Early Test Center Adopters Find Immediate Test Automation Success: An Interview with Skyguide

Safer Skies Across Switzerland

If you’ve taken one of the 1.2 million flights per year that passes through Switzerland, you’ve been guided safely to your destination with Skyguide. A Geneva-headquartered organization, Skyguide provides air navigation management and monitoring services for civil and military flights throughout the Swiss airspace. Their complex air navigation technology requires tooling not only to ensure its quality, but to enable its smooth and effective safety-critical operation. For that task, Skyguide engineers chose froglogic’s Squish GUI Tester, a success we profiled in a 2019 story. We met again with Skyguide to talk about the continuation of their use of the Squish ecosystem, specifically their early adoption of our newest tool, a test result management platform, Squish Test Center.

Read more about their success with Test Center in our interview with Skyguide’s Test Automation Product Owner, Adnan Pasic:

Empowering Business Managers Through Cross-Collaborative Automation

Skyguide engineers don’t develop just a single flight radar app. Their software ecosystem comprises over twenty, interconnected applications providing air traffic control to all of Switzerland.

Pasic’s team of six, which includes product and software engineers, has worked to create an end-to-end test automation solution which covers the automation of tests for these applications, including their interaction. The solution is two-tiered: a foundation comprising the Squish native functions exercising the applications under test (the technical layer), and a second level which enables other application stakeholders to participate in the test automation themselves (the business layer). This two-tiered, Python-scripted framework is being rolled out to the application teams as work continues and Pasic’s team grows.

“How do we provide automation to twenty application teams and incorporate a way to display results for all teams, and, if possible, in a centralized way?”

As test automation efforts continued to expand, Pasic noted the need not only to aggregate and manage results, but to display and communicate these results in a way that was accessible to all 20+ application teams.

“We asked froglogic for a presentation on Test Center. Our decision came back quickly. Two weeks later, we had a subscription.”

Test Center is a lightweight, web-based platform for storing, monitoring and analyzing automated test results for an application as it evolves. It’s used to help teams of any size, with projects of any size, assess software health across the lifecycle. With a plethora of automatic built-in statistics, powerful test result analytics, and an intuitive UI to guide you through those, Test Center is a powerful tool which connects test automation with the entire development process. Adopting Test Center seemed a natural choice for Pasic’s team and the rest of Skyguide.

How Skyguide Uses Their Test Center

Requiring robust documentation for reporting to the Federal Office of Civil Aviation, Skyguide utilizes Polarion ALM, a requirements management tool from Siemens. Skyguide profited from a built-in integration of Polarion ALM and Test Center, which provides traceability and result synchronization between the two platforms. This integration allows creating Polarion tests from an existing Test Center test, and fetching Polarion tests and mapping them to tests managed by Test Center. A longer-term goal of the team is to eliminate authoring of Polarion tests, and instead directly automate them with Squish, upload automatically to Test Center, and use the traceability support.

Pasic explained that their flight radar application, a complex piece of software which displays flights to the air traffic controllers, has seen the highest demand for automation, and thus resulted in the largest batch of test reports. Squish GUI tests for this application rely on visual verifications extensively. Pasic commented that his team found it useful to view the Visual Verification Points directly in Test Center’s VisualVP editor. This feature permits verifying the correctness of complex GUI elements such as entire dialogs at a single glance on multiple levels of abstraction.

Pasic noted also that the main dashboard of Test Center, what’s called the Explore View, is used to determine, at a glance, the latest failures. On this overview page, you can drill down on test results, focusing your attention on the most relevant parts of the test reports: the failures.

Clear Skies Ahead

“Management liked it [Test Center]. Liked the solution. Liked how sleek, how lean it is. It’s intuitive — user-friendly.”

Ongoing and upcoming work is going to focus on streamlining the automation. This will encompass setting up Jenkins to trigger the Squish tests and uploading those results directly to the team’s Test Center instance, with bi-directional requirements support with their Polarion database. Test Center is set to play a long-term role in the reporting and result management aspects of the automation pipeline.

We at froglogic remain interested to see Pasic’s team’s end-to-end solution develop, and look forward to seeing how Test Center can help Skyguide, as Pasic put it, “enable automation.”

    The Qt Company acquired froglogic GmbH in order to bring the functionality of their market-leading automated testing suite of tools to our comprehensive quality assurance offering.