Thursday, December 29, 2011

Banking And Financial Software Testing Methodologies

The increasing regulatory requirements, raising customer expectations, rapid consolidation, and convergence in the banking and financial sector has created the need for sophisticated IT solutions that operate in real time with continuous availability and reliability.

In a drive to give operational excellence, which is of paramount importance, the banking and financial sector is looking for solutions that could address the challenges they are facing:

  • Implementing more rigor within risk management and corporate governance from board level downwards
  • Building on opportunities from market concentration and globalization
  • Focusing on the need to gain operational synergies from mergers and acquisitions
  • Responding to regulatory and government changes and leveraging these changes to provide business opportunity
  • Improving customer service and customer retention
  • Reducing operating costs across both the business and IT
  • Implementing technological changes such as Vista and SOA based solutions
The technological advancements, intent to address these challenges, need to be sophisticated, hence the need for a formal quality management and testing approach that will help them deliver enhanced business value with optimized benefits, and above all a defect free solution.
AppLabs' quality management and testing services utilize its many years of banking and finance experience across the globe to support clients who view technology as a business enabler and see the importance of getting implementation right first time. Integration of large, widely distributed systems is more and more complex and AppLabs services are designed to identify and manage these effectively, hence delivering result-oriented and cost-effective services.

Software vendors often focus on software development activities, which leave them with very little time to develop testing competencies. As a bank, you might find that they lack proven processes and methodologies, and ready test teams to execute your testing projects as efficiently as a specialist independent testing partner can.

We have a track record of over 14 years in successfully executing software testing projects for Global 500 banking and financial services clients across the world (translating to over 10 Million person hours of testing experience). Over the years, we have created (and are continuously improving) Test Processes and Methodologies that comprise:

  • Metrics-driven testing processes
  • Standardized documentation of test ware
  • Effective systems of reviews
  • Optimum usage of automation techniques

Our vast experience with testing projects has helped us to evolve numerous best practises which differentiate us from system integrators who also offer testing services. These form the foundation of our Seven Step Methodology that minimizes project risks and streamlines testing delivery to your satisfaction. Your partnering with us for testing services provides for effective and comprehensive planning and execution of testing projects.

Seven Step Delivery Model

Seven Step Delivery Model

Step 1 - Proposal for Engagement

In this step, we define the terms of reference, customer expectations, project scope & commitments, and the overall project framework.

Step 2 - Knowledge Transfer

In this step, our domain experts/business analysts will ensure that the critical activity of knowledge transfer, both domain-specific as well as project-specific knowledge, takes place smoothly and with the least possible effort.

Step 3 - Test Preparation

In this step, which runs parallel to the software development activity, our team works with you to produce test strategies, test cases, traceability, test scripts, test data guidelines and Run Plans. Parallel preparation helps compress project timelines.

Step 4 - Test Execution

In this step, we carry out actual testing based on the test start and completion criteria. Experienced test teams work together to ensure flawless and timely completion of the project.

Step 5 - Defect Management

In this step, we take care of defect management and track defects systematically to closure. We also produce test logs, defect summaries, status reports and defect analyses.

Step 6 - Test Automation

In this step, we select and deploy appropriate tools for automating regression testing and performance testing. Test execution productivity is considerably enhanced by the use of automatic tools.

Step 7 - Test Maintenance

In this step, we implement a process and a stable framework for handling on-going release testing requirements on a long-term basis

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quality & Testing for Financial Services

Unparalleled financial services domain expertise to our testing engagements. We have experience testing key applications for the world’s largest banks, insurers and investment firms and have developed a wealth of proprietary tools and accelerators to streamline your testing processes.

  • For banking, our testing accelerators cover common processes for commercial lending, cards processing and payments. We have an extensive library of test cases, scenarios, use cases and automated scripts including models for VisionPLUS®, SWIFT, and TSYS®
  • For capital markets, we developed industry-leading tools for FIX protocol testing and Calypso in addition to accelerators to test systems for investment banking, asset and wealth management, brokerage services, custodian operations, and exchanges.
  • For insurance, we have use cases, test scenarios and automated scripts to handle common tasks for underwriting, policy administration and claims management. Our accelerators for specific insurance applications include model based testing assets for Guidewire. Our Pega Testing Toolkit helps lower testing time for Pega-based business process management applications through automation.

