Skip navigation
All Places > DevTest Community > Blog > 2014 > October
2014

Get a sneak peak into what's new in CA Application Test 8.0.

As you can see we have been rather busy adding some flagship features to 8.0.  We still have the same capabilities to test cross platform, local (Soon Local Lab too) or in the cloud, on Devices and Emulators/Simulators, all within your CA Application Test UI; which enables the validation of all the layers of your architecture - Mobile UI, Web UI, API, Web Services, Message Layer, and Datastores.

Screenshot 2014-10-20 11.31.29.pngWe often hear disclaimers in Ads.  The guarantees that seem so straight forward in the Ad seem to be limited. Ads are also accompanied by lots of legal fast talk at the end.  The desire to to be simple is clear but there is lots more to it than the tag line or slogan.  What these short Ads often miss even with the disclosure is the detail to help you see if the claims being made are really valid for you and your needs.  If I was guaranteed to save 15% I would be a fool not to call, but the disclaimer helps me understand that the offer is truly conditional.

 

I often encounter customers who are looking for something specific from our tools or our competitors - often we find that in the exact same problem may have two very different ways of accomplishing a similar task between tool sets.  The problem becomes one of aligning your needs as a customer with the product point of view, but often vendors provide only lists of features (This is due to the RFP response culture of function point scoring as much as anything but I believe its fundamentally misinformed).  I have never seen an RFP ask "What's your Product Point of View" but almost all ask for Roadmaps of features (A Lost opportunity to understand how the vendor addresses problems for sure!).   I do think that customers should understand the Product Point of View (PPOV) clearly.  The reason I say this is the PPOV will drive both how solutions are addressed and also how things might be solved in future versions. 

 

In mobile there are three main Product Point of Views I see in the market (Your analysis may find more or different groupings):

 

#1 - Mobile Only Platforms - These platforms put the Device and App at the center and construct their functions on top of the device.  Typical to products with this POV you will see  higher level mobile functions added that are not shared for instance within Web Testing, concepts like "Home", "Dial Number" which are composites of other commands and intended to make things easier for mobile testers.  What's missing here is the ability to have dependency or interplay between testing multiple layers of the application i.e. APIs or Back ends associated with the Mobile Application.  This Product Point of View is tightly placed on the Device experience.  Often you see a branching out to monitoring for vendors in this space.

 

#2 - Mobile as a Check Box - These platforms add Mobile as another target and offer the mainline set of features they offer in Web or API testing.  The adjustments to include mobile are minor and typically do not add higher level functions.  These Mobile add ons are typically quite recognizable as add ons, they will not incorporate Mobile needs fully as they still must optimize for the larger whole.  This Product Point of View IS driven by the RFP format sadly and you will find shortcuts in the delivery of features.  Often these will actually bring a burden to the Mobile Device where SDKs or Client apps are required for Testing.  This is seen most clearly in IBMs RTW product where the device requires an addition of a test client.  In my opinion adding apps to the System Under Test violates the premise that you are testing a real user experience.  These Mobile as Checkbox vendors typically seek to broaden the test targets but require you to build your tests internal to their system.

 

#3 - Mobile Composable Platform - This platform adds Mobile testing capability to an existing test platform to allow for extension of test capabilities as well as leveraging additional external functions in a composable fashion.  This Point of View seeks to bring together functions the customer has required such as Service Virtualization, API testing, and Mobile Device Testing all within an automation framework.  This is a hybrid view where Mobile specific features are added to the Testing Platform while embracing the evolution and speed of innovation seen in the Mobile Only Platforms.  Within the Mobile composable platform we see innovative features which align with the Product Point of View adding features for DevOps Automation, Test Generation, and Real User Defect Reporting.  The goal within this Mobile Composable Platform is to create a extensible solution, a solution that can be added to incrementally and which can be incorporated into your practices and procedures.  The flexibility afforded by this decision also requires an open approach to testing, since integration is paramount there is little in the way of proprietary formats or conventions here.

 

Wondering which Product Point of View CA Application Test for Mobile embraces?  Take the poll Which Product Point of View does CA Application Test for Mobile embrace?

 

You will experience this composability at CA World via our Demos and integrated cross product Demonstrations in DevOps  and DevCenter.

Finding the answer to the age old question "Do you support that protocol?" has become unequivocally less complex. The answer now begins – and ends – with YES.

 

A new technology called Opaque Data Processing (ODP) being introduced in our next major release of CA Service Virtualization at CA World 2014 will eliminate the need for the typical Data Protocol Handler (DPH). Instead, it will match requests based on byte-level patterns and provide accurate responses based on your transaction library.  The larger the library, the more accurate the response – the more data it has to learn from, the more precise it becomes.

 

This innovative idea and implementation was built through a three-way collaboration between CA Labs, Swinburne University of Technology in Australia and the CA Service Virtualization engineering and product teams.  The teams set out to find a way to quickly handle new protocol support, without the need for engineering enhancements.  But how does one learn a new protocol, without analyzing its standard operations and message structure?


