Cox Automotive is one of the world’s leading providers of automotive solutions and services with operations, clients and consumer markets all over the globe. It has a physical presence in 30 countries, partners in 42 countries and a worldwide digital network.
From starting one of the first online used car shopping sites with Autotrader.com in the US back in 1999, to the acquisition of auto-related companies Dealertrack and Movex, Cox now employs over 32,000 people in more than 200 locations worldwide and works with 40,000 dealers. More than five million vehicles are sold by Cox every year.
Part of Cox Automotive, VinSolutions runs the leading customer management tool for car selling and pricing, bidding and managing appointments. Because of the size and speed of the business, its test teams often must deal with multiple deploys in a day and releases every day or two days. To meet these demands, it decided to implement DevOps continuous integration and deployment but hit problems caused by a fragmented architecture with many different elements working in isolation.
“It was not easy to integrate this into the pipelines, or to get transparency, and the fragmentation meant that everything was more time consuming because you have to fill in the blanks,” says Arturo Centeno, Senior Software Test Engineer. “We needed to find a way to use the existing tools, incorporate new tools and migrate work onto the new tools to speed up the process.”
VinSolutions was using both Micro Focus ALM/ Quality Center (QC) and Micro Focus UFT One and already had a large library of regression testing scripts in UFT One. It was also using Micro Focus LoadRunner Professional.
“When I joined the company, I started helping the team use Micro Focus ALM/Quality Center as an integration point more than a testing tool,” says Centeno. “Everything is rolled up into Micro Focus ALM/Quality Center, so you have a uniform way that the data is coming in for tracking and transparency. This provides you with one place to deal with data, pulling information across for integration through enterprise tools or for reporting.”
To simplify operations, the department has created a single, standard way to trigger the tools that execute tests. Now, whether Application Lifecycle Management triggers the tool that is going to run the test, or it is done through continuous deployment and integration, the department all uses the same, simplified approach.
“Speed is critical in this organization. Dealing with two or three different ways to do the same thing is very difficult but the processes we have now implemented with Micro Focus testing tools are more standard, faster and simpler. Everybody knows what they need to do, and they don’t have to deal with complexity,” explains Centeno.
The teams have also started to use LoadRunner Professional for testing Application Programming Interfaces and they are seeing the benefits of Micro Focus UFT Developer (ex-LeanFT), which is built specifically for continuous testing and continuous integration. The main benefits are that both products use the same IDE, which the team already use on a daily basis, and that they don’t have to switch programming languages.
Simplification has made testing faster, and delivering quicker results is of benefit to the business. There is now a lot of more integration, transparency and performance, and functional testing has also improved.
“As we are moving forward, we are achieving more coverage and more teams are including performance testing and regression testing in what they do. Right now, we have 20 different teams. Before, we used to have maybe three of them that were concentrating on testing. Now that has increased to seven and in six months that will be 11, which represents 50%.”
To further broaden the testing scope, the next steps will be to improve the testing that is done by the DevOps team, giving them more complex testing and only using experts for quality management.
Two of the main reasons for using Micro Focus tools are support and integration. “We decided to put our focus on enterprise solutions and enterprise tools because we get easier integrations and we also have support, which is critical. What we do is fast so not having quick responses from support is a big problem,” says Centeno. “The people at Micro Focus are very helpful and it’s incredibly important to have their support. If we run into a problem that could stop the pipeline. They are very open and helpful and that’s just great.”
Speed is critical in this organization. Dealing with two or three different ways to do the same thing is very difficult but the processes we have now implemented with Micro Focus are more standard, faster and simpler. Everybody knows what they need to do, and they don’t have to deal with complexity.
As we are moving forward, we are achieving more coverage and more teams are including performance testing and regression testing in what they do.