March 4, 2014

Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance of Idaho Maximizes QA Wizard Pro

Helix ALM
We love hearing how customers are using our products, whether it's an email, a phone call, or a conversation via social media. So we were excited and a little intrigued when we got this tweet last week from Cor Hofman, IT Quality Assurance Analyst at Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Idaho: Naturally, we said, "Aye!" The result was a very detailed email about how Cor's team uses QA Wizard Pro (QAWP), and Cor gave us permission to share the story with you. "First off," Cor wrote, "our Quality Assurance Team here at Farm Bureau truly loves QA Wizard Pro.  It has been an essential tool in assuring the excellence of the products we are developing.  Along with that, we honestly feel that we are harnessing the true power of QAWP and using it like no other company has done before." He went on to provide a brief history about his team's use of QA Wizard Pro. Farm Bureau purchased some software for managing the underwriting and administration of insurance policies (Guidewire PolicyCenter®) and the billing and receivables of those insurance policies (Guidewire BillingCenter®). Guidewire allows the customization and integration of its products to meet an insurance company’s needs. "Early in 2012, as our company progressed in developing these products," Cor said, "we saw a great need for an extensive quality assurance solution to monitor and test these new products throughout their development life." Later in 2012, Farm Bureau began an extensive investigation of various quality assurance solutions in the marketplace, leading to the purchase of QA Wizard Pro in October 2012. The Farm Bureau team began initial training, and soon was working with QAWP to test their insurance software. The Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Idaho now has seven people who actively use QAWP on a daily basis for testing the Guidewire suite of software products. Cor listed the many things they have done to "truly harness [QAWP's] power." Here's his list:
  • Implementing an Object-Oriented approach to our QAWP Scripts
    • Library-esque scripts that contain the subroutines and functions for use in other scripts
    • Interaction between multiple QAWP workspaces (by adding existing files from other workspaces to a specific workspace that wants to use those methods)
    • Preventing the duplication of code
  • Extending on QAWP’s capabilities by using external .NET assemblies
    • By using some custom .NET assemblies, we were able to do things that QAWP was not able to do out-of-the-box:
      • Sending emails through SMTP when certain conditions exist during a script run
      • Sending text messages to notify analysts of certain problems or bugs
      • Parsing XML data for verification of results
      • Killing all instances of a browser to prevent inconsistent testing
      • Extending on date functions by creating methods that QAWP does not support
      • Opening files in certain programs
      • Returning IP addresses of URLs
      • Prompting analysts for data entry at certain points in a script
  • Dynamically initializing the SetContext and RunApp for testing between integrated systems and various servers
    • When jumping between systems, we found extensive problems when using the standard QAWP procedures.
    • We have multiple servers that we are testing on, and a need arose to be able to dynamically interact with each server.
    • By harnessing the global repository variables, we were able to quickly change the context and connect with a different application or server without having hundreds of application repositories and duplication of recorded repository items.
  • Using TortoiseSVN and an SVN Server to manage version control
    • Having many analysts working in the same QAWP workspace at a time presented our company with a big problem of file/workspace collisions.
    • By implementing version control through our company’s SVN server, we were able to avoid such collisions and keep a version history.
  • Complex regression suite design beyond QAWP’s batch file support
    • Writing to a database for pass/fail statistics and reporting
    • Looping through regression suites multiple times for yearlong testing simulation
    • On a nightly basis, we run over 500 scripts across 6 different software applications.
  • Database integration for expected/sample data instead of QAWP’s datasheet support
    • Reading, writing and updating database tables to have expected data for many different testing scenarios
  • Interacting/Testing web services pertinent to our software integrations
    • Using QAWP’s WebPost, WebGet, and WebPostFromFile, we can dynamically interact with and call the web services that our software uses to interact between each other.
Cor's team has definitely pushed QA Wizard Pro to the max. We really enjoyed hearing their story and look forward to learning more! Have a QA Wizard Pro success story of your own? How about TestTrack or Surround SCM? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn!