more coverage in API testing
more coverage in GUI testing
C. Steinweg Group is a globally operating independent service provider in the area of storage, handling, forwarding, chartering, and other commodity-related logistics services. Founded in 1847 as a shipping agency, the company later expanded its offering with warehousing, stevedoring, and other logistics services. Headquartered in Rotterdam, the company has 100+ local offices and logistics hubs across Europe, Asia, USA, and South America. The company specializes in bulk goods such as metal, steel, cacao, and peanuts.
The application landscape of Steinweg consists of in-house applications that are connected to packaged applications. Over the years, the number of applications grew, as did the complexity. For testing purposes, the IT department had built a framework in Java, based on Selenium.
“Maintaining that framework was quite an effort,” recalls Oscar Wegman, Manager Software & Testing at Steinweg. “And when we started using the low-code tools of OutSystems to create APIs, testing could not keep up with everything development produced. That’s when we started to look around for a tool that could handle the automation of our testing process. We wanted to reduce the amount of maintenance and programming effort that was required for the test automation solution that we had at the time.”
The application landscape at Steinweg is fairly complex, with both legacy software, customized packaged software, and applications specific to its industry. “Having all these technologies, some quite old, makes the environment less stable, and more difficult to automate.”
“We needed a low-code testing environment,” said Wegman. “We were using a low-code programming platform. It would have been a bit ridiculous to use a high-code testing environment.” Based on a market study, and Wegman’s experience with testing in previous jobs, the choice fell on Tosca.
The fact that Tosca scores well in the magic quadrants and analyst reports from Gartner, Forrester, and IDC helped convince higher management that Tosca was the way to go. “Steinweg is thorough and careful in every way that it operates. It’s at the core of our culture. Getting accolades from renowned analysts, as Tricentis does, is definitely an asset in the decision-making process,” said Wegman.
Implementing Tosca was smooth. “We had assistance both from Tricentis and from Valori, a local Tricentis partner. We hired Valori because they had a lot of experience with Tosca. They helped organize our projects, provided training about test design, and generally helped us establish a clean way of working with Tosca,” said Wegman. “Every so often they worked on-site so we could ask all the questions we had and discuss some difficulties we’d encountered. The main challenges in setting up Tosca were getting the configuration right in our complex application landscape, getting the tooling aligned and, of course, getting the SSL certificates sorted out. We are using Distributed Execution (DEX) and getting the DEX agents stable also takes time.”
Through using Tosca, Steinweg’s software and testing department also got to know qTest as a test management tool. Both the testers and the Functional Maintenance team find qTest to be an easy-to-use tool. It replaced a test environment that was managed in Excel, Confluence, and Jira Zephyr, and is now closely integrated with both Jira and Tosca. qTest is used to register manual tests, plan and execute tests, and for regression and acceptance testing.
“Testing is performed in different phases of the development lifecycle,” Wegman explained. “The developers themselves test before the software goes to the testers. That’s where the bulk of test automation happens. The Functional Maintenance team primarily tests manually, but after they are done, the test team runs automated tests again. After user acceptance testing and formal acceptance, the software goes into production. But even then we still run some small tests to perform validation during production and by way of sanity checks after the software is deployed.”
Adapting to Tosca came easy for the existing team, which was already well-versed in testing and test automation. The technical support provided in the Tricentis Academy proved very helpful, and the support from Tricentis and Valori did the rest.
Both Tosca and qTest are used extensively at Steinweg. “We use Tosca for automated testing, both for APIs and the graphical user interface of applications, for single applications, and for regression testing of the end-to-end process,” said Wegman. qTest is, of course, used for the management of tests, “But we also use it as a tool for knowledge management. Testers can learn there how to create a test case, how applications work … qTest can be very effective as a manual too.”
Thanks to Tosca and qTest, Steinweg can now run many more tests, while also saving resources. “In the past, I had one developer who was occupied full-time maintaining the framework for our test automation,” said Wegman. “When we started using Tosca, I could assign more interesting work to that person.”
Quite understandably, test coverage increased dramatically. Coverage of API testing increased by a factor of five, while GUI test coverage increased by 300%.
“It’s difficult to really compare the situation, as our application landscape has also become much more complex. But I dare say that Tosca has taken a lot of that complexity away for the test department.” Wegman is particularly satisfied with how Tosca scales and the ease of reuse of modules.
The introduction of tools such as Tosca and qTest has not only improved the quality of the applications that Steinweg and its customers use, it is also part of an overall professionalization of the IT department at Steinweg. Until five years ago, there was very little software testing, except for fixes when software was already in production. Nowadays, quality assurance is high on the agenda both in the IT department (by developers, testers, Functional Maintenance) and outside. In the end, a focus on quality ensures smoother logistics for Steinweg and its customers.