Falafel Software

Jesse Miller from Falafel Software shares his experience with TestComplete and how it helped his company deliver a complex web-based ERP system:

Overview

Falafel Software provides development, consulting and training services for big name companies all over the world. When they agreed to develop Velocity, a web based ERP system, for one of their key clients, they knew they had their work cut out for them. Microsoft solutions like ASP.NET, Active Directories and SQL Server would give them what they needed to implement the system's functionality, but they needed a testing system that would scale with this project and their company. It was also critical that the product was easy enough to learn quickly without sacrificing advanced features they would need when they gained more experience with automated testing. The company chose TestComplete Enterprise, a comprehensive award-winning automated testing solution, to integrate all of their testing in one powerful, cost-effective solution. TestComplete's easy to use interface and point and click recording helped them get off to a quick start. It's standards based scripting languages like C#Script and VBScript made it easy for them to take advantage of their existing knowledge and do advanced testing of every layer of the project from backend to user interface. TestComplete helped Falafel deliver their project on-time, on-budget with confidence that it met their high standards for quality. They continue to use it today to maintain Velocity and to ensure the success of new projects.

Jesse Miller, lead tester at Falafel Software, has a lot to say about TestComplete. As head of Falafel's test team he's responsible for ensuring the quality and reliability of their software. He uses TestComplete to get the most out of his limited resources, ensure consistent results, and do more testing in less time.

"At Falafel, we build large scale .NET applications, and it's critical that we deliver them on time and tested," says Miller. "We produce a lot of code and our test team couldn't keep up with development if we didn't have TestComplete."

Situation

Falafel's latest project is Velocity, a web-based ERP system they developed for one of their key clients. It's a big project, with modules like general ledger, AR, AP, purchase orders, inventory, warehouse management and more. The system handles the complete business flow from online orders through warehouse management and shipping, with reports and auditing to track the business process at every level. Jesse's team is responsible for testing Velocity to ensure that it meets Falafel's high standards. "Velocity has so many complex screens and function points that we couldn't even begin to test it manually, even if we wanted to limit ourselves to manual testing." Jesse says, "So we knew it had to be automated testing." "We wanted something scalable and easy to use that was cost-effective. We didn't want to spend half the testing budget if we didn't have to."

The Solution

"There was resistance at first because we were worried that doing automated testing would slow us down. We thought we might have to learn a proprietary language and work in a closed environment." The team took notice when they realized that TestComplete created tests in standard languages like C# Script and VB Script. "It was a pleasant surprise that TestComplete offers languages like C# Script. Our applications are written in C# and it makes it much easier for all of us to be working with similar languages." TestComplete is an open environment. It let's test developers choose the language that best fits their team and their project. They can choose any of 5 scripting languages, VBScript, C# Script, JavaScript, C++ Script, or DelphiScript. And, tests are stored in standard text files so they can be managed with source code version control, just like application source code.

They completed their evaluation and decided to use TestComplete for Velocity and all their testing. "TestComplete has an unbelievable feature set. It can test our desktop applications, web client applications, server load tests, database verification, and more. It was a great fit since we develop so many different kinds of applications on Windows."

Jesse emphasized the importance of TestComplete's cost-effectiveness. "TestComplete was our first choice because of features, but we couldn't ignore the price either. We licensed the entire team for less than it would have cost to get one seat of another product."

The team purchased TestComplete and implemented their first test within a week. Within 90 days they had integrated it completely into their operations and had automated most of their tests for Velocity. "We use the test recorder to quickly make new tests. Those get added to our regression suite right away, then we copy them and use the recorded code as a base for more advanced techniques like data-driven testing."

How has TestComplete changed how they work? "I'd estimate that we're doing 8 times the number of tests that we could have done without TestComplete. And since they're automated, I'm much more confident that the tests are being run correctly and no steps are missed."

"The test team also sees fewer bugs since we added tests to the build server. Developers get immediate feedback when their changes break the smoke tests and they don't have to wait to hear back from us. We also use TestComplete to record the steps to duplicate a bug, then we can recreate any problem automatically for our own testing and attach it to the bug report for the developer so they can use it themselves."

"TestComplete has saved us an enormous amount of time and money. We're working faster and doing more. I feel better shipping changes knowing how much our coverage has increased. TestComplete has made my job a lot easier."

Update:
John Waters, Falafel's Chief Technology Officer, read this case study and wrote to add another important point:
"There is one thing of great value to me that wasn't mentioned in the case study.
Using TestComplete's automated load testing, we could measure the performance impact of:
- SSL contra plain HTTP
- WAN contra LAN
- Changes to our caching strategies
In a way that provided meaningful metrics to us and our client, and it allowed us to make informed architectural decisions."

About Falafel Software

Falafel Software is a Silicon Valley software development company that includes some of the industry's top names, best-selling authors, industry speakers and former Microsoft and Borland engineers. Falafel helps their clients with all phases of application development lifecycle, strategy, architecture and implementation.

About TestComplete

TestComplete is a comprehensive test automation solution with integrated support for a wide range of both internal and UI based testing. Designed for use by developers and testers alike, TestComplete offers both visual and scripted test generation and robust test management facilities. TestComplete supports Microsoft Windows, .NET, Delphi, Java, and Web applications.

Download a free trial of TestComplete today and get started automating your testing like Falafel.

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