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Functional Test Automation for Dovetail Subscription Service System

Functional Test Automation for Dovetail Subscription Service System

DevOps, Functional Test Automation


Dovetail Services offered a complete subscriptions management service that enabled business-es to connect to their clients at every touch point along the customer journey. This service al-lowed Dovetail clients to sell subscription-based content and services without having to create the infrastructure necessary to manage contacts and customers within their organisations. Through a series of APIs, in-house teams or external partners would be able to deliver unique online journeys or integrated sales data instantly using Dovetail services.


As the users for Dovetail’s services increased the applications powering its services weren’t performing as expected, Dovetail acknowledged there was scope to improve efficiency of their services further across development and testing functions. Some challenges identified were:

  • Insufficient bandwidth within the organisation for manual testing had resulted in many parts of applications going untested prior to release
  • Many key manual tests were executed regularly and could be automated certain applications would perform poorly on increased load


Testhouse began the engagement with a Test Process Review to understand Dovetail’s current testing practices and to assess where improvements could be made. Based on this Test Process Review, Dovetail agreed to adopt a managed service model to improve their testing functions. The managed service would begin with manual testing support and would work towards eventually implementing automation with the goal of overall limiting the amount of regression. It would also carry out some performance testing on specific applications that were

experiencing high degradation with increasing number of concurrent users.

Impact and Outcomes

    • An offshore functional testing team was assigned to Dovetail Services to support the testing function, increase test coverage and improve the quality of releases
    • Testhouse and Dovetail agreed on a set of automated scripts to speed up test cycles. As a result, test cycles that earlier took 7 days with manual testing could now be completed in 1 day, and Dovetail were able to recover their investment into automation within 4.8 months
    • Testhouse included performance testing on applications that were experiencing load issues to ensure their performance under all conditions.


“The key to our success with Testhouse was taking a collaborative approach in which we provided detailed requirements from the outset which were accurately converted by the Testhouse team into the end tests we sought. We met regularly to ensure the project was meeting our expectations and so any issues could be detected and rectified quickly and early in the process. We talked through any concerns we had and, on such occasions, achieved a resolution both parties agreed with.
We now have a suite of automated high-level tests flows that run daily. These will be also integrated into our CI process to enables us to run against multiple environments, providing a benchmark of quality daily. We fully expect to extend the suite to provide even greater coverage of the critical flows with in our web based applications, providing us with an even broader indicator of product quality.
Previously, workflow tests were only being run once per development cycle, during our regression period, and so the benefit gained has been two-fold. First, we are now able to catch issues as soon as they are introduced and, secondly, these tests can be run repeatedly, with the reporting feature requiring with minimal manual effort when reviewing test run results.”

Nigel Hearth , IT Director, Dovetail Services