Solution to the challenges of automating testing processes in POS applications
November, Wednesday 18 of 2015
(Santiago) In increasingly competitive retail markets it is critical to be able to improve the time to market of applications for POS since this is directly related to the strategies and versatility that the industry requires to face this scenario. It is in this context that many companies implement QA departments for the testing processes but this can finally translate into two results, small work teams with many requirements, oversold manual tests or larger departments that similarly end up performing the tests manually connecting many peripherals involving many hours to work to test the applications, which consequently can lead to failures due to human errors affect the confidence in the process. Then it is crucial that the quality of the tests allow to deliver trust, scalability and ease of maintenance in order to effectively and efficiently systematize the testing processes, guaranteeing the certification of the application.
For this, ATaaS was born, a systematized testing robot for POS applications in which hardware and software are perfectly combined, through an ATaaS service offering, Automated Testing as a Service.
ATaaS Technology® responds to several challenges that are implicit in testing processes such as:
Challenge: Interaction with Peripheral Devices Testing of POS applications requires interactions between the cash register and other peripheral devices such as ticket and invoice printers, bar code scanners, cash drawer units, PINpad devices, band readers magnetic, and a variety of other peripherals available. The operation of these peripherals requires human intervention and this requires the physical presence of a tester, thus minimizing the number of test cases that could be automated and executed in an unattended manner.
Solution ATaaS Technology® POS Peripheral Device Emulation has the ability to emulate peripherals in your test environment, ticket printers and invoices, bar code scanners, scales, touch screens, cash drawer, coupon printers, screen customer, operator screen, customer monitor, operator monitor, magnetic stripe readers, character recognition readers with magnetic ink (MICRs), weights, a variety of other peripheral devices. It also offers a unique solution for those test cases that require interaction with a payment device. One of the tools, the BOT ATB CNC (Computer Numeric Control) uses a robotic arm to automate the input produced when typing the pin-pad keys and therefore fully supporting the unattended execution of the test scripts. The Bot ATB device provides the ability to automate the reading of EMV chip testing and Magnetic Stripe scanning of credit card stacks, debit cards, gift cards, and customer loyalty cards. They can even make signatures on touch screen screens of the pin-pad for authorization of payments. With ATaaS we have achieved the automation of at least 95% coverage of testing cases in all our clients.
Non-Standardized GUI Objects. POS systems come with client-robust applications and touch UI screens. The applications are being customized with the use of non-standardized objects which can not be recognized by standardized automation tools, therefore making it very difficult to automate the testing of the POS GUI.
ATaaS Technology® solution, supports standard and non-standard GUI objects: ATaaS technology abstracts from controls and uses digital processing algorithms to discriminate relevant information, and emulated devices to operate on graphic objects, unlike many other automation tools which require programming in code how these tools should interact with a GUI driver.
Challenge: Frequent POS reviews involve maintenance efforts that are time consuming and costly to achieve Automation of Testing processes. Updates to the POS application occur frequently due to business requirements. Changes in the POS GUI and business processes result in extensive updates to the automated test scripts. Normally they are large volumes of text scripts that must be rewritten and re-executed.
ATaaS Technology® Solution Massive updates of Test Cases, CDP, minimizes maintenance efforts. This feature allows the user to easily identify changes in GUI objects or Input / Output values. Once it is completed, ATaaS performs an automatic global search and replaces it through all the scripts that have been impacted in the Regression Test Suite. The amplitude of the reprocessing step for each individual test case is eliminated. ATaaS provides a feature called Re-learning to deal with significant changes in business processes. ATaaS will inform the user of a change in the flow of the test cases and promptly warns the user to carry out the learning process manually. ATN relearns the changes and performs the updates from the point of impact, and therefore eliminates the need to re-learn the breadth of full test cases. To improve the efficiency in Automated Testing, ATaaS offers a feature called Segmentation of Cases which provides the ability to modularize the scripts of the tests that require multiple data sets. The base of the test script is re-used repetitively and only the input and output variables are changed, for example, the Segmentation of the Case Tests would be used for the test scripts that have to do with Sales / Returns / Change for different types of payments such as Cash, Debit Cards, Credit Cards, Gift Cards and Loyalty Cards.
Technological obstacles related to the compatibility between the automation of the test tool and the POS application, the POS hardware, the peripheral devices and the operating systems can cause compatibility problems when the case automation tools are being housed.
The philosophy of ATaaS Technology® is to be a Non-Invasive Solution: The POS application does not host ATaaS. The solution consists of an independent hardware that emulates its peripheral devices and provides a software interface within a Windows environment. ATaaS is not limited by the POS Operating System. It can be customized to work within your POS environment, supporting multiple POS applications with different platforms and software and hardware configurations such as Toshiba, Micros, and NCR, just to name a few.
The automated test tools that only offer recording and playback are quite limited. Testing tools that strictly rely on recording and playback as the only method of developing a script are in-adequate and not robust enough to develop case suites with all the features required to perform tests not only on the GUI if not also of the layers of the business process.
ATaaS Technology® solution, as well as the typical recording and playback feature, ATaaS provides several additional features to assist in the development of a comprehensive and comprehensive automated test script set.
ATaaS Technology® is a versatile tool designed with the QA tester in mind but robust enough to support users with more advanced software programming skills.
Scripting en XML:
To edit the automated test cases, the user has easy access to the XML files that were created when the test case was recorded. The user has the option to create their own XML script to solve their more advanced testing requirements.
ATaaS Technology® offers a targeted approach to the use of Keywords. Use reusable functions / keyword scripts that can be invoked by multiple scripts directing to different test scenarios. The keywords reduce the cost and time of the design, automation and execution of the tests, and also improve the maintainability of the test scripts.
It allows the user to perform performance tests for actions specified by the user's times. Unexpected changes in times can signal new defects. An exhaustive report is generated automatically to document the results of the performance test.