How Testing can save Financial Applications from the next HACK

How Testing can save Financial Applications from the next HACK

On October 20, 2016, The Economic Times (Indian business daily) reported that ‘3.2 million debit cards may have been compromised in India’ as a result of a security breach. The breach allegedly originated in Hitachi Payment Services that enabled fraudsters to steal information and consequently funds. Startling incidents like these further establish the need for testing in the Financial/Banking sector.

Experts have also identified malware that can particularly infect the point-of-sale (PoS) machines, promising higher rate of success to the hackers. Considering the fact that more number of people tend to shop than go to the ATM. A similar retail breach was reported in 2013 in the US at the retail chain Target.

In 2013, data from up to 40 million credit and debit cards of shoppers at Target got stolen by hackers. This happened at the peak of the holiday shopping season. Financial Analysts and market research firms have used this data to decipher the levels at which the security of financial applications is compromised.

This further emphasizes the urgency to build a comprehensive Testing strategy for the financial/banking sector. Moreover, it is important to evaluate the overall strategy by considering the current day challenges and probing malware.

What does a financial software facilitate and why is it complex?

Financial software/applications are complex and are built on the lines of financial information management. The software can be executed as an independent software or can be embedded into a financial information system (IS). Generally, a financial software incorporates all aspects of personal or business finance to offer multiple features – basic financial data management, transactions, budget management, personal/corporate account management, and assets management.

Additionally, a Financial App offers Multi-tier functionality to power numerous concurrent user sessions. For instance, a bank application operates with many other applications, namely, Bill Pay utility, trading accounts and business workflows to support various transactions and interconnected activities.

It involves Batch Processing and Real-Time processing, where the transaction processor can be a large capacity mainframe or a legacy system carrying out trillions of transactions per second. Resulting in processes that make the overall financial applications complex.

Summing up, following are the characteristics that enable a robust Testing strategy:

  • Multi-layered functionality to manage concurrent user sessions
  • Large scale integration for multiple activities
  • Real Time and Batch processing
  • Higher rate of transactions per second
  • Detailed reporting to track each activity
  • Strict auditing to handle customer issues
  • Disaster Management mechanism/robust back-up plan
  • Extensive storage system

Multi-layered interactions of a Banking application may involve:

  • End users interacting with the Web Server via a browser
  • Middle tier software that authenticates the input and output for Web Server
  • Database that stores data and processes
  • Transaction Processor to conduct several transactions per second

What are the essentials to consider while testing financial/banking applications?

Security Testing

With reference to customer/user experience and secure interface, security testing ranks high. Traditionally, security testing is considered towards the end of the testing cycle. However, with new-age challenges and malware infecting the financial domain, Security testing has come to the forefront.

With millions of transactions happening every second, stability and robustness of the financial app is absolutely critical. A single security breach can lead to long-term impact on the overall sector, losing out on credibility of the overall system.

Additionally, integration with third-party applications, emerging digital commerce platforms, complex workflows, and growing nexus between Social Media and mobile platforms is making financial apps vulnerable to threats from various sources and various ways.

So, protection of financial data from malicious attacks is imperative to prevent loss of credibility and recurring financial loss. Despite rising number of security boosting products in the market, there are growing incidents of security breaches. Security testing helps make your applications robust and secure for the market challenges. It helps fight the rising and emerging vulnerabilities in the environment.

Security Testing is one of the major steps in the overall Application Testing Cycle. It ensures that the application complies with Federal and Industry standards and gets rid of web vulnerabilities that can expose critical data to a hacker or malicious attacker.

Performance Testing

What if the mobile banking application installed on your device refuses to integrate with your insurance provider, resulting in failure and delay in premium payment? Yes, this could be disappointing and inconvenient for a user.

This drives the need for performance testing applications to boost and ensure customer satisfaction. With financial services institutions constantly expanding across segments and markets, it is important to ensure that the application used by the end customer can take the load and ensure the desired outcome.

Performance Testing/Engineering can help predict, test, and handle loads during critical situations to avoid breakdowns. Further it ensures performance, scalability, resilience, and reliability of the application. Today, financial institutions are venturing in the marketplace with complex application that requires rapid application development cycles.

At the same time, it is important to ensure that the quality of the application is not compromised. Performance Testing brings all this together:

  • It helps monitor and report activities
  • Boosts productivity
  • Brings down the costs resulting from defects
  • Cuts down-time and ensures customer satisfaction

Functional Testing

Functional testing involves Application testing, System integration testing, Regression testing, and User Acceptance Testing. Banking software/applications deal with sensitive financial data and does complex calculations in the background that involve money transfers and highly sensitive data. So, it is important to execute end-to-end functional testing of the application.

What does Functional Testing of banking/financial applications entail?

  • Test cases: This involves listing down the functional requirements, where every business scenario involves a few positive and negative test cases.
  • Verification of test cases: This involves verification of the elaborated test cases in line with the business scenarios, ensuring that every business scenario is covered.
  • Executing functional tests: The tests are involved with basic knowledge of finances and accounting, where either manual or automated testing is put to work.

At Gallop, we understand that Security of your applications is critical for your business and above all how critical it is for the overall financial services sector. One of the top automobile financing firms in the US partnered with Gallop’s Security Testing services to create hack-proof applications.

The core challenge and requirement of the client was to keep the applications secure. The client reached out to Gallop for penetration testing of their flagship web application. One of the major challenges was manual execution of security tests by complying with stringent timelines and regulations.

Focusing on the client’s business objective, Gallop experts executed extensive security assessment tests for the web application to identify security loopholes and vulnerabilities. Apart from the other important aspects of Security Testing, the team implemented custom execution methodology based on the application’s technology and business logic to accelerate manual security testing.

Apart from the fact that the client’s business objective was served, it saved the brand from collateral damage and fixed some major vulnerability. A thorough Security testing strategy further instilled added confidence amongst the end users.

Gallop team has worked with acclaimed players in the sector and understands its intrinsic challenges. Our unique Managed Security Testing Services model combines the deep understanding of industry best practices and decade long expertise in software testing services delivery. We collaborate with businesses in North America to identify vulnerabilities and fix them way ahead in the application test cycle.

With the world economy going through phases of evolution, challenges faced by the banking/financial services sector are endless. Connect with Gallop experts to build a comprehensive testing strategy to make your financial applications secure and reach out to your end users with confidence.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Ensure Holiday Readiness with Performance Testing

Performance testing

The e-commerce/m-commerce companies, small-medium-large are juggling with tricks to make their presence felt amongst the potential buyers. With greater opportunities and possibilities, retailers in the segment are facing tremendous challenges. One of the key challenges is to provide a compelling and secure interface to the online shoppers. This further reinforces the significance of performance testing for e-commerce sites, particularly before peak holiday season.

Deloitte in its mid-year update made predictions on the six key top trends which are transforming the retail sector in 2016 – Subscription model, delivery, personal commerce, social influence, reinvented TV shopping, internal re-organization.

While competing in this high-octane space, getting the Digital commerce platform ready for the Big Bang shopping season is at the core of every retailer’s business agenda.

Whether it is a brick and mortar store or an ecommerce site, online presence marks the essence of every business strategy today. Checking website performance, load time, application’s performance testing, application load test, and a lot more is rapidly becoming inevitable for commercial success. All these factors play a crucial role especially during high pressure festive seasons, when every small or big portal is trying to grab maximum profits from the market.

A recent news report shared another interesting story in the ever-enticing retail sector. Tesco customer Kate Shepard, a bar owner from Durham was shocked when she discovered that a jar of marmalade she had ordered online had been defaced manually.

The 38 year old later tweeted, “So I had my @Tesco shopping delivered and someone has written on my marmalade, Tesco staff must have a lot of time on their hands!” She further tweet a picture of the Mackays Seville Organge Marmalade, which was scribbled over to read ‘Jimmy Saville’.

E-commerce is definitely tantalizing the shopping tastes of customers, but at the same time, customers are gearing up with new-age defences of Social Media. This is increasingly giving nightmares to ecommerce companies, making them more market-ready.

