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  1. Technology
July 17, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

Software testing is not glamourous and is an issue rarely addressed by the mainstream computer press, however, Peter Sedgwick of Compuware Corp believes that this is set to change. He believes that just as Japanese industry set an industrial trend by emphasising quality assurance, IBM’s AD/Cycle could bring software testing into the limelight. Sedgwick says that at present people don’t discuss software testing because companies rarely admit that they have lost money via a testing problem, however, as most software projects overrun, it is usually the testing phase that gets compromised. The only way this will change is if entire corporate organisations get involved in information technology. At present there is still far too much keyboard-phobia in the corporate environment and this relegates data processing departments to an extraneous role set aside from the business team. Such departments need board-level recognition, and when they get this recognition, then software testing will get its deserved recognition. And Sedgwick thinks that IBM’s push with AD/Cycle will help bring this about. Of course the Farmington Hills, Michigan company has been in the software testing business since 1977 when it launched its Abend-Aid product for fault diagnosis in the IBM mainframe environment. Since then, the product has been developed to address different areas such as DB2, CICS, IMS and OS/2, and has grown to the point where the testing phase needs a testing methodology to provide a foundation for the products. To this end Compuware has acquired Centura Software of San Jose, California for an undisclosed sum. While Abend-Aid helps to decipher what is wrong when a discrete program is run and blows up, Centura’s software Xpediter tests Cobol applications, for IBM mainframes, debugging them and looking for logic errors. Later this year, Compuware will release a product called Programmer Command Centre to provide an overall general testing methodology that embraces both companies’ products and is not tied specifically to any one vendor’s methodology. Sedg-wick claims that it will work with any front-end computer-aided software engineering tools or fourth generation language, providing them with the testing and maintenance phases of AD/Cycle. After the merger the Centura name will disappear. The two companies had a turnover of $140m in 1989 with a combined user base of 5,500 IBM mainframe sites.

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