ETM Professional Control, a Siemens Company – Squish for Qt users since early 2007

etm LogoETM Professional Control is a leading software house in the field of process automation. ETM’s reputation is built on PVSS—innovative process control engineering software that provides clear visualization and control of complex processes. ETM is owned by Siemens AG and has affiliates in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

We spoke to Wolfram Klebel, one of ETM’s development and testing engineers, and asked him what products ETM use Squish to test, and about ETM’s overall experience of using Squish.

 

What ETM Professional Control Test with Squish

ETM projects that use PVSS IETM projects that use PVSS IIETM use Squish to test their SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) software—PVSS. This software is used for controlling complex industrial and infrastructure systems including traffic tunnels, water treatment plants, subway systems, and the new particle accellerator at CERN.

The screenshots are of two different ETM projects that use PVSS. (Click them to enlarge.)

ETM’s software is is almost entirely written in C++ and uses Qt for the user interface, with a few small pieces written in Java and C#. The software is deployed on Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Server 2003, Microsoft Server 2008 (both 32 and 64-bit), Microsoft Vista, RedHat Linux, OpenSUSE, and Sun Solaris.

 

Why ETM are using Squish

A few years ago when ETM decided to use Qt for their user interfaces they also recognized the need for a suitable testing tool. In late 2006 they ran a short evaluation project to see if Squish would meet their requirements, and having found that it did, they made their initial purchase at the beginning of 2007.

ETM use many different kinds of automated tests, with GUI tests just one aspect of all the tests that they use. Wolfram told us:

Tests are an essential part of developing good quality software. And in our case we must be particularly careful to ensure proper test coverage since some parts of our software are security certified according to IEC 61508 SIL 3.

 

ETM’s Experience with Squish

When ETM initially bought Squish their key need was for a GUI testing tool that worked well with Qt. Over the years of use other aspects of Squish have come to the fore as important features that have made their testing work easier and more efficient. Amongst those that especially stand out is Squish’s robustness when running ETM’s daily test suites.

ETM have also commented on Squish’s flexibility and expandability which have allowed them to use Squish in ways that suit them. And one Squish feature which has proved to be particularly useful to ETM is the ability to call code in the application via a wrapper library.

Testing—particularly GUI testing—can be challenging, so Squish’s users sometimes need help solving problems or figuring out ways to test particular aspects of their applications. We asked Wolfram about ETM’s experience of froglogic‘s technical support, and he told us:

We have found froglogic’s response to support requests to be quick and efficient.

Since Squish is avaliable in source form, customers can build it for themselves. This is a facility that ETM have found to be very useful since they are able to apply patches from froglogic that solve problems or add features without having to wait for a new release. (Naturally, froglogic also provide pre-built versions with patches applied for those customers who prefer them.)

ETM’s biggest challenge has been to ensure that their tests continued to run correctly over the years despite their adoption of successive versions of Squish and through many releases of their own software.

Squish isn’t the only tool that ETM use to support their testing. They use IBM’s Rational PurifyPlus for coverage and for finding bugs, and they also use their own internally developed tools to provide a functional test framework and a unit test framework. Thanks to Squish’s open architecture they have had no problems integrating Squish into their toolchain.

 

Conclusion

ETM made a significant commitment to Squish—a commitment that has been maintained over the years and which has helped ensure that their flagship software has proper test coverage with every version they release. Squish is a well established and fully integrated part of of ETM’s testing efforts. When we asked Wolfram how Squish had helped them, he said:

Using Squish has certainly improved our product quality. It has also helped us make the best use of our human resources, and it has helped us to greatly improve our test coverage.

 

froglogic’s team would like to thank Wolfram for taking the time to share ETM’s experience with Squish, and we looking forward to a continued successful relationship.