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Friday, 7 December 2012

Healthcare/Medical Device Application Testing

What is a Medical Device?
Medical devices are instruments used to treat people for disease or injury without the use of pharmaceutical means. Medical devices are tested to prove safety (does not harm people) and efficacy (it does what the manufacturer claims it does.) Regulatory agencies require extensive documentation and test procedures to prove safety and eafficacy.
Examples of Medical Devices:
A wide range of medical devices are available on the market today. They cover all aspects of the physical condition. Here is an example set of devices:
·         Audiology – hearing aids
·         Cardiovascular – defibrillators, pacemakers, stents
·         Tissue Engineering – artificial muscle tissues
·         Dental – caps, crowns, etc
·         Urologic -- catheters
·         Orthopedic – artificial hip joints
·         Drug Delivery --syringes
·         Ophthalmology – contact lenses
·         Others -- electronic thermometers, glucose monitoring devices

Trends/Growth in Medical Devices
The Life Science industry is growing at a steady rate. This growth is driven by several factors including:
·         Aging of the population
·         Advent of managed care and cost containment
·         Miniaturization of devices and equipment
The aging population demands greater resource investment into the Life Science area. The goal of cost containment is to encourage patients to minimize time in the hospital which in your turn drives the need for devices that can support healthcare in the home. Finally, miniaturization of devices requires manufacturers to perform precision machining and testing on components and parts used to build the device which in turn drives the demand for automation. Each device area has its own growth drivers. For example, in the Cardio Rhythm Management market, growth is due to an increase in sales in Asia such as to India and China, the aging of the population in the Western world, and an increasing demand for lower end devices.
The elements of a medical device to be tested
In testing a medical device, there are five major elements to cover:
·         The first is the display of the unit. The graphical display must be tested to ensure all pixels are working, and the output on the display is correct for the functioning of the device. NI offers vision tools to perform this type of testing.
·         The second area is battery testing. Most devices require battery power even if only for data backup purposes. NI provides modular instrumentation including Digital Multimeters and Switching to perform battery tests. Also, switching tools are available for manufacturers who want to test multiple units at the same time or minimize the number of instruments needed for a test cell.
·         The third area is power. The unit must be tested to ensure the user does not receive a shock from the power supply.
·         The fourth area is Electromagnetic Emissions/Immunity testing. These tests ensure that the medical device does not radiate EMI or malfunctions from susceptibility to EMI.
·         Finally, many medical devices use electronics that must be tested for functionality.
The digital thermometer is an example of a medical device requiring testing. The tests include the following:
  1. Displays – LCD displays must be verified for pixel on/off, brightness, and contrast.
  2. Battery – current/voltage draws must be tested as well as the life cycle of the battery under maximum usage conditions.
  3. Temperature accuracy – the accuracy of the temperature readout must be calibrated and measured.
  4. EMC – electromagnetic emissions must be tested to ensure the unit is not radiating EMC signals beyond the allocated spectrum.
  5. Internal Self Tests – must be performed to verify proper functioning.
  6. Computer interfaces – for those devices designed to connect to a computer, the interfacing (serial, parallel, etc) must be tested.
Other outputs – if the digital thermometer generates analog voltage, analog current, frequency, or alarm signals, these must be tested for accuracy.
In addition to testing the basic functionality of the device, other tests may be performed. These include safety, environmental testing such as shock, vibration, thermal, humidity testing, etc, biocompatibility and sterility testing, and life-cycle testing.
What is Software Validation
Validation requirements demand that manufacturers test and document software to prove the software performs as the manufacturer describes. Through a series of module and system level testing, the manufacturer proves the functioning of the software.
Documentation is generated to describe the testing process and verify the test results. Software validation mimics the clinical process which demands predictive results. The testing should prescribe the results. For example, if testing ten units produces two failures then were those failures predicted by the experimental setup or did they just happen for no apparent reason?
How is Software Validation Performed?
Software validation is achieved through a combination of process, testing, and code review techniques. A process must be in place for designing, reviewing, testing, and validating the code. Test setups must be employed to test the software on both the modular and system level using a variety of inputs. Code review techniques are critical in the verification of the software.
Software test validation can be divided into four categories:
  1. Performance – does the input of good data generate good data out?
  2. Failure modes – if the setup is wrong, does the test results reflect it?
  3. Repeatability – if one tests with the same input vectors, does one get the same output results time after time?
  4. Special Case – completely test dependent for specific requirements.

