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Managing Health and Quality of Applications with qMap

| by Ben Linders Follow 29 Followers on Aug 07, 2015. Estimated reading time: 4 minutes |

QASymphony has released qMap, a visual mapping solution for agile testers of cloud, mobile, big data and IoT apps. qMap can be used to manage the health and quality of applications. It is the third product from QASymphony which can be used with their previously released products qTest and qTest Explorer.

InfoQ did an interview with Kyle Cochran, Vice President of Product at QASymphony, about why qMap was developed, how testers can use qMap to get insight into their testing results and manage testing and can use information from qMap to improve the quality of their product, and how QMap can be deployed within agile and DevOps.

InfoQ: Can you briefly describe what qMap does?

Cochran: qMap is a new way to view the health and quality of your application. Different than traditional static reporting, qMap provides a dynamic high-level visualization of your test results, allowing you to quickly identify and troubleshoot issues.

As testers do exploratory testing, all the session information is captured and fed into qMap. qMap then provides a visual map of the test allowing you to see all the testing details including:

  • Who the testers are
  • What’s been tested
  • When the test took place
  • What sprint the test was for
  • Any bugs or notes associated with the test
  • The ability to easily drill down and get more information

InfoQ: What made you decide to develop qMap?

Cochran: As more and more development teams go "agile", there’s increased pressure on the testing managers push their teams to work at a faster pace and at the same time, make sure that the software is released without major issues.

This can be a big challenge. Currently, the testing manager has to rely on a lot of static, manually entered reports to assess risk and make critical decisions on application health. There is a lot of information but very few insights.

There has been very little innovation in the area of test reporting in the past 25 years. Our goal was to create a better reporting tool for testing and development leaders that provides actionable insights into software quality so they can clearly understand the risks associated with a release.

InfoQ: How can testers use qMap to get insight into their testing results and manage testing?

Cochran: qMap provides testing managers a quick and easy way to see what’s working and what’s not in the application. As the team is doing the testing, qMap gathers real-time data and then displays it in a visual heat map. It gives you the ability to quickly see issues in the application.

For example, an ecommerce company could be launching a new online shopping cart process for checkout. Several of the testers may find a critical issue on the credit card page that would prevent the transaction. Using qMap, a testing manager would be able to quickly see this issue on the heat map and notify key stakeholders. This helps make the entire development process more efficient and effective.

Abdul Khan, Senior Director eCommerce Delivery at Office Depot says "qMap is a game changer for my team. Not only does it provide real insights into the health of our applications, it also allows us to quickly solve issues when they occur. This is especially beneficial in delivering on our critical priorities, one of which is the realization of a new, state-of-the-art eCommerce platform that we’ll launch in August of this year."

InfoQ: qMap also provides information about defects. Can you give some examples how testers can use this information to improve the quality of their product?

Cochran: qMap gives you a high level view of where the defects are in the application. You can then drill down for more information. qMap is integrated with leading Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tools like Jira, Rally and VersionOne, so testers can easily click a link in qMap and go directly to the defect record in the ALM.

So, if several testers are simultaneously testing an application, they may see in qMap a critical defect in one specific area. Then using the ALM, they can quickly collaborate and find a solution to the problem.

InfoQ: How can teams that are using agile software development, for instance with Scrum or XP, deploy qMap?

Cochran: qMap is really built for agile teams. The visual mapping makes it easier for testers and managers alike to see progress and quickly identify issues.

This is critical in a fast paced agile Scrum or XP environment where teams are looking to close user stories in order to reduce the burndown and keep velocity high. Scrum teams often use burndown charts to show progress of teams in a sprint. qMap is a nice complement to the burndown chart, showing the testing progress related to the current sprint. You can even filter the qMap view by sprint so you can compare the progress you’re making from one sprint to the next.

InfoQ: What about DevOps teams, which benefits can qMap bring to them?

Cochran: DevOps enhances the agile methodology by putting process around software releases. qMap is a great fit for DevOps teams because it helps quickly visualize the risk associated with a product release. Using qMap, leaders are better informed so they can make critical go/no go release decisions with confidence.

InfoQ: If people want to learn more about qMap, where can they go?

Cochran: More information and a free trial is available at our website: qasymphony.com.

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