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INDIAN INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT KOZHIKODE- KOCHI CAMPUS,

INFOPARK, KAKKANAD, KOCHI- 30

ACCELERA TEST- An
Innovation in Software
Automation Testing Process
A report submitted on managerial innovation for the course of
Fundamentals in Management

Submitted by,
Rakesh Krishnan S- EPGPKC/02/076

Table of Contents
Introduction........................................................................................................ 3
Infosys Independent Validation Service Unit................................................3
Test Automation Practice- Benefits and Drawbacks.....................................5
About Accelera Test innovation.......................................................................6
Successful Implementation of Accelera Test in a Project:...........................7
Key Benefits to Customers...............................................................................8
Conclusion......................................................................................................... 10
References........................................................................................................ 10

Introduction
Software testing is really important in order to assure that a quality product is
delivered to the customer. Testing is included in Software Development Life Cycle
of a product. As the product developed will contain enormous amounts of defects
or errors, it is crucial to perform testing during or after the development stages
in order to find and resolve all the defects. Software testing process involves in
preparing a test plan which has the approach for performing the testing,
formulate test cases for validating different modules framed into test scenarios,
test execution where we actually test the application as per the test cases and
finally sign off the testing process in order to deliver a defect free application to
the customer. Testing also enables in measuring the functional, engineered and
adaptable factors in order to evaluate the reliability, correctness, efficiency,
usability and maintainability of the product. Manual Software testing is done in
the initial phase of the testing, in more often with an ad-hoc manner, so as to
detect the critical bugs which effects most of the functional modules of the
application. Automation testing is an approach in order to automate the manual
tasks so as to avoid a manual intervention for testing a particular application.
Automation Testing is more often used in long-term projects when large amount
of effort is spent on testing very big applications and delivering within a given
time frame. Automation is done using an appropriate tool (licensed or free), by
resources who have expertise in test scripting. Automation enables to re execute
the test scenarios for each releases of a product or application for avoiding
repetitive tasks. But huge amount of investment in matters of both revenue and
time concerning lot of other factors brings customers in a havoc situation for
choosing to adopt test automation in their projects.
The previous paragraph explains a brief about software testing process and
automation testing methodology. In today's world, as there are more number of
IT vendors who will propose for both manual and automation testing solutions, it
has become very difficult for winning a project until there is a valid innovation
needed to be showcased to the customers for achieving a win-win situation.
Infosys has come up with an innovation with Test Automation Accelerator which
helps in saving time and resource used in automation testing process by creating
a support framework also having an ease of use for Customers.

Infosys Independent Validation Service Unit


There are lot of factors that have made testing activity a critical mission with
very highly complexity and of course time consuming. So in order to maintain a
constant pace for overcoming all negative factors, organisations are in a process
of innovating new testing solutions with different technologies and methods that
help them assure high quality application is been delivered at minimal risk and
also seek a chance to maximize business impact to the organisation. Infosys has
an Independent Validation Service (IVS) unit under which all the Testing projects
are managed and supervised, which also follows best practices to guarantee in
delivering the products that are 95-99% defect free. Most of the testing projects
in Infosys has adopted the automation testing depending on the sizing and the
term of the projects. Around 30-35 % of the total employee strength are in to IVS
Unit. Each Software development project consist of an IVS Team, which
comprises of Test Managers, QA Leads, Manual Testers and Automation Leads, in
both onshore and offshore locations. Once a project is won by Infosys, it will be
handed over to the Delivery Team, which then decides to structure a QA Team,
comprising all the above members. The Test manager will be responsible in
analysing all the design document and then cluster all into several groups
headed by QA Leads. Each Lead will be taking care of few modules of the
application divided based on the functional behaviour of the application to be
tested and verified. Then once the analysis phase is done, Leads and Test
Analysts start to prepare the Test Plan, which will define the Approach to test the
application, also regarding the environment set up details, resource sizing, scope
of automation, etc. Test plan contains a high level Test Estimation report which
will define the sizing of number of resources, both manual and automation, who
will be working on the various tasks. This is then handed over to the Client Side
manager for necessary approvals and once received, test case preparation will
be initiated. Requirement documents, which have both business level and
technical level details of the application to be tested, will be shared to the QA
Team and by analysing the same, the leads plan to prepare the high level
scenarios. Referring to the same is how the test cases are prepared. Test case in
simple meaning is a written statement of a scenario which is to be tested. These
test cases are written in the form of steps. These come under the Test Planning
efforts. Once this is completed, then starts the Test Execution, where actual
testing of the application is started. Along with the test execution, if there are

