IT ecology, using he Eggplant test automation platform, recently assisted BankservAfrica to generate test data files that allowed autonomous testing of the DebiCheck batch processing system, which reduces test time, increases test coverage, and reduces errors in test data creation.
BankservAfrica is Africa’s leading automated clearing house – the transactional link between many of its leading payment institutions. With two replicated processing sites in Johannesburg, its advanced payment systems enable seamless exchanges, clearings and interbank settlements. BankservAfrica’s extensive processing infrastructure, coupled with economies of scale, means it can provide these key payment systems with maximum profitability and minimum complexity.
Testing the DebiCheck AC batch system was particularly challenging, so BankservAfrica partnered with IT ecology – an IT consulting company focused on delivering value to clients through services and solutions that help them improve the quality of functionality, performance, and security of their applications throughout the software development lifecycle .
TO DebiCheck the debit order is a more secure type of debit order that requires confirmation from your bank when entering into a contract with a credit or service provider, reducing the risk of incorrect or fraudulent debit orders. DebiCheck collections are only processed if each creditor’s bank’s incoming debit order request matches a subsequent response from the respective debtor’s bank for each transaction. The challenge, therefore, was the creation of XML batch files in BankservAfrica DebiCheck system of creditor banks, as well as the return files of debtor banks in a timely and consistent manner.
Time-consuming test data creation and limited test coverage
The test data was a critical input to the testing effort, and it was nearly impossible to create the transaction volumes and permutations that typically contain the files that are received by the system in both directions.
BankservAfrica would use an existing small batch file with a minimum number of transactions for a single debtor’s bank and modify that file with new data and identifications. This manual testing approach simply did not allow for extended testing coverage across all bank clients, as both debit order requests and matching mandates needed to be created with valid transactional data and IDs.
Maintain consistency and mitigate errors.
Repetitive manual tasks can decrease the level of consistency and coverage in any quality control operation. It was no different in the case of BankservAfrica: every time the BankservAfrica team needed to create a test file to emulate debit order transactions, they had to do it manually, on a smaller scale and with a higher risk of introducing errors.
The Eggplant Experience
The shortage of qualified QA engineers has affected the ability of many companies to grow and scale their test teams, further exacerbated by the skill drain in South Africa. Test automation has become an effective solution to help companies expand without losing coverage or quality with their test operations. In addition, the use of Eggplant’s test automation solution for the creation of test data files has brought immense value to BankservAfrica.
Automated test data creation speeds up testing
Having analyzed the BankservAfrica DebiCheck test environment and recognizing that manually creating large XML files with many transactions for multiple debtor banks was simply not feasible, IT Ecology developed a suitable solution to address the challenges facing BankservAfrica.
“Using Eggplant’s test automation, we were able to automate the creation of complex file structures required for input and response validation. Since no significant transaction volume test data file set incorporating multiple interbank transactions has ever been created before due to the insurmountable nature of the task, such files are now created in a matter of a couple of minutes.” — Dirk Loosen, MD, IT Ecology
Once the test data creation process was automated, Eggplant it was further used to automate the actual testing of the DebiCheck system by comparing the generated output files with the DebiCheck processed files.
Flexibility in creating test data Greater coverage and consistency
One of the key elements of the BankservAfrica use case was the use of test parameters in Eggplant, which are configurable input values used during file creation, such as the number of destination banks, the number of transactions at destination banks, dates, and parameters unique to each bank. This significantly increased test coverage, from testing a single debtor bank at a time to being able to test the system for all debtor banks simultaneously.
“Once our IT Ecology team started using Eggplant to create test data files, we also saw a reduction in file errors from an average of 20% to zero during tests at BankservAfrica. Consequently, it also led to an increase in efficiency, as it would take up to 30 minutes to investigate each bug.” — Dirk Loosen, MD, IT Ecology
Enabling real end-to-end testing
An additional benefit gained as a result of using Eggplant’s test automation is that today BankservAfrica can provide test data sets to all participating banks according to the banks’ specific data requirements, which is invaluable when incorporating a new bank. Before EggplantBankservAfrica was unable to provide such files for banks to test because BankservAfrica was unable to share a bank’s details with another bank due to financial industry regulations.
With the help of Keysight’s powerful Eggplant test automation software and IT Ecology’s expertise, BankservAfrica was able to automate the creation of large files with large volumes of transaction data consistently, significantly faster, and much less error-prone.
Using the skills of Eggplant and IT Ecology to develop this test data generation capability, BankservAfrica was able to:
- Create large volume test files automatically and quickly;
- Increase test coverage and end-to-end test capacity;
- Eliminate human error when creating test files and reduce time spent investigating bugs;
- Improve quality and increase consistency; and
- Reduce the time to incorporate a new bank.
About IT ecology
Founded in 2004, IT ecology made it its mission to provide technical testing and monitoring competencies to the sub-Saharan African market and ensured that it excels in delivering unique customer requirements. customers call IT ecology As solution thinkers and advisers, and coupled with a positive attitude, our team has delighted our customers, exceeding expectations time and time again. For more information visit www.itecology.co.za.
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