Testing of healthcare applications involves substantial expertise and very high costs.
Healthcare testing team assist with designing relevant test cases for comprehensive testing of healthcare products or software applications using manual testing and test automation tools (like HP Quality Center (QTP), Selenium and all).
Strong expertise is required in performing multi-platform testing, performance testing and load testing of healthcare applications

What is Enterprise resource planning (ERP) ? Why testing required for Enterprise resource planning (ERP) application ?

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a category of business systems which plans the resources in an enterprise (business) in an effective manner.
It integrates internal and external management information across an entire organization, including finance/accounting, manufacturing, sales and service, customer relationship management, etc. ERP systems automate this activity with an integrated software application.
The purpose of ERP is to facilitate the flow of information between all business functions inside the boundaries of the organization and manage the connections to outside stakeholders.
Growth of ERP applications:
According to ARC Advisory Group, the worldwide market for enterprise applications has grown to $43 billion by 2011, a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.3%.

The Indian ERP market experienced CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) of 25.2 during the period of 2004-2009. The market was $83 million in 2004, and is projected over $250 million in 2009, according to a research report.

The report by some firm says that by 2016, India’s share of the software market in Asia/Pacific is expected to reach 12.1 per cent, representing $5.4 billion in revenue, or 1.5 percent of total worldwide software market revenue of $361 billion.
The ERP market will be $45.5 billion in 2011, up from $43 billion in 2010. The market should hit $50.3 billion in 2015.
ERP Domain Testing
Ø  ERP Testing is a procedure that usually occurs before a company fully implements an ERP software package and the software goes live. It is done in order to identify certain situations may arise after the implementation has been completed, such as determining operational responsiblies , training needs, and problem management procedures.
Ø  It can be considered as series of dry runs before actual deployment of the system to the companys business operations.  ERP testing is an essential step.  Skipping this stage could pose serious risks to the whole implementation of ERP solution. 
Ø  The largest vendors of ERP systems today include SAP AG and Oracle, Info (Infor ERP LN is the flag ship ERP Product - Ln is the latest version of Baan ERP)
Ø  Firstly develop a test script so that a full end to end test can be performed and ensure that the results you get are the results you expect.
Ø  It is suggested to firstly create a process flow to diagram what you believe the process is. This process is subject to change during the development of the test script and unit testing.
Ø  Once you have the process flow documented, you can then does a system walk through to see if the existing software will do what the process calls for. If not, then development will be needed to meets the business needs.
Ø  Once development is completed, the true unit testing occurs. Integrated testing must be done on all possible scenarios that may come out of the business process (different variations of the same process)
Ø  Once unit testing is approved, then the solution can be delivered to the client. After this is done, the client should be given the details of the test plan so that they can also do scenario testing to get an agreement on the solution.
Need of testing in ERP applications:
·         Through ERP testing, companies can easily manage the full implementation of the business software.
·         The tests will definitely help managers understand and grasp the intricacies of ERP implementation.
·         ERP testing will also minimize losses and mistakes which could increase the ROI of ERP implementation. 
·         Another important benefit of ERP testing is that users and technical staff of companies can gain enough confidence in running the system.  This is important in order to avoid guess work and trial and error methods in ERP implementation. 
·         Finally, employees who will operate the ERP system can gain experience from the software testing.  This will serve as a training period for them.  Through this, the implementation of ERP systems will not be exposed to unnecessary risks which could be detrimental to the operations of the company.

What is ecommerce? Why testing required for e-commerce application?

