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MBTsuite applied in the industrial sector - a field report

From joint venture project to an independent application

MBTsuite  was implemented in a joint venture project by Siemens Healthcare, AFRA, sepp.med and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. It was integrated into a chain of already existing tools. Piloting and the following roll-out led to the following results:

 

Results

  1. Visualization
  2. Through the visualization of test cases, errors in specifications could be identified prior to test execution. This advantage especially affects a team cooperating  globally. This resulted in improved communication. 

  3. Adaptability
  4. Created models are easy to adapt and instantly reusable after a change. 

  5. Review
  6. Test models serve as the base for the review. This avoids the necessity to review hundreds of test cases.

  7. Test coverage
  8. MBTsuite helps to verify test coverage requested on the model level.

  9. Requirement changes
  10. Changes in requirements can be easily visualized through models, therefore allowing fast updating of test cases.

 

 

The project

The software 'syngo.via' by Siemens is a proprietary platform for image procedures. It counts as a medical product and has to be devloped according to strict presets and norms. For example, all requirements have to be gaplessly traceable from development to test. Likewise, requirements regarding safety and usability are many times higher than for other products. The requirements are therefore quite complex and multidimensional.

Test cases were little affable to change, their descriptions mostly very voluminous.
At the same time, software requirements changed very often and even shortly before the planned completion date. In 2007, with the collaboration of AFRA GmbH, Erlangen and sepp.med GmbH, Röttenbach, model-based testing was implemented seamlessly into the process, using the following toolchain:

  1. The requirements managed with Requisite Pro were automatically synchronized with HP Quality Center.

  2. The requirements were imported into the UML model and linked inside it.

  3. Models created with Enterprise Architect were imported into MBTsuite, test cases were created with the respective test data.

  4. These test cases were automatically transferred to the HP Quality Center. This makes them available for test planning and test execution via linking them to the requirements.

  5. The combination of Requisite Pro and HP Quality Center ensured that the results from the executed test cases were correctly dedicated to the original requirements.

Procedure

The paradigm shift in test case specification from text-based process to modeling was executed smoothly and systematically.

Ongoing software development and release after a predefined project plan was not to be endangered. A trained team member modeled a test of a part of the project. To avoid the repetition of mistakes, the team member reported the project progress regularly and discussed the collected experiences with the team.

In consequential meetings the new method was introduced and implemented. The necessity of 'lessons learned' was adressed just as clearly as the planning of the further 'roll-out' and support from administration.

At the end of this phase, five of the 13 team members worked on modeling and recognized the method's various advantages. The acceptance of all involved is a crucial prerequisite for the successful implementation of the model-based test. For the successfully finished project, 29 test models were created, creating 50% of all test cases automatically.

Prospect

Further exchange of information is ensured through the setup of a 'wiki'.
Experiences and important news concerning the topic 'model based test@magnetic resonance' can be put into the Intranet and be read there as well. In a subsequent step, test automatization is made possible through the 'keyword driven test' technique via model-based testing (MBT). 

An expansion is intended through the application of MBTsuite in agile development. Development and test modeling can be started at the same time for sprints. Test cases are created swiftly for every increment and every sprint.

Not only are results improved concerning requirements tracing, leading to securing and improving effectivity. With MBTsuite, resources can be applied more efficiently as well. It is vitally important to include all involved employees consequently and concurrently as well as to ensure a permanent communication process through the management. This ensures contribution and acknowledgement of all involved. Method and tool become a sure success.   

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