total project time and can account for as much as 75% (based on our own studies). Which ever way you cut it, testing is a significant activity in application development.
To read more on this topic, you can download the insight from here and look at the issues related to the improvement of software quality, that not only can these challenges be surmounted, but that a significant, tangible financial benefit can be won in the process. It also looks at some key factors to consider when selecting software automation tools.
You can download it from http://www.origsoft.com/whitepapers/battle-for-software-quality/
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On June 21st, CKC Seminars organised the second edition of Test Automation Day.
A very successful conference day with more than 180 enthusiastic Test Automation professionals!
The keynote presentation by Scott Barber answered the question “The Future is Cool, but Does it Add Value?”, whilst Walter Belger presented the ins and out of Security Testing. After lunch, expert Elfriede Dustin shared her vision regarding the Near Future of Automated Testing.
Channel Partners, Remain, represented Original Software at the event, and during their presentation they asked the attendees to raise their hand if they had a Test Automation tool. Less than 50% raised their hands. Most of the attendees were manually testing, but at the same time, those that had a test automation tool, were only automating around 5% of the total project. Only automating in the low risk, low change areas.
Agile testing was a subject that saw great interest. With many organisations moving to or experimenting with Agile.
Original Software has been acclaimed by the analyst community as the best solution for supporting Agile.
“One area where Original Software can be appropriate is in unstable, changing circumstances. The two most notable situations are the first release of an application and in agile processes.” Paul Herzlich, Software Testing Tools Analyst, Ovum
Just as improvements in developer’s software tools and methods have enabled a shift in development approaches, next generation technology for test automation is similarly re-framing the opportunities for testers to automate earlier in the delivery cycle without incurring the heavy burden of script maintenance so often associated with traditional automation tools. This means that not only can an agile environment be adopted, application quality is maintained and the total testing time reduced.
If you would like to learn more about manual or agile testing you can learn more here: http://www.origsoft.com/solutions/
Test Automation Day Channel Partners, Remain
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I came across this very interesting article, written by John Brandon, CIO.com
It’s about what the CIO can expect in their job function over the next eight years. The writer emphasizes that certain roles will dramatically change, such as: business planning, cyber security, robot management and the cloud.
He also states that this information was collected directly from industry leaders, analysts, and CIOs themselves to discover the challenges that lay ahead.
The ten headings below are the predictions that Brandon makes of what life will be like for a CIO by 2020, but I would encourage you to click to read this article from its source, CIO.com.
1. Microsoft’s reign may end.
2. The IT department won’t be physical.
3. Hyperkinetic business collaboration will occur in the cloud.
4. CIOs will manage fewer humans, especially for security.
5. End-users will not be in departmental groups.
6. Cyber warfare will turn the CIO into a general.
7. BYOD will be the norm.
8. Outsourcing will use AI.
9. CIOs will impact business direction.
10. Analytics will be increasingly important.
John Brandon is a former IT manager at a Fortune 100 company who now writes about technology. He has written more than 2,500 articles in the past 10 years. You can follow him on Twitter @jmbrandonbb.
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Software failures are costing companies significant amounts of money and damage to their brand, people are losing jobs and in some cases their liberty because of avoidable software failures!
Read our “5 Reasons Why Ignoring Software Quality Could Be Your Downfall2″
Times are tough. You know it, I know it, your competition knows it and your boss definitely knows it. With greater competition, more consumer choice and a greater dependency on technology than ever before, every organisation faces the challenge of building quality IS systems to support rapidly evolving business requirements. New applications need to get out the door quicker than ever, and you know that the new application upgrade will be hot on its heels. Time is money and IS departments are constantly looking for ways to cut down their application time to market. On average 40% of total application delivery time taken up with testing, so is it no wonder that this is an area marked out for special attention.
Why does testing take so long? Is the question often thrown at the QA department. Well it’s a highly manual process — even though some departments may use automation tools, it is still a time consuming activity. There is a skill in balancing the required resources, with time pressures, and software quality. Original Software refers to this as the Quality Conundrum, and it is something that IT management need to get to grips with. And fast.