Measurable Results

Capgemini combines world-class testing expertise and global financial services domain experience to streamline testing for customized or commercial off the shelf applications. We have helped our clients:

  • Optimize quality assurance processes to reduce post production defects by 25% or more
  • Develop testing management programs that reduce post production defects by 25%, test execution time by 15%, and testing preparation time by 20% with 0% defect leakage to production
  • Reduce test failures due to unavailable test data by 70%
  • Achieve 15% overall project savings through the use of defect prediction modeling
  • Lower testing time for commercial software by as much as 30%

Proven Solutions for Financial Institutions

  • Model Based Testing Workbench. A tool driven approach to automate test design and accelerate testing for commercial financial services applications. By using pre-defined models, Capgemini helped a European bank increase test coverage by 300% and created over 2,600 test cases in one month.
  • Quality Blueprint. A customized assessment which measures the maturity level of your test organization against industry benchmarks. Using our proprietary, historical database of assessments, Capgemini benchmarks your company against the financial services industry across 22 dimensions and provides a roadmap with recommendations to move to the next level of maturity.
  • Managed Testing Services. A collaborative approach to sourcing testing and QA services, managed testing services provide financial services firms with a way to transform their testing function and achieve high-quality systems cost-effectively, without losing overall control or incurring expensive overhead costs.

From Capgemini

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Software Testing Practical Tips

Here are some of the best testing practices I learned by experience:

1) Learn to analyze your test results thoroughly. Do not Ignore the test result. The final test result may be ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ but troubleshooting the root cause of ‘fail’ will lead you to the solution of the problem. Testers will be respected if they not only log the bugs but also provide solutions.

2) Learn to maximize the test coverage every time you test any application. Though 100 percent test coverage might not be possible still you can always try to reach near it.

3) To ensure maximum test coverage break your application under test (AUT) into smaller functional modules. Write test cases on such individual unit modules. Also if possible break these modules into smaller parts.
Lets assume you have divided your website application in modules and ‘accepting user information’ is one of the modules. You can break this ‘User information’ screen into smaller parts for writing test cases: Parts like UI testing, security testing, functional testing of the ‘User information’ form etc. Apply all form field type and size tests, negative and validation tests on input fields and write all such test cases for maximum coverage.

4) While writing test cases write test cases for intended functionality first i.e. for valid conditions according to requirements. Then write test cases for invalid conditions. This will cover expected as well unexpected behavior of application under test.

5) Think positive. Start testing the application by intend of finding bugs/errors. Don’t think beforehand that there will not be any bugs in the application. If you test the application by intention of finding bugs you will definitely succeed to find those subtle bug also.

6) Write your test cases in requirement analysis and design phase itself. This way you can ensure all the requirements are testable.

7) Make your test cases available to developers prior to coding. Don’t keep your test cases with you waiting to get final application release for testing, thinking that you can log more bugs. Let developers analyze your test cases thoroughly to develop quality application. This will also save the re-work time.

8 ) If possible identify and group your test cases for regression testing. This will ensure quick and effective manual regression testing.

9) Applications requiring critical response time should be thoroughly tested for performance. Performance testing is the critical part of many applications. In manual testing this is mostly ignored part by testers due to lack of required performance testing large data volume. Find out ways to test your application for performance. If not possible to create test data manually then write some basic scripts to create test data for performance test or ask developers to write one for you.

10) Programmers should not test their own code. Basic unit testing of developed application should be enough for developers to release the application for testers. But you (testers) should not force developers to release the product for testing. Let them take their own time. Everyone from lead to manger know when the module/update is released for testing and they can estimate the testing time accordingly. This is a typical situation in agile project environment.

11) Go beyond requirement testing. Test application for what it is not supposed to do.

12) While doing regression testing use previous bug graph (Bug graph – number of bugs found against time for different modules). This module-wise bug graph can be useful to predict the most probable bug part of the application.

13) Note down the new terms, concepts you learn while testing. Keep a text file open while testing an application. Note down the testing progress, observations in it. Use these notepad observations while preparing final test release report. This good habit will help you to provide the complete unambiguous test report and release details.

14) Many times testers or developers make changes in code base for application under test. This is required step in development or testing environment to avoid execution of live transaction processing like in banking projects. Note down all such code changes done for testing purpose and at the time of final release make sure you have removed all these changes from final client side deployment file resources.

15) Keep developers away from test environment. This is required step to detect any configuration changes missing in release or deployment document. Some times developers do some system or application configuration changes but forget to mention those in deployment steps. If developers don’t have access to testing environment they will not do any such changes accidentally on test environment and these missing things can be captured at the right place.