What could Tesco do in this case? It apologized and offered a full refund with a voucher. This reinforces the earlier point that whether online or offline, performance testing and gearing up for a busy season is not optional, but a business mandate.

External testing in the production infrastructure is the best possible way to gauge the capacity and performance in the real environment. It will further ensure that online apps are giving the required reflexes and performing as expected. Moreover, with brands working towards offering Omni-channel user experience, getting your 360 degree campaign to operate seamlessly is exceptionally critical.

How can brands/retailers build for themselves the confidence to offer seamless and compelling shopping experience and at the same time not succumb to traffic spikes, thanks to the festive upswings, events, or promotions?

There are instances where brands bite off more than they can chew.

In October 2014, Filpkart, India based e-commerce giant, apologized for the glitches on the Big Billion Day Sale. The site faced a heavy rush, resulting in cancellation of orders, delayed delivery, and much more. This resulted in a huge PR dismay for the brand.

Is a comprehensive Performance Test strategy the solution? What is that sought after checklist that can ensure success for Digital Commerce?

  • Know your online customer behavior

From a sheer business perspective, it is important to understand how users operate across the e-commerce site, gauging the peak and fall of activity.

  • Key business processes/flows considered by site visitors
  • Average time of a user on the site
  • User interaction – Shopping Vs. Browsing
  • From where do they bounce/abandon the process
  • Average view per minute/hour
  • Average orders placed per minute/hour
  • Assess the overall traffic patterns, especially against peak shopping events/promotions
  • Flow of traffic from Mobile devices and its impact on the above-mentioned factor
  • Understanding the complexities

While preparing the test strategy for ecommerce sites, it is important to understand the depth of the site and measure the complexities. Ecommerce sites are tremendously complex and geared with various layers of interactions. To ensure seamless performance, it is important to understand various levels of interactions and components. The common areas to focus on while testing are:

  • Application glitches: It is important to watch out for inefficient code, syncing issues, memory leaks, and app dead locks.
  • Database Performance: Being at the core of performance, it is crucial to look out for locking and contention, missing indexes, inefficient queries, managing the memory, and scattered growth of data.
  • Configurations: Assuming that the default settings are barely ideal, it is critical to check for variations between environments and optimize the tuning as per the devices in the architecture.
  • Load handling: With an objective to effectively use hardware, it is necessary to look for algorithms that are not optimized with unused features and capabilities.
  • Determining Connectivity issues: Since communication plays a crucial role and connectivity issues are immense, it is much important to ensure that systems can communicate with minimum bandwidth, the firewall has enough capacity, and the system is ready for varying mobile networks.
  • Bandwidth capacity: Loading the site with rich content for enhanced user experience means that you are inviting bandwidth troubles. Ensure that your site is able to perform and application load test is done with minimal bandwidth and supports varying connection types/speeds even across mobile devices.
  • Compatible Architecture: While designing, the ecommerce site architecture needs to be cautious about unbalanced tiers, technology choices, or scalability issues. At the same time ensure that analytics tracking, payment gateways, accumulated content, or social channels are not affecting the performance of the site leading to any disruptions.
  • Performance testing tools

Performance testing helps determine the speed and effectiveness of a system, an application, a software, a device. It involves quantitative tests executed in a lab environment/virtualized environment to measure the response time or the MIPS (Millions of instructions per second) at which the application will function. Additionally, implement the appropriate tools as per the requirements. There are various Performance testing tools available to execute effective performance tests, to name a few:

  • WebLoad helps you perform load and stress tests on any internet application by using Ajax, Adobe Flex, .NET, Oracle Forms, HTML5 and quite a few technologies. The tool supports performance testing for applications with heavy user load and complex structures, further assessing the functionality and performance of the web application.
  • LoadComplete, an easy and cost-effective performance testing tool, enables the tester to create and execute accurate load tests for websites and applications. It further automates the load tests by recording user interactions, which are further simulated with hundreds of virtual users either locally or over the Cloud.
  • HP LoadRunner, a HP product helps understand and determine the performance and response of the system when under load. The most compelling feature of this tool is that it can create and manage multiple users at a time.
  • Rational Performance Tester, an IBM product, is an automated performance testing tool used to test web applications or server-based applications, where input and output is involved. The tool helps create a demo of the transactions between users and web apps. The statistical information derived towards the end helps analyze and increase the apps efficiency.
  • NeoLoad, a tool by Neotys is used to measure and analyze the performance of websites, where the outcome can be assessed for planning further steps. The tool further helps improve and optimize the Web application’s performance under loaded traffic.
  • Loadster, a desktop-based (web browser based) advanced HTTP load testing tool, is easy to use and record the scripts. With the Graphical User Interface (GUI) you can alter and customize the basic script and variables to verify the response. It enables to emulate large virtual user base to stress test the applications, and further helps generate HTML reports for analysis and detecting performance bottlenecks within the application.
  • CloudTest, a performance testing tool by SOASTA is used for testing websites, mobile apps, APIs, etc. It enables users to use Cloud platform as a virtual testing lab, where multiple developers/users can carry out their performance or load tests on the Cloud cost effectively with the tool.

In conclusion

While the tools make your life easy and build your ecommerce application for a larger audience during the Big Day sales, it is equally important to have the right team with necessary skills to implement a comprehensive Performance testing strategy for the ecommerce site.

Gallop has been extensively working with some leading and innovative enterprises to strategize Performance testing for their business-critical applications. Gallop’s Performance Engineering & Testing teams provide new-age solutions and services to global clients. Our expertise spans across a wide range of applications comprising, client-server, web, distributed, mobile, cloud databases, high volume transaction systems, and highly complex applications.

Gallop’s Performance Center of Excellence (PCoE) provides end-to-end performance testing solutions to help our clients launch future proof applications with high responsiveness, availability, and scalability. Moreover, we have partnered with various Performance Testing tool vendors and enable our clients to choose the right tool based on their requirement and budget. Connect with our experts to get your E-commerce site/Web App/Mobile site ready for the Next-Gen marketplace!

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

10 Best Practices to Achieve Quality@Speed with Continuous Integration

continuos integration

On 27th September 2016, Inc. introduced a new e-commerce service, further to its $2.8 billion acquisition of Demandware Inc. The Salesforce Commerce Cloud is here to enable customers to set-up online storefronts, in-store tablets/kiosks, and further add commerce functions with software support delivered over the internet. According to research by Gartner, Salesforce faces stiff competition from Oracle Corp., SAP SE, and International Business Machines Corp., who are the biggies in this category.

Whether B2B or B2C, every business/enterprise needs pace for faster turnaround time and gain speed to market. Consequently, innovations and testing the effectiveness of these innovative features has to be done in real time. It doesn’t end there! Every consumer/enterprise application launched has to be tested for its performance and functional efficiency across diverse technology platforms, devices, and Operating Systems (OS).

Can Continuous Integration help?

So, how do you test the inevitable and test the most unforeseen BUG? Continuous Testing is a development practice, where developers need to relentlessly integrate the code into a shared repository during a day’s test plan. In order to allow development teams to detect problems way ahead, an automated build is created to verify each test incorporated.

Continuous Integration can help detect errors faster and resolve way ahead in the development process. If the continuous approach is not followed, it will take stretched periods between integrations, which makes fixing up these gaps a longer and an exceedingly stressful task. It will further reduce constant back-pedalling to identify issues and focus more on building various features.

Some obvious benefits that Continuous Integration brings to the table are:

  • A big ‘No’ to longer and stressful integrations
  • Enhanced visibility of the development process for better interaction and resolution
  • Identification of issues faster and resolution in real time
  • Low on Debugging, High on building
  • No wait and watch strategy to evaluate your code’s proper functioning
  • Deliver software on time with market-readiness

Continuous Integration comes with various key principles and best practices. The most important practice is, establishing the ritual of Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment. This eliminates the need to authorize and delegate from the top. It is automated and self-triggered.

So, while we gauge the benefits, let’s consider the best practices that Continuous Integration brings for enterprises that don’t just look at speed, but rather quality@speed.

