Testing Services provides a platform for QA professionals to discuss and gain insights in to the business value delivered by testing, the best practices and processes that drive it and the emergence of new technologies that will shape the future of this profession.

July 12, 2017

Allure of Cloud may fade away without proper data validation

Naju D. Mohan, Delivery Manager, Data Services, Infosys Validation Solutions

The need to validate integrity, correctness and completeness of data, residing in the cloud is increasing every second with the penetration of mobile devices and the inter connection of computing devices through internet. Cloud seems to be establishing itself as the best possible alternative to meet these data storage and processing demands. Data management capabilities of traditional data stores are revamped to meet the demands for huge volume and variety of data in cloud storage. This calls for new testing techniques and tools for ensuring 100% data validation.

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July 6, 2017

Thinking the Unthinkable: An AI approach to scenario prediction

Every now and then QAs are confronted with the uncomfortable situation where a defect is overlooked and it makes its way to the higher environments. This happens despite QA team having supreme understanding of the system under test. Due to the tremendous complexity of the real world applications and the sheer lack of resources (especially time), many flows and behaviors inherent in the application may not be tested and the authenticity of such behaviors remains dubious.  Also, curiously novice users are able to find defects that expert users cannot. Expert users of the application suffer from a syndrome that can at best be described as hindsight bias, wherein they tend to be blind towards the possibilities in the application that they are not used to.

One way to deal with the above mentioned scenario is to hire more and more QAs so that there are more pair of eyes looking at the application hence trying out and finding out more hidden behaviors that can potentially be defects. Due to the cost issues involved, this approach is not very practical. Another approach is that if we can try to simulate the users with different thinking patterns. This approach puts us in the realm of Artificial Intelligence.  We have developed a Genetic Algorithm (GA) for black box software testing that can do just that.

Genetic Algorithms are the heuristic method of optimization that simulates survival mechanics of genes during the course of evolution. They are based on the mechanics of survival such that these string structures that are linear yet randomized, are able to exchange information to form a search algorithm. An initial group of random individuals (population) evolve according to a fitness function that determines the survival of the individuals. The algorithm searches for those individuals that lead to better values of the fitness function through a selection, mutation and crossover genetic operations.

Brief overview of System Under Test:

Our system under test was an incident logging system. There were few requisites  that needs to be fulfilled before user can successfully create an incident. Few of them are:

1)      User Rights and Associations: User with correct rights and associations should be able to create the incident only in their associated domains and should not infringe outside their domains.

2)      Routing mechanism: Un-authorized users should not be able to access create incident screen either through user action on menu items or directly through URL.

3)      Presence/Absence of Data: Presence of data should be there for mandatory fields before user can create an incident. However, there should not be any checks like this for optional fields.

4)      Dependent fields: Dependent fields should not get the data before their parent fields being populated.

5)      Authenticity of Data: User should not be able to create the incident without the correct data in the fields that have look-up value checks.

Synopsis of the Solution:

 Our algorithm placed the factors outlined above as the bits on the string much like DNA. Each factor was recognized by the place it holds on the string structure.

The objective of the GA was to highlight any false positives i.e. the flows in the application that lead to successful creation of the incident when they should not have been created. For this purpose, we gave higher weights to the factors that were less likely to create an incident. For example, a user (A) with CREATE rights is more likely to create an incident successfully then a user (B) that have just READ rights. So, in this case user B will get significantly higher value of weight than user A as he/she is less likely to create an incident. Same kind of weight distribution was done for other factors as well.

Finally, an equation was created that will calculate the fitness value of the individual string structure. The equation was designed to give higher values of fitness to the individuals that resulted in successful creation of incident even though when the odds of such a thing happening was less. The fitness value of first generation of 10 strings were calculated and then mutation and cross-over events were performed to create the offspring of 10 strings. If the parent was having higher value of fitness then it was retained else child was selected. Once this selection process was over, again the same steps were performed to generate next generation. This process was repeated till the n­th generation. After which human analyst can look at the resultant strings and verify whether these flow really are defects.

Advantages of GA based software testing over traditional testing:

  1.  Able to explore various scenarios hence improved coverage of the system, many of the scenarios may not even cross the mind of the human QAs.
  2. Increasing the Defect Detection Efficiency leading to improved Quality of the system.
  3. Easy to change the directionality of search to find new defects by changing the weights associated with the factors.
  4. Substitute for human testers with the advantage to work on non-business hours including weekends.
  5. High risk area in the application can better be covered by increasing the population size and number of generations.

