The software applications help insurance companies to make their processes efficient and run business smoothly. But the insurance applications are designed with features to facilitate a wide variety of activities including development of policy forms, payment processing, and facilitating intra-branch transactions. At the same time, the apps also need to store sensitive business and customer data securely, and deliver seamless customer service across a variety of devices. The features and functionality make insurance apps complex, and different from normal software applications. The insurance companies also need to assess all aspects of their apps to deliver quality customer service and effectuate business processes.
5 Reasons Why Insurance Applications Must Be Tested Continuously
1) Integration of Many Systems
In addition to being domain-specific software, the insurance application also includes a number of systems. For instance, an insurance application may include individual systems for insurance policy administration, claim management, risk management, investment management, and calculation and valuation of insurance policy. At the same time, it also provides detailed and updated information to users according to the Compliance and Regulatory. So the overall functionality and performance of the application depend on the quality of each integrated system. A company must perform elaborate integration testing each time an integrated system is modified or updated.
2) Need to Test Each Unit Rigorously
As noted earlier, each insurance app is designed by integrating a number of systems. Each of these systems is designed as independent units, and integrated with other units subsequently. Often insurance companies integrate new units into the application to automate new activities. So each of these units must be tested independently and as part of the application. The insurance company must deploy testers to identify and eliminate all bugs in individual units. Likewise, it must get the systems tested after the integration to ensure that the app performs seamlessly.
3) Changes in Regulation and Guideline
Unlike generic software, an insurance app must deliver accurate, exact and updated information to each user. So the company needs to ensure that the application delivers information according to the latest regulations and guidelines issued by the Compliance and Regulatory. Also, the insurance companies must make changes to the insurance apps immediately to accommodate the new guidelines and regulations. Each time any changes are made to the app or individual systems, it becomes essential for testers to repeat all tests without any delay. Thus, the company need to ensure that the insurance application is tested thoroughly each time the rules change.
4) Security of Business and Customer Data
The insurance applications are also designed to store and deliver a wide variety of data. The application will enables employees and vendors to access a large amount of business data. At the same time, it will also store sensitive information of customers, and allow them to access updated information. So the application must be designed with advanced security features and techniques. The testers further need to perform a variety of tests to ensure that the app can store and deliver sensitive information securely. They also need to review the source code of the application rigorously to ensure that it can combat the emerging security threats.
5) Focus on Functionality, Usability and Compatibility
Nowadays, most insurance companies allow their employees to bring and use their own devices. Likewise, the customers also access the web-based insurance apps on a variety of devices. So it becomes essential for the insurance company to ensure that the application delivers quality user experience across many devices. The company must deploy testers to assess the application’s functionality and performance across many devices. Also, the testers need to check the application’s user experience on individual devices. When the insurance app is tested continuously, it becomes easier for the company to deliver quality user experience and customer service.
On the whole, an insurance company can reap several benefits by testing its applications thoroughly and continuously. However, it is also important for the company to review and customize its software testing strategy at regular intervals to enhance the insurance app’s quality and user experience.
The term “smoke testing” is derived from the tests conducted on hardware which detects if the hardware, in its initial phase, catches fire or smokes. In software testing, smoke test is done to detect if the software is stable and ready for being subjected to further in depth testing. Also known as the “build verification testing”, it is primarily used to detect if there are in problems with the important functionalities of the software in which case further testing would be a waste of both time and money.
Smoke testing is essentially done to create criteria based on which the QA would accept or reject the particular build of the software for further testing. It has many advantages like exposing various issues related to the integration of the various modules of the software which may have been introduced due to the code change. It helps in providing confidence that the code written or changes does not majorly affect the quality or workability of the software. Smoke testing also ensures that the problems that may have been introduced due to the new codes are detected early.
How to Perform Smoke Testing?
- As the procedure is related to the new codes written or changes brought about in the existing codes so it is important to be in contact with the developers to get a hang about the possible functional changes and interdependency changes brought about by it.
- A checklist is to be made to keep a track of all the changes that requires checking with the help of the process.
- Smoke tests usually points out the primary weak points of the software which prevent the software from working properly, hence a code review should be +done before smoke testing to get rid of the defects and faults of commission.
- It is performed with the help of pre written test codes or with the help of automated tools.
- Debugging should be done before smoke testing as it deals with only the functionality changes brought about by the changes in the code and should be done on a clean environment.
- Smoke test should touch all parts of the software and hence should be wide in coverage yet shallow.
- In depth testing should be avoided at all cost as the main idea is to detect if the testers are capable of conducting further tests on the software or not.