any defects found, will be tracked and recorded, and sent to whole team for
fixing the same. Defects are raised in the form of tickets which in the initial stage
will be in open status. Once it is fixed, it will be retested to ensure the defect is
been fixed properly and the scenario is working as expected. After the test
execution is completed, the QA leads will re assure that all the defects raised
have been thoroughly tested again and then defects will be in closed status.
Testing is said to be complete once all the defects have been retested & verified,
and confirmed approval is been received by client side and signed off. Most of
the QA teams in Infosys follow the same procedure of testing discussed above.
Few projects which are too complex concerning the factors of time and money
run on an agile method, where testing is done along with development, split into
a sprint form of releases.
Infosys IVS unit values their clients lot more than most of the IT vendors. They
observe their clients, show courtesy to listen to them till the last, and then
provide solutions which are apt to the scenario. One of the client of Infosys had
given a valuable feedback regarding their efforts:
"I would like to draw notable attention to the Test automation process that was
initially introduced in January by the Infosys team... we have become the envy of
our peers in the Bell IT Team, as we have reduced our testing time by 85% and
continuing to remain bug free in 2005"- Lesley-Anne, Ass.Director of Retail, Bell
Canada

Test

Automation

Practice-

Benefits

and

Drawbacks
Infosys offers three different categories of Testing to their clients. One is Custom
Validation Testing where basic testing needs such as functional, usability,
security, compatibility, integration validations have been addressed. Other is Test
Consulting

solutions,

which

deals

with

enterprise

testing,

QA

Process

consultancy, and test management. Third and the most challenging or innovating
category is the Specialised testing platform where comes the automation testing,
performance testing, package application testing, ERP Solutions, etc.
Automation testing involves in various stages such as identification of the test
cases which are feasible to automate, analyse the complexity, provide a
feasibility check to the same, give a test estimation effort on high level, provide
a Proof of Concept demo, identify a suitable framework, choose a right tool to

automate, dry run of the scripted test cases and maintenance of the scripts for
each release or projects.
Automation Testing addresses a lot of advantages and challenges. Automation
testing is a single time effort. Once a test case is automated, then it can be re
executed anytime and anywhere, which will really reduce lot of manual
interventions. Also, we can save number of manual testing resources from test
execution process. It is commonly observed that nearly 15-30 manual testing
resources can be saved if automation testing is implemented, which can reduce
lot of time and money.
Automation testing is not followed by all QA Projects, as there will be constraints
of revenue, employee size, project delivering time, concerns in return of
investments, and lot of other factors such as a constant disruption formed due
to unpredictable changes in testing schedules, etc.
A major challenge observed is that clients are forced to reject or stop the
automation testing process due to their lack of knowledge in the test scripting
area, so that they cannot actively participate in the same. Other factors such as
automation tools license cost, operational cost for maintenance of the test
scripts & execution of the same. Another major drawbacks of test automation is
that lot of time needs to be invested in developing script once the tool is
finalised, all

resources working for automation testing needs to have a well-

defined technical background in developing test scripts where necessity of


technical trainings will arise.
Hence as a solution in most of the above problems, the innovation team in
Infosys had come up with implementing Infosys Accelera test Tool.

About Accelera Test innovation


Accelera Test is a web application developed in the Infosys Internal Server, which
is very easy to use and customisable. The main objective of Accelera Test
innovation was to solve most of the above challenges faced by the Clients who
were really particular in participating the automation testing process, an also
concerning the return of investments(ROI).

Major benefits of this tool is that

automation process can be framed in such a way that the Client team can feed
the business modules and requirements in modules into the Accelera Test. The
framework is designed for accepting each modules as different entities and then

this will develop ready to run automated test scripts. These are even syntax
checked so as to avoid unnecessary faults while testing. By this way we can save
huge amount of effort in developing the automated test scripts. The framework
used in the tool is been developed using several amount of experience in
functional testing wide spread to different industry domains. In the initial phase
of automation implementation, the Accelera Test team will analyse the existing
test case suite and create a feasible road map for automation initiation. The only
pre requisite for Accelera Test is a defined test scenarios, enormous amount of
test data and a test environment where the automated scripts are executed.
When these are fed directly to the system, the tool ill provide a well-defined
feasible automation framework along with the test scripts and a suggestion for
tool, in order to execute the test case. As always in automation, the prima facie
problem is to analyse and find which tool is the best for an application or a
project to be used for automating the test cases. Now as Accelera Test provides a
solution for the same, huge amount of effort can be saved from the Testing Life
cycle.
Another area of effort saving is to report the test execution results and raise
defects for each issues. As in normal automation testing, we will require to create
a different framework or function library for creating report templates, which are
really crucial in order to project to the Clients. Also to record all the execution
results in a test manager console is really important to refer in future. The
solution provided for the same is that Accelera Test will analyse the number of
test steps for each test cases, in order to measure the complexity of each
scenario. And then it will create a report template which is as following all
industry standards and conventions. Also helps in creating few function modules
which helps in raising defects hen found one. This will also ensure more test
coverage that is whether all the relevant, severe or critical scenarios have been
automated in order to ensure proper quality testing has been done to the
application.

