Continuous verification and validation with National Instruments
Today’s high-tech savvy consumers are much more demanding of quality—even for the most cutting-edge and high-tech electronic innovations. Automobiles, medical devices, mobile phones and electronics manufacturers all face the challenge of delivering the latest innovations to market (while trying to avoid getting blasted on social media because of poor quality). More than ever, test engineering teams for electronics manufacturers are on the frontlines trying to ensure the highest product quality for increasingly complex systems.
Despite the challenge, test engineers still rely on spreadsheets and email to manage and report on testing. The following diagram shows an example of a development flow where a wall separates design and testing. This results in information having to be thrown over the wall between the teams. Recently, I spoke with a test engineer who said he spent roughly 10 - 20 percent of his day doing administrative tasks in spreadsheets to manage and report on testing results. This was a tedious and error-prone task that did not allow for testing to scale with the complexity of the design. Fortunately, the joint Nati
Automating quality for embedded testing
The key ingredient for this joint solution is the NI T
Traceability from requirements to test cases
Test cases in RQM can be linked to the NI TestStand applications and parameter files on the test machine. Because test information in RQM can be linked to the requirements, overall quality plan, project plan, change management system, defect management system and so on, there is end-to-end traceability from requirements to defects and testing. This allows the impact analysis to understand the impact of a requirement change on testing and ensure that all requirements are covered by test cases. For companies in regulated industries such as aerospace, medical devices and automotives, this is essential in meeting development standards and in being able to quickly respond to audits.
From the web-based RQM client, NI TestStand applications that are linked to test cases can be invoked on the test machines, which could be located over the network. Effectively, this ability that allows you to execute test cases remotely through a web browser could be considered testing on the cloud. The execution status reported by the NI TestStand sequence is displayed in the RQM web interface, which also reports the results (pass, fail, error, abort, and so on) of the test execution upon completion.
After the test completes execution on NI TestStand, the outputs from the test sequence are automatically published to the IBM Rational Jazz server. In addition to basic pass or fail results from the test case, a user-configurable report is generated that is linked to the test execution record. Without the NI Test Integration Adapter, this information would be stored on the local test machine and would need to be manually communicated. If a test fails, it is also easy to create a defect that is linked to the test execution record that includes the information from the test. This way, the developer assigned the defect does not need to ask the tester. The developer simply navigates the link to access the test results, logs and reports.
For more information and demos of the NI Test Integration Adapter for RQM, check out the following links:
· RQM solution webinar: Embe
· Solution brief: Brea
· National Instruments demos: Inte
Initial pilots using the adapter have been able to configure tests in minutes—a task that previously took days. They can automatically execute and store the results of the tests in a shared repository. If you are doing testing of electronics systems or using National Instruments products, how are you managing the test execution and reporting? Leave your comments or contact me on Twitter @urbman.