Automated regression testing helps audiology company make updates faster
Hearing Instrument Manufacturers’ Software Association (HIMSA) was founded at the beginning of 1993 with the objective of developing, marketing and supporting Noah – one standard for integrated hearing care software.
HIMSA is a privately owned, non-profit company, and it operates much like a consortium – all suppliers within the hearing care industry who provide Noah-compatible products have a significant say in the running of HIMSA and in how the standard evolves. HIMSA is owned by the six largest Hearing Instrument Manufacturers in the world and it was those owner companies that introduced HIMSA to Coherent Solutions.
HIMSA developed Noah — a software system which allows hearing instrument fitting, audiological measurement and office management systems to share a common database. The user can measure a client’s hearing loss using a tool from one supplier and the results will be automatically passed to a common database where other suppliers’ fitting systems can also access the information.
HIMSA, like its affiliates, is constantly improving its software. When the platform was lifted to a full .Net product – Noah 4 – it was also necessary to rethink how the quality of the product could be ensured. Project Director Arild Rasmussen was introduced to Coherent Solutions in 2009, as HIMSA was working on Noah 4.0. They were looking to incorporate automated regression testing into their process.
“Regression testing is a huge task for us,” explained Rasmussen. “We have to make every new iteration backward-compatible with all current and past versions of Windows, in more than 20 languages and across a variety of different country settings. There is plenty of room for mistakes in this kind of repetitive, tedious testing which can consume so many hours.”
Initially, Rasmussen worked closely with Coherent Solutions’ Minsk team, holding weekly meetings between his team in Denmark and Coherent’s software engineers who were writing the scripts in TestComplete. As time went on, and the two teams merged, weekly meetings have given way to bi-weekly ones and later more casual contacts between individuals as needed.
Having created a baseline for regression testing, Rasmussen’s team – including Coherent – has reduced their regression testing workload to updating scripts a month ahead of a new release, and going through about 20 new set-ups. From there, the automation does its work, producing defect reports in a fraction of the time manual testing would take.
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