  1. Continuous Integration enables Continuous Deployment

Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment are connected concepts and fundamentally refer to the software/application’s release in the Live environment with automated tests. With Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment you are not just reducing risks, but catching bugs in time and getting your software/application ready for the market.

Ultimately, when the risks get lowered, it helps prompt adaption to business requirements and the consumer demands. It further enables greater collaboration between Operations and delivery, maturing the release process for competitive advantage.

  1. Continuous Integration with the right approach

Continuous Integration is generally implemented with Agile, Test-Driven-Development (TDD) and Test Automation. If implement in this flow, Continuous Integration can prove to be an obvious fit for your development process and can help reduce the challenges for better results.

The idea is to adopt select an appropriate tool that fits the existing technology ecosystem that fits in effectively within your existing development environment. Continuous Integration helps build and integrate the software frequently. Moreover, it is recommended to execute unit tests as part of the overall integration process.

  1. Detect early, Resolve faster

Faster detection of issues/defects helps resolve the problems faster. If the integration and software development process does not incorporate testing, the overall cycle can go reverse that will further incur risks. When the development team strives to add new features to the code and detect bugs, the code’s health can go for a toss. At the same time if you have Continuous Integration server in the process, it helps you keep your software in a better shape.

  1. Segregate software builds from deployment

Continuous Integration helps you to completely separate the build and deployment process, where both are treated as independent activities with no specific dependencies. While the developer may focus on the build process, integration could be taken up a sole activity by the testing team. The Continuous Integration server can trigger a developer’s check in for integration and a tester’s check-in for deployment.

This helps kill the dependencies and enables dedicated attention. It helps to identify problems with the build at an early stage and move progressively towards getting the software in the production environment.

  1. Continuous Integration with Test Automation

Whether your enterprise has adopted Test Automation or is considering it for faster test cycles, Continuous Integration is here to enable you. When the recurring and repeatable tests are automated, it helps teams to deliver better and faster. Continuous Integration powered with Test Automation helps cut manual efforts and helps testing and development teams to look at the SDLC process more creatively.

When it comes to testing, identifying the failed codes is more important than bragging about the successful ones. It is bound to make your software/application stronger.

  1. Continuous Testing with Agile

Continuous Integration with an Agile methodology helps gain speedy delivery by ensuring quality. Project Managers and development teams are advised to implement continuous integration in the overall release management strategy. The overall SDLC process – write, build, integrate, test, debug and deploy can be complex.

The Agile process enables flexibility and helps teams go back and review the build for accuracy. This further helps improve delivery time and releases testers to look beyond the obvious in the process.

  1. Continuous Integration for transparency

At a broader level, Continuous Integration helps provide transparency to the overall Development and Quality Assurance (QA) process. It helps indicate failed tests and the reasons for that failure, which further helps in leading to some logical reasoning and required action for improvements.

  1. Continuous Testing for reduced bugs

Bugs and defects are an inevitable component of the SDLC process. With Continuous Integration the instances of bug accumulation gets reduced substantially. Thanks to the overall automation it provides, bugs are identified early and risks are reduced.

  1. Continuous Integration for Automated Regression Tests

Continuous Testing facilitates automated regression tests, where Test packages hosted in the QA repository can be maintained and implemented by multiple QA team members and executed whenever a new code is deployed to the environment.

When every new defect gets added to the automated test case, it becomes easy to effectively build a substantial regression testing suite. This enables automation of the regression tests and reduces the efforts of the testing teams.

  1. Smoke Tests with Continuous Integration

As mentioned earlier, Test packages written by QA and maintained with the Continuous Integration systems can help automate the build and test process. Further Smoke Tests can be written to monitor the production system and deliverables can be made available for a wider group by testing the software at various stages.

Continuous Integration comprises automated deployment, deployment scripts for testing every build to ensure that no code related issues arise in the production.

Gallop’s Test Automation Accelerator Kit (GTAAK) has been enabling end-to-end automation of applications across the SDLC to bring speed to market and enhance the quality of testing. Connect with our Test Automation leads to build QA best practices and gain quality with speed.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

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The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

37 Epic Software Failures that Mandate the Need for Adequate Software Testing

37 Epic Software Failures

Disaster is an understatement for any brand/organization/institution that has incurred losses due to an overtly miniscule but catastrophic software glitch. While technology and innovative applications have been empowering brands, there have been numerous disabling instances recorded by enterprises.

In this run on top software failures of 2016 -2015-2014, we take a stock of the debacles/glitches that have changed the face of software development and endorsed the role of testing in the overall SDLC process.

This is a list of software glitches/technical issues witnessed by brands and enterprises across diverse industries. Please note that the numbers 1-37 do not signify in anyway high or low impact of the software glitch on the brand/enterprise.

  1. Yahoo reports breach

Yahoo reports breach

Amongst the most recent data breaches, on September 22, 2016, Yahoo confirmed a data breach that exposed about 500 million credentials that date back to four years. It is being considered amongst the largest credential leaks of 2016. The company believes that this was a state-sponsored breach, where an individual on behalf of a government executed the entire hack. It further urged users to change their passwords and security questions. As a relief for the users, Yahoo stated that sensitive financial data like bank accounts and passwords was not stolen as part of the breach.


  1. Nest thermostat freeze

Nest thermostat freeze

Software update for the Nest ‘smart’ thermostat (owned by Google) went wrong and literally left users in the cold. When the software update went wrong, it forced the device’s batteries to drain out, which led to drop in the temperature. Consequently, the customers were unable to heat their homes or use any amenities.

Nest claimed that the fault was due to a December 4.0 firmware update, with related issues such as old air filters or incompatible boilers. Later it released a 4.0.1 software update that solved the issue for 99.5% of customers who were affected.


  1. HSBC’s major IT outage

HSBC’s major IT outage

In January 2016, HSBC suffered a major IT outage, and millions of bank customers were unable to access online accounts. The bank took almost 2 days to recover and get back to normal functioning.

HSBC’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) declared that it was a result of a ‘complex technical issue’ within the internal systems.


  1. Prison Break

Prison Break

A glitch that occurred in December 2015 led to over 3,200 US prisoners being released before their declared date. The software was designed to monitor the behaviour of prisoners and was introduced in 2002. The problem was occurring for about 13 years and on an average prisoners were released almost 49 days in advance.


  1. HSBC payments glitch


In August 2015, HSBC failed to process about 275,000 individual payments that left many people without pay before a long Bank Holiday weekend. This occurred due to a major failure with the bank’s electronic payment system for its business banking users, affecting the individual payments. Bacs, a payment system used for payment processes across the UK, later picked up on this issue, labelling it as an ‘isolated issue’.


  1. Bloomberg cancels debt issue

Bloomberg cancels debt issue

In April 2016, Bloomberg’s London office faced a software glitch, where its trading terminals went down for two hours. This came up at an unfortunate time when UK’s Debt Management Office (DMO) was about to auction a series of short-term Treasury bills. Later in a statement Bloomberg declared that the services were restored and the glitch was a result of both hardware and software failures in the network, resulting in excessive network traffic.


  1. RBS payments failure

RBS payments failure

About 6 lakh payments failed to get through the accounts of RBS overnight in June 2015, which included wages and benefits. Bank’s chief admin officer stated it as a technology fault and there was no further detail on the real cause. In 2012, about 6.5 million RBS customers had to face an outage caused due to a batch scheduling software glitch, where the bank was fined £56 million.


  1. Airbus software bug alert

Airbus software bug alert

In May 2015, Airbus issued an alert for urgently checking its A400M aircraft when a report detected a software bug that had caused a fatal crash earlier in Spain. Prior to this alert, a test flight in Seville has caused the death of four air force crew members and two were left injured.


  1. UK government’s new online farming payments system gets delayed

UK government’s new online farming payments

In March 2015, the UK government delayed the launch of £154 million rural payments system.  The system is an online service for farmers to apply for Common Agricultural Policy payments from the EU. This online service that was supposed to be up and running by May 2015 got delayed due to integration issues between the portal and the rules engine software. It was then not expected to be up even by 2016.