Associated Challenges:

  1. Technical expertise required to build the framework.
  2. Clear understanding of factors affecting the application is required. It is still not Subject Matter Expert (SME) agnostic. The bias of the SMEs may affect the outcome of the runs.
  3. Hardware intensive. Procuring the advanced computation resources may not be easy in the client environment.

This is a humble attempt to increase the software quality and provide end users with less grief due to missed defects without escalating the project costs.  In the last few years there has been significant involvement of Artificial Intelligence related technologies in most of the aspects of software yet software testing seems to have been eluded by the riches it provides. I sincerely hope that software testing has lot to gain from the advances in the AI making software solutions and products more reliable and efficient over the passage of time. 

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March 8, 2017

DevOps at Enterprise scale

Author: Varun Rathore, Delivery Manager

The current business environment makes many demands on organizations. With the proliferation of start-ups becoming a game changer to the existing brick and mortar industries, the need to innovate, iterate and stay relevant, is enormous. In view of this, UBS has embarked on a journey to transform itself through DevOps practices

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November 26, 2016

Predictive analytics - An emerging trend in QA

Author: Indumathi Devi G., Project Manager, Infosys Validation Solutions

As digital transformation is rapidly changing business operations, quality assurance (QA) also has to change from traditional quality control to intelligent quality assurance. Nowadays, clients not only want to test software adequately, but also as early and thoroughly as possible. To accomplish these goals, it is important to opt for shift left testing and predict the failures even before the applications are handed over for testing. Today's business dynamics require QA professionals to make critical decisions quickly. It is imperative to make use of the avenues, such as customer feedback, defect data, and test results available at disposal to make prompt decisions.

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November 22, 2016

A large brewer decodes social media with Infosys

Author: Surya Prakash G., Delivery Manager, Infosys Validation Solutions

Digitization has become the buzzword in every industry vertical, as end consumers have been swept away by the digital world. The advent of Internet of Things (IoT) implies that smart products, services, factories, and operations are replacing traditional ones. Data from social media is enhancing decision making to increase revenues by impacting unstructured data for analysis. This is leading to an exponential increase in data analysis, interpretation, and the way data from social media is used in a meaningful form. With this, the focus on data testing has to move beyond volume and variety, to include velocity and veracity of data.

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A.E.I.O.U of New Age Quality Engineering

Author: Srinivas Yeluripaty, Sr. Industry Principal & Head, IVS Consulting Services

In today's digital world, 'change' is the only constant and organizations are grappling with ways to meet the ever-changing expectations of key stakeholders, especially ubiquitous consumers. With the GDP transformed by mobile economy, globalization leading to "Global One" customers, payment industry transforming from "Cashless" to "Card-less" to "Contactless" transactions, ever growing emphasis on security and compliance, the expectations on IT are reshaping significantly. To achieve that pace and flexibility, organizations are increasingly adopting agile methods and DevOps principles.

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November 21, 2016

SAP Test Automation approach using HP UFT based solution

Author: Kapil Saxena, Delivery Manager

Problem statement
Most businesses that function on SAP, or plan to implement SAP must consider multiple factors, as their entire business runs on this backbone. Their major worries are testing effectiveness, preparedness, cost, and time to market. Infosys SAP Testing Unit has answers to all four, which have been well implemented and proven but I am reserving this blog for the last two.

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November 18, 2016

Darwin and world of Digital transformations

Author: Shishank Gupta - Vice President and Delivery Head, Infosys Validation Solutions

When Charles Darwin proposed the theory of 'survival of the fittest', I wonder if he imagined its applicability beyond the life forms. Since the advent of the internet, the bargaining power of the consumers is steadily increasing and product and service providers often find themselves playing the catch up game to provide the best of the product features bundled with the best of consumer experience. What would Darwin's advice to product companies in today's Digital world be?

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October 6, 2016

Testing the Internet of Things Solutions

Author: Tadimeti Srinivasan, Delivery Manager

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects (devices, vehicles, buildings, and other items) that are embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity to collect and exchange data.

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Infosys view on relevance of Continuous Validation in DevOps Journey

Author: Prashant Burse, AVP-Senior Delivery Manager

Rapid digitization is forcing organizations to develop more and more consumer driven enterprise strategies. This is forcing businesses and IT organizations to respond with increased agility to ever changing consumer needs. IT organizations are hence shifting from traditional waterfall based delivery models to Agile and eventually DevOps methodology.

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