“Borland’s (now part of Micro Focus) Silk products enable us to provide reliable software thanks to the high speed at which tests can be created through automation, enabling a wider coverage of tests. We have fewer issues regarding deployed applications.”
ROBERTO SOARES DE MOURA
Grupo ABRIL is one of the largest communication and education groups in Latin America. It supplies information, culture, education, and entertainment to nearly every general public sector, over several media platforms. Seven of the ten most read magazines in Brazil are published by ABRIL. With a readership of almost 30 million people, it also provides 94 applications for smartphones and 29 versions of magazines for tablets.
Successful execution of ABRIL’s marketing campaigns depends on support from IT applications: Its COBOL-based subscription application, Oracle’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution, and its E-commerce Portal. Roberto Soares de Moura, ABRIL’s IT Director, explains: “Because of this application integration requirement, as well as the complexity of the business, deployment of these applications was slow, resulting in considerable risk to the success of our marketing campaigns. We wanted to decrease the number of errors occurring prior to application deployment, as impact tests were proving very difficult and expensive to perform. The overall cost of testing applications needed to be reduced.”
ABRIL searched the market for a reliable solution to their testing challenges and realized that Borland (now part of Micro Focus) had the answers they were looking for. ABRIL’s development environments include Oracle CRM, Oracle Forms, Java, .Net, and Micro Focus COBOL, making Borland’s solutions the best choice. Roberto Soares de Moura said: “During our market evaluation, Borland was the only one which met our testing requirements end-to-end, promising to reduce test times and increase test coverage.”
Silk solutions provide automated visual test creation and result analysis to speed up testing. Any errors will be detected and dealt with before they affect the deployment stage. As well as these advantages, ABRIL’s costs will be cut due to increased efficiency, reducing time-to-market and the number of support calls involving technical software issues.
Testing began in the development phase. The project required the integration of Micro Focus COBOL with Oracle CRM. Over the course of five weeks, 90 scripts were developed for automated testing of the CRM system. A further 30 scripts were built for the automation of the system’s processes and activities. Scripts were built with .NET to address the complex scenarios, using Silk TestPartner™. All scripts are mapped and configured to run automatically in Silk Central™.
The large manual effort required prior to the automation was a drain on the team. Now, the scripts for ABRIL’s CRM system can be left running overnight, and results can be checked in the morning.
As scripts do not need to be delivered at the same time, automated test cases can be delivered gradually, reducing execution time and providing coverage benefits. With an automated testing process throughout the Software Development Lifecycle, ABRIL expects to reduce test cycle execution time by 80% while doubling test coverage.
ABRIL’s testing process is now much more efficient and agile, enabling greater test coverage and reduced time-to-market with an expected 20% reduction in operating costs. The number of technical software issues will fall, an expected 30% reduction in the cost of calls—representing a great ROI for ABRIL.
Roberto Soares de Moura concludes: “Borland’s (now part of Micro Focus) Silk products enable us to provide reliable software thanks to the high speed at which tests can be created through automation, enabling a wider coverage of tests. We have fewer issues regarding deployed applications. Operation-related issues can be avoided by the customer, bringing more productivity to our sales channels—Internet—ecommerce, call center, and CRM.”
As the next step, ABRIL wants to implement a Requirements Management solution and is looking at Caliber™ for this.