  1. Co-op Food’s double charges

Co-perative Food double charges

In July 2015, Co-operative Food apologized to its customers and promised a refund within 24 hours. The reason was a ‘one-off technical glitch’ while processing the software that resulted in customers being charged twice.


  1. John Lewis

John Lewis

Mispricing is a common headache faced by retailers due to system glitches, resulting in retail outlets offering customers excessively lucrative offers. John Lewis is a recent example, where the online retailer witnessed a price glitch on its website that erroneously advertised hardware at software rates.


  1. Tesco iPad pricing disaster

Tesco iPad pricing disaster

In March 2012, Apple iPads worth £650 got priced at £49.99. After the glitch got identified, Tesco cancelled the sale and did not respond to these orders, resulting in dissatisfaction with the customers.


  1. Marks & Spencer 3D TV glitch

Marks & Spencer 3D TV glitch

In January 2012, 50 inch, 3D TVs worth £1,099 went up on sale for a mere £199 on the Marks and Spencer website. Eventually, the company decided to sell the Plasma TV sets at a lowered price after it faced a customer petition. The online petition called ‘Marks & Spencer supply our tvs that we paid for’ compelled M&S to honour the orders.


  1. Reebok’s free trainers

Reebok’s free trainers

In November 2013, Sports retailer Reebok trainers worth £100 were getting picked up for free from the online site, where the customers were being charged only for delivery. While the company did not honour the orders and apologised to the customer, they refunded the delivery charges and additionally gave 20% off on their next order. The pricing glitch went viral on Facebook and other sport and price deal forums, where shoppers rushed to get a grab of £99.95 CrossFit Nano Speed footwear for just £8.50 postage.


  1. Tennessee County kills System Update worth $1Million

Tennessee County

After investing two years of labour and investment worth $1 Million, Rutherford Country of Tennessee, US called off a court software system update. The core reason was that the software glitches were identified right when the deal took place, where problems related to issuance of checks, errors on circuit court dockets and creation of hidden charges came up in the weeks after it went Live.


  1. Software Security Flaws Revealed in OLA’s Mobile App

Software Security Flaws - OLA

Ola, India’s largest taxi aggregator faced major security flaws within their system. The software bugs detected helped basic programmers to enjoy unlimited free rides – at the expense of Ola and at the expense of users. The issue went public when customers brought up the weaknesses in the system. Ola tried to fix bugs when the complaints soared up and it was alarming for the brand’s reputation in the marketplace.


  1. Leeds Pathology IT crash

Leeds Pathology IT crash

In September 2016, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, one of Europe’s largest teaching trusts witnessed a pathology IT crash that resulted in a delay of operations for almost 132 patients. Leeds Teaching holds a budget of a £1 billion and employs over 16,000 staff. It serves 780,000 people in the city and provides expert care for 5.4 million patients. The outage further affected Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, GP services in Leeds and a minor number of GP services in Bradford.

Now that’s the impact!


  1. Cisco’s Email Security Appliances glitch

cisco’s Email Security Appliances

In September 2016, Cisco Systems released a critical security bulletin to announce an IT exposure that could allow remote unauthenticated users to get access to its email security appliances. The vulnerability is associated with Cisco’s IronPort AsyncOS operating system. The company further indicated that there is a way out of this that can stop this remote access to the email appliances.


  1. Cisco Nexus Switches warning

Cisco Nexus Switches

Cisco again! In October 2016, Cisco Systems released several critical software patches for its Nexus 7000-series switches and its NX-OS software. Cisco’s Security Advisory declared that both the Nexus 7000 and 7700 series switches were vulnerable to this glitch. The vulnerabilities declared allowed remote access to systems that could enable a hacker to execute code on targeted devices. Cisco further declared that this bug (CVE-2016-1453) is a result of “incomplete input validation performed on the size of overlay transport virtualization packet header parameters”.

  1. Cyber Attack on Nuclear Power Plant

Cyber Attack on Nuclear Power Plant

In October 2016, the head of an international nuclear energy consortium declared that disruption at a nuclear power plant during the last several years was caused due to a ‘Cyber Attack’. Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) didn’t drill the matter much in detail, but did alter on the potential attacks in the future.

This shows that disruption in nuclear infrastructure due to a Cyber Attack is not a ‘Hollywood stint’!


  1. Volkswagen’s ‘Dieselgate’ scandal

Volkswagen’s ‘Dieselgate’ scandal

In September 2015, the US government in a dramatic move ordered Volkswagen to recall about 500,000 cars after learning that the company had deployed advanced software to cheat emission tests and allowed its cars to produce 40 times more emissions than the decided limit. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) accused VW for installing illegal ‘defeat device’ software that substantially reduces Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions only while undergoing emission test. The company further admitted it and announced a recall as well.


  1. Interlogix Recalls Personal Panic Devices


In October 2016, Interlogix, a wireless personal panic devices manufacturer recalled about 67, 000 devices due to its inability to operate during emergency situations. The probable cause for this glitch in operations was that the device was unable to communicate with the security system during an event of emergency. The way out was the manufacturer replacing the devices. Furthermore, the consumers could contact their professional security system installer and call for a free monitoring and if required free replacement.


  1. IRS E-File goes Offline

IRS E-File

In February 2016, the Federal Agency suffered from a hardware failure. IRS announced that the hardware failure has affected numerous tax processing systems that went out of service, including the modernized e-file system and another related system. Majority of the folks trying to file taxes online could not complete the process. Later IRS made amendments and worked to restore regular operations to get back to the routine.


  1. 911 call outage

911 call outage

In April 2015, Emergency services got stalled for six hours for seven US states. This affected 81 call centers, literally speaking about 6,000 people made 911 calls and were unable to connect across the seven states. The nationwide outage was the third major outage in three years across telecom operators of the 911 call system. This raised worries amongst federal regulators pertaining to the vulnerability of the country’s emergency response system.


  1. New York Stock Exchange halts trading

New York Stock Exchange

In July 2015, The New York Stock Exchange stopped trading due to an undisclosed ‘internal technical issue’, where all open orders were cancelled and the traders were alerted and informed that they would receive information later. While responding to the shut down, NYSE announced that there was no cyber breach within the system and it resumed operations after 4 hours.


  1. UK government’s online calculator glitch

UK government’s online calculator glitch

In December 2015, UK government found out that its online calculator for estimating the spouse’s financial worth got hit with a Form E fault, where calculations went wrong for thousands of couples who had got divorced over the past 20 months. Though the issue was prevalent since April 2014, it got noticed only in December 2015. The damage caused is yet to be estimated.



Let’s take a dip into some of the interesting software debacles of 2014

27. Nissan’s recall

Nissan's recall

For over 2 years Nissan recalled over a million cars, thanks to a software glitch in the airbag sensory detectors. Practically, the affected cars were unable to assess whether an adult was seated in the car’s passenger seat and consequently would not inflate the airbags in case of a crisis.


28. Amazon 1p price glitch

Amazon 1p price glitch

One of the most known glitches in history, Amazon 1p price glitch, where third-party sellers listed on Amazon saw their products being priced at 1p each. While the products got delivered, numerous small time retailers had to appeal to the customers for returning the items.


29. glitch

Amazon 1p price glitch

In January 2014, every item in the Screwfix catalogue got priced at £34.99 that included items costing almost £1,599.99. Smart customers quickly collected goods worth thousands after the news was spreading across twitter. Eventually, the website had to close down.


30. Flipkart apologizes for Big Billion Day sale fiasco


In October 2014, Filpkart, India based e-commerce giant, sent a note to its customers apologizing for the glitches that took place on the Big Billion Day Sale. The site encountered a heavy rush, which it couldn’t manage, which resulted in cancellation of orders, delayed delivery, and much more that was beyond them to manage. While the sale helped the ecommerce giant garner a billion hits in a day, it was certainly a PR nightmare for the brand.