Electronic commerce or E-Commerce Application
Electronic commerce (e-commerce or e-comm), is the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks.
It provides technologies such as electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems.
E-Commerce Software Testing
·         It ensures that every page is tested, e-commerce transactions are validated and application is ready for customer use.
·         The software’s  Functionality, compatibility, security, performance and usability are checked
·         Testing is crucial to e-commerce because e-commerce sites are both business critical and highly visible to their users;
·         Yet the time pressures in the e-commerce world militate against the thorough testing usually associated with business criticality, so a new approach is needed to enable testing to be integrated into the development process and to ensure that testing does not present a significant time burden. 
·         Rapid Applications Development (RAD), in particular, suggests some promising approaches.  Like most new ventures, though, e-commerce must find its own way and establish its own methods
Growth of E-commerce:
·         E-commerce continues its double-digit year-over-year growth rate, because sales are shifting away from stores and because online shoppers are less sensitive to adverse economic conditions than the average consumer.
·         32 million people (66% of all adults) purchased goods or services over the internet in 2011, according to the Office for National Statistics. This was an increase from 62% in 2010.
·         Despite the continued growth of the channel, online retailers face several challenges to growth: Online stores are broadly perceived as a second choice for shoppers, online retail is becoming increasingly seasonal, and online shoppers rarely admit to browsing, which can drive valuable incremental money during their Web shopping experiences. 
Ten Key Principles of Effective E-Commerce Testing:
Principle1. Testing is a risk management process: Effective testing adopts a strategy that is tailored to the type of application or service being tested, the business value of the application or service, and the risks that would accompany its failure.  The detailed planning of the testing and the design of the tests can then is confirmed by the strategy into a business-focused activity that adds real business value and provides some objective assessment of risk at each stage of the development process.  Plans should include measures of risk and value and incorporate testing and other quality-related activities that ensure development is properly focused on achieving maximum value with minimum risk.
 Principle2. Know the value of the applications being tested:  To manage risk effectively, we must know the business value of success as well as the cost of failure.  The business community must be involved in setting values on which the risk assessment can be based and committed to delivering an agreed level of quality
Principle3.  Set clear testing objectives and criteria for successful completion (including test coverage measures): The test programmed must be properly planned, with test scripts giving precise instructions and expected results.  Some assessment can be made of how many of the requirements have been tested at any given time.  Criteria for successful completion are based on delivering enough business value, testing enough of the requirements to be confident of the most important behavior of the site, and minimizing the risk of a significant failure.  
Principle4.  Create an effective test environment.  It would be very expensive to create a completely representative test environment for e-commerce, given the variety of platforms and the use of the Internet as a communications medium. Cross-platform testing is, naturally, an important part of testing any multi-platform software application.  In the case of e-commerce, the term ‘cross-platform’ must also extend to include ‘cross-browser’. In order to ensure that a site loads and functions properly from all supported platforms, as much stress and load testing as possible should be performed.  As an absolute minimum, several people should be able to log into the site and access it concurrently, from a mixture of the browsers and platforms supported.  It would, therefore, be beneficial to use automated tools, such as Segue’s Silk Performer or Mercury Interactive Load Runner, for performance/load testing. 
Principle5.  Test as early as possible in the development cycle: The earlier faults are detected, the cheaper the cost of rectification. In the case of an e-commerce site, a fault found after shipping will have been detected as a failure of the site by the marketplace, which is potentially as large as the number of Internet users.  This has the added complication of loss of interest and possibly the loss of customer loyalty, as well as the immediate cost of fixing the fault.  The fact that e-commerce development is rapid and often based on changing requirements makes early testing difficult, but testing strategies have been developed by the RAD community, and these can be mobilized for support.   
Principle6.  User Acceptance Testing (UAT):  The client or ultimate owner of the e-commerce site should perform field testing and acceptance testing, with involvement from the provider where needed, at the end of the development process.  Even if RAD is used with its continuous user testing approach, there are some attributes of an e-commerce site that will not be easy (or even possible, in some cases) to validate in this way.  Some form of final testing that can address issues such as performance and security needs to be included as a final confirmation that the site will perform well with typical user interactions.   E-commerce users are becoming increasingly intolerant of poor sites, and technical issues related to functionality, performance or reliability have been cited as primary reasons why customers have abandoned sites.  Early exposure of users to sites with problems increases the probability that they will find the site unacceptable, even if developers continue to improve the site during beta testing. 
Principle7. Regression testing:  Regression testing confirms that changes did not have unintended effects, so this must be a major feature of any e-commerce testing strategy.  Web-based applications that reference external links need regular regression testing, even if their functionality does not change, because the environment is changing continuously. Wherever possible, regression testing should be automated, in order to minimize the impact on the test schedule. 
Principle8.  Automate as much as possible: This is a risky principle because test automation is fraught with difficulties. The key is to take testing processes sufficiently seriously that you document them and control them so that automation becomes a feasible option – then you select, purchase and install the tools.  It will not be quick or cheap – but it might just avoid a very expensive failure. 
Principle9.  Capture test incidents and use them to manage risk at release time: A test incident is any discrepancy between the expected and actual results of a test.  Only some test incidents will relate to actual faults; some will be caused by incorrect test scripts, misunderstandings or deliberate changes to system functionality.  All incidents found must be recorded via an incident management system (IMS), which can then be used to ascertain what faults are outstanding in the system and what the risks of release might be. 
Principle10.  Manage change properly to avoid undoing all the testing effort.  Things change quickly and often in an e-commerce development and management of change can be a bottleneck, but there is little point in testing one version of a software application and then shipping a different version; not only is the testing effort wasted, but the risk is not reduced either.   Configuration Management tools, such as PVCS and ClearCase, can help to minimize the overheads of change management, but the discipline is the most important thing. 
Why is testing important in the e-commerce Application?

