If your pharmaceutical company is like most, you likely rely on business-critical applications to process millions of on-demand transactions for a large and prolific user base. The risks are high, and failure can be costly for Test Centers of Excellence (CoE) in these companies. They need to make sure that applications exhibit functional readiness, high availability and strict compliance with the regulatory controls governing confidential medical information. That makes it imperative that application development teams need to automate testing, to performance test every build – early and often.
Here are five reasons why test automation is so critical for the Test CoE operating in the pharmaceutical industry:
1. Quality Performance: With intricate transaction flows, even the smallest bit of rogue code can bring down an entire system. Testing code changes early in the application development cycle can help you avoid costly issues.
2. Global Reach: Pharmaceutical applications are typically used in multiple markets around the globe. It is imperative that you test localized strings and the loads you might experience across various geographies.
3. Data Integrity: If a drug name is used inconsistently across an application, the consequences could be dire and impact patient health. You need continuous, textual testing for data integrity, with every application change validated in real time.
4. Systems Integration: Specialized pharmaceutical applications typically integrate with a variety of business apps, including those used to process payments, insurance claims, barcode scans -- and more. Since a broken process flow can bring work to a halt, frequent integration testing is critical.
5. Industry Compliance: To avoid legal and financial risks, your apps need to align with the strict compliance requirements imposed by drug administration agencies. The business rules, standards and best practices established by your Test Center of Excellence (CoE) must be applied across every step in your application development and deployment process companywide.
Test Continuously to Experience Big Benefits in the Test CoE
So what’s the best and most affordable way to automate your tests for quality, global reach, data integrity, systems integration and industry compliance? You need continuous, open source-based test automation that enables you to incorporate feedback early in the software development cycle and avoid last minute risks. When you adopt continuous testing, you get three big benefits:
- Continuous Quality: You can perform functional and nonfunctional automated testing on demand and achieve your performance goals across the entire software delivery lifecycle. You can reduce friction and deliver quality software faster. No longer a question of if but rather when, 93% of respondents in a recent survey are already adopting CI/CD processes.
- Risk Mitigation: With real-time feedback and transparency, you can achieve data integrity and manage compliance end-to-end, deploying your application with confidence. Conducting performance testing quickly, securely and accurately, with the options to do so either within or outside the firewall, or both.
- Cost Reduction: You can reduce management complexities and optimize resource usage by testing early and often. In addition, the costs associated with bug fixes and deployment delays plummet. Studies show Agile development teams can cut their application dev-test cycle by more than 50% with continuous testing.
Take an Enterprise-Ready Approach to Open Source
At first glance, continuous testing may seem too complex to tackle. But it actually is much easier than you might think. It begins with easy-to-use, open-source technologies like Jenkins, Selenium and Apache JMeter™. You can readily adopt these open-source tools to automate test runs and to establish your own continuous integration/continuous delivery pipeline.
Open-source tools are developer-friendly and known for their reliability and flexibility. They also are backed by a large developer community that has created a wide variety of utilities and plug-ins for various integrated development environments (IDE). That makes them easy to use – no special training required.
While popular open-source tools may perfect for most any of your testing needs, you do need to make them enterprise ready. You need to integrate them with your existing test environment and with the tools you already have. You need to be able to test at scale and to benefit from comprehensive reporting. And you need to establish automated test flows that can ensure continuous quality controls across many diverse projects.
It may sound complicated, but with CA BlazeMeter it’s all very simple to accomplish. You get a single, integrated test platform that makes your open-source tools enterprise ready and ensures compatibility with your existing test infrastructure. Here’s what BlazeMeter brings to the table:
- You get a platform built from the ground up to support the open-source development languages your team already uses. And that means flexible options. Developers can create Selenium Webdriver-based tests in JMeter, with BlazeMeter responsible for functional and performance tests.
- You get to enjoy a single, integrated, ease to use toolchain for running and managing performance, functional and API tests that are specific to the many user roles and privileges typical of pharmaceutical applications.
- You get the scale you need to address massive data sets and large user bases. You can support test scenarios for over 2Million virtual users across broad geographies, for multiple projects in the same instance.
- You get a centralized view of testing for each dedicated project. Drill-down reports and analytics for specific Selenium/JMeter test runs can be readily accessed and shared.
- You can orchestrate test scripts from your IDE of choice, using BlazeMeter’s built-in editor. Describe a full-blown script with ten lines or so of simple syntax text. Define and execute small-scale tests from their local machine, and reuse the same scripts to orchestrate continuous tests at scale in the cloud across the CI/CD pipeline.
Bottom line: With BlazeMeter, everyone on your team benefits. Agile teams benefit from the self-service test platform that BlazeMeter provides. Test CoE teams can extend test coverage and build out their test toolbox -- performance engineering for continuous quality. DevOps teams can easily automate and schedule tests for continuous integration and continuous delivery across the application pipeline.
It is simple to performance test every build – end to end. Visit www.blazemeter.com/shiftleft today to start your continuous testing journey and request a free BlazeMeter demo. You’ll learn how BlazeMeter can reduce your resource costs and help your team mitigate risks, work more efficiently and continuously test in an open-source environment.
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