31. CA Technologies paid RBS ‘millions’ for role in IT fiasco

CA Technologies

In October 2014, CA Technologies paid ‘millions of pounds’ to the Royal Bank of Scotland. This payment was a part of the settlement agreement with Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) IT outage in 2012. In 2012, a failed upgrade to CA7 batch processing software by RBS IT staff resulted in breakdown of systems that affected millions of customers. The customers were unable to access their accounts or execute any payments.


32. Chaos at UK airports


On December 12, 2014, UK’s busiest airports got stranded due to a system glitch at the main national air traffic control center in Swanwick. Planes were grounded and passengers got delayed. The impact was enormous as the runways got closed at Heathrow, which is one of Europe’s busiest airports. The transport secretary called this ‘unacceptable’.


33. Toyota Prius recalled over software glitch

Toyota Prius

In February 2014, Toyota Motor recalled 1.9 million newest-generation Prius vehicles worldwide due to a programming error that caused the car’s gas-electric hybrid systems to shut down. The Automaker mentioned that the problems were with the software settings on the latest Prius generation that initially went for sale in 2009 and could damage transistor in the hybrid systems. The identified problem could turn on the warning lights and trigger the vehicle to shut down the power on a fail-safe mode.


34. Heartbleed the Web


In April 2014, the IT gang woke up to its worst nightmare, an emergency security advisory from the OpenSSL project warned about an open bug ‘Heartbleed’. The bug could pull out a chunk of working memory from a server and run their current software. While there was an emergency patch for it, tens of millions of servers got exposed by the time the patch got installed. This left everyone and anyone running a server in a crisis mode. This notorious bug left biggies like Yahoo, Imgur, and numerous others exposed to Heartbleed.


35. Apple pulls iOS 8 update

Apple pulls iOS 8

In September 2014, Apple faced an embarrassment after it had to pull out its new iOS software update only after a few hours of its release. This was post complains from iPhone users about calls getting blocked post the upgrade. The tech giant pulled out the update after a storm of complaints on Twitter, Apple user chatrooms. The update further disabled the feature where people could unlock their phones with fingerprints.


36. iCloud hack

iCloud hack

On August 2014, almost 500 private pictures of celebrities got posted on social channels and sites like Imgur and Reddit. The images were apparently sourced through a breach of Apple’s Cloud services suite iCloud. However, later it was found that it could be due to a security issue in the iCloud API that enabled the access and innumerable attempts from try passwords. However, there have been recent reports of similar hacks into iCloud.


37. Air India diverts Boeing 787 flight

Air India diverts Boeing 787 flight

During an emergency stunt in Feb 2014, Air India diverted Boeing 787 plane to Kuala Lumpur when the pilots noticed a software glitch while on a flight from Melbourne to New Delhi. The Engineers were flown down from Hong Kong to fix the glitch and worked with Air India to resolve the same. It has been reported that 787 has been suffering such glitches and Boeing was aware about it.


Gallop Solutions has collaborated with world’s leading and innovative organizations/brands across diverse industries. Enterprises globally have trusted Gallop’s independent software testing services and expertise for over a decade and have achieved speed to market, higher returns on investments (ROI), and enhanced quality deliveries in their overall QA initiatives. Connect with our experts to bring speed and velocity to your QA practices with the best ideas in the testing space.

Application and Software failures dilute the brand’s credibility that is built over the years. Together, let’s work towards further strengthening your brand’s positioning, integrity and faith by ensuring Quality @ speed.
The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Can Digital Testing Strategies Really Help Implement Quality Engineering?

digital quality assurance testing

Market research reports have been defining and redefining the concept of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) for enterprises. At the same time, these reports have also been emphasizing on the security aspects associated with the Enterprise Applications that are and in the near future will determine the impact of BYOD policies across an organization. Digital QA / Digital Quality Assurance and Testing is seen as a catalyst to power the implementation and effectiveness of Enterprise Applications for businesses. The new-age digital innovations and the unstoppable popularity of smart gadgets like smart phones, tablets, robotics, and new operating systems (OS) is making digital testing and digital QA a much more critical mandate.

A research report by Mckinsey states that companies are expecting digital initiatives to deliver annual growth and cost-effectiveness of almost 5-10% or more in the coming 3 to 5 years. Enterprises are making substantial investments in various enterprise-level digital initiatives with a key business objective to strengthen their customer experience strategy, and are also expecting equally exciting ROI.

As software testing and industry experts validate, there is no definite way of testing the effectiveness and seamless functioning of digital enterprises. It is an evolving pattern that is inventive and progressive at the same time. A digital enterprise mandates a new but proven strategy of quality assurance that is more focused on the outcome and not just enables the digital transformation, but accelerates the business growth. Whether born digital or loaded with redundant legacy systems, every organization today is facing a pressing need to embrace digital quality assurance to transform digitally.

Solutions ensuring Digital Assurance are enabling enterprises to unlock the value of digital economy and enhance customer experience. Besides ensuring better customer experience, it also facilitates seamless operations of various enterprise level applications, making them secure for desired performance and expected convergence across the digital platform.

While we are experiencing an absolute paradigm shift for both businesses and IT operations, the digital race is all about bringing in more creativity while adopting digital technologies and staying competitive. The deadly nexus between Social Media-Analytics-Mobile-Cloud (SMAC) and Internet of Things (IoT) & Smart devices have proven to be the key enablers for Digital Transformation. These are the major tools that are helping enterprises to get closer to the customers, empower employees, and transform business processes. No industry can escape this change.

This is it – the big Change


Quality Engineering and Assurance helps the overall software development process with required testing support across various hardware and software. It ensures that testing begins way ahead in the overall SDLC, ensuring maximum test coverage and quality.

Digital Assurance helps CEOs & CXOs assess their enterprise for digital readiness, draw a roadmap for transformation, and ensure complete business assurance.

Every organization is today working towards translating Digital Transformation into commercial success. This specifically needs the right digital skills and proven expertise to assure digital effectiveness across the enterprise. What is the key to achieve this?

A strategic and result-oriented approach that automates and integrates the entire landscape for seamless functioning.

Can Digital Testing strategies really help implement Quality Engineering?

A comprehensive Digital Assurance & Testing strategy provides scalable and reusable assets and enablers for improving the overall efficiency of Quality Assurance and Testing processes. Suggested below are some key aspects that an experienced testing partner considers while strategizing a QA approach for digital enterprises.

  • Omni-Channel Assurance:

It is an approach that takes into account a test strategy for all the channels, on the basis of the patterns of user interactions. Digital Assurance is expected to provide consistent experience across all channels of user interaction – physical as well as virtual. The user must not just feel connected, but also have an overall cohesive experience.

Testing should prominently focus on functional testing across various channels of interactions. Test environments can be virtualized to create an ecosystem for testing, which can be an effective approach to confirm a particular behaviour/outcome. The two integral aspects of Omni-Channel Assurance are:

  1. Various devices: The application should be tested across all kind of devices, such as tablets, mobiles, wearable devices, web, etc., where every platform/device should provide consistent experience. This can be ensured by implementing Test Automation across devices, for continuous integration as well.
  2. Various platforms: Compatibility across various browsers and operating systems is a must for connected and desired consumer experience. Compatibility testing ensures this and brings seamless experience.
  • Widespread User base:

Internet connectivity and Internet user density is increasing across the globe, where it is estimated that over 50% of the global population has access to Internet. This means, every user anywhere and everywhere should experience the same functionalities. Digital Assurance and comprehensive testing strategies ensure both localization and globalization tests for seamless customer experience.

  • Security Assurance:

With data sensitive applications being hosted across multiple platforms, it is important to test them to check the possible risks and ensure resilience during load situations. Security Assurance and testing measures risks and vulnerabilities of a platform and tests the system for all possible loads/hacks. Particularly, it focuses on application profiling, authentication, encryption algorithms, and data validation.

  • Application Lifecycle automation / Business process automation:

Enterprises are looking at gaining a competitive edge by building quality applications and a robust digital platform for consumers/employees. However, the overall ecosystem is getting complex due to constant innovations, and the traditional ways of testing are getting obsolete. Test Automation for ensuring high velocity and speed to market is coming up effectively and enterprises are increasingly embracing it for minimal glitches.

