Linx Printing Technologies, founded in 1987, is a company that specializes in the design and production of coding printers. Linx’s inkjet and laser printers are used on production lines world-wide to print product identification codes, batch numbers, dates, and barcodes, on everything from automotive parts, to food, pharmaceuticals, and electronic components.
Linx have over 250 employees located in various premises across the world. In addition to designing and building specialized printers, Linx also creates software—some for in-house use, some for their printers, and some for sale to other businesses.
Kiran Bachu, Linx’s Test Group Coordinator, was kind enough to share some of Linx’s Squish testing experiences with us. Kiran has been doing software testing for several years and prior to using Squish had experience with the Winrunner and QTP software testing products.
Linx developed a Qt/Embedded-based user interface for their industrial ink jet printers and began their testing effort using a home grown approach. As the development progressed they found that their testing cycle was growing slower and they became dissatisfied with their testing process.
By 2007 Linx had decided that they wanted to use a third party testing tool. They did a web search and discovered Squish. Linx began to experiment with Squish using an evaluation copy later that year. The evaluation proved to be a success and Linx adopted Squish in 2008.
When we asked Kiran about what particular features made Squish more attractive to Linx than other tools, he told us that:
It works on Linux and with Qt, and we can write our own test scripts. We didn’t specifically need to learn a new scripting language to use Squish since we can already code in Python.
Kiran also mentioned that the team adapted to Squish very easily, encountering no real difficulties as they learned to use it.
Squish at Linx
In practical use Linx have so far developed almost 250 Squish test cases for their embedded user interface. Kiran told us that they found the ability to reuse and edit Squish’s Object Maps to be particularly useful. [Object Maps are a Squish-specific technology that reliably identifies application objects by their properties rather than, say, their screen coordinates, and is one of the reasons that Squish tests are so robust in the face of application changes.] Linx also make great use of Squish’s tight GUI toolkit integration—this enables them to access their application’s internal objects (including widgets) and verify their properties.
Linx make good use of data-driven testing to verify their application. They also use screenshot verifications: these were initially troublesome, but with support from froglogic the problems were solved and they are now used successfully.
Occasionally, Linx have used the Squish Spy to inspect the objects and their properties of the live running application. They have also sometimes edited the Object Map.
Kiran told us that Linx’s testing process is wholly based on Squish. As new application features are developed, the testing team works in parallel to create test automation scripts. The tests are run weekly against the most recent application build so that any regressions can be spotted early on and to ensure that the new features are thoroughly tested before deployment.
Linx’s experience of Squish has been very positive, and they found Squish easy to learn and use.
Regarding the technical support that froglogic provided, Kiran told us:
It was very good. We generally got a quick reply. They were very helpful in suggesting various alternate approaches.
In terms of benefits, Linx have found that by using Squish they have significantly reduced the person-hours needed for application testing. Another benefit has been a reduction in the time taken for each testing cycle—this was something that they had specifically hoped to achieve with an automated testing tool. In fact, Kiran told us that Squish had added more value than they expected, so their adoption of Squish has proved to be a good investment.
froglogic’s team would like to thank Kiran for taking the time to share his and Linx’s experience with Squish, and we are looking forward to continuing this successful relationship.