The e-commerce business operates in the complex world of the internet and should be available 24h every day of the year.
The different platforms that clients use to connect to the Internet, browse the e-commerce sites, and make transactions are part of that world. Ensuring usability of the site and good user experience on all these platforms are critical goals for this business.
The role of the Quality Control Team is to ensure a positive user experience and continuous flow of transactions. This is achieved by ensuring that the software behaves correctly under the complex world of the Internet. This work is faced with constant change, where time to market is a priority, resources are scarce and uncertainty is high regarding the use of the platform by users.
The Quality Control Team faces three major challenges in this context: Platforms. Understand and know exactly which platforms the users use to connect to the Internet and browse the site. We need to identify the possible configurations that determine a representative sample for testing. If we do not use that platform, we can’t test the site under real conditions.
Hardware. Have the necessary hardware to configure multiple platforms and create a test lab.
Enlarge the test lab without investing heavily in hardware. Assure autonomy for the quality control team to manage hardware resources and configuration settings. Remove the bottleneck that occurs when we depend on the area of technology.
Test. Build all possible test cases. Define a representative sample and run it on each platform. Make sure the software works correctly in each one, without increasing the time to market.
During 2009 we implemented many solutions that helped us solve the three mentioned challenges at our company:
Google Analytics allows us to know clients’ platforms.
We can obtain details of all visits to our
sites: information by country, operating system, browser version, screen colors, screen resolution and Flash, which was used to navigate to our site.
This information is provided in visits and as percentage of the total.
For example, we know what percentage of total users navigate to the site using Internet Explorer 8.0, 7.0, 6.0, etc
Platforms diversity recorded in these measurements is very high, and it is logically impossible to test all. On the other hand, many of those platforms do not have a representative percentage of use. We use the highest percentages to decide the sample to be used for testing the software. For example, if a platform represents 7% or more of the total, the behavior of the site will be considered for testing.
Internal Test Lab Cloud:
We implemented the Oracle VM product to generate an internal test lab Cloud.
Through the Oracle VM console, an image of the virtual machine is generated. This image can be cloned as many times as needed according to the hardware resources.
We used each virtual machine to generate the necessary test environments and configured it according to information obtained from Google Analytics.
With Oracle VM we quickly virtualized many testing environments into fewer servers.
The advantage of using this solution is to give independence to the quality control team to manage hardware resources and environments.
We avoid dependencies on the availability of new hardware, and can quickly generate test environments.
External Test Lab Cloud: