A Vicious Circle
Recently Lucido worked with a large, multi-national insurance and asset manager to solve a common Endur/Findur problem: how to thoroughly, accurately and efficiently test the system when making an enhancement or upgrade.
Testing Endur/Findur is usually comprised of an extensive suite of largely manual tests, typically run by business analysts with support from technical teams. Configuring and maintaining environments that are suitable for testing are not trivial tasks either, usually requiring manual intervention from system admins or other technical personnel. Lucido’s client had both of these challenges, coupled with the complexity of the tests themselves, which had thwarted previous attempts at automation. As environments become more complex, the work required to automate the testing of those environments can also grow, making every delay increasingly problematic.
Automated testing in Endur/Findur has always been troublesome, but there is an effective approach available in the market to combat these issues and arrive at a testing solution that is streamlined and fully automated. Before we discuss the solution, and the outcome of this client’s project, let us delve a bit deeper into the automated testing problem areas.
Squaring the Circle
Chief among the client’s testing challenges was the scope and complexity of their test suites. The client had many multi-stage tests where, in order to test a given area of functionality, several events would need to be executed in the system. For example, a common trade booking scenario involved the initial entry of a trade, which then triggered post processing services that automatically booked dependent trades.
In order to test such a scenario, the client would need both business analyst and technical personnel to support the test execution. This type of scenario raised several challenges:
- A Findur environment capable of supporting such a test would have to be readily available. This in turn requires manual checking and confirmation that the environment is online and sufficient for test execution;
- The operation services that are triggered during trade booking have to be manually examined to ensure they are online in the test environment;
- Executing and examining test results are time consuming for the analyst, as they have to manually input the initial trade – which can be prone to error – and then search Findur to ensure the dependent trades are automatically created by the system; and
- The transaction fields must be compared between the original deal and the copies. Some fields must be the same, while others are expected to be different.
This is just one of many similar scenarios in the client’s overall test suite. In order to run the whole collection it could take the client several weeks of total testing effort, which makes conducting regression tests extremely painful and impractical to do frequently.
The cost of manual testing in terms of time and personnel is the most common reason Findur users avoid changes in the application, even when those changes involve bug fixes, retirement of painful workarounds, and removal of unnecessary customizations.
The Perfect Triangle
There is a very effective solution in the market to address all such testing challenges. Triangle, developed by Trinitatum in the United Kingdom, is a testing software suite that utilizes a behavior-driven approach to test writing and execution. It integrates with several major trading and risk management systems and is intuitive to learn and implement, both by business analysts and technical staff.
By leveraging Triangle and integrating this software into the client’s Findur environment, Lucido was able to help the client implement a fully automated test solution. In addition to an automated solution to the four bullets above, the client was able to realize these additional benefits:
- The Triangle solution was implemented quickly, taking approximately 2-3 months to stand up a solution that covered (40-50 scenarios covering a total of ~200 individual, repeatable tests);
- Using the simple syntax of the Triangle software, the client was able to construct automated tests that could execute their most complicated scenarios; and
- The client’s technical team was able to gain proficiency in the Triangle solution in a rapid amount of time, giving the client confidence that they could meet future testing requirements easily on their own without external guidance from the vendor.
The client now has automated tests for all critical areas of their Findur system and no longer recoils at the prospect of testing a new software release, bug fix, or even a change to an existing report or interface.
Automated testing in Endur/Findur does not have to be difficult. If these testing challenges sound too familiar within your own organization, Lucido and Trinitatum have worked together on multiple engagements and can help devise an automated testing solution that can put these testing concerns to rest. For more information, please reach out.
We have shared sample tests that demonstrate the power and ease of the business-oriented Gherkin syntax in a related post.