How Critical is Functional and Compatibility Testing for a Healthcare provider?

functional testing

A recent Mckinsey report on Healthcare discusses ‘Why should senior health insurance leaders make “digital” a strategic priority?’ at length. In the 1950s when various institutions started implementing technology with the sheer aim to automate standardized tasks, even healthcare began leveraging IT to automate processes and churn high volumes of statistical data.

The report further mentions that the adoption of IT for Healthcare can be compared to any other industry. Almost two decades later, industries experienced the second wave of digitization/IT adoption. It was responsible for 2 changes –

  • It integrated various aspects of core processes with an organization
  • It supported B2B processes such as supply-chain management for various institutions across industries

Automation and digitization is critical for Healthcare providers, as there are highly recurring tasks that have to be done at speed and with absolute accuracy.

When you refer to digital, it implies a range of technologies and applications that can facilitate automation, rational decision making, and enhanced connectivity with the end users, and more innovation that is data-driven.

While digitization could be a solution, equally important is building a robust and market-ready system. The obvious reason is to offer a fresh, agile, digitally resilient and secure business-user interface platform.

Functional and Cross-browser testing plays a major role in building a responsive and market-ready Web platform for the users in an industry that yearns for consistent results and performance. While Cross-browser testing is critical for Web application testing, the first step in the process is to check for a published list of supported browsers and then assess the percentage of browsers to cover.

On the whole, interconnecting the entire system and functions with a web application is a humungous task and to get it operational is the biggest challenge. So, arduous testing of these health applications is a must and ensuring that the application goes through various testing phases is important.

Today, users are assessing healthcare related applications not only across browsers, but also across devices with various dimensions. In this scenario, building an application that is compatible across devices and browsers is very much business-critical.

Compatibility testing is a non-functional testing implemented to assess the application’s compatibility across various environments, segmented as forward compatibility testing and backward compatibility testing.

The key objective is to confirm that the application is compatible across different hardware, operating systems, databases and versions of the browser. Compatibility Testing is a testing process that involves developing hardware and software configurations, designing, and executing tests in real scenarios.

A web interface for your customers not only provides convenience of use, but also plays a key role in showcasing the company’s brand image. If not displayed effectively, it can shatter the company’s position and lead to loss of customers.

Additionally, if the software is not compatible with the most current hardware devices, then the entire effort of hardware upgrade is futile. The core purpose of upgrading hardware is to accelerate the operations and offer enhanced experience.

There could be some serious consequences of skipping an effective compatibility test:

  • If the software is not compatible across browsers and various versions of the browser, then the users will eventually lose interest for any further experience.
  • If the software doesn’t show compatibility with various other devices like printers, etc., it will become a serious dismay for the end users and could lead to hardware damage as well.
  • If the software is not compatible across various database versions, it may lead to interoperability issues.
  • If the compatibility is not experienced with the network, the user might have to experience performance and bandwidth issues.

At the same time functional testing tests various components and features in the application – refers to activities that validate an action or function of the code. More particularly, it helps answer question from the user’s perspective – Can the user perform this action? Is the feature performing the way it should?

It is typically need-specified testing.

It is a testing technique that is applied to test various features/functionalities of the application, considering diverse scenarios that would include failure paths and boundary cases.

There are 2 approaches to functional testing – requirement-based testing and business-process-based testing:

  • Requirement-based testing: In this category of testing the requirements are prioritized based on the risks involved and tests are planned accordingly. This ensures that some critical tests are included in the overall testing effort.
  • Business-process-based testing: This involves considering a day-to-day business scenario while planning the tests. Business knowledge is applied in this case to devise and execute the tests.

Moreover, testing across multiple browsers is a herculean task and it might not be achievable all the time. It is virtually impossible! So, what do we do?

A comprehensive testing approach has to be incorporated to successfully test across various browsers, platforms, and resolutions.

Let’s have a look at some latest cross-browser compatibility testing tools that Mashable has recently listed:

  • Ghostlab offers a step-by-step testing solution for scrolls, clicks, reloads, and form inputs across connected devices and also tests user experience. By leveraging the advanced built-in inspector, you can detect and fix problems rapidly.
  • BrowserStack offers LIVE, web-based browser testing with immediate access to every desktop and mobile browser (as of now more than 300). It further holds ability to test local and internal servers with a secure set-up.
  • Sauce Labs enables you to execute tests in the Cloud for over 260 different browser platforms and devices, offering a comprehensive test infrastructure that includes Selenium, JavaScript, Mobile, and Manual testing facilities.
  • Browsera enables testing for cross-browser layout issues by mechanically comparing each browser’s output and reporting JavaScript errors. There is no installation required and the tests are executed entirely on the Cloud.
  • Litmus provides a one-stop email and cross-browser testing solution that helps display your site across browsers for verification and does Link validation to avoid any backlisting of URLs.

Gallop has been particularly working with the Healthcare sector to empower healthcare providers to serve their end-users effectively in this evolving and challenging digital landscape. A US-based healthcare critical communications provider engaged with Gallop to enable its online platform with Gallop’s Functional testing and Cross-browser compatibility testing expertise.

