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The 5000 transactions in a row test

Since launching our terminal testing robot, we have developed numerous automated tests covering EMV L3 certification and most of regression testing. However, there is one very simple test that itself redeems the cost of buying a robot: the 5000 transactions in a row test.

So what is this magic test? It is simply performing 5000 transactions in a row on a eftpos terminal. Just do it and see what happens.

We have done this with all the terminal models that we support with our application. That is 76 different models from the leading global terminal manufacturers. Guess what happened? Not one single terminal survived the test. They all crashed at some stage during test execution.

What does this tell us? Has no tester ever attempted a 5000 transactions in a row test? Why not? Because a manual transaction test of 5000 transactions would take about 10- 15 days. It is hard to find a person that would execute 5000 transactions in a row and stays focused on supervising terminal behavior. After an eight hour shift, your tester would go home and leave the terminal as it is. Overnight and with no supervision, terminals reboot or do other cleanup jobs. Therefore, it is very hard to perform this test.

24-hour-tests

With our robot however, you can perform this test easily. The robot works 24 hours a day and the whole test only takes approximately two days. What will happen? You will see a lot of errors throughout all layers of your terminal application: memory leaks, driver crashes, firmware modules that stop working, database overflows, memory overflows and other regular bugs.

These days, we perform the 5000 transactions test frequently for all supported terminal models. To pass this test successfully for the first time, it took us several days, up to a month, depending on the terminal. Once those bugs are fix and you pass the test, you can be sure that you have a very stable terminal.

With this simple test we found an average of 70 issues per terminal. More that 50% were due to low level firmware issues that needed to be fixed by the terminal manufacturer. After fixing the issues the terminals are running more reliably and customer feedback is very positive. This test will find a lot of low level bugs and fixing those will be a benefit for all higher layers of the software. After all, a stable platform improves your application development.

This single test makes it worth buying a testing robot and automating your testing. Avoiding the cost of having to replace 100 terminals in field due to a software bug means you have already paid for the robot.

We recommend to starting with this test while experimenting with automated testing. Reason being you can easily build this test in minutes and start letting the robot work for you.

Please share you experiences with testing, especially what happened to your terminals after performing the 5000 transactions in a row test.

Daniel Eckstein

Daniel is the CEO and Founder of Abrantix, a visionary, lateral thinker and the driving force behind Abrantix. With his other partners he has developed the company into a leader in payment software engineering.

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