CA Technologies [NASDAQ:CA]: Mastering the Application Economy with DevOps

Jeff Scheaffer, General Manager, Continuous Delivery “It’s a fantastic time to be in the technology industry today. We are in the middle of the third wave of companies disruptively adopting technology,” notes Jeff Scheaffer, General Manager of the Continuous Delivery Business Unit at CA Technologies. The first wave that hit the market was during the 60s when businesses started to digitize paper processes and adopt mainframe, especially around financial systems. In the 90s, the shift toward adopting enterprise systems like ERP, CRM, and automation of supply chain further changed the face of business processes. Today, the third wave of application economy that drives digital revolution is transforming business models. Companies are now highly dependent upon their ability to deliver applications with superior user experience that ultimately determines their competitiveness in the market.

By stitching agility and continuous delivery together, CA Technologies [NASDQA:CA] helps customers succeed in this era where software is being incorporated into all aspects of businesses and life. “Our goal is to help organizations develop applications and experiences that excite and engage their customers,” expresses Scheaffer. To achieve this goal, the company integrates continuous testing into an end-to-end continuous delivery ecosystem that enables uninterrupted flow of ideas from design to operations faster, without compromising on quality while delivering desired user functionality. The company's next-generation, integrated solutions enable test environment simulation, automatic test case creation, on demand test data management, SaaS-based performance testing, and open source integrations.

Simulating Test Environment

With a strong emphasis on CA’s continuous testing and deployment of applications, Scheaffer has an interesting take on how CA is addressing an environment where technology is exceedingly merging real world with the virtual environment. As the world is going gaga over Pokémon, where the players use their device GPS and camera to capture and train virtual creatures, Scheaffer draws similarity between the concept of the game and application development and testing teams creating test cases. “The test cases combine the real world (applications under test) with virtual applications and services (the Pokémon) to represent unavailable components and remove bottlenecks,” he explains. Similarly, CA Service Virtualization simulates unavailable systems across the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), allowing developer, tester, integration, and performance teams to work in parallel for faster delivery and higher application quality and reliability. By simulating test environments, CA Service Virtualization not only helps detect and correct problems early within SDLC, but significantly reduces cost by eliminating the need to maintain test environments, as these services, once created, can be used over and over again for testing purposes. Also, organizations no longer have to pay for third-party application licenses or services.

AutoTrader, one of CA’s clients, sells advertising that allows private and trade buyers and sellers exchange vehicles.

Our goal is to help organizations develop applications and experiences that excite and engage their customers

A decade ago, AutoTrader used to release just four web services updates each year, and today it aims to release one almost every week, which is a key differentiator for the company. However, as the functionality of the site and the variety of devices it supported grew, software testing became more complex, costly, and time-consuming for AutoTrader. CA came onboard with its Service Virtualization solution that enabled AutoTrader to virtualize and test new services and apps on a multitude of devices. Above all, the client reduced software defects by 25 percent and cut testing times by 99 percent.

Democratizing Performance Testing

As continuous testing gains broad recognition as the key enabler of continuous delivery across industries, CA is moving towards democratizing performance testing with CA BlazeMeter. The SaaS-based performance testing tool can run massively scalable tests against all apps, ranging from web and mobile apps to micro-services and APIs. CA BlazeMeter is an easy-to-use, free-to-try solution, and is 100 percent compatible with open-source testing engines like Apache JMeter, Selenium, Gatling, and Locust. It facilitates the shifting of test efforts to the design phase to ensure that the code is tested for performance at every stage of SDLC. With this solution, developers and performance engineers are assured of maximum test coverage and can avoid encountering performance problems too close to production. Further, CA BlazeMeter is seamlessly integrated with the company’s Application Performance Management (APM) tool which shares performance testing scripts developed during pre-production of the software to be actually used in the production process. In addition to ensuring that the software is delivering expected performance, the information shared dramatically reduces the cost of development and maintenance. “By integrating CA BlazeMeter with our APM tool, we are able to gather deep diagnostic information that allows us to isolate the exact problem causing the performance issue and thereby help improve productivity,” says Scheaffer.