Below shown is a snap shot of the Accelera Test working model.

Successful Implementation of Accelera Test in a


Project:
In the initial phase of the development of Accelera Test innovation, we faced lot
of challenges in choosing the right tool to automate, prioritising the complexity
of various functional modules, scripting language to support all types of
Application, etc. Then gradually it was resolved by dividing into various amount
of industry domains using different domain expertise, prepare test scripts on a
high level basis and then create a support framework so as to cut off the initial
difficulties in test automation.
One of the successful implementation of Accelera Test was in an SAP Project for a
US Retail Client, where the application was supported in SAP Environment. There
were huge amount of transactions to be created every day. Each transactions
had nearly 100-200 steps to be followed. There were around 20-30 manual
testers supporting in the project. Still there were able to complete on an average
1-2 transactions per person on a single day.
The client though an idea to bring automation testing to the project as all SAP
transactions were reused on a daily basis. Once automated, they will be able to
save lot of effort. But the main problem arose here was to initiate the automation
road map. As most of the resources were not so technically sound in the project,
hence they were advised to implement Accelera Test in order to prepare a

detailed road map and a high level framework to define the automation test
approach. The SAP object information were fed into the Accelera Test, once
completed, it would generate the automated scripts. The script contained
function library to define each and every SAP modules. Once the test scripts
were developed, the Automation Tester was able to start mapping the automated
scripts with the manual ones to measure the test coverage.
Lot of initial investments were avoided by leveraging an already developed
framework, hence by saving huge amount of effort in matters of time and
resource. Also another key point is even the Clients were able to involve in the
automation

efforts.

They

were

really

satisfied

in

the

Accelera

Test

implementation as it was a huge success.


There were also other major projects from different industry domains where this
was implemented and then was a success.

Key Benefits to Customers


An innovation becomes truly one only when at least one party will be benefitted
with the same. When we define benefits to customer, the first and foremost thing
will be the increasing return on investments (ROI). As the tool saves lot of initial
phase time and effort, huge amount of revenue were saved in investing to select
resources such a testers, environment, automation tool, etc.
As this is very user friendly, we observed more amount of customers were really
interested in participating to automating test cases. Another major benefit was
the cost saving from maintaining the automated scripts as usually most of the
automation projects involve in higher investments on maintaining the same.
Even when application undergoes drastic changes in the User Interface level or
functionality level, maintenance was not so difficult with the same. We had
observed around 20-30 % reduction in the overall effort in test automation as the
break-even point was been achieved in less than 6 or 7 test cycles per release.
Also there is no requirement in purchase of licence for automation tools during
the script development phase, as most of the script is getting developed through
the tool. As this was not dependant to any particular platform, we were able to
implement the same to any industry domain such as retail, banking and
healthcare.

Below shown are the figures of the effort and cost saving by implementing the
Accelera Test Solution:

Effort Saving measures


Number of manual Test
cases
780
Number of automated Test
cases
Percentage

739
test 94.8

of

coverage

Normal

Types of tasks
Framework

0%

Test

Automation

Accelera

Approach(Person

Test

Differe

days)

Approach

nce

200

500

260

480

80

120

700
Modelling
Script Development 740
Maintenance
and
200
reusing

On a usual basis, an effort saving measure of about 58 % was reflected on an


average analysis of most of the projects.
Around 14-17 % cost savings were made on an annual basis, which was a really
huge achievement as normally huge wastage happens during the initial phase of
automation, but once this was implemented, there were chances of ROI to be
increased.

Conclusion
Software testing, or the verification and the validation of a particular software is
a really important aspect in the Software Development of the same. Few requires
testing once development is complete. Few others require testing along with
development. Others require day to day repeatable testing in the form of
regression to be performed. For each type or requirement, the level of testing
varies, even concerning the criticality of the project delivery. . As a manager, the
decision to bring out a choice of whether implementing any innovation to his/her
project to showcase to the client is really crucial, along with support of a good
innovative minds. This is what drove the Accelera Team to innovate the idea and
bring out a change in todays highly competitive world of technologies. All
customers accept what is best feasible for their requirements, which is defined in
terms of the ROI factor. Hence all the innovations promoting increase in the ROI
will help the customers to take a choice, after comparing various options.
Accelera Test is one of that kind where when implemented, provides benefits to
both customers and the vendor.

References
K-Shop Portal, Infosys
http://www.etestinghub.com/
http://www.softwaretestingmentor.com/automation
Different Case studies on accelerators and automation guide
HP Quick Test Professional of Hewlett- Packard