The team dug deep into the messages and all the way to the byte level.  Here is where patterns emerge.  By using the Needleman-Wunsch genome sequencing alignment algorithm, ODP can discover byte-level patterns in messages and match those messages to ones it has already seen before.


Translating the data and understanding the protocol construct is no longer necessary.  Matching with OPD is highly accurate on its own (up to 96%).  To reach 100% accuracy the team added additional functionality to add weights to parts of messages that are more important (like the operation type).


This technology is essential to various industries that have their own proprietary binary protocols, copybook programs where the copybook is incomplete or no longer available, SCADA systems, text-based protocols and more.


Opaque Data Processing brings true artificial intelligence (AI) to service virtualization by automating the reasoning, planning, learning, communication and the ability to manipulate objects.  It also lowers the knowledge barrier of users, eliminating the need for them to understand the full construct of a protocol, WADL or Copybook.


I’m sure you’ll want to hear more about this remarkable functionality soon.  To get access to a pre-release version of CA Service Virtualization 8.0, please join our Customer Validation program.  Alternatively, visit us at CA World 2014 in the ca Devcenter area where Chief Architect, Robert Williams and I will be presenting the details of Opaque Data Processing and show you how it works live on stage.


Thank you to the team of amazing engineers and researchers for their hard work and determination in coming up with this innovative way to address the ever-growing challenge of protocol support:

robertwilliams Chris_Kraus

ODPTeam.jpg

3599753183_1302fe00b4_m.jpg

 

mobiletraffic.jpg

Mobile is driving customer engagement and also your company's top line growth.  In retail approx 50% of eCommerce is being conducted on Mobile and in developing countries mobile is even more important as there are many companies which have embraced not only mobile first but really "mobile only".
So its not a surprise that your company has a mobile initiative, and that after weeks of development involving mainly business teams and outside boutique development firm that testing may have been overlooked.

 

Do you have the tools, skills, and knowledge for this challenge?  Well here are some ways to get you started on the right foot.

 

Begin with the user and the experience in mind.  Is this a App Store app?  An internal Employee app or an App for partners/agents?

 

Look at the intended users and their personas, this may help you understand the usage pattern of the app i.e. Transient usage - such as looking up the weather; which is done a few times a day for less than a minute,or is this a Presence/Persistent application; where the user is expected to interact over longer periods of their day with other activities taking place during that usage - unplanned things like phone calls, texts, or meeting reminders. 

Finally does the application push notifications to users when running in the background or does the application leverage native device capabilities?

 

These explorations will help guide your strategies and approaches to testing the mobile application.  This will adjust the value of long running tests, as well as performance validations of API and Service tiers.  This will help refine the data sets created or leveraged by virtual services will need to be examined and ensured to meet each of the desired validation scenarios.  Additionally the environment your users will be engaging in should inform your testing strategy, this includes the network(s), other applications running on the device, as well as the constraints and capabilities of each by potential user device.  This may drive your validations to examine performance in a narrow or wide range of configurations including not only a handful of OS versions but also up to 100's of device configurations.

 

This as the breadth of validations required increases the following will be required:

  • You must have tests which are resilient to changes delivered by Development - Re writing tests due to change will force changes to slow and validation cycle times will increase and validation cycle counts will suffer.
  • You must be able to validate your application in functional depth as well as target device breadth matching your user populations expectations.14830089210_efe9bb9335_m.jpg
  • You must be able to automate these validations and run them on demand and within the desired scope of devices/networks/configurations.

 

Each of these requirements present challenges that we have overcome in CA Application Test - Mobile.

  • CA Application Test unifies testing assets and frameworks - Mobile, API, Web Service, and Database testing can be done from this single platform.
  • CA Application Test extends the ability to leverage service virtualization into the mobile space - This enables testing to isolate the Mobile application as well as test earlier in the software delivery lifecycle.
  • CA Application Test connects devices, emulators, simulators and 100’s of device combinations to ensure complete test coverage - providing the breadth of devices required to meet your users experiences.

 

We will be highlighting how we resolve these issues in our Pre-Conference Education Session on November 8th CA World '18  Session is titled: "How do I test these new mobile applications and how does CA Application Test for Mobile save me?"

 

Looking forward to digging in deeper at CA World '18!

kelia01

Mobile Testing Monday #5

Posted by kelia01 Employee Oct 6, 2014

This week in Mobile Testing Monday we go from a local lab to the stars.

 

We first discuss Mobile Lab, the ability to have a group of devices and simulators/emulators in your local network all available for CA Application test to interact with.  These devices/simulators/emulators can be open to your entire team - providing on demand test recording and execution environments and requiring no "local" emulators/simulators/devices.

 

Then we go to the stars and talk about Voyager, our code name for our application explorer.  Voyager explores and exercises your mobile applications and automates the creation of tests.  Voyager lets you perform complete functional testing cycles - exploring your application and generating functional tests.  This powerful ability frees you up to focus on User Experience and improved performance of your Mobile Applications.

