TestPlant Ltd

TestPlant is the developer of the world’s leading image recognition GUI test automation tool eggPlant. This black-box test tool is already deployed in the US Army and in other Department of Defence and Department of Justice operations. eggPlant is the only commercially available tool which can test the actual graphical user interface (the “GUI”) by “seeing” the PC or mobile device screen. This method of testing software before release or during live operation is more effective than traditional manual testing. By automating this extremely tedious and repetitive task eggPlant improves quality, reduces build times and lowers costs. eggPlant sees the screen just as the human eye does, and by automating that process, mission and time crucial systems and systems known as C4I, ATC, GIS, UAV, C2 and “intel” are made more reliable and safer!”
TestPlant technology is used by some 500 organisations worldwide in defence and security, aerospace and aviation, healthcare and life sciences, finance and retail and in the IT, telecoms and media industries. TestPlant was formed in 2008 and acquired the original developer of eggPlant, Redstone Software. The company has a development centre in Boulder, Colorado and a presence in Washington DC. The founders, chairman Jon Richards and Chief Executive George Mackintosh, are supported by an experienced Board of Directors, a powerful Executive Team and by the venture capital firm and its partners, Seraphim Capital.

Solution overview for:

C4I System Integration and Testing

Challenge
System integration testing of C4I configurations can present a significant challenge during the engineering test life cycle phases. The objectives are always to integrate and test each individual subordinate unit and its many complex functions and applications first, to then integrate these units to build the C4I system. Of course, requirements need to be defined, planned across many synchronized levels and executed and repeated many times.
As a result of the use of multiple displays with simultaneous and independent inputs at each level a set of controlled, repeatable and multi-layered tests are essential for verifying the stability and integrity of this large and extremely complex integrated system. The requirements for the testing of a wide range of system evel capabilities, including system or unit configuration, initialization and monitoring are vast and so an automated testing tool is often installed.

C4I Solutions  C4I System Integration and Testing

The Solution
Automated testing with eggPlant is very simple. It’s a GUI software and system testing tool that has the ability to perform robotic test routines through use of image recognition technology. eggPlant “sees” the screen in exactly the same way a human eye would and thus has the ability to interact with any HMI or technology. Furthermore, the eggPlant architecture is very unique (as recognized by its US patent) since it connects to the System Under Test (SUT) through a remote technology called VNC. This two-system approach ensures no unnecessary or “foreign” software is installed on the target system. eggPlant carries out a comprehensive set of tactical system level functions and capabilities through multiple operator displays verifying and validating all levels and units of the C4I system as part of an integration test. Its capabilities are used to predefine, plan and automate system integration testing, providing test repeatability during regression testing and other major phases of the testing cycle.
 
Following the execution of tests, eggPlant delivers coordinated test reports and analysis aids that are used to verify the complete system or application against the predefined requirements. These results are often supplied as part of a deliverable for the project.

Solution overview for:

Air Traffic Control System Configuration Testing

The challenge
System Integration testing of ATC system configurations can present a significant challenge during the engineering test life cycle phases and the cost associated with testing can account to up to 75% of the cost to introduce the system. The coordination of test loads, system test configurations and patches and subsequent system integration of these various components needs to be pre-defined, planned across many coordinated subsystems and test stations and potentially executed many times.
As a result of using multiple displays with simultaneous and independent inputs at each command and controller station, a set of controlled multi-coordinated and repeatable tests are essential to the verifying the stability and integrity of this integrated system. These requirements span from testing a range of system level capabilities to configuring training applications scenarios.

Air Traffic Control System Configuration Testing Automated testing of C4I and Terminal ATC Command and Control Systems

The Solution
Automated testing with eggPlant allows you to execute routines (or predefined scripts) against the entire system using its unique patented architecture. eggPlant is purely a GUI test automation tool and acts as a robotic tester performing key strokes and mouse clicks to measure the functionality and performance of the System Under Test (SUT). Its two-system model and image recognition technology means it has the ability to see the screen using a completely remote and non-invasive approach.
The implementation of eggPlant reduces manual test set up errors and increases efficiencies, as tests do not have to be unnecessarily repeated. These can be reduced via automating configuration and setup as well as automating system integration testing for a comprehensive set of ATC system level functions and capabilities. These include communication and radar link operation, remote maintenance monitoring, radar control, management and operation of situation displays, airspace control operations and system mode control.
Furthermore, eggPlant has the ability to set-up, configure, and initialize system components in the C4I ATC system through automated command sequences. Controlled tests are performed with planned contingency operations, error checking across system components in order to produce a stable system. To represent true load, simultaneous and independent operator tests can be performed through the displays at the CMD and controller units which form part of integration, system, verification and validation and formal user test.
After automated test routines have been completed, test reports and analysis aids are created to ensure the specifications and requirements of the system have been met. These results, including the scripts, are often requested as part of the deliverable to the end user so future testing against the systems can be executed in a live environment.

