Fast Food Giant Introduces Automation; Cuts Testing Time By 80%
Eggplant Functional helps increase productivity and capacity by reducing testing from a week to a day.
Our client is one of the world’s leading global food service retailers. The restaurant giant is at the forefront of the digital revolution in the food service industry, introducing touch screen point of sale (POS) systems, in-store self-service kiosks, and more recently a mobile ordering app. At the core of all these digital developments is one thing: software. And, for a global company like our client, managing software delivery presents some significant challenges.
Our client’s QA manager is responsible for delivery of software quality across the globe.
“This means I need to deliver the same software to multiple markets, with variations in terms of configuration and language, of course. Therefore, a lot of repeated regression testing is required across every release for all those different market variants to make sure that the product is working as expected.”
The QA team initially conducted all testing manually, which was becoming an increasingly time-consuming process as the number of systems and frequency of releases increased.
“We decided to look at test automation to minimize the number of test cycles that we had and to increase our productivity. But we needed a tool that would allow us to automate testing of the touch-screen software that runs on our POS systems at both restaurant counters and drive-thru locations, as well as the software for the ordering screens that run in our kitchens, customer self-service kiosks and, more recently, our mobile ordering app.”
The QA team was tasked with assessing test automation options, and assessed HP’s UFT, Sikuli, and Eggplant Functional.
Eggplant Functional is a functional test automation tool, which uses a patented, image-based approach to UI testing that allows it to interact with any device by looking at the screen, in the same way a user does. Eggplant's ability to connect with multiple devices via its remote framebuffer capability was a key factor in setting it apart from other products.
“Some of our end-to-end test cases involve interacting with multiple devices and we wanted a tool that could help us seamlessly connect to those devices, without requiring additional software or increasing complexity. As an image-based solution, Eggplant can verify screens and objects on any device, regardless of the type of operating system, and was the only product that could do this out of the box.”
After deciding to engage with Eggplant, the QA team was responsible for implementing Eggplant Functional. With a background in test automation, the team found it easy to get started with the product. The testing team develops frameworks that allow the specific requirements of our client’s geographic markets to be tested. Using Eggplant, any member of the team can write a test scenario relating to any market.
“The SenseTalk language is very straightforward to use and we didn’t require any training from Eggplant to get up and running with creating test scenarios. It’s been a very easy product to work with, and any challenges that we have faced have been very quickly addressed by the Eggplant support team.”
Today, our client has achieved around 60 percent automation coverage, with an ultimate goal of around 70 percent. Because the restaurant has to deliver software with increasing regularity, with releases coming every week and to so many different markets, the QA team doesn’t have the luxury of being able to conduct four weeks of testing for each release.
“We initially used Eggplant to create testing packs that cover one, three, or five days of test execution, and we have since expanded those packs to include more and more coverage, including more market-specific packs. It used to take us a week to conduct the regression testing that we needed to, but since using Eggplant we have been able to reduce this to just one day. If my lab gets a release on Friday, it’s out by Tuesday, which is a dramatic result.”
The subsequent impact on productivity has been significant.
“Without Eggplant we would not have been able to cope with the increased demands that have been placed on us — weekly releases, delivery to multiple markets, new systems like the mobile app. But thanks to automation with Eggplant, we have been able to cope with the significant increase in work with the same number of people and labs.”
The success of Eggplant for the Global team has seen the product being considered for expansion into additional areas of our client’s IT strategy.
“We are considering to support our high-growth markets as well using Eggplant automation. And the U.S. market has also now started using Eggplant to test new POS systems.”
Our client’s increasing focus on mobile ordering is going to be a key driver of automation in the months ahead.
“We will be rolling out the mobile application in several markets this year and this will form a significant part of our automation work as we aim to increase the automation coverage of that specific product from about 50 percent today to 75 percent later in the year.”