Business process automation works massively to gain competitive edge, as it helps organizations to scale up effectively with lowered costs and minimal efforts. With start-ups springing up every day, experts claim that process automation can improve the cost performance by almost 90% across various function within an organization.

Digitization/Digital Transformation as they say has less to do to technology, but more with the overall approach. Digital enterprises with a thorough Quality Engineering strategy are better equipped to reinvent their overall business processes and bring agility in their approach.

At Gallop we take pride in building enterprises for the future. We bring about digital transformations by establishing comprehensive testing across the organization’s digital value chain that comprises of digital marketing, web portals, web content, digital assets, web analytics, and the overall digital ecosystem – Cloud, Mobility, Big Data, and Smart devices. Connect with our Thought Leaders in the Digital QA & Testing space for a complete QA strategy and build your enterprise for the Next-Gen.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Chic or Geek, are we adequately testing the Wearable Tech


Is Style winning over Substance, or is Wearable Tech here to bring us flawless experience and ease? Interestingly, Wearable Tech’s relevance and application has today gone beyond mere fashion/sports accessories. Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016, world’s largest and sought after gathering for the mobile industry, showcased some of the hottest trends in the Wearable Tech space.

For instance, at the recently held MWC 2016, some leading tech channels and portals specifically hand-picked a portable device that could fit on a cow’s leg and help farmers to gauge the cattle’s fitness level and address the medical issues before they get chronic. This proved to be a major cost-saver for the farming fraternity, showcasing how technology can empower not just humans, but major sectors at large.

Likewise, Wearable devices are being designed and tested in organizations to help improve sitting postures, concentration, and productivity amongst employees. A research done by Goldsmiths, University of London found that using Wearable devices in office premises could help boost productivity up to 8%..

Alternately, a study that analyzed around 120 employees at a media company for a specified period revealed that using Wearable tech reduced the alertness by 9%, but at the same time the job satisfaction levels increased by 3%.

A smart watch that can give you feedback on you morning jog, a sleep tracker that can help you sleep better, a fitness tracker for your pet dog, or a heartbeat tracker that can determine your overall health, Wearable Tech is engaging on every front.

In a recent episode, BBC Click showcased some chic Wearable gadgets like key rings, phone cases and bracelets with payment chips, a ring wearable that goes with your outfit and syncs in with your iOS or Android device to alert you on calls, messages, emails, or any kind of social media notifications that you might miss if you happen to forget your phone.

As we gauge from these examples and the way the inventions are headed, everything revolves around the intrinsic needs of a human or a living creature. For instance, a dainty looking device designed for women to track stress levels, sleep and overall lifestyle related health issues. This further intensifies the need to strategize and execute a thorough testing effort to ensure flawless experience.

These gadgets are further supposed to sync in with your portable mobile devices to display the required results. Fitbit Alta, is a hot selling fitness band that tracks the steps, the running time, calories burnt, and all titbits related to the body’s fitness. The band has to not just sync in with the jogger’s pulse rate, but also with the Android that you are carrying to display the required results.

The concern is, you have spent a fortune on developing a gadget with all required features and then you realize that it is unable to sync with your Android or iOS. So, testing is not just applicable for the gadgets, but also for the Apps that orchestrate the overall impact.

Is Wearable Tech ready for the marketplace? Is the question to ponder over.

At present, the marketplace for Wearables is all gung-ho and flooded with innovative attempts to make it work with the end users. Considering this scenario, there is nothing streamlining the industry and how it should evolve in terms of performance VS commercial viability.

There are some fundamental questions raised:

  • What will be the behaviour patterns of these devices?
  • What is the data bandwidth required for operating the wearable apps?
  • How will the devices sync with the Apps and function synchronously?
  • How will the device access the Internet and other related devices for data sourcing?
  • Apart from the gadget’s functionality, how will the performance get evaluated?

The solution and the only answer to these popping concerns is Load / Performance testing the applications synchronously with the devices. However, the challenge is that there is no decided or standard platform to test these devices and applications. It is still evolving, as the market evolves.

While established players like Nike+, Jawbone, and other fitness devices like Fitbit continue to provide strong reference points, there is a universe of devices in the market that mandates thorough scrutiny. And this further adds on to the challenges and nightmares of the developers and testers. Let’s check out some key challenges.

  • Bubbling Marketplace: Devices are coming up in the market every day and dying out frequently due to its ineffectiveness in the market. So, there is hardly any strong reference point and any scope of predictions for the future.
  • Absence of a standard platform: Software system implemented for Wearables is varied and not so structured. This requires customized coding and recurring test implementation to gauge the desired outcome.
  • Legacy issues: Wearables at some point of time need to sync with redundant legacy systems that create issues in terms of performance. The major concern is, there is no particular decided approach to resolve this gap.
  • Challenges with Development: Ineffective displays, inadequate data connectivity, poor battery life, ensuring water resistance, building secure interface, and most importantly, designing the right ergonomics are some of the related challenges for developers.

Connectivity and interoperability across devices is a major area of focus, as most of the Wearable Tech depends on Internet connection or a shared Wi-Fi connection to give the desired results. So, during the development of the application and device, requirements related to data connectivity should be considered. Additionally, Wearables might also impact the performance of the mobile device. It would be a tricky situation if the mobile device is connected to 5 wearables and is receiving information at the same time from all of them.

Can it really take on the load?

With no definite way, what are the most effective ways of Performance Testing the Wearables and while designing specific applications?

  • Test Automation for constant vigilance: There is a constant need to confirm the performance of the devices and the results that are getting generated. The only solution is to automate the tests for continuous testing and get speedy evaluations. This will further optimize the code and ensure Continuous Integration. Furthermore, it will ensure maximum test coverage.
  • Service Virtualization can speed up the process: While Service Virtualization has its own implications and relevance in the software testing space, it holds tremendous benefits in Performance Testing. By emulating the environment, the DevOps teams can leverage virtual services instead of the core production environment. This helps in constant and complete testing with the essential components possibly present in the real environment. Moreover, it helps test the interoperability of complex applications in the development process and reduces defects that could hinder the Application/products time-to-market.
  • Load Testing with an Agile approach: While experimenting with new applications and devices, enterprises are looking at cost-effective approaches. The Agile process helps develop higher quality software within stringent timelines and at lowered costs. The objective is to test performance during the development process, while ensuring functional excellence at the same time. If these tests are conducted in the post-production phase, it is bound to incur high costs and kill more time.

With over 10,500 athletes from 206 countries and numerous medals to grab, Rio Olympics 2016 saw many athletes using non-conventional means to build efficiency. Tech portals reported that some Olympic athletes were considering a new wearable called Halo Sports, a pair of headphones to boost their efficiency. Wearable Tech can be found across any or every category and are coming up every day without serious monitoring and vigilance, thus, reinforcing the need for testing performance.

Gallop’s Performance Center of Excellence (PCoE) provides end-to-end performance testing solutions to help our clients launch future proof applications with high responsiveness, availability, and scalability. We have worked with global innovators to build path-breaking devices and applications.

Connect with us for a robust test strategy and gain faster time-to-market.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

How Test Automation can help Retailers save big bucks


Does anyone remember Circuit City? It was one of the top U.S. electronics retailers that went out of business in 2009, as it couldn’t address the new-age needs of the customers. It finally succumbed to its inability to respond smartly and skilfully to the growing popularity of online retailers like

As consumer experience goes through a chain of transformations, the retail sector has to get geared up accordingly to deal with the changes. Traditional retailers and giants like Walmart have spent over a decade and innumerable billons to restructure and revamp their brick-and-mortar businesses to address the needs of the online shopper.

In August 2016, Walmart, world’s largest retailer and a predominant player in the big-box stores category announced its $3.3-billion-dollar deal with Jet, the year-old online bulk retailer. It has been cited as the largest deal ever for an e-commerce player. While the deal got sealed, Walmart management acknowledged that its online strategy was not generating the desired results and they required external technology and expertise.

