For this central bank, quality is an absolute priority when it comes to business processes and the systems that support them. As it regularly updates its processes and technology to stay at the leading edge of best practice in central banking, it sought to improve the thoroughness and efficiency of its upgrade methods, while reducing risk. To this end the bank wanted to develop its in-house testing expertise and create a test package and processes that were expandable, reusable and highly automated.
When the central bank upgraded from v6.0 to v7.2, it turned to SkySparc to provide assistance with the upgrade. An old version of OmniFi was used in the beginning of the project. Towards the end of the project the central bank upgraded OmniFi and SkySparc helped to improve reconciliation in the new version and use keys for reconciliation instead of line-byline comparison.
Using OmniFi, this central bank was able to complete its full test cycle three times before the upgrade was complete. “Test cases were entered automatically in a few minutes and without errors,” says the bank’s Project Manager of Banking Operations. “As a result of using OmniFi we identified many issues earlier than we would have otherwise, and achieved good results in stress tests.”
After getting a taste of the risk reduction and efficiency benefits that an automated testing solution such as OmniFi could provide, the central bank wanted to take further steps to build up its testing capabilities and pave the way for faster upgrades in the future.
In 2010 the bank decided to take a new release of OmniFi to take advantage of new features such as the ability to import static data as well as transactions, to test transaction actions such as early expiration, roll-over and fixing, and to run partial test scripts to save loading time when re-testing.
It also engaged SkySparc financial consultants to run a workshop to gather the requirements for a generic test package, and prioritise tasks. A SkySparc consultant then spent two weeks with the central bank project team building a test package spanning several days’ activity that could then be expanded by the bank itself at a later date.
Testing is never a ready-made, standalone process; you need to have tools and skills to react to various needs raised by changes in your system landscape. OmniFi gives us these tools.
Project Manager, Banking Operations
“Together with SkySparc we realised that a best practice approach to testing requires finding the right transaction set, actions and time period to use as the basis of a test package that covers the broadest sample of real-world scenarios,” says a System Analyst at the central bank. “By creating a test package based on data and activity from the last week of December and first week of January we can test for differences between system versions in the handling of month-end, end of quarter, year-end and calendar holidays.
OmniFi gives this central bank the ability to complete its test package and run testing on future upgrades with no manual data loading. Transactions and static data can be automatically imported, and modifications and reversals are also automated. The bank can run regression testing across transactions, key figures, balances and accounting entries. Regression testing of SWIFT messages is a new feature added to OmniFi that will also be available for their future upgrade testing.
The bank’s approach to thorough preparation and automated testing means it will be able to improve quality while reducing the time taken for future upgrades.
Everything is tested in the same way in both the existing and new systems every time, so there can be no manual errors. OmniFi helps the bank find differences between systems at an earlier stage, mitigating the risk of project delays or incorrect valuations, instrument data or message formats making their way through to the production environment. “Testing is never a ready-made, standalone process; you need to have tools and skills to react to various needs raised by changes in your system landscape,” says the project manager. “OmniFi gives us these tools.”