16) It’s a good practice to involve testers right from software requirement and design phase. These way testers can get knowledge of application dependability resulting in detailed test coverage. If you are not being asked to be part of this development cycle then make request to your lead or manager to involve your testing team in all decision making processes or meetings.

17) Testing teams should share best testing practices, experience with other teams in their organization.

18) Increase your conversation with developers to know more about the product. Whenever possible make face-to-face communication for resolving disputes quickly and to avoid any misunderstandings. But also when you understand the requirement or resolve any dispute – make sure to communicate the same over written communication ways like emails. Do not keep any thing verbal.

19) Don’t run out of time to do high priority testing tasks. Prioritize your testing work from high to low priority and plan your work accordingly. Analyze all associated risks to prioritize your work.

20) Write clear, descriptive, unambiguous bug report. Do not only provide the bug symptoms but also provide the effect of the bug and all possible solutions.

Don’t forget testing is a creative and challenging task. Finally it depends on your skill and experience, how you handle this challenge.

All About Web Testing

While testing a web application you need to consider following Cases:

• Functionality Testing
• Performance Testing
• Usability Testing
• Server Side Interface
• Client Side Compatibility
• Security

In testing the functionality of the web sites the following should be tested:
• Links
i. Internal Links
ii. External Links
iii. Mail Links
iv. Broken Links

• Forms
i. Field validation
ii. Error message for wrong input
iii. Optional and Mandatory fields

• Database
* Testing will be done on the database integrity.

• Cookies
* Testing will be done on the client system side, on the temporary Internet files.

Performance :
Performance testing can be applied to understand the web site’s scalability, or to benchmark the performance in the environment of third party products such as servers and middleware for potential purchase.

Web Site Test Tools and Site Management Tools

Load and Performance Test Tools

Java Test Tools

Link Checkers

HTML Validators

Free On-the-Web HTML Validators and Link Checkers

PERL and C Programs for Validating and Checking

Web Functional/Regression Test Tools

Web Site Security Test Tools

External Site Monitoring Services

Web Site Management Tools

Log Analysis Tools

Mobile Web/App Testing Tools

Other Web Test Tools

Complete guide on testing web applications

Considered while testing web applications. Here we will see some more details on web application testing with web testing test cases. Let me tell you one thing that I always like to share practical knowledge, which can be useful to users in their career life. This is a quite long article so sit back and get relaxed to get most out of it.

Let’s have first web testing checklist.
1) Functionality Testing
2) Usability testing
3) Interface testing
4) Compatibility testing
5) Performance testing
6) Security testing

1) Functionality Testing:

Test for – all the links in web pages, database connection, forms used in the web pages for submitting or getting information from user, Cookie testing.

Check all the links:

Test the outgoing links from all the pages from specific domain under test.
Test all internal links.
Test links jumping on the same pages.
Test links used to send the email to admin or other users from web pages.
Test to check if there are any orphan pages.
Lastly in link checking, check for broken links in all above-mentioned links.

Test forms in all pages:
Forms are the integral part of any web site. Forms are used to get information from users and to keep interaction with them. So what should be checked on these forms?

First check all the validations on each field.
Check for the default values of fields.
Wrong inputs to the fields in the forms.
Options to create forms if any, form delete, view or modify the forms.

Let’s take example of the search engine project currently I am working on, In this project we have advertiser and affiliate signup steps. Each sign up step is different but dependent on other steps. So sign up flow should get executed correctly. There are different field validations like email Ids, User financial info validations. All these validations should get checked in manual or automated web testing.

Cookies testing:
Cookies are small files stored on user machine. These are basically used to maintain the session mainly login sessions. Test the application by enabling or disabling the cookies in your browser options. Test if the cookies are encrypted before writing to user machine. If you are testing the session cookies (i.e. cookies expire after the sessions ends) check for login sessions and user stats after session end. Check effect on application security by deleting the cookies. (I will soon write separate article on cookie testing)

Validate your HTML/CSS:
If you are optimizing your site for Search engines then HTML/CSS validation is very important. Mainly validate the site for HTML syntax errors. Check if site is crawlable to different search engines.

Database testing:
Data consistency is very important in web application. Check for data integrity and errors while you edit, delete, modify the forms or do any DB related functionality.
Check if all the database queries are executing correctly, data is retrieved correctly and also updated correctly. More on database testing could be load on DB, we will address this in web load or performance testing below.

