Command Alkon

Command Alkon provides software and hardware solutions for producers of concrete, aggregate, asphalt, and cement products. The company has provided solutions to the construction materials industry for over 37 years and today employs more than 300 employees across eight worldwide locations—with headquarters in Alabama and offices in Colombia, Brazil, the UK, France, the Netherlands, and India.

Business Need

As the Command Alkon legacy testing application, Test Partner, was about to reach end-of-life for technical support, the firm decided to research new testing alternatives. "We saw this as the perfect opportunity to enhance our abilities to conduct tests on the customer-facing applications we develop on the Delphi and Microsoft platforms," said Dr. Howard Beckner, Autotest Lead for Command Alkon.

Command Alkon wanted to speed up testing processes on both platforms so testing teams could conduct more tests per day—which would in turn lead to higher quality applications for our customers. In looking for new testing solution, the company placed a high priority on the ability to test applications on a wide range of development platforms across the entire network infrastructure.

"We also value the reputation of the software providers we partner with," Beckner added. "We strive to collaborate with firms that demonstrate a proven history of effective solutions and the desire to continually improve its products. Doing so gives us a level of comfort that we can continue to address testing challenges that future application technologies will create."

"SmartBear has a long history of striving to continually enhance its application testing solutions and providing technical support from experts who dedicate themselves to resolving issues."
- Dr. Howard Beckner, Autotest Lead for Command Alkon.

Targeted Solution

Command Alkon researched and experimented with multiple application testing solutions. Beckner and his team chose SmartBear TestComplete because of the software’s ability to run tests on all Command Alkon application platforms and the stability of SmartBear as a corporate entity.

"SmartBear demonstrated just how effectively it partners with customers over the long-term to make sure they obtain all the application testing capabilities they require," Beckner said. "This gave us confidence SmartBear solutions would not only meet our needs today, but also well into the future."

With TestComplete, advanced and novice testers can easily leverage an intuitive, automated software testing tool. Testers can create, maintain, and perform tests for any desktop, Web, or rich client software, including Delphi and Microsoft .NET. The solution also allows multiple types of testing for all Web technologies, including Adobe Flash, HTML5, Silverlight, and Apache Flex.

In addition to TestComplete, Command Alkon deployed SmartBear TestExecute, a light-weight, resource-friendly utility that allows testers to run TestComplete tests and view results on computers without TestComplete installed. Command Alkon can thus load TestExecute on remote computers and virtual machines in test labs to increase the solution’s effectiveness.

"The ability to leverage TestExecute reduces our overall software testing costs," Beckner added. "This is a good example of how SmartBear creates innovative add-on solutions that allow customers to keep software costs as low as possible."

Benefits and Results

With SmartBear TestComplete, Command Alkon can now test a wider range of applications. "We can also consistently uncover software issues during the development stage rather than after they go into production," Beckner added. "This enables us to fix issues before they impact our customers."

Software issues that Command Alkon discovers before software is released also represent a considerable cost-saving measure since fixing issues before production costs significantly less in terms of the required resource time to fix the issues. "In addition, our manual testing team can concentrate on testing new functionality since the software is regression tested every night using automated testing," Beckner said.

In addition to giving Command Alkon a more efficient way to test its Delphi and Microsoft-based applications, SmartBear provides a greater level of trust. Command Alkon feel confident the partnership between the two firms will last well into the future.

"Knowing SmartBear has a long history of success and demonstrates a strong desire to continually improve and support its solutions is a major reason why we chose TestComplete," Beckner said. "We want to avoid relying on solutions that will eventually be discontinued as was the case with our prior testing solution. With SmartBear, we know they are with us for the long haul and will continue to make sure we have the testing capabilities we require."

Business Challenges

  • Replace existing testing solution about to reach end-of-life.
  • Improve ability to test performance of customer-facing applications.
  • Speed up testing process to increase number of tests conducted per day.
  • Partner with software provider with demonstrated long-term success.

SmartBear TestComplete Solution

  • Tests applications on a wide range of development platforms.
  • Enables testing of application performance across entire network infrastructure.
  • Feature easy-to-use interface conducive to both advanced and novice users.
  • Offers TestExecute as an add-on for ancillary users to reduce overall licensing costs.

Measurable Results

  • Increases the range of application development technologies that can now be tested.
  • Uncovers software issues during development when the cost to fix is at its lowest.
  • Allows software testing team to focus more time on new functionality testing.
  • Provides more efficient way to test Microsoft and Delphi developed applications.
  • Generates confidence with support by long-term partner that strives for on-going product enhancements.

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