New Mercury Tool Tests The Waters In App Development

The new tool, called Mercury Business Process Testing (BPT), marks the beginning of a new generation of testing tools that do not require people with either coding or quality assurance experience to write tests for applications, said Dale Ellis, CTO of Turnkey Solutions, Denver. "It's a game-changing tool," he said. "It's dramatically different from the other products that are out there."

>> 'It's a game-changing tool. It's dramatically different from the other products that are out there.'

BPT also significantly decreases the time it takes to test applications and allows testing to become a part of the development process rather than something that occurs after software is built, Ellis said.

Indeed, Mark Sarbiewski, senior director of products at Mercury Interactive, Mountain View, Calif., said BPT allows developers to create tests ensuring an application's business processes are behaving according to business requirements as it is being developed. Currently, he said, most testing is done when the development of an application is already complete, or not at all.

"Eighty percent of apps are made to go live without a lot of testing," Sarbiewski said, which can lead to costly development changes.

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Leading testing tools vendors such as Mercury, IBM Rational and Compuware have been trying to remedy this problem by developing tools that give testing higher prominence in the application life cycle so it is not so much an afterthought, said Melinda-Carol Ballou, senior research analyst at Meta Group.

BPT is now available as part of the Mercury Quality Center suite, according to Sarbiewski. Quality Center is the company's offering for testing and managing the quality of enterprise applications, and it ranges in price from about $10,000 to in the millions, depending on the size of the implementation.