To provide departments with tools for software testing and test management without accruing high internal costs for IT.
Today, an airline passenger can check in for their flight with just a couple of taps on a mobile phone, by pressing a few buttons at the automatic check-in machine, or having a short conversation with the staff at the check-in desk. The airlines’ goal is for this to be a simple, pain-free experience for passengers; such simplicity depends on a highly complex system. Each step of the process must work in perfect harmony. First, the passenger’s identity is verified; this data is then compared to that on the reservation system. This is followed by the seat reservation process, calculating air miles in the Miles & More system, and making adjustments in the catering system for any special requests. If a suitcase is checked in, it is weighed, assigned to the passenger, and then sent on its way to the airplane via the airport’s conveyor system. Finally, the passenger receives their boarding card with all the relevant flight information.
Lufthansa’s check-in system has more than 160 interfaces to other IT systems; both to internal systems and to the systems of external partners such as airports. The hardware and operating systems for running the check-in systems differ from airport to airport. The data transmission rates also differ significantly depending on the airport.
“We have had to contend with an extremely high number of external factors which are beyond our control,” says Joachim Frantzen, senior manager, Project Management Governance, Lufthansa.
“This makes it very difficult both to develop the check-in software and to test it. Yet testing is important because the application must function perfectly at all times, regardless of where and how the passenger is checking in.
“If testing is not done the way it ought to be, the defects arising during operation might affect our passengers or even affect flight operations which is business critical.
“We had a situation where different business units, many working as profit centers, were creating their own methodologies, processes and tool sets so we needed a single point of truth.