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July 15, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

While computer-aided software testing remains an unglamorous and oft-forgotten part of software development, its profile should be raised a little by the emergence of repositories. For the life cycle is simply not complete without its testing and maintenance tools, a point that many software engineering tools vendors have not really taken on board. One software testing company fast off the starting blocks into the CASE race is Compuware Inc with its Command Centre product. The product has been designed to work within IBM Corp’s AD/Cycle strategy and offers a single, intelligent and integrated computer-aided software testing management system for applications development and maintenance. Peter Sedgwick, Compuware UK’s marketing manager, claims that Command Centre is the first process controller for software testing. Compuware is primarily a mainframe software house – although it has recently started moving onto the desktop with its MS-DOS File-AID/PC product and, consequently, Command Centre relies on 3270 communications to automate AD/Cycle testing for mainframe applications. Command Centre offers a single interface to four areas of software testing: file and data manipulation, automated testing, fault diagnosis and interactive debugging. The product has been developed for users who may not have a high level of technical testing knowledge. For example, once the user has chosen the required testing function, Command Centre automatically selects the most appropriate tool, positions the user at the right place within the tool and automatically presents all relevant information to correct the error. The only problem with this tool is that it is really designed for use with a repository so that it can interface with CASE tools, and, for Compuware, the only repository in town has to be IBM’s. Except that IBM’s Repository is only a dust cloud on the horizon at the moment, so Compuware is joining the merry band of vendors talking to Bourne End, Buckinghamshire-based Software One Ltd with a view to plugging Command Centre into Exchange. Hence by the time Command Centre ships sometime later this year, it will interface to many software engineering tools and will ultimately plug into IBM’s Repository when it eventually arrives. – Katy Ring

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