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  1. Technology
June 10, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

Compared with the emphasis and investment concentrated on CASE, computer aided software development, the complementary technology, CAST which stands for computer aided software testing, has been strangely neglected. Or to put it another way, there is no point in spewing out the code if the design is not going to work in practice. That is the view of Steve Fagan, vice president of European operations of Compuware Ltd. He cites horrendous figures such as a recent Department of Trade and Industry report which said that UKP1m an hour in the UK is lost through software designs collapsing in practice. According to Fagan, Compuware has much to gain from the situation. It has been taking software testing, as a co-ordinated concept, seriously for some time, and the company believes it has now come up with a product that will make the idea a reality. Compuware Ltd is an American company based in Michigan, Detroit, with a turnover of $130m a year. The company has three operations: arms, professional services, systems software and educational resources, but its major revenue is generated from systems software. Historically, says Fagan, software testing has been a rather piecemeal affair with designers developing software solutions to testing problems after they occured. This has resulted in a lack of structure for testing and, says Fagan, fragmented product ranges, both in terms of what a company can buy from one supplier and in terms of what the products do and how they interact. Compuware claims to offer the broadest range of testing tools in the IBM mainframe environment, covering what Fagan defines as the four main areas of software testing: fault diagnosis, interactive debugging, data manipulation and simulation. He describes the company as a niche player in those four different areas, and believes that by remaining in a particular market they stay close to customer requirements and can therefore come up with the products people need. Within the next three months Compuware will be launching Command Centre, which will, claims the company, make structured software testing a reality. The Command Centre links all Compuware products together and enables them to talk to each other intelligently. There will be full function interchange between the products and the decision making will be done en route between them. They aim to provide integration on all aspects of software testing, ensuring that the testing of code is as thorough as its development.

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