Admiral automates tests to aid upgrades and fixes

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Admiral automates tests to aid upgrades and fixes

Cliff Saran

Insurance company Admiral Group has developed a co-ordinated approach to software testing to improve the efficiency and reliability of functionality upgrades and bug fixes.

Admiral has rolled out software from Compuware across its four brands, Admiral, Diamond, elephant.co.uk and Bell Direct, to test multiple applications that are constantly evolving and are required to work in diverse environments.

The software will be used in Admiral’s "model office", which was set up two years ago to help plan and co-ordinate all of the group’s IT projects.

Mark Coakley, quality assurance manager at Admiral, said, "Making changes to software can, and often does, pose a serious threat to the application and the business itself.

"Even the smallest change can render software useless if the implications of the change were not properly understood or if the change was insufficiently tested during and after implementation."

The model office relied on using people from the business to conduct tests on new software by keying in and changing insurance policy information on the test systems. Although end-user testing ensured that the people who accessed the software were able to do their job, there were two drawbacks.

First, it took sales staff away from their primary business of selling insurance polices. And second, some errors could not be repeated.

The company has now begun using Compuware QARun, an automated regression testing tool designed to create and execute reliable, re-usable and maintainable automated testing script.

The model office operates four PCs, one for each insurance brand, to automate accessing policies via the back-end AS/400-based Insure 90 insurance package to test for any errors.


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