Sensormatic Solutions Uses mabl to Rapidly Automate its UI Tests, Improve Testing Coverage, and Cut Costs

Analytics is the lifeblood of a company like Sensormatic Solutions. They use in-store customer behavior to produce analytics that let their clients improve conversion rates and transaction size. As such, it’s important that they produce meaningful, usable, and accurate analytics—otherwise their clients won’t be able to derive actionable insights, and the actions that they do take won’t be based on meaningful information. In other words, quality is central to their endeavor.

Adeeb Valiulla is a Quality Assurance Manager at Sensormatic Solutions. His job is to lead a global team of quality assurance engineers in testing their suite of data, software, and hardware products and enable them to consistently produce the highest quality solutions using SaaS, on-premises, and other delivery models. During his tenure at Sensormatic Solutions, Adeeb has become responsible for developing a QA center of excellence using an automated first approach, increasing the adoption of best practices and creating an efficient, data-driven team.

There have been several instances in the past week alone where mabl has captured failures that were actually bugs. These bugs were captured in features that may not have necessarily been tested in extensive detail because they weren’t part of the impacted areas for our current release. Adeeb Valiulla, Quality Assurance Manager, Sensormatic Solutions

Finding the Perfect Automation Tool for a Rapidly Changing Application

Accelerating test automation became a major focus for the QA team at Sensormatic Solutions, as manual regression testing had become costly and represented a bottleneck to faster production releases. The team had stringent requirements for an automation tool—it would need to be intuitive enough for users to work on without prior coding experience, and it needed to extend their test coverage from end to end.

The team initially used an open-source test automation tool, but the seams quickly began to show. Using this tool, the team was only able to achieve between 50% to 60% test coverage. The team would usually spend up to 40 hours manually performing regression tests. In addition, tests would often break once written, and testers would have to manually perform failure analysis and break-fix before running tests again. This represented an unacceptable drain on time and resources.

Because Sensormatic Solutions constantly releases new features and changes the look of its UI, the QA team was forced to redesign their tests every time an element changed position. They needed a testing solution that could self-heal in response to UI changes in addition to other requirements for an automated testing solution.

The team eventually settled on mabl following a successful POC. Adeeb reports that the mabl team was extremely supportive, providing extensive training sessions—including an in-person session at their offices in Chicago. The success of the early relationship turned out to be a harbinger of good things to come.

The Trainer is one of my favorite features in mabl. Being able to click and record steps not only saves time but allows us to create more user-like journeys within the test steps. Also being able to rename steps, add conditionals, API testing, JavaScript steps right in the trainer as we write our UI functional tests saves so much time. Adeeb Valiulla, Quality Assurance Manager, Sensormatic Solutions

Using mabl to Rapidly Increase Deployments, Find More Bugs, and Slash Costs

Right now, Sensormatic Solutions has fully implemented mabl within its QA test environment. mabl integrates with their issue tracking tool to create a bug report with attached screenshots upon a failed test, and their communication tool, which sends notifications when tests are started, failed, and passed. The team is also working to integrate mabl with their version control repository, continuous integration tool, and the CI/CD pipeline as a whole. Sensormatic Solutions is using mabl to run UI verification, mailbox, API, and data table tests.

Adeeb’s team has seen immediate results from mabl implementation. The team has been able to achieve 96% test coverage—up from a maximum of 60%—and is rapidly driving towards 100%. Test creation that used to take a full week of work (40 hours) now takes just one day. They are finding more bugs in testing phases, reducing production bugs by around 50%, and have taken the brakes off their deployment cycle. For the Sensormatic Solutions Market Intelligence platform, Adeeb's team has been able to help the development team increase production deployment by 300%.

The QA team has found that mabl doesn’t just produce great results—it’s also been a pleasure to work with. The mabl Trainer helps the team more accurately reproduce the user journey, and using it is as simple as a single click. This is easily one of their favorite features. 

Branching is also valuable. Adeeb says, “The ability to maintain the master branch of a test by updating, enhancing, fixing it within the branch is not only a time saver but also makes it easier for peer reviews and version control.” Meanwhile, the option to use reusable test flows has proved to be a force multiplier for the QA team. Instead of writing one test every four days, the team was able to create five tests in two days by reusing flows and then tweaking their steps.

Being able to test the API in a UI test, sending GET, PUT and DELETE requests as the UI test is running really provides us with an end to end testing solution that we did not have before. Adeeb Valiulla, Quality Assurance Manager, Sensormatic Solutions

Lastly, the auto-healing function has been an enormous time-saver for the QA team. Because mabl can keep track of visual changes and shifting elements within an application, there’s no need to rework tests every time there’s a new release. Instead, mabl keeps up with every change, allowing the QA team to write tests that cover every possible aspect of the UI.

Adeeb has already observed that mabl is poised to grow alongside Sensormatic Solutions. Future changes are likely to bring even more functionality as Adeeb works to integrate automated testing with their CI/CD tool, create automated tests, and add more robust API tests. Adeeb believes that mabl’s scalability will continue to contribute to competitiveness, efficiency, reputation, and quality within the Sensormatic Solutions platform.

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