Availability probes are monitoring mechanisms which allow us to monitor the functional performance of our software system and alert us in the event of fluctuation of the perceived quality.
Ensuring the quality delivered, protecting the business in real time, with minimal reaction time and alerting in case of fluctuation is a challenge in the world of software development. But if we clearly know where is the value of the business is always possible to articulate monitoring mechanisms. How? Using “sensors” that monitor the behavior of our software system from a functional point of view, and to notify us if decrease quality that users perceive.
A case of practical application of these availability probes is to deploy specialized automatic production tests, which will be our “sensors”, and their result will keep us informed on the availability of selected business processes.
They are particularly useful in B2C business in which the business depends critically on the availability of online systems, and their functionality have to be maintained at the highest level. For this purpose, the combined action of a Test Automation process and strategies of launching Probes are necessary to ensure that the tests do not jeopardize this availability. As we said, we must focus our efforts on those aspects of greatest value for the business. For example, if we monitor the “process of registration of new customers in the online store,” our ability to react to an anomaly will narrow the direct benefit generated by this sensor. In short, the quality of our production system (the expected value).
This is the case of the work we have done for Globalia. From Panel SQA & Testing Center of Excellence, as well as advising on strategy for Testing and Quality Assurance in the SW Development process of the Group, it was carried out a Test Automation process and generation of availability probes to ensure the functional availability of their portals and marketplaces.
helped to ensure the availability of the product procurement process in its online stores during the different functional development stages of the Front End, enabling the “hot” upload of releases without risk or loss of the transactions performed. The Probes make it possible to considerably shorten the time intervals between requests for new requirements from the business units and their deployment to the production environment. The Return On Investment (ROI) of this type of investments is evident a few weeks after the startup of said probes.
We can also use the probes to ensure user quality perception after a deployment into production. All we know the usual risks in a production deployment of online tools for public. The casuistry that increase the potential risk of unavailability can not be assured without automatic mechanisms that apply regressions and even mutation tests.
Additionally, the critical business paths are ensured and the profitability of this project continues to grow. Therefore, both in Production and during the Verification and Validation phase, smoke testing is conducted which quickly detect problems and alert the support teams.
Ultimately, these efforts are justified if we know clearly where is the value of the business, and are deducted thanks to the symbiosis achieved between the construction processes and software testing services under factory models. So remember:
“Value is getting a tangible or intangible benefit and quality is the successful delivery of the expected value”
(Masa K. Maeda)