When to Perform Smoke Testing? Smoke testing should be done every time a new software has been created and the codes have been reviewed to check if the software is feasible for further testing procedure or for running, as a matter of fact. It is usually done in the initial phase of software development lifecycle when the software is not yet stable. Smoke test should be performed before the developers team releases the software to the tester and should be tested by the testers before taking the software ahead for further testing as it checks the crucial parts of the software to ensure that it is capable of running properly and that further testing is required. Smoke testing is essentially conducted in the acceptance testing, integration testing and system testing levels of the software testing lifecycle.
So that’s all you need to know about smoke testing and when the procedure is to performed and according to Microsoft it is the most economic method of detecting problems with the software. So it should be performed by everyone to avoid loss of capital in testing a software which is incapable of functioning normally.
Before we strive to write a good bug report let’s think of why we write a bug report in the first place! The whole point of writing a bug report is to get the bug fixed so that the software becomes a better version of itself. So before you sit to write a bug report you need to do it in a manner where the developers will be clear about what’s wrong with the software and will be able to rectify it else your moral as well as reputation can be harmed.
Writing a bug report is a piece of cake, however, writing an effective bug report may not be as easy. In order to make your bug report effective you may consider following the below mentioned pointers.
- Having Clearly Specified Bug Number: It is very important that you number all your bug reports uniquely and in a chronological manner so that the bug can be easily identified and located. If you are utilizing any automatic bug reporting tool then the number will be generated automatically. Always keep a brief account of the bug report along with the unique identification number.
- Reproducible: The developers can’t rectify the bug if they can’t reproduce it. This is why it is very important that you mention clearly the steps to reproduce the bugs. This will allow the developers to follow the given steps and reproduce the bug so that they can verify the nature of the bugs and rectify it with ease.
- Be Specific: There is no point in writing an elaborate report of the bug. No one has the time to read it. When you are writing a bug report always be specific about the bug and write a report which is short, to the point and specific about the problems created by the bug you are reporting. Make sure to reproduce the bug multiple times, read the report before submission and avoid using abusive language.
There are some simple templates which you can follow in order to write a perfect and effective bug report.
- Reporter: This will have your details so the developer can contact you if necessary.
- Product: The product in which you found the bug.
- Version: Which version of the product was tested.
- Component: Various modules of the products.
- Platform: The platform in which the bug was detected.
- Operating System: The operating system in which the bug was detected.
- Priority: How quickly the bug should be attended to on a scale of P1 to P5.
- Severity: Here you will be discussing about the impact of the bug based on the following points.
- Status: mention whether the bug is a new one or an existing one which has popped up again.
- Assigned to: If you have any information about which developer is going to fix the bug, mention it in your report.
- URL: It is best if you can mention the URL of the page in which the bug was detected for ease of the developer to detect it and pin point it.
- Summary: A short yet to the point summary of the bug report always helps the developer to get a quick glance of the whole report and hence to identify how to rectify it.
- Description: Describe the bug which you are reporting.
These are some of the tips and tricks to prepare a good bug report which will be effective for developers.
Often managers or QA leads find it a daunting challenge to prepare an effective software testing plan. In addition to preparing the test plan by following an organized approach, they also need to keep in mind test objectives, scope of testing, risk identification, test execution schedule, metrics to assess the project, and constraints related to time and resources. That is why; it becomes essential for the manager to focus on a number of important points to make an effective software testing plan.
7 Tips to Make Your Software Testing Plan more Effective
1) Test the Software Frequently
Many reports have highlighted that an organization can save both time and cost by testing the software application early and frequently. When the bugs in the software are identified in early phases of software development lifecycle, the testers can fix the defects without putting extra time and effort. So you must introduce software testing in the early phases of the project, and ensure that the software is tested repeatedly and frequently.
2) Create Small Functional Modules
You must understand the test coverage clearly to make a better testing plan. So it is important to divide the entire software application to be tested into a number of smaller modules. Each module will cover specific features or functionality of the application. Thus, the small functional modules will help you to understand and track test coverage. However, you must consider dividing the each functional module into small logical parts, and writing test cases for each module based on these small parts.
3) Focus on Test Case Development
It is also important to identify the business requirements that are testable. You can easily identify the testable requirements by getting test cases written during design and requirement phases of software development life cycle. The valid or positive test cases will help you to cover all expected behaviour of the software, whereas the negative test cases will cover its unexpected behaviour. However, you also need to ensure that the test cases are written by experienced programmers, and explain each step clearly.
4) Pick the Right Metrics
The test plan must focus on documenting, tracking, measuring and reviewing the quality objectives during various phases of the project. So you must pick the right metrics to track and assess the quality objectives more effectively. It is always important to pick metrics that are effective but simple to execute. Also, you must pick a variety to metrics to cover all aspects of the project. You can always consider using some of the commonly used metrics like schedules, size, quality, rework and resources.