 

We were inspired by NASA Voyager in creating this functionality - Voyager - The Interstellar Mission  as you can see Voyager has enabled us to go see far beyond our solar system.  CA Application Test for Mobile with Voyager will help you explore your mobile apps faster and with more coverage.

 

Getting to Know Tom Shokite



Tom_Shokite.jpg


Job Title:  Senior IT Engineer


Based out of:  Windsor, CT


Former Job:  Software Engineer


What do you enjoy about your work:  The ability to work with new technologies across multiple groups/customers.  In particular I Love the ability to implement these new technologies, with actual usage, and demonstrate that to other groups.


About your family:  I have been happily married for 12 years.


Favorite 3 movies of all time:  Caddy Shack, Forest Gump, Sherlock Holmes Series (with Nigel Bruce & Basil Rathbone)


Favorite book:  The Robots of Dawn by Asimov.


Favorite hobbies:  Play Saxophone, Dancing,  Stained Glass


Interesting fact about yourself:  Started a corporate band to play for meetings and fund raisers several years ago.  Found amazing talent (not me) right at my work place!  Interesting what you can find if you only look.


Most Interesting Saying:  Anything invented by humans can be broken by humans.




As discussed in my last blog, DevOps:  Problem or Dilemma, it is the competing priorities that are ultimately causing the issues between Development and Operations.  Let’s discuss how to solve those issues, which is what has led us to this strategy called DevOps.

Bringing Development and Operations together with competing priorities can be boiled down to a single concept - Build Trust.  Here are the 3 ways to build trust between Dev (+QA) and Ops.

photo.JPG

  1.  Deliver high quality code to production

Easy to say, but how do we increase our code quality?  Better testing in development.  QA organizations are many times forced to focus on functional testing instead of business requirements testing.  The difference?  When development delivers poor quality code to QA, QA is forced to execute their tests on a limited basis initially, just to make sure the code works.  Working code is not the goal of a QA organization. Their goal is to ensure high quality code that is meeting the business requirements. For example: when a customer is in a promotional period, they are getting the promotional rate; when they are outside of that window, they do not get the promotional rate.  If QA were to focus on just testing the code, they are likely to miss ensuring this business rule is met.  By focusing on the business requirements, QA has the ability to run more tests, more frequently (testing quality in) vs. testing functions with limited scope on an infrequent test basis (testing defects out).  There are numerous ways to address better testing in development, and I will discuss the methods in my next blog post.

 

  2.  Provide visibility and transparency

Visibility into the software development life-cycle (SDLC) for both Development and Operations will help break down the barriers between the teams. With reporting and tracking, teams can answer key questions to measure effectiveness of their tools and process. Focus your metrics around answering questions like:

      • How many changes are required on the development side for a given application that will be moving to production? 
      • What are the defect rates as it moves through the SDLC?
      • Are we seeing significant decline in defect leakage (i.e. reduced number of defects) from one phase of the SDLC to the next? 
      • How are we validating the steps required to deploy the applications throughout the lifecycle? (i.e. stop/start, loading databases, configuring applications, etc.).@

New(er) technologies around Release Automation and Continuous Delivery provide this level of visibility and transparency to all parties.  I will speak in detail about this in a later post.

 

  3.  Develop complimentary, not competing goals

Start with people.  Today, bonus incentives for developers are around amount of functionality delivered to their customers.  Operations personnel are incented on production stability.    These competing goals can completely disconnect the teams.

      • Development should be measured based on their productivity considering both speed and quality.
      • Operations should be measured on stability and time it takes to approve and deliver changes to production. 

To align these goals, find the overlaps such as quality and stability or speed and time to approve/deliver changes.  Give teams goals that have both attributes so that they have a common objective.  By aligning their goals, there is both a need and a team spirit that will naturally help the teams work together.

 

These suggestions for aligning Development and Operations are likely not the only ways to be successful in DevOps but they address the key factors you may not realize are impeding your teams.  By building trust through higher quality code. providing visibility and transparency, and developing complementary goals, teams will undoubtedly find the value in working together.

Getting to Know Arpi Jakab

 

arpi_jakab_350.jpg


Title: Principal Product Manager

 

Based out of:  Santa Clara (mostly work from home in the Oakland hills)

 

Former Job: Principal Software Engineer

 

What do you enjoy about your work: Working with passionate people to make big ideas come to life. Opportunities to share knowledge and encourage others.

 

About your family: Married for eight years to my dear wife Shauntinez and we have a soon to be five year old daughter Asa --  she thinks she is smarter than both of her parents.

 

Favorite 3 movies of all time: Godfather, Shawshank Redemption, Terminator

 

Favorite book: The Bible

 

Favorite hobbies:  Poker, Soccer, Chess, Reading, Music

 

Interesting fact about yourself:

 

Personality: INTP

Moto: “Everything is worth a Google”.

Fears: Horses