Thursday, October 26, 2006

Self-testing: The missing functionality in software products

Over the last couple of years that my team has managed our PeopleSoft system, I have come to realize that one of the biggest cost and time for our organization in maintaining the system is Functional Regression Testing of the application. We have to constantly get business users to take time off to test and retest and retest the same functionality every time we install a patch or a tax update. I have yet to find a single application vendor addressing the need to automate this process. Why does the software not learn the expected results from a process, report, etc. and verify that the functionality is working properly after the application of a patch or an upgrade.

I was at Oracle World for the last couple of days as a part of the Leaders Circle. One of the privileges of being a part of the group is that you get an opportunity to ask Larry Ellison questions in a very small group. I asked him if Oracle was going to include automated testing and verification functionality in a future release of the software or even in Fusion. I did not get a satisfactory answer, so I have started spreading the word amongst the user community to start lobbying for such a functionality.

The need resonated very well with my peers and I got a lot of positive feedback. Some went to the extent of asking me think of starting a business to address this need.

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