Keysight Eggplant and POS systems

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Keysight Eggplant is a test design automation platform that leverages AI and other technologies to test “through the eyes of the user”. It has many significant qualities (some of which I have discussed in previous articles) but in this blog I’m going to talk about its application to POS (referring largely interchangeably to either Point-Of-Sale or Point-Of-Service) systems, and more specifically POS testing, in partnership with IntelliQA, a retail-focused test automation and robotics company.

POS testing is not typically thought of in terms of test automation. The sticking point is that while there is often software involved, POS systems and interfaces are, by their nature, designed to be interacted with physically. This means that no matter how much software-based test automation you throw at them, POS tests will always have a physical component, and for the vast majority of test automation solutions, this means they will always be, at least partially, manual tests.

At the same time, manual testing just isn’t great: while it’s certainly better than no testing, it is inevitably going to be slow, expensive, and ultimately not very effective. It is far too easy for testers to make mistakes or become complacent when performing dozens of rote manual tests, for them to get bored or tired or just to get something wrong. It’s also far too easy to fall into a rut when testing manually, to do the same thing with the same parameters over and over again. Given the repetitive and menial nature of this task, it’s hard to blame them. Even ignoring these possibilities, your manual testing efforts will not be able to cover even a significant fraction of possible user journeys, let alone all of them. This is further exacerbated by the fact that manual tests are, as mentioned, slow. This makes it impractical to execute a suite of manual tests of any substantial size before every product release, usually requiring you to release without testing everything your tests actually can cover and further reducing their overall effectiveness. The alternative is for your tests to become a bottleneck for your release cycle, which is hardly more appealing.

Keysight and IntelliQA provide a solution for this. By combining software-based test automation with robotics (by which I mean literal, physical robots) the two companies can create genuinely end-to-end automated tests for POS systems, that cover even the physical components of the systems under test. This could include registers, PIN pads, barcode and QR scanners, receipt printers, scales, and so on, all tested using the single, joint solution that Keysight and IntelliQA provide. More than that, you can incorporate these tests into Eggplant’s broader test model and create automated, holistic tests that can run through your entire business process without any manual intervention. Automated POS testing also provides some more organisational benefits: previously manual testers can of course be assigned elsewhere, and you can also develop and execute your tests remotely, with minimal staff needing to be physically present at the test site (as opposed to a whole cavalcade of manual testers).

In addition, Eggplant enables a variety of different types of testing on your POS systems, including the functional tests most often associated with test automation, payment tests (including payment certification) which IntelliQA plays a particularly large role in, performance and load testing to measure (and thus maximise) transaction throughput, accessibility/customer experience testing to make sure that any customer-accessible interfaces (e.g. self-service checkouts) are intuitive and easy to use, and integration testing.

In short, Eggplant, when used together with IntelliQA, has the potential to be hugely beneficial for POS testing: the fact that they can automate physical interactions (which – at least to my knowledge – nobody else in the testing space offers) and thus enable the automated testing of POS systems really cannot be overstated in its significance. Next to that, Eggplant itself being a robust and highly-featured test (design) automation product in general is just the icing on the cake.

To see Keysight Eggplant and IntelliQA’s robots in action, try watching “Transforming the Checkout Experience with AI and Robotics.”