TSc is a supplier of international telecommunications equipment which contain elements of integrated hardware, software and mechanical engineering. The software element continues to grow in importance and size and is often now the only differentiator in the market. With this increasing dependence on software, TSc wants to continue to increase its software reliability and quality. Improved Software testing is a key element required and the SWAT automated software testing project is part of a wider drive within TSc to deliver improved software. This will give external business benefits of improved time to market by increasing speed of testing; increasing the number of defects found and reducing the time taken to fix by providing better test feedback.
The achievement of the above objectives require the improvement of the software testing phase by performing the following tasks:
1) Perform a 'Health Check' on and update existing Automatic Test System.
2) Measure software complexity and feed into test creation activity.
3) Compare manual and automatic testing on the baseline project.
This SWAT PIE involves the automating of the test phase of a separate baseline software development project (typically a future release of Central Unit software). The Baseline project will be selected on the basis of its suitability for use in the SWAT PIE. This baseline software requires a team of around 6 engineers over an extended period, which involves Alpha and Beta Test phases. A 50% reduction in the length of these phases and an increase in the number of defects found are SWAT PIE aims. TSc employs around 470 people, of which 45 are involved in software development.
EXPECTED IMPACT AND EXPERIENCE
The current test process relies heavily on manual testing. By automating testing, an increase in the reliability of the product software will be achieved, concurrently with a decrease in the time taken to carry out the testing. The decrease in the test time will allow the product to reach the market place earlier, leading to commercial advantage. Additionally the discovery of software defects earlier in the software lifecycle leads to reduced defect repair costs and improved customer perceptions. The experience gained will be applicable to other real-time software applications within TSc and other interested companies.