ARCAD Adds New Testing Features to ALM Suite
January 10, 2012 Alex Woodie
ARCAD Software is now shipping version 8.12 of its application lifecycle management (ALM) suite for the IBM i OS. Among the enhancements is the capability of its regression testing product, called Verifier, to test multiple types of user interfaces simultaneously, thereby making it easier for IBM i shops to test Windows, Web, and mobile interfaces with the same effort used to test interactive 5250 screens or batch jobs.
The ARCAD ALM suite is a collection of tools used to aid developers in the development, testing, and roll-out of new and enhanced applications. The software is primarily used on the IBM i server, although some components support other platforms.
The main enhancement delivered by ARCAD with version 8.12 of the suite is a new data-driven capability in its regression testing engine. The primary impact of this database enhancement is that tests are no longer dependent on the user interface that is used. ARCAD customers can now test Windows-based interfaces to IBM i applications, right along side the equivalent Web and 5250 interfaces to the same IBM i application.
The technology used to create the interface–whether it was .NET, Java, Delphi, C++, or LANSA for a thick-client Windows interface, or PHP, AJAX, Flash, Java Server Pages (JSP), or plain HTML for a Web interface–no longer dictates the developer to run multiple regression tests to ensure proper functioning. This also applies to programs without user interfaces, such as IBM i batch jobs and integration routines that utilize Web services technologies or MQ Series.
The vendor says the “openness” of the underlying data capture mechanism has been enhanced, “so that ARCAD-Verifier can easily ‘connect’ to your processes, targeting capture and replay operations.” The results of the regression test are then compared to data created, modified, or deleted in the IBM i database.
As ARCAD CEO Philippe Magne explains, many test automation projects fail because the tool being used is limited to a comparison of user interfaces. “By focusing on the comparison of data stored in the database, ARCAD-Verifier gives greater flexibility of use and a wider scope, all with the same level of security,” he says in a press release.
Magne says the enhancement to Verifier makes it easier to use than other testing tools. “This ‘data driven’ testing tool becomes very easy to use, and can be placed under the sole responsibility of end-users, with no need for the development team to be involved.”
This feature had been requested by many of ARCAD’s customers, Magne says in a November newsletter. “Many of you had asked for this capability and we struggled for two solid years to find the stable, durable solution we were looking for. Our search is now over and our mission is accomplished.”
ARCAD is based in France, and has its U.S. headquarters in the former SoftLanding Systems stomping grounds of Peterborough, New Hampshire. For more information, see the company’s website at www.arcadsoftware.com.