5) Build a Custom Test Environment
You must create a custom test environment by replicating the production environment exactly. Also, the environment must include the right test automation tools and systems with customized configuration. It is also important to keep the testing and production environments separated, and prevent the developers from accessing the test environment. When the test environment is accesses exclusively by testers, it will be easier to identify and control the missing components.
6) Emphasize on Informative and Precise Bug Reporting
You must remember that the quality of the bug report will have a direct impact on the defect turnaround time. The testers must provide detailed and specific information about the bugs identified during testing to enable developers to fix the defects easily and quickly. They can even reproduce the bugs to reduce the defect turnaround time drastically. Your test plan can even recommend testers to use a predefined bug report template to provide adequate information about the defects.
7) Divide and Allocate the Tasks Properly
Your test plan also needs to focus on allocating the tasks to the right professionals. While allocating tasks, you must keep in mind the test schedule, size of the team, and the skills and expertise of individual testers. You can even consider preparing a skill chart of all members of the testing team, and allocate the tasks based on the skill chart. Also, you need to ensure that each member of the team understand the objective and nature of the task assigned to him clearly.
While making the test plan, the manager must ensure uninterrupted communication between testers and programmers. The communication will result in getting the problems resolved in a quick and efficient way, while avoiding misunderstanding in future. However, the professionals must communicate with each other through emails instead of sticking to verbal communication.
A gradual increase is being noted in the number of businesses switching from scripted testing to exploratory testing. The conventional scripted testing approach requires the active test cases to be designed in advance, with clearly defined processes and expected results. The predesigned tests are used by testers to compare the actual test results with expected results. So the testers must be provided with adequate information to execute the tests and interpret the test results effectively.
But exploratory testing approach emphasizes on concurrent test designing and execution. It further requires businesses to deploy skilled software testers, and allows testers to become more imaginative and exploratory. While performing exploratory testing, the QA professionals have autonomy to decide what tests to perform next, and how to prioritize tests due to time constraints. So a business can avail a number of benefits by adopting the modern software testing approach.
What Makes Businesses Switch from Scripted Testing to Exploratory Testing?
Defects are Found Quickly
The predesigned test scripts restrict professionals’ imagination and creativity. When the testers have adequate information about the software to be tested and use the predesigned test scripts, they do not come up with fresh and innovative ideas. Exploratory testing requires them to design and execute tests concurrently. So they can learn and improve continuously, while coming up with new ideas and innovative ways to solve problems.
Accommodate Individual Testing Approaches
Exploratory testing approach requires enterprises to deploy skilled and experienced QA professionals. So each tester can analyze the specific problem in a particular way. The members of the team can further suggest various ways to test a particular feature or functionality of the software. So the same aspect of the application can be tested in a number of ways. The different approaches effectuate testing, and help testers to identify all flaws in the software.
Allow Testers to Control the Testing Process
The scripted testing approach differentiates the process of test design and test execution. So an enterprise has option to deploy different teams to design and execute tests. Also, the testers need adequate product information and detailed business requirements to execute the tests effectively. So the testers fail to execute tests if the test cases are not designed in advance or they are not familiar with the application. But exploratory testing enables testers to design and execute tests concurrently. They can easily gather the required information, and design and test cases in each situation.
Freedom to Follow Leads
Nowadays testers have to test all aspects of the software within a shorter amount of time. So they find it daunting to read, understand and execute predesigned test scripts. Most modern testers prefer designing and executing tests in parallel without referring to any predesigned test cases. Further, they want to deploy the limited time in finding bugs instead of reading and understanding test cases. The absence of predefined constraints further enables testers to identify bugs in the software by following all promising leads.
Facilitates Agile Testing
Many businesses nowadays adopt agile methodology to reduce software testing time and cost significantly. But the delivery cycles in agile project is extremely short. Further, the developers and testers have to collaborate with each other deliver a flawless software application. So the businesses are no longer required to deploy skilled professionals to make test plans, design test cases, and manage defects in the software. When a business adopts exploratory testing approach, it becomes easier for it to design and execute test cases concurrently without deploying any additional professionals. So exploratory testing helps businesses to reap benefits of agile project management methodologies.
On the whole, the exploratory testing approach is completely different from conventional scripted testing approach. But companies like Microsoft have proved that both testing approaches are compatible with each other, and can also be used on a single project. So a business has option to either adopt exploratory testing model or use both testing models simultaneously.
In the recent years, cloud computing has made a huge advancement in the field of World Wide Web. Since its advent, the growth of cloud computing has been in leaps and bound and by the year 2016 the cloud computing will have a market size of $ 19.5 billion approximately. With this kind of advancement in the cloud computing genre, it is quite obvious that software testing will become largely dependent on it.
Being one of the most crucial parts of the software development life cycle, software testing is always on the lookout for advancement of the process to further strengthen the procedures in order to get better software which will provide maximum customer satisfaction. This in turn has ensured the betterment of the test management tools which are being used to test the software for the glitches so as to rectify them.
- Cost Effective: The best part of using the cloud based test management tools is the fact that they cost much lesser than the traditional tools. You no longer need to maintain a separate hardware for your management tools which means that your depreciating cost reduces greatly. You also get to avail your test management tool whenever you need it and you get to pay for them accordingly, which means you don’t need to pay for the tools even when you are not using the same.
- Benefits of Virtualization: When you are using a cloud based test management tool, you get the liberty to share the same tool with various companies which in turn helps in reduction of the capital cost. With the increase in the complexity of the various tools or applications, cloud base helps in sharing of the resources which makes the testing tools much more flexible in nature and optimal usage facilities are provided this in turn makes the testing tools more efficient.
- More Collaboration: With the help of cloud based test management tools you can now share the data among the testing teams of various locations all around the world. This helps in collaboration of the various testing teams giving rise to more powerful testing procedures which ultimately results in foolproof software which will be favorite among the customers. You no longer need to maintain a test team at your development site as the data can easily be shared over cloud server.
- Testing is Quicker: Cloud based test management tools deploy a lot quicker than the traditional tools available and also, they have a very short set up time which ultimately results in saving time when it comes to the whole testing procedure. The test management tools can also be upgraded anytime and anywhere providing you with more proficient tools to work with. The testing can be started anytime and anywhere and almost immediately providing the company with an advantage in competition.
- Reduced IT Management Effort: When you are using cloud based test management tools, you no longer need to put a lot of effort in the installation, adding or replacing of the users, licensing, upgradation across locations, etc. This provides your IT team with ample time to focus on more vital issues related to software testing which will ensure a better testing procedure that will benefit the business in the long run by earning more profit.
These are some of the top benefits of cloud based test management tools over the traditional tools that are available in the market and in the coming years this dependency is going to be enhanced further for the betterment of the process on a whole.
When it comes to the popularity of any software, it is hugely depended on the software testing procedures applied to the same, especially the various performance testing procedures which optimizes the performance of the software, detects the various glitches that may hamper the software’s performance so that you can rectify them for the betterment of the system.
- Apache JMeter: This is basically a performance testing tool which can also be used for the creation of test plan for a particular software. This open source tool is based on JAVA applications.
- LoadRunner: LoadRunner is brought to you by HP and can be bought form the HP app store. It helps in detection of the performance of the software under test in the real time situations where actual load is present.
- WebLOAD: Ajax, Adobe Flex, .NET, Oracle Forms, HTML5 are all used by WebLOAD to test the performance of the various web applications that are developed. It allows testers to check the performance of the application in the presence of heavy load.
- Appvance: Appvance utilises the cloud server of the client to repeatedly test the performance of the software under consideration throughout the whole development life cycle of the same so that the software can be made completely bug free.
- NeoLoad: NeoLoad is one of those performance testing tools which help in the improvement of the web applications as far as the performance of the same is concerned. With utmost ease, it lets you know the number of users that the application can handle at any given time.
- LoadUI: LoadUI is probably one of the most flexible performance testing tools that you will ever come across. While the test procedure is on, you can use this tool for the betterment of the test plan along with configuration of the same.
- WAPT: WAPT (abbreviation for web application performance testing) is yet another tool which checks the web based application for its performance under various conditions. During load testing, it provides results for virtual testers.
- LoadImpact: If you are looking for a performance testing tool which will help you test the applications under the maximum amount of load possible, then LoadImpact would be your perfect choice for the occasion. This tool is primarily for cloud server base apps.
- Rational Performance Tester: Rational Performance Tester can be used with equal ease on both web as well as server based applications which require input and output of data. Thus this application is perfect for checking the performance of the software which involves transactions.
- Testing Anywhere: If you are on the lookout for an automated tool which will detect the bottleneck glitches in web based as well as other applications, then you should give Testing Anywhere a try. This tool comes preinstalled with an editing option which edits the criteria for testing.
- OpenSTA: OpenSTA which is also known as Open System Testing Architecture is an open source http tool which allows the testers to check the performance of the software under various loads which are applied to the system and generates accurate results accordingly.
- QEngine (ManageEngine): QEngine (ManageEngine) is probably the simplest of all the automated tools available for the performance testing procedures. This helps in finding any of the leakage in the websites which may hamper the performance of the same.
These are the best performance testing tools that are available which you can use to generate results based on which you might want to tweak the system to create a better software for your customers.