·         The first and primary reason is because e-commerce is, by its very nature, business critical and highly visible to its user’s.
·         Any failure can be immediately expensive in terms of lost revenue and even more expensive in the longer term if disaffected users seek alternative sites.
·         E-commerce is a massive and growing market place but one which requires large up-front investment to enter successfully.
·         The history of e-commerce development has been littered with expensive failures, at least some of which could have been avoided by better testing before the site was opened to the general public.
·         Quality Assurance of the software or application developed
·         Verification and validating the product/application before it goes live in the market to prevent it from intruders and hackers.
·         Defect free and user friendly application.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Important Set up before load Testing

Important Set up before load testing includes:

1.       A suitable time to load-test the application, for instance when no development work is taking place on the server (load testing may cause the server to crash) and/or no other users are accessing the server (else the testing results would not yield the correct measures)
2.       The performance metrics, accepted levels, or SLAs and goals
3.       Objectives of the test
4.       The Internet protocol(s) the application is(are) using (HTTPS, HTTP, FTP, etc.)
5.       If your application has a state, the method used to manage it (URL rewriting, cookies, etc.)
6.       The workload at normal time and at peak time
7.       Before load or performance testing application should be stable at least tested at once through the manual method
8.       Before load testing, do not record any page, which has 404 or server errors
9.       During load test don’t do real transaction or any money ready work.
10.   During load testing try to maintain  the real scenario as user experience
11.   Use meaningful test scenarios (use cases are helpful) to construct test plans with 'real-life' test cases.
12.   Make sure that the machine running Load testing tool has sufficient network bandwidth, so the network connection has little to no impact on the results.
13.   Let Load Test run for long time periods, hours or days, or for a large number of iterations. This may yield a smaller standard deviation, giving better average results. In addition, this practice may test system availability rate and may highlight any decay in server performance.
14.   Ensure that the application is stable and optimized for one user before testing it for concurrent users.
15.   Incorporate 'thinking time' or delays using Timers in your Load testing scenario Test Plan. 
 16  Keep a close watch on the four main things: processor, memory, disk, and network.
17.   Only run Load testing tool against servers that you are assigned to test, else you may be accused of causing DoS attacks.

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