It is particularly important to understand here that the client offers software solutions for the healthcare sector, where communication is critical and the service is highly sought after in the US. There were 3 clear objectives laid out – Functional Compatibility testing, Browser Compatibility testing, and Integration testing.

Considering sensitive information was being shared with patients, it was absolutely crucial to keep a zero error scenario. The key challenge was an unstable testing application that had inadequate functionalities to test the business requirements.

The team specifically tested 2 major products – Pulse and Nurse Call system. Along with varied suggestions to enhance functioning of the applications, the team authored test cases, achieved maximum code coverage, and executed them effectively to identify and report defects.

Additionally, we executed intensive regression test suite after each deployment so that the previously tested functionalities work even within the new build. With the latest regression suite, Gallop was able to ensure increased stability for the critical messaging application.

The client was able to achieve a tangible 40% reduction in post-production defects. This further helped improve the brand’s credibility in the healthcare space, which is absolutely business-critical.

Gallop has been working closely with leading and innovative enterprises in the Healthcare segment and we understand the requirements of the sector and criticality it holds with the end-users.

Connect with us to gain speed to market and build a robust and secure digital interface for the millennial consumer.

Though Gallop is not associated with all the tool vendors mentioned above, we do leverage our strategic partnerships with vendors to extend added benefits to our clients.

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

Why do you need Compatibility Testing?

Why do you need Compatibility Testing?

In today’s competitive world, it is important that the software or the products released to the buyers reflect true value for the amount they incur to buy or use the product. Thorough testing of the products helps create quality products that provide value for money. Various software tests are performed at different stages of software development and testing is also conducted on the finished product, prior to its release. This testing is done to ensure a competitive edge in terms of quality, compatibility, cost, and delivery for the end product before it is delivered. Compatibility testing helps ensure complete customer satisfaction as it checks whether the application performs or operates as expected for all the intended users across multiple platforms. This non-functional testing is performed to ensure compatibility of a system, application, or website built with various other objects such as other web browsers, databases, hardware platforms, users, operating systems, mobile devices & networks etc. It is conducted on the application to evaluate the application’s compatibility with different environments. It can be performed either through automation tools or it can be conducted manually.

Need for Compatibility Testing

Software applications released should be of high quality and compatible with all hardware, software, OS, platforms, etc. which is achieved through opting for compatibility testing. Compatibility can be ensured through adopting compatibility testing, which detects for any errors before the product is delivered to the end user. This testing establishes or confirms that the product meets all the requirements set and agreed upon by both the developer and the end user. This stable or quality product in turn improves the reputation of the firm and propels the company to success. It is also true that quality products improve sales and marketing efforts and bring delight to the customer. Moreover, an efficient compatibility test effort ensures real compatibility among different computing environments. In addition, a truly dynamic compatibility testing also confirms the workability and stability of the software that is of much importance before its release.

Types of Compatibility Testing: There are two types of compatibility testing: Forward compatibility testing and Backward compatibility testing.

  1. Forward Compatibility Testing: This type of testing verifies that the software is compatible with the newer or upcoming versions, and is thus named as forward compatible.
  2. Backward Compatibility Testing: This type of testing helps to check whether the application designed using the latest version of an environment also works seamlessly in an older version. It is the testing performed to check the behavior of the hardware/software with the older versions of the hardware/software.

Compatibility Testing can be performed for the following:

  1. Operating systems: testing across OS like Linux, Mac OS, and Windows etc.
  2. Databases: testing across databases like Oracle, SQL Server etc.
  3. Browsers: testing across browsers like IE, Chrome, Firefox, Mozilla, Safari, etc. Some of the most common cross browser testing tools include Browserstack, Crossbrowsertesting.com, Browserling, Browsera, Browsershots etc.
  4. Other System software: testing web server, networking, messaging tools etc.
  5. Mobile applications: testing across different mobile platforms, devices, networks etc.

Some of the most common Compatibility Testing Defects

  • Differences in the user Interface with respect to look and feel
  • Changes with respect to font size, alignment issues
  • Marked changes in CSS style and color, issues related to Scroll bar
  • Existence of broken tables or Frames

Let us now have a look at the Compatibility Testing Process

  • Initially, define the set of environments or platforms the application is likely to use
  • Draw the platforms, software, and hardware to understand the expected behavior in different configurations
  • Set up the testing environment
  • Start testing across platforms, devices, and networks
  • Note the behavior, report the bugs in an order
  • Get the defects fixed
  • Retest the application

Finally, it is true that the end user might test the product in different platforms or any other factor and they may find bugs in the application which is not worthy in terms of quality. To reduce such issues and in order to release quality products, it is important to test the application on all the above mentioned functionalities. Thus, compatibility testing plays an important aspect of testing applications.

Most companies today are taking the advantage of getting their testing done outside, as they need not maintain a group of testers, or maintain a wide range of hardware and software that is used in the process of testing.

Gallops’ Expertise with Respect to Compatibility Testing

Gallop’s comprehensive compatibility testing services are performed across a variety of operating Systems, browsers, databases, servers, hardware, different versions, configurations, display resolutions, etc. Moreover, we provide an end-to-end cross-browser test automation solution with a fully loaded Selenium test automation framework with integration plug-ins.

Contact Gallop’s Team of Test Automation experts to know more about our Gallop’s testing services.

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