2) Usability Testing:

Test for navigation:
Navigation means how the user surfs the web pages, different controls like buttons, boxes or how user using the links on the pages to surf different pages.
Usability testing includes:
Web site should be easy to use. Instructions should be provided clearly. Check if the provided instructions are correct means whether they satisfy purpose.
Main menu should be provided on each page. It should be consistent.

Content checking:
Content should be logical and easy to understand. Check for spelling errors. Use of dark colors annoys users and should not be used in site theme. You can follow some standards that are used for web page and content building. These are common accepted standards like as I mentioned above about annoying colors, fonts, frames etc.
Content should be meaningful. All the anchor text links should be working properly. Images should be placed properly with proper sizes.
These are some basic standards that should be followed in web development. Your task is to validate all for UI testing

Other user information for user help:
Like search option, sitemap, help files etc. Sitemap should be present with all the links in web sites with proper tree view of navigation. Check for all links on the sitemap.
“Search in the site” option will help users to find content pages they are looking for easily and quickly. These are all optional items and if present should be validated.

3) Interface Testing:
The main interfaces are:
Web server and application server interface
Application server and Database server interface.

Check if all the interactions between these servers are executed properly. Errors are handled properly. If database or web server returns any error message for any query by application server then application server should catch and display these error messages appropriately to users. Check what happens if user interrupts any transaction in-between? Check what happens if connection to web server is reset in between?

4) Compatibility Testing:
Compatibility of your web site is very important testing aspect. See which compatibility test to be executed:

Browser compatibility
Operating system compatibility
Mobile browsing
Printing options

Browser compatibility:
In my web-testing career I have experienced this as most influencing part on web site testing.
Some applications are very dependent on browsers. Different browsers have different configurations and settings that your web page should be compatible with. Your web site coding should be cross browser platform compatible. If you are using java scripts or AJAX calls for UI functionality, performing security checks or validations then give more stress on browser compatibility testing of your web application.
Test web application on different browsers like Internet explorer, Firefox, Netscape navigator, AOL, Safari, Opera browsers with different versions.

OS compatibility:
Some functionality in your web application is may not be compatible with all operating systems. All new technologies used in web development like graphics designs, interface calls like different API’s may not be available in all Operating Systems.
Test your web application on different operating systems like Windows, Unix, MAC, Linux, Solaris with different OS flavors.

Mobile browsing:
This is new technology age. So in future Mobile browsing will rock. Test your web pages on mobile browsers. Compatibility issues may be there on mobile.

Printing options:
If you are giving page-printing options then make sure fonts, page alignment, page graphics getting printed properly. Pages should be fit to paper size or as per the size mentioned in printing option.

5) Performance testing:
Web application should sustain to heavy load. Web performance testing should include:
Web Load Testing
Web Stress Testing

Test application performance on different internet connection speed.
In web load testing test if many users are accessing or requesting the same page. Can system sustain in peak load times? Site should handle many simultaneous user requests, large input data from users, Simultaneous connection to DB, heavy load on specific pages etc.

Stress testing: Generally stress means stretching the system beyond its specification limits. Web stress testing is performed to break the site by giving stress and checked how system reacts to stress and how system recovers from crashes.
Stress is generally given on input fields, login and sign up areas.

In web performance testing web site functionality on different operating systems, different hardware platforms is checked for software, hardware memory leakage errors,

6) Security Testing:

Following are some test cases for web security testing:

Test by pasting internal url directly into browser address bar without login. Internal pages should not open.
If you are logged in using username and password and browsing internal pages then try changing url options directly. I.e. If you are checking some publisher site statistics with publisher site ID= 123. Try directly changing the url site ID parameter to different site ID which is not related to logged in user. Access should denied for this user to view others stats.
Try some invalid inputs in input fields like login username, password, input text boxes. Check the system reaction on all invalid inputs.
Web directories or files should not be accessible directly unless given download option.
Test the CAPTCHA for automates scripts logins.
Test if SSL is used for security measures. If used proper message should get displayed when user switch from non-secure http:// pages to secure https:// pages and vice versa.
All transactions, error messages, security breach attempts should get logged in log files somewhere on web server.

I think I have addressed all major web testing methods. I have worked for around 2 years out of my testing career on web testing. There are some experts who have spent their whole career life on web testing. If I missed out addressing some important web testing aspect then let me know in comments below. I will keep on updating the article for latest testing information.

Thanks to Software Testing Help.