Leading With Visual AI – Applitools Achievements In 2020

Getting Started — December 23, 2020

As we complete 2020, we want to share our take on the past year. We had a number of achievements in 2020. And, we celebrated a number of milestones.

Any year in review article must include the effects of the pandemic, along with the threats on social justice. We also want to give thanks to our customers for their support.

Achievements: Product Releases in 2020

Ultrafast Grid

Among our achievements in 2020, Applitools launched the production version of Ultrafast Grid and the Ultrafast Test Cloud Platform. With Ultrafast Grid, you can validate your UI across multiple desktop client operating systems, browsers, and viewport sizes using only a single test run. We take care of the validation and image management, and you don’t need to set up and manage that infrastructure.

Ultrafast Grid works so quickly because we assume your application uses a common server response for all your clients. You only need to capture one server response. Ultrafast Grid captures the DOM state each snapshot and compares that snapshot in parallel across every client/operating system/viewport combination you wish to test. A single test run means less server time. Parallel validation means less test time. Ultrafast Grid simultaneously increases your test coverage while reducing both your test run time and infrastructure requirements.

“Accelerating time to production without sacrificing quality has become table stakes for Agile and DevOps professionals, the team at Applitools has taken a fresh approach to cross browser testing with the Ultrafast Grid. While traditional cloud testing platforms are subject to false positives and slow execution, Applitools’ unique ability to run Visual AI in parallel containers can give your team the unfair advantage of stability, speed, and improved coverage. This modern approach to testing is something that all DevOps professionals should strongly consider.”

Igor Draskovic, VP, Developer Specialist at BNY Mellon

A/B Testing

We introduced a new feature to support A/B testing. As more of our customers use A/B testing to conduct live experiments on customer conversion and retention, Applitools now supports the deployment and visual validation of parallel application versions.

“A/B testing is a business imperative at GoodRx – it helps our product team deliver the absolute best user experience to our valued customers. Until now, our quality team struggled to automate tests for pages with A/B tests – we’d encounter false positives and by the time we wrote complex conditional test logic, the A/B test would be over. Applitools implementation of A/B testing is incredibly easy to set up and accurate. It has allowed our quality team to align and rally behind the business needs and guarantee the best experience for our end-users.”

Priyanka Halder, Sr. Manager, Quality Engineering at GoodRx

GitHub, Microsoft, and Slack Integrations

Applitools now integrates with Slack, adding to our range of application and collaboration integrations. Applitools can now send alerts to your engineering team members, including highlights of changes and the test runs on which they occurred.

As a company, we also announced integrations with GitHub Actions and Microsoft Visual Studio App Center.  The integrations allow developers to seamlessly add Visual AI-powered testing to every build and pull request (PR), resulting in greater UI version control and improved developer workflows. As we have seen, this integration into the software build workflow provides visual testing at code check-in time. Instead of waiting for end-to-end tests to expose rendering problems and conflicts, developers can use Applitools to validate prior to code merge.

“We’re excited to welcome Applitools to the GitHub Partner Program and for them to expand their role within the GitHub ecosystem. Applitools’ Visual AI powered testing platform and GitHub’s automated, streamlined developer workflow pair perfectly to support our shared vision of making it easier to ship higher quality software, faster.”

Jeremy Adams, Director of Business Development and Alliances at GitHub

Auto Maintenance and Smart Assist

We also introduced major improvements with Auto Maintenance and Smart Assist. With Smart Assist, we help you deploy your tests to address unique visual test challenges, such as dynamic data and graphical tests. With Auto Maintenance, you can validate an intended visual change in one page of your application and then approve that change on every other page where that change occurs. If you update your logo or your color scheme, you can validate identical changes across your entire application in one click. Smart Assist and Auto Maintenance reduce the time and effort you need to maintain your visual tests – saving hours of effort in your development and release process.

“We use Applitools extensively in our regression testing at Branch. Visual AI is incredibly accurate, but equally impressive are the AI-powered maintenance features. With the volume of tests that we run, the time savings that the AI auto-maintenance features afford us are extensive.”

Joe Emison, CTO at Branch Financial

Achievements: Milestones in 2020

Applitools also achieved a number of major milestones in 2020.

