Software testing for the real world

The author of a new piece of company software should not be called upon to "stress test" that software, proposes outsourcing test centre executive Peter Pritchard.

According to Pritchard, who is Compuware's Asia-Pacific marketing director, companies too often enlist the authors of company software to test the success of that software. Software authors typically seek to highlight the robustness and user-friendliness of their software, rather than any glitches, he believes.

"Testing is not a thing to pass," he said. "It's about trying to test (a software product) until it breaks."

Moreover, Pritchard said, developers can become "bored" with testing similar software products on a continual basis -- leaving small coding glitches accidentally ignored.

"At the end of the day, it's still written by humans," he said.

Nasdaq-listed Compuware last week moved its Sydney office from North Sydney to Ryde, where it will house its new Asia-Pacific headquarters and Digital Test Solutions (DTS) outsourcing test centre.

From the DTS centre, Compuware claims it is able to remotely "stress test" any non-firewalled website from an end-user viewpoint. For accuracy, Compuware matches its own testing procedure against the speed of modem connection that client companies expect their customers to use, Pritchard said.

The DTS also tests the ability of a website to respond quickly to "thousands" of simultaneous site visitations, Pritchard said.

"Every website has its limit," he mused.

Compuware delivers reports and website trend analyses to client companies at regular intervals. Because of Compuware's ability to test any non-firewalled site remotely, the DTS centre is able to provide inter-industry website comparisons, Pritchard said.

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