Crestron Electronics connects disparate control systems in buildings and homes through a single platform so the systems can communicate intelligently. The company provides the only solution enabling businesses and families to monitor, manage and control lighting, heating, cooling, entertainment and other electronic systems by using touch screens, remotes, and smart devices. Sales channel partners utilize Crestron control systems to create solutions in markets such as residential, commercial, government, military, hospitality, religious, cultural and luxury transportation. The company has offices in every major market around the globe with headquarters in New Jersey and facilities throughout North America, EMEA, Asia, and Latin America.
Crestron needed to find a more efficient method for conducting regression tests on the desktop and Web software tools the company provides to channel partners for resale to home and business customers. The software plays a critical role in helping home-based and business-based control systems communicate with each other effectively.
Given the software tools are customer-facing applications and support Crestron’s entire line of equipment, ensuring proper performance is paramount to business success. If the software does not perform properly, the control systems won’t effectively help home owners and business owners manage all the utility and electronic systems in their buildings.
"We knew more efficient and more thorough regression testing would cure the application issues we run into by helping us identify bugs earlier in the development process," said Ardis Matesich, Quality Engineering Manager of Software Primary Tools and Test Automation for Crestron. "Issues can creep into the software code each time we add new features, optimize code, and fix existing bugs.
Because of the critical role the software testing process plays in helping Crestron’s equipment deliver services to customers, the company undertook an exhaustive review process of available solutions. Crestron tested several products, including SmartBear TestComplete, QTP, Ranorex, QA Wizard Pro, Test Automation FX and Testing Anywhere.
After carefully considering each solution, Crestron selected SmartBear TestComplete for its ability to efficiently automate regression testing and because of how well TestComplete interacts with Crestron’s existing software tools. "All of the other products we tested either did not interact well with some of our tools, or they did so in a rather cumbersome manner," Matesich said. "TestComplete is the only solution that integrates easily with all of our tools, which helps us exchange data and test results among the different tools we use."
TestComplete, a functional automated testing tool, enables Crestron to create, maintain, and perform automated tests for any desktop, Web, or rich-client software. Because the software does not depend on a single development tool or application type, Crestron can thus run tests with any application regardless of the development language.
Matesich is also impressed with how SmartBear continuously strives to improve and add features to TestComplete. "The solution is a very solid tool, but SmartBear does not stand pat," Matesich said. "They continue to research and test new ways to expand the current capabilities while also enhancing the testing process to function even more efficiently."
"Thanks to the automated regression testing capabilities we have gained with SmartBear TestComplete, we discover many more bugs earlier in the application development lifecycle. This helps us enhance the software tools we provide to our channel partners so that end-user customers can benefit from a higher-quality product."
— Ardis Matesich, Quality Engineering Manager of Software Primary for Crestron
Benefits and Results
The regression tests powered by TestComplete help Crestron identify issues much earlier in the application development process. Developers can thus program more stability into the company’s software tools. "Ultimately, this means our end-user customers enjoy a better overall experience when interacting with our software," Matesich said. "This not only helps retain and attract customers, it also keeps our channel resellers happy. Meeting the needs of both groups is critical to our success."
TestComplete also interacts effectively with Crestron’s other software tools, which previously presented a challenge. "We have run automated regression testing through TestComplete hundreds of times now, and in doing so we have identified hundreds of bugs that otherwise would have required manual testing to uncover," Matesich said. "We can also automatically upload the feedback into our development software tools so our programmers know exactly where any issues occur."
In addition to identifying bugs more quickly, Crestron also saves considerably on the technical resources required to eliminate the bugs. The company now has a much more automated and consistent regression testing process that generates a tremendous cost savings compared to manual testing.
Another key cost-savings benefit for Crestron comes through the deployment of SmartBear TestExecute, a light-weight, resource-friendly utility that allows testers to run TestComplete tests and view results on computers without TestComplete installed. Crestron can load TestExecute on remote computers and virtual machines in test labs to run tests on multiple physical and virtual machines, and then collect and merge the results into comprehensive reports.
"Throughout the pre-sales, deployment and post-production phases, SmartBear has been extremely helpful and continues to serve as an advocate of our testing success," Matesich concluded. "The support team is very responsive and works diligently with us through any issues that arise. They also proactively seek our input on enhancements we would like to see—this shows just how much they care about us."
- Deploy efficient process for regression testing of Web and desktop applications.
- Gain ability to program more stability into customer-facing applications.
- Enhance user experiences of customer-facing applications.
SmartBear TestComplete Solution
- Integrates efficiently with other software tools.
- Runs regression tests with any application regardless of development language.
- Enables test creation using one browser and then runs tests in other browsers.
- Identifies hundreds of bugs automatically.
- Eliminates need to assign manual testing resources.
- Exchanges data with other software tools to enhance developer efficiency.
- Helps ensure the company’s customer-facing applications perform reliably.