Automated Testing Speeds Enhanced Technology Delivery to Clients
Traci Driggers – 08/25/2022
In a time when speed is everything, companies are balancing how they keep up with evolving technologies while rapidly developing and deploying new product features that software users expect delivered faster than ever. As user expectations change, so must the product development team’s approaches to building quality software. Therefore, companies are shifting towards continuous delivery, all while building critical automation within their software release process to quickly push features and bug fixes out to production.
Unfortunately, companies that haven’t made this shift are at a severe competitive disadvantage from those that push more functionality to market faster. To stay ahead, SS&C’s Black Diamond® Wealth Platform continues to invest in its people, infrastructure, and platform architecture to provide continuous delivery with more innovative functionality as quickly as possible.
What is Quality Assurance?
To ensure Black Diamond meets rigorous set quality standards – including but not limited to Security, Data Protection, Data Accuracy, Functionality, Performance, and Usability – the Black Diamond Quality Assurance (QA) team performs testing at various stages throughout the software development process. In addition to testing, the QA team is responsible for creating test plans and test cases, building robust regression test suites, and monitoring feature usage post-deployment.
Why Automate Testing?
Automated testing aims to increase the speed of delivery without compromising quality. Companies making the shift towards continuous delivery realize early on that the success of their release strategy is based on steadily testing legacy code as fast as they are developing, testing, and deploying new functionality. Recognizing this years ago, Black Diamond stays ahead of the curve providing ongoing delivery by remaining committed to building core infrastructure, platform architecture, process improvements, and automated testing.
Automated testing, useful for regression testing of existing functionality, functional testing of new features, and creating bulk test data, allows the QA and development teams more time to innovate and tackle complex initiatives to support our clients. However, building an automated test strategy for a complex application requires a deep understanding of how clients use the application, along with what areas of the application’s architecture houses the most risk of defects.
Within the software deployment process, utilizing various types of automated tests that hit multiple application layers allows Black Diamond to continue transforming the platform rapidly. Application testing layers include:
- Unit – Unit tests, designed to test units or blocks of code, are typically written by developers during the development process and run with builds.
- API/Service – Automated tests at the Application Programming Interface (API) layer give faster results with fewer dependencies, which reduces the potential for flaky tests.
- UI – Automated tests at the User Interface (UI) layer are the closest to mimicking real-world user experiences/workflows. Tests running at this layer can find problematic User Experience (UX) inconsistencies and bugs with page loading & error handling.
Types of Automated Tests:
Several types of automated tests run as regression suites during deployment. A few of these include:
- Smoke – Quickly shows if endpoints and pages are up after deploying new code.
- Security – Authentication, Authorization, and Account Access tests provide necessary and important results, acting as stage gates before deploying code into environments.
- Performance – These non-functional tests show the timing and stability of the software (e.g., how long it takes to load a particular page).
- End-to-End (E2E) – E2E tests provide invaluable insight into how the application pieces work together from the perspective of a user’s E2E workflow.
Supporting a robust platform, constantly improving to meet client needs, the Black Diamond product development teams continue to refine the automated testing strategy to stay ahead of the curve regarding future trends.