Stance is a small fashion e-Commerce retailer that could easily maintain an infrastructure that supported their everyday traffic and holiday online shopping spikes. But then the day came that they signed Rihanna to promote her special edition “Rihanna Socks” and they knew they would see unprecedented traffic to their site. Time was the challenge as Stance had only two months to prepare for the promotion and the load testing had to wait for the final design—by the time the site was ready they would have only five days to test. CA BlazeMeter’s fast setup and SaaS-based platform allowed Stance to load test 10x their normal level of traffic. And the traffic level they tested proved to be real. On the day that Rihanna tweeted about the Rihanna socks, the site received an immediate 10x spike that lasted 18 hours. At its peak, Stance sustained over 100,000 simultaneous users per second, with hundreds of thousands of requests. Before CA BlazeMeter, the Stance site could only handle 500 concurrent users per second.

Ensuring Quality of Apps with Quality Data

An application is as good as the quality of data used for testing.
As such, creating the right test data in the right place, at the right time plays an integral role. CA Test Data Manager is a sought-after solution for organizations striving to automatically and quickly find, create, and provision the data needed for testing. The solution uniquely combines elements of data sub-setting, masking, and generating synthetic, on-demand data to enable testing teams to meet the agile needs of the organizations. Companies can now model their data and identify exact data required for rigorous testing using sophisticated visualization and coverage analysis. Meeting compliance requirement is made easy with high-performance data masking that mitigates the risk of a data breach. Automated data profiling finds sensitive data across systems, while native masking engines de-identify millions of rows of complex data in minutes. Further, by synthetically generating data, testers can get the smallest amount of data needed to attain 100 percent functional coverage. Data is linked directly to test cases and stored as re-usable assets in a test data warehouse. When provisioned, it is cloned and fully versioned, allowing teams to work on multiple versions in parallel.

"We’re the only vendor that seamlessly integrates proven consulting, training and tooling to help customers master agile software development and fuel their digital business strategies"

Manheim, one of the world’s leading vehicle remarketing providers, registers nearly seven million used vehicles annually and facilitates transactions representing almost $46 billion in value. To be more agile and to take market share, the company moved their financial workloads to a cloud platform. The migration from a batch-processing system to one that operates in near real time would allow Manheim to accelerate remittances and payments, resulting in an improved customer experience. But this initiative required huge volumes of test data. Prior to deploying CA Test Data Manager, it would take their teams to up to a week to get the test data they needed. Now it is completed in just a few hours. Additionally, Manheim achieved $1.1 million in savings in year one, and reduced the hours spent collecting test data about 11,800.

Making most of Application Economy

CA has heavily invested in functional and performance testing, and as a step toward further strengthening continuous testing with Application Security Testing (AST), the company has recently acquired the software code security specialist, Veracode. Through this partnership, CA will have a superior SaaS-based AST software, which can also perform static testing detecting potential vulnerabilities in custom code, third party applications, and open-source components. “While non-functional testing was always considered as an afterthought, today it plays an integral part in defining user experience,” says Scheaffer.

As organizations continue to rely heavily on the performance and reliability of testing tools to achieve competitive advantage, Scheaffer notes that tooling alone is not enough to transform businesses. Technology accompanied by extensive experience makes all the difference and therefore, CA gives clients access to the industry’s most experienced agile coaches and consultants, in addition to CA Agile Central, an enterprise-class platform. CA Agile Central behaves as a hub for teams to collaboratively plan, prioritize, and track work in a synchronized manner. “We’re the only vendor that seamlessly integrates proven consulting, training, and technology to help clients master agile software development and fuel their digital business strategies.” By leveraging the depth of solutions and expertise possessed by the company, CA aims to help clients make the most of the application economy.

CA Technologies

New York, NY

Jeff Scheaffer, General Manager, Continuous Delivery

Helping customers thrive in the new application economy by delivering the means to deploy, monitor, and secure their applications and infrastructure

Whitepapers of CA Technologies

CA Technologies