Programming errors are always made in software development. It is important to identify and eliminate bugs in an early stage. More and more often, this kind of detective work happens beforehand, based on a standardized model of the intended application. Model-based testing (MBT) helps preventing software development errors before a single line of code has been written. The big advantage of MBT is that it moves the test process from the end to the beginning of a software development project.
ICT Group Principal Consultant Julien Schmaltz sees an increase in the need for model-based testing. “Most business-critical systems have been in use for a considerable period of time. They are constantly being renovated, expanded, and updated with increasingly complicated software modules for the connection with interfaces, also hardware components. Everything interacts. As a result, it happens more and more often that companies get stuck in their software development. It is over their heads. Besides, software errors cost a lot of time and money. Model-based testing does not only speed up the testing process, but the entire development process. The system specifications contain fewer errors. Software delivery errors are discovered immediately. The efficiency goes up considerably, often up to fifty percent.”
According to Axini manager Machiel van der Bijl, companies are becoming more demanding regarding software quality. “Software has become so complex that testing and debugging take up thirty to as much as sixty percent of the total development time, especially in case of business-critical systems. That is just a waste.” ICT Group’s technology partner created a platform on which companies can test in their own software environment. “We are at a turning point. Model-based testing is moving towards automating automation itself. After lean manufacturing comes lean automation. Application models are tested before programming has even started, which is the best time to do it. Our smart MBT tooling is able to select the most relevant test cases so that, together, they can achieve a high test coverage. This allows us to test much more thoroughly and quickly than before.”
“The efficiency goes up considerably, often up to fifty percent.”
Julien Schmaltz, principal consultant at ICT Group about the benefits of Model-based testing.
The platform is already being used by several clients in the manufacturing industrie and other sectors. According to Van der Bijl, companies are becoming more aware of the benefits of model-based testing, although he is still facing a challenge. “It is more than just new technology. The change in the way of working is much bigger. The process of software development and testing will change fundamentally. This asks a lot of an organization. There has to be a will to change, and the organization needs guidance”, says the Axini manager.
Model-based testing has a lot of good things to offer, says Schmaltz. “Everyone is looking at the same model: domain expert, tester, and designer. There is a more client-based approach. All parties involved in the development process focus on making the system work the way everyone expects. This way, you can really develop software together as a company. It is important to involve our clients in this and make them understand that the way they are working now is not ideal any more. We understand our clients and we know their technology. That is our core business. With Axini’s knowledge and expertise, and ICT’s implementation power, we can offer companies a vital piece of renewal and help them to develop software faster, cheaper, and more efficient.”