At the same time, strong online brands like Amazon are taking a reverse route with a view to reinforce ‘Omni-channel’ retailing. Amazon created news when it opened its first physical bookstore in Seattle’s University Village. This practice has been observed across various online brands, who have opened their physical stores. The objective is to provide seamless experience to customers across physical, online, mobile interface. However, this poses additional challenge for retailers.

These are amongst the many challenges that the retail sector is facing in the wake of the evolving consumer demands and preferences. As some industry experts say, Out-of-the-box thinking for enhanced productivity and competitive advantage continues to remain a challenge for the retail sector. This is where technology comes to rescue, and when technology has to play an integral part, it needs to get tested for the desired performance.

Whether it is a brick and mortar outlet or an online ecommerce platform, IT has been enabling retailers to tackle market challenges and attend effectively to consumer demands.

What is the criticality of IT/technology in the Retail sector? In literal terms, technology works for you 24*7, which is not expected from a human.

  • Know your customer: While the customer shops at your store, goes to the billing counter and while the items get scanned at the Point of Sale (PoS), the retailer gets every possible data to know the customer better and predict the possible preferences. Segmentation of such purchase patterns further enables retailers to gauge the inventory flow that helps to order the required stocks and avoid any out of stock situation.
  • Planned approach: With the right technology platform in place, retailers get equipped with well-analysed information for enabling the business. This further helps get the right results within timelines. Leveraging the right Technology platform helps manage activities and strategize effectively across offline (physical stores) and online stores.
  • Omni-channel approach: Whether the customer is shopping online or offline, technology platforms help retailers to offer consistent and seamless experience. It further helps manage and control activities from a single dedicated space, which not only provides ease of business, but also turns out to be cost-effective.
  • Seamless customer experience: Ecommerce is rapidly evolving and posing innumerable challenges for the long established retail brands. One of the key factors that e-commerce players are able to offer is flawless and personalized online shopping experience. Online shopping portals are increasingly getting interactive and responsive to the customer needs – right from offering impressive options, ordering, immediate cancellations/exchange, and much more.

That’s why they say, online retail is here to transform, but IT/technology is its biggest Enabler.

Some of the key reasons why some retail biggies fail is that they are unable to harness the technology effectively. What works best is to on-board the required technical, implementation, and test automation expertise to make the technology platform work for you!

The digitally connected universe and the mobile-enabled consumer is changing the shape of the retail industry. The retail industry is exceptionally challenged with high operational overhead and lower profit margins. The overheads comprise, maintaining a chain of retail stores, where the profits expected could be absolutely miniscule. At the same time, IT systems are expected to provide the same levels of quality as across any other industry.

Considering some peculiar challenges that the retail domain has been facing, it demands a much more mature software Testing approach. A strong and seasoned testing partner can build an efficient Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) process that accelerates software development and build comprehensive testing strategy.

Some key testing challenges that the retail sector needs to address are:

  • Testing of legacy systems: What customer needs is a one-stop shop, where the retailer is big or small, it has to store massive loads of merchandise. Large retailers work with IT systems designed almost 20-30 years back, endlessly releasing software. This makes testing complex and test coverage not so effective. This requires end-to-end testing process to effectively test all applications.
  • Managing promotions: While the retailers promote various promotional coupons or activities, it is imperative to offer them online and manage the activities seamlessly across online and offline platforms, where the required IT applications need to get aligned and functional across multiple retails channels. If there is a delay or an error in configuring and testing the applications, it can adversely impact time-to-market. This requires continuous testing for efficient performance and desired outcome across platforms.
  • Online security & Mobile POS Security: There is an increasing need to establish secure presence across the online platforms. This requires secure software development practices and testing practices that create a security testing framework and tools to make the web/mobile interface secure for the customers.

Moreover, the increasing number of POS applications, POS credit card enabled mobile apps, credit card reader devices, and NFC technology, demand thorough security checks for the core infrastructure. There is an additional need to conduct 24*7 application testing across all retail POS applications.

Independent software testing with effective implementation of Test Automation Center of Excellence (CoE) is the need of hour.

Considering there is a constant need to conduct tests across technology platforms and devices, automating tests for effective and consistent results is a much needed approach. The marketplace is flooded with licensed as well Open-Source test automation tools to accelerate time-to-market and ensure quality with cost-effectiveness. In addition, automating the tests further helps ensure performance of the applications that are expected to give recurring results across stores, e-portals, etc.

One of the leading home furnishing and décor retailers in US teamed up with Gallop’s Test Automation experts to reduce their overall testing efforts with improved quality to deliver enhanced customer experience. The retailer needed a mechanism to establish best QA practices to ensure superior experience for its end customers and most importantly sustain in the rapidly evolving retail scenario.

Gallop leveraged the right combination of tools, best practices, and test methodologies to meet business objectives of the client. Our reusable solution assets further helped to cut the engagement costs over a period of time. The client was able to reduce the testing budgets by 30% by leveraging Gallop’s Retail CoE expertise. Gallop takes precedence in providing Test Automation services and has built a dedicated Automation Center of Excellence (ACoE) that is backed by a decade of experience in executing test automation engagements for global clients.

At Gallop, we have been working with leading enterprises in North America and have served Fortune 500 enterprises & ISVs. Enterprises operating across industries have being leveraging Gallop’s Advisory and IP-led Independent Software testing services to gain higher ROI from their Quality Assurance initiatives.

Connect with us for a comprehensive Test Automation strategy that empowers you to not only reach faster to market, but also sustain profitably in the immensely demanding Retail sector

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Digital Testing Helps Build Market-Readiness in the Connected World – Get Started NOW!

Yes, you heard it right! If you happen to be at Terminal 3 of the Shenzhen airport (China), you might just bump into ‘the Anbot’, a security robot hired to make round-the-clock patrols through the departure hall in Terminal 3. Publications and online portals recently reported that for the first time China has deployed a Robocop to monitor security at one of its busiest airports in the province. The Anbot has a digital display, with a HD camera to take pictures of travellers for further facial recognition by security officials.

Day in day out, there is a paradigm shift in the way routine activities are getting automated for better and faster performance. In many ways, human efforts are getting replaced with the efficiency of Artificial Intelligence. This brings about an obvious mind shift for both businesses and IT. Implementing new digital technologies and gaining competitive edge is undeniably indispensable. The prevailing digital innovations and strong nexus of Social-Mobile-Analytics-Cloud is not only empowering, but also transforming enterprises.

The underlying objective of Digital platforms is to connect better with Customers, bring Employees closer and transform Business processes. The race is all about who does it better than the others!

 Social Media, Big Data & Analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), and Smart devices are enabling this Digital Transformation process and getting enterprises connected effectively with their end-users. The transformation hour is getting closer for each one of us and the truth is no one can escape it, the reason being this will determine consumer experience and gratification in some way or the other.

While we say so, implementing digital solutions and working with them is creating challenges specifically for the testing and QA fraternity. The reason being, there is no particular pattern or set mechanism to do so. Some key challenges to cite are:

  • Testing and managing workflows across data and services
  • Consistently providing solutions and experiences across diverse channels – Social, Mobile, and many more.
  • Maintaining consistent Graphical User Interface (GUI) and experience across various customer interfaces – web, mobile, etc.

With rapidly increasing machine configurations and constantly upgrading browser versions, digital implementation remains a long-standing challenge that is directly related to the end customer’s experience.

Whether you are in the products or services sector, it doesn’t matter, at the end every business connects to a consumer via an application or some kind of digital interface, which establishes the relevance and importance of testing. It means you need to ensure functioning and performance of your business-critical applications, secure it from any operational hazards or market risks, and ensure consistently rising ROI.

For instance, the release of iOS 10 has brought into the market new functionalities and productivity features for its users. However, reports suggest that there is hesitation amongst testers and developers while adopting the new Operation System, where market evangelists have also stated that the adoption rate has been less when compared to iOS 8 & 9. Some of the reasons reported by users are battery drainage, stuttering applications, sudden shut down of aps, and some other annoyances with the applications. But the fact prevails, it is an Apple platform and its popularity and adoption is unquestionable, where enterprise users are rushing and clogging Cloud traffic to adopt the platform and is becoming a preferred choice for business users.

iOS 10 being a high-level example, it does reinforce the undying need and urgency to test applications and technology platforms right from the inception to get your products and services market-ready and robust.