You want better quality software? Right, well it will take more time to get right. You want the application live next week? OK, but we will either need to double the team of testers or we will only complete 75% of testing and the quality will be compromised. We don’t have any more budget for more resources? Well there is a decision to be made between an on-time application or a high quality application—you can’t have both.
A familiar conversation? This is the Software Quality Conundrum!
Ignoring the issues surrounding software quality won’t make it go away. Understanding corporate attitudes and distinct advantages to getting software quality right and the problems that can arise if things go wrong, is an important first step in the right direction, and to help you on this journey, read our “5 Reasons Why Ignoring Software Quality Could Be Your Downfall“.
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What is your biggest challenge for upgrading to Oracle EBS R12?
Oracle has made the business value and imperative upgrading to the latest release of Oracle EBS pretty clear. However many companies are finding that the amount of effort required to upgrade to EBS 12.x, before the looming Nov 2013 deadline, is much more substantial, costly and disruptive than previous upgrades.
A large part of this effort takes place in testing and validation, which in themselves will be repeated anywhere from five to ten times during the upgrade, the burden of which often falls upon Business Analysts and end users.
Join Original Software as we put forward a process for a pain-free go-live date with Oracle EBS R12, that delivers the promised business value and one that doesn’t tie up your business users unnecessarily.
This webinar will explore the best practices needed for an efficient process during your Oracle upgrade, especially the testing phase, which is often underestimated. Make sure you register here for your place on this webinar!
Even if you can’t attend on the day, it is still worth registering so you can have access to the recording on demand. Register here now!
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It’s always amazing how every year the month of January sparks the desire in many people to reflect on past promises, challenges and successes. Once the moment has gone, a sense of clarity and a surge of determination takes root, and a new list of promises kick-starts a change and a passion to do well for the new year ahead.
Although this helps set about many good changes, trying to stick to these promises can sometimes prove quite a challenge! How many of you can relate to the the goal of, “I shall join the gym and get fit and healthy”? Unfortunately for some, by February this ambitious goal is broken and by March the very idea of keeping it is mere wishful thinking!
Although harmless if broken, what would happen if the promises you made effect your business? What if your company was sold promises such as:
- Provide a code-free testing tool for QA.
- Offer good customer support.
- Ease the burden of application testing.
Now imagine what would happen if these promises were broken! The impact to your business would be quite damaging.
As a software vendor in the Application Quality Management space, we prefer to keep the promises we make to our customers. So on that note, Original Software would like to lay down a few promises this year that the testing community should also consider following.
2012 New Year’s Resolutions
- I will focus on testing rather than scripting – why should a tester require programming skills. We believe that empowering your subject matter experts to define and execute sophisticated tests without the need to use any kind of code is the kind of promise that is worth keeping. So we promise to continue innovating our code-free solution in order to remove the burden of code-based script maintenance.
- I will stop being the drag on Agile development teams – traditional test tools struggle to work in an Agile environment. This is mainly due to the fact that they were designed to work in a ‘test last’ environment whereas the agile model is more a ‘test first, test continuously’ model. Our promise is to support the Agile community with a solution that will provide a dynamic and efficient testing solution for your Agile projects.
- I will not forget about the test data – regulatory compliance and data protection laws continue to have an ever greater impact upon the ways that companies do business. We want to make testing on live data a thing of the past and help you create subsets of data that retain their referential integrity, and provide a perfect miniature copy of your live environment.
- I will stop insisting that BAs and end users should test manually – the UAT phase of your application delivery requires business process expertise in order to check that the application meets business expectations. This means relying on business users to test the new or upgraded system. We promise to supply a solution that is able to capture the business process knowledge from the lines of business.
- I will stop pretending I can run a professional quality organisation on spread sheets and scraps of paper – it’s amazing how many companies still reply on spreadsheets and paper to manage the QA process. We promise to show you a way that enables you to unite all aspects of your quality lifecycle, across all stakeholders, from one central point.
If you have any Software Testing Resolutions for 2012 that you would like to share, we would love to hear them! Please feel free to comment back or tweet your resolution to @Origsoft.
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