Analyst Coverage: Daniel Howard
Otoma is a software company that provides intelligent test design automation. It is based in Tel Aviv and was established in 2017 by Reuven Ben Menachem and Zack Yaniv, the team that founded and built Fundtech (NASDAQ: FNDT) from a startup to the global leader in Transaction Banking, sold to D+H for $1.25B.
Otoma operates primarily within the finance and telco spaces. In addition to direct sales, its technology is provided through a network of partners that frequently also use it as part of their own testing efforts.
Otoma Intelligent Test Design
Last Updated: 19th July 2023
Mutable Award: One to Watch 2023
Otoma Intelligent Test Design is an AI-driven, end-to-end requirements management, test design, and test automation platform that enables you to capture and visually model your requirements, then translate those requirements into executable test cases and scripts which can be executed by the Otoma Functional Testing module or exported for execution by another test engine. It provides a range of integrations with various third party and open-source technologies, including products in the requirements management, test management, and test execution spaces.
Otoma will also create a knowledge base from the requirements and other business assets pertaining to the system under test. This means that you can use Otoma to both automate your testing efforts and deliver a knowledge base pertinent to the corresponding test environments. Knowledge is captured using Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN) standards, which will be familiar to many users, and existing BPMN diagrams can be imported directly. Prefabricated knowledge bases are available for some common third-party applications, accelerating testing and implementation in those cases.
“Otoma is working with 3 of the 12 largest banks in the world, 3 of the 10 largest System integrators, 3 of the top 10 Fintech companies, and a top 10 Telco software provider.”
Otoma allows you to import textual business requirements from an external source and use them to design and build a library of visual requirements diagrams known as use case diagrams (shown in Figure 1). Otoma retains full traceability for your requirements within these diagrams, as well as within the test cases generated from them. Each diagram corresponds to a business use case, capturing both the requirement itself and any supporting information. This may include the topology of the system under test, which can be uploaded automatically.
Each diagram consists of a series of steps and ‘sub processes’ which comprise the business flow of the use case through the system being tested and the ecosystem in which it resides. Sub processes are reusable between use cases and can be tested individually as micro-services or as part of an end-to-end process. In a use case diagram, they can be opened and drilled into, and in doing so will link you through to the further steps and sub processes nested within them.
Branching into two or more alternate flows is driven by data-driven preconditions assigned to each point where the process flow might diverge, with the idea being that the set of preconditions that are met will determine which branch the process takes. In the context of testing, these preconditions will often manifest as conditions on your test data and/or the expected results of the process at the branching point. In other words, they specify what kind of data will lead to a particular path through the process (incomplete data leading to an error sub flow, for example) and the expected results of the process in that light (an error being displayed to the user). Preconditions can be formatted as SQL queries that will fetch the appropriate data, and the product provides automated conflict detection to prevent you from using preconditions to inadvertently create branches that are impossible to access.
Once you have modelled your requirements and process flows, Otoma will automatically generate your test cases and scripts using its AI capabilities. In fact, the platform will create an optimised suite of test case permutations such that the minimum number of tests is created to provide maximum coverage. Coverage is measured in terms of the process steps visited during a test and can be viewed as a heat map overlay on top of your use cases and sub processes that visualises test coverage for each of your requirements. Test suite generation has an adjustable scope based on requirement ID, sprint, functional area, tags and so on.
Test cases themselves are viewed as a highlighted subset of your original flows (see Figure 2) and both entire flows and individual test steps can be linked to requirements/user stories. Moreover, when your tests are created, all necessary preconditions and expected results for each alternate flow are aggregated to create a joined SQL query that will automatically fetch suitable test data for each path through the test case. Validation of payload formats is also included, as is the ability to simulate unavailable systems.
Software testing is important and widespread, but it is all too easy to forget that your testing should be in service to the needs, and indeed the requirements, of your organisation in respect to the system under test. Otoma addresses this issue by providing an environment where you, first and foremost, model your requirements, then subsequently leverage them to automatically create your test cases and test scripts.
One of the advantages of this requirements-first approach is that it means that you always have the appropriate business context for your tests and appropriate coverage of your requirements. This can be helpful, for example, in order to bring various different testing teams into alignment, enabling collaboration by providing open access to testing information and knowledge that helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This collaborative aspect is further enhanced by the intuitive, visual nature of Otoma’s use cases and sub processes: capturing business context and design flows are simple processes in Otoma, meaning that requirements design can be done in a largely self-service fashion, by the people most knowledgeable about the process that needs to be modelled (who will not necessarily be technically-inclined). And thanks to the automated nature of Otoma’s test case and test suite generation, it empowers even non-technical users to create test assets.
Another major advantage of Otoma’s requirements-based design is that it makes test maintenance much faster and easier, for instance by allowing you to update a single area (which is to say, a sub process) and automatically propagate the changes made to it to all impacted test flows.
The ability to automatically assign appropriate test data to your test cases (albeit test data that already has to exist somewhere) is also a rather unique capability. Otoma’s built-in creation of a knowledge base is likewise noteworthy, and can serve to accelerate the adoption and maintenance of other, third-party, applications, among other things.
The Bottom Line
Otoma Intelligent Test Design is an effective, easy-to-use, requirements-first test design automation product that aims (and by all accounts succeeds) to significantly reduce the time and risk of implementing and updating your business applications.
Mutable Award: One to Watch 2023