Move Shift-left

 How do you ensure quality every time and adopt an approach that can work flawlessly and cost-effectively? Experts have been endorsing the Shift-left approach to ensure quality and speed up to the market. It is a concept that intends to find and prevent defects way ahead in the SDLC, thereby reducing risks and costs. It involves testers early in the development process and automates the entire process. It brings together multiple methodologies, tools, and frameworks that enables prediction, prevention of bugs/issues right from the projects initiation.

While its implementation might differ from enterprise to enterprise and project to project, getting QA involved from the beginning of the project, helps establish quality metrics for review and revisions. Shift-left approach enables teams to take a holistic approach to comprehend the errors and address them throughout the Quality Assurance Life Cycle (QALC).

Dev + Ops = DevOps

 DevOps is necessarily an approach that involves processes and practices that bring development and operations teams together within an organization to develop and deploy a software, with enhanced efficiency and less interruptions. It doesn’t intend to eliminate the line between software development and IT operations, on the contrary it is a bridge that helps make the process work better and seamlessly.

Most importantly, DevOps brings business agility and continuous delivery. Some key highlights of DevOps are shorter development cycle, increased release velocity, enhanced defect detection, lesser deployment failures, and faster recovery in case of a failure. The DevOps approach has emerged out of the need for continuous collaboration and delivery.

Digital Testing poses challenges that can be managed by adopting the DevOps approach.

  • Increasing need to develop and deploy Cloud-based apps
  • Synchronously deploy application across diverse platforms
  • Business mandates to get your apps faster to the market
  • Complex IT structure and need for seamless deployment across virtualized and Cloud platforms

Digital Transformation is all-pervasive, so the approach has to involve each and every element in the ecosystem. During an interview with a portal, Elise Olding, Research Vice President at Gartner said, “The role of the CIO (in Public Sector) will be much broader than just technology. In a world where uncertainty abounds, stability lasts a few months at best and IT systems are produced through agile deployment based on the concepts of adaptation and change, a comprehensive view of the enterprise is needed.”

As we understand, the testing needs of the Digital world are complex and demanding. Digital Testing can entail anything and everything – from an application to a robot that is built using various applications and software platforms. It ensures that the product or service gives the required results and gets it market-ready.

Resourceful and incredible inventions are being launched to not only enable humans, but create a sustainable environment. A case in point, the robotics company iRobot is taking massive steps to clean sweep Lionfish, a fast growing predator fish in the coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean, by designing a robot to target and dispatch the gluttonous fish. The fish has been identified as a serious threat to the marine ecosystem in the western Atlantic and is an initiative of Robots in Services of Environment (RISE), volunteered by experts in robotics, engineering, and environment conservation.

Gallop’s Advisory and Transformation Services help organizations understand and improve all QA focus areas – people, tools, and infrastructure across the delivery lifecycle. We enable global enterprises to embark on their QA transformation journey by implementing a very effective, efficient and metrics driven QA practice. Connect with our experts to speed up to the market with robust product that is ready to sustain the constantly rising risks.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Integrating Selenium with Google Drive

Integrating Selenium with Google Drive

New-age technologies have extensively impacted our routine activities and quite positively. Today there are sophisticated and advanced gadgets available to further ease human efforts. While the emerging technologies continue to transform our lives, testing their performance for desired outcome is indispensable.

Test Automation holds numerous advantages to enhance the testing processes and achieve maximum test coverage. Google Drive integration is a case in point. We shall further discuss and understand the various advantages of using Google Drive.

When you integrate with the User Interface (UI) of Google Drive, users can create and open files stored on the drive within the application. This process is applicable across all the Google Drive Web applications. The Google Drive platform provides a bunch of APIs along with client libraries, language-specific examples, and documentation to help you develop apps that can integrate with Google Drive for automation.


Why is using Google Drive for Test Automation recommended?

  • You can create an external file that stores the test data (Input data and Expected Data) as centralized and shared repository.
  • You can populate the test data into Automation Test Script, so that several API’s can be used to read the test data.
  • The total number of scripts required to cover all the possible combinations of test scenarios is very less. Thus, lesser amount of code is required to test a complete set of scenarios.
  • You get increased flexibility and maintainability of automation test scripts, which also offers a clean and
    user-friendly interface.
  • Any change in the test data matrix would not hamper the test script code.
  • It provides effective communication and sharing, so that it is easier for manual and automation test teams to execute the scripts on Cloud with required set of data.
  • Check-in or check-out from the project framework is not required to refactor the test data.
  • High re-usability can be achieved, as tests can be reused across multiple test cases by altering the test data values.

Challenges of using Google Drive for Test Automation

  • In order to avoid script-processing errors due to incorrect data-file format or content, Notepad or Microsoft Excel has to be used to create and maintain the data files.
  • While developing and executing automation test scripts, technical skills are required to refactor the test data sheet within the Automation framework.

Prerequisites for Integration

  • Java 1.7 or greater
  • Access to the internet and a web browser
  • A Google account with Google Drive enabled

Google Drive Configuration

    1. Login into your Gmail account like and navigate to the Access Link in other tab.
    2. Click on “Google API Console” under Developer Consoles section at bottom of the page or navigate to link –
    3. Click on “Drive API” under Google Apps APIs section.

Google Apps APIs

    1. Create/Select a project in the Google Developers Console and enable the Google API. Click Continue, then Go to credentials.

Google API 4

    1. At the top of the page, select the OAuth consent screen tab. Select an Email address, enter a Product name if not already set, and click Save.

Image credentials - 5

6. Select the Credentials tab, click Create Credentials and select OAuth client ID.

7. Now to create Client Id, click on ‘Configure consent screen’.

8. Select the application type other, enter the name “client Demo”, and click Create.

9. Now dialog will appear which shows your “OAuth Client Id and Client Secret”. Click OK to dismiss the resulting dialog.


10. Select the client name checkbox and click the file download (Download JSON) button to the right of the client ID.

11. Move the downloaded file to your working directory and rename it client_secret.json.


12. Now click on “Create credentials” drop down button and select “Service Account Key”.

13. Select “Service Account – Compute Engine default service account” and key type “P12”. Click Create.

14. Click Close to dismiss the resulting dialog.

15. Move the downloaded file – *.P12 to your working directory.


16. Open Google Drive from your Gmail account.

17. Create a new Google spreadsheet and save it as testSheet.

18. Click Share and share the spreadsheet with your Client Id ( which you  created above.

19. Modify the Access Link setting – “Anyone with the link can edit”

20. Click Save.

Java Source Code for Integration

Here is a sample code in Java for accessing the Google Drive for any user. To use the same, first download the following jars or add maven dependencies.

Jar Files











Google Drive is the most user-friendly storage option, where all test data can be loaded (For e.g. on Gmail, Google Docs, and spreadsheets), and accessed from all remote locations. Google provides both free and paid-for storage services. These provide multiple storage capacity options for your files and folders, where users can store backup local files and sync in files and folders across multiple computers.

It is recommended to utilize Google Drive services for Quality Assurance (QA) practices and further also integrate with Automation tools like Selenium.

Selenium is one of the most popular Automation testing suites. It is designed to test functional aspects of Web applications across a wide range of browsers and platforms. Considering it is an Open-Source platform, it is easy to integrate Google Drive with Selenium. Additionally, credentials of Google account can be shared with all authorized team members for effective execution of tests on the Cloud.

Ashish Jain technical lead at Gallop SolutionsAbout the Author: Ashish Jain, Technical Lead at Gallop Solutions, brings with him rich experience in the field of automation for web and mobile-based applications. He has extensive expertise in both functional as well as performance automation. He also holds expertise across various automation tools and technologies and has been involved in designing Testing solutions for various clients in Energy Utilities, Donation and fitness-based domains.
The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.