1,000,000,000 Page Images Collected

We recorded one billion page images collected across our customer base. Many of our customers now include Applitools validation as part of every CICD check-in and build. You will find out more in our customer insights discussion, below. We celebrated that achievement earlier in 2020.

Test Automation University

We launched Test Automation University (TAU) as a way to help expand test knowledge among practitioners. Among our achievements in 2020, TAU now has over 50 courses to teach test techniques and programming languages. You can take any of these courses free of charge. Whether you are an experienced test programmer or just getting started, you will find a range of courses to match your interests and abilities. We introduced 19 new courses in 2020. We also saw significant numbers of new students using Test Automation University. In early 2020, we announced that we had 35,000 students taking courses. Later in the year we celebrated reaching the 50,000 user milestone. Look forward to another announcement in early 2021.

Hackathons

In 2019, Applitools launched our Visual AI Rockstar Hackathon. Hackathon participants ran a series of test cases comparing legacy locator-based functional testing with Applitools visual validation. In 2020, we shared the results of that Hackathon.  Engineers wrote tests faster, wrote test code that ran more quickly, and wrote tests that required less maintenance over time. We were able to show your achievements in 2020.

Also in 2020, we hosted a cross browser test hackathon.  Participant results demonstrated that Ultrafast Grid sets up more easily than a traditional farm of multiple browsers. The real value of Ultrafast Grid, though, comes with test maintenance as applications update over time. In November, we hosted a hackathon based on a retail shopping application. We look forward to sharing the insights from that hackathon in early 2021.

Future of Testing

Lastly in 2020 Applitools launched the Future of Testing Conference. Applitools gathered engineering luminaries across a range of industries and companies – from brand names like Microsoft and Sony to tech leaders like GoodRX and Everfi. Their stories show how companies continue to deliver quality products more quickly by using the right approaches and the right tools. Applitools has planned more Future of Testing Conferences for 2021.

Achievement: Customer Growth In 2020

Another of our achievements in 2020 involved customers. We want to thank our customers for their commitment to using Applitools in 2020. Not only did we pass the 1,000,000,000 page capture mark, but we also learned about the many exciting ways our customers are using Applitools.

During the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, our customers have appreciated how we have worked to ensure that they continued to get full use and value from Applitools. Though our support team worked largely from home during the year, we used tools to ensure that our customers got the support they needed to succeed with Applitools.

We continued to see our existing customers use more and more page checks over time. A number of companies run Applitools to validate code check-in on daily, and even hourly, code builds. Our customers are also using Applitools to validate component libraries they are building and modifying in React, Angular, and Vue.

We also saw a large number of companies experimenting with and adopting Cypress for development validation. Some companies used Cypress in development to complement an existing Selenium test infrastructure. Others were starting their Cypress validation in new areas or on new products.

Our World in Review – 2020

While many issues affected the world in 2020, two dominated the Applitools world.

The first issue, the COVID-19 pandemic, required our team to work from home for much of the year. Dan Levy offered his suggestions on how to work from home more efficiently.  As we continued to work remotely, we saw how the pandemic affected our team and the world around us. At this point, all of us know people who have been infected. Some in our circles have been hospitalized. And, some have died.

As a company, we are fortunate that Applitools has provided its employees with the ability to work from home. As a company, we want to thank the first responders and health care workers who cannot shelter in safety. We thank them for risking their lives to make all of us safe.

And, we also share condolences with those of you who have lost family, friends, and other loved ones in 2020.

The second issue, social justice, has continued to capture the spirit of our company and its employees. For 8 minutes 46 seconds, the world saw one human’s casual indifference while kneeling on another human’s neck. While not the only incident of 2020, the video of George Floyd’s struggle to live affected all of us. How can there be justice if our civil guardians cannot treat all of us equally? If we want a just world, we need to support those who advocate for social justice.

Applitools and its employees support creating a more just world for all. We continue to encourage our employees to support social justice movements for all. They can support Black Lives Matter, or any other organization actively combatting racism and injustice.

We know there are some who sow division for their own gain. As a company, we think we are stronger together.

Next Up – Customer Insights in 2020

In our next blog post, learn more about Applitools customers. We will share some details we learned about Applitools driving our customers’ productivity. We will be sharing more details in 2021 with a series of customer success stories. Before we release those, read our next blog post on customer insights. Learn how your peers and colleagues benefit from using our highly-accurate Visual AI infrastructure.

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