Solution overview:

Automated Testing of Aircraft and Flight Management Systems through the Graphical User Interface

The Challenge
The operation of a modern aircraft with a full auto-flight mode through a fully integrated FMS must be completely tested prior and during each flight. The pilot must be able to verify each and every input to the FMS system, whether that information is downloaded from a database or an input by the pilot. Through a the GUI and various mouse and keyboard strokes, the pilot is able to completely access all systems and functions critical to the safe operation of the aircraft. The testing of the various functions of the autoflight systems can be done as an individual system or as an entire integrated system. The MDU’s , display all pre-flight aircraft system tests required either by the system self test or the tests initiated by the pilots through the GUI. Any input into the aircraft’s system, which is necessary for the operation of flight, is displayed and verified through the various displays. The FMS is a most critical component of the entire auto-flight system since it is responsible for performance, navigation and integration of all components of the auto-flight system. The actions of non-graphic actions by the pilot will also have a result that will be displayed and verified on the monitors. This could be any action via an on/off switch or mouse and keyboard stroke. The major point to be emphasized, in an aviation environment, is that there must always be a situational awareness and that the integrated flight systems are to enhance and thus contribute to the safe operation of the aircraft. The challenge is to ensure that all system displays are verified and displaying the correct results from the various inputs thus performing a safe flight. During the aircraft systems and software engineering life cycle, specifically during the integration, verification and validation, and system test phases, each global pre-flight, take-off, en-route, approach, and landing scenario must be tested with as many keyboard, mouse, and switch combinations as possible. In order to ensure a working and accurate FMS system, there can be thousands of potential world-wide flight scenarios, each requiring performance tests, contingency situations, erroneous inputs, system crash prevention testing, as well as the capability testing of the FMS system. Manual testing of these all-encompassing scenarios in order to properly validate and verify the FMS system for safety critical requirements compliance is vast.
An automated testing solution with eggplant can be utilized to achieve these objectives.

Automated Testing of Aircraft and Flight Management Systems through the Graphical User Interface Aircraft and Flight Management Systems (FMS)

The Solution
Automated testing with eggPlant is very simple. It’s a GUI software and system testing tool that has the ability to perform robotic test routines through use of image recognition technology. eggPlant “sees” the screen in exactly the same way a human eye would and thus has the ability to interact with any HMI or technology. Furthermore, the eggPlant architecture is very unique (as recognized by its US patent) since it connects to the System Under Test (SUT) through a remote technology called VNC. This two-system approach ensures no unnecessary or “foreign” software is installed on the target system. eggplant, through user pre-defined scripts and suites, carries out a comprehensive set of system level functions and capabilities verifying and validating database generation, update, and use; all functions of the FMS components, and the MDU/PDU display units. Its capabilities are used to predefine, plan and automate system integration testing, providing test repeatability during regression testing and other major phases of the testing cycle.
Following the execution of tests, eggPlant delivers coordinated test reports and analysis aids that are used to verify the complete system or application against the predefined requirements and interface specifications. These results are often supplied as part of a deliverable for the project. eggPlant - using its unique image recognition technology is able to detect bugs and assisted the team in resolve key issues. This adoption of automated test technology results in improved system quality, reduced delivery times and lowered costs when compared with an exclusively manual testing regime. The aircraft are considered visual aircraft since all necessary data is displayed on a screen and verified by the pilot. All inputs, in all phases of flight, require a visual verification so every click of the mouse, every button pushed, every on/off switch has to be verified on a display screen. The automated testing solution via the utilization of eggplant can efficiently and comprehensively test FMS on-board aircraft systems during the engineering test and system integration life cycles. Scripting multiple test suites for many scenarios of operator and user inputs allows for the automatic and comprehensive tests of the FMS capabilities in all flight modes and all flight profiles. During the test executions, MDU and PDU resultant displays are saved at the local or remote eggplant system for subsequent test/display verification, test reporting, and test analysis.

eggPlant Summary

eggPlant helps defence organizations address all these challenges. TestPlant’s automated visual testing tool uses patented image recognition technology to test the entire functionality of an application rather than its technical design. This means that quality assurance teams can ensure that software provides a reliable user experience, under all conditions.
eggPlant also allows testers to run several automated testing cycles simultaneously. As a result, solutions can go live much faster than if the quality assurance team was using traditional testing tools. eggPlant’s image recognition technology means it’s perfect for GUI testing on C4ISR applications with rich graphical dashboards. This also reduces the amount of manual testing required, so the quality assurance process becomes much cheaper, and budgets stretch a lot further.
eggPlant is completely technology-agnostic, so it can test applications across multiple platforms, operating systems and physical devices. And no matter how it’s used – be it for regression testing, load testing or any other software testing – it’s incredibly secure because all processes occur inside the organization’ firewall.
The eggPlant visual automated test tool helps defence organizations ensure applications are robust, fit for purpose and user-friendly.

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