"Concur never had a UI-driven automated strategy and now we do with Applitools. It's a huge net to fall back on." — Peter Kim, Senior Software Engineer at Concur.
Concur is a global travel and expense management company headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. Recently acquired by SAP in an $8.3 billion dollar deal, Concur's integrated platform helps employees automatically manage invoices, travel bookings and expenses. Concur works with small businesses to Fortune 500 companies across a wide range of industries — from healthcare to education to biotech — but it's the US Federal Government that is the single biggest client, with thousands of employees using the software regularly from across the world.
With that user base, providing a seamless user experience across multiple devices would be reason enough to prioritize and implement UI test automation. But Concur is also unique in that it allows its users to customize the look and feel of the UI based on their company branding. As a result, hundreds of UI versions of the Concur dashboard have been deployed — all with their own permutations of elements to test.
"Our field is very competitive. Today we provide support for 20 localizations and in the next 12-18 months, we will support more than 30," says Peter Kim, Senior Software Engineer at Concur. "We have to follow strict standards for our government clients but on the commercial side, we also have to make sure the UI is spick and span. The questions becomes, how do you test all this?"
The QA team at Concur already had Selenium in place when they met Applitools at the 2015 STPCon. But they needed more assurance around the UI results of their localization testing process, says Peter. Namely, that the visual elements and expected UI behavior appeared correctly in the various language versions of the web and mobile app.
Peter and the QA team set out to integrate Applitools with Scout UI, their existing test framework and to automate their localization testing. One of the biggest things they hoped Applitools would solve was catching tests that passed functionally but had visual bugs.
"It's common to look on a page for the element so you can perform an action," Peter says. "But most people neglect to think about what they shouldn't see. So you end up getting a lot of tests that pass functionally but not visually."
They also wanted to reduce the reliance on manual testing for localization testing. Prior to Applitools, Concur had to find and hire testers proficient in the language of the site that needed to be updated or deployed to manually test the visual elements on the page. They wanted to automate this and establish a repeatable and scalable UI strategy for localization testing.
Applitools quickly solved the problem of having to manually check for UI issues, even after the functional tests passed. Engineers stopped having to rely on elements that shouldn't have been there, freeing them up for more feature development.
Applitools also helped Concur establish a solid methodology for visual testing for localization. "I believe no one was using automated visual testing for localization," Peter says. "Concur never had a UI-driven automated strategy before this, and now we do."
With Applitools providing automated UI test coverage, location-specific changes can now go out quickly and with the assurance that gives everyone in the organization peace of mind. It's quite common, Peter says, for an email to go out to the team for a specific customer request in, say, Japan, asking for a change to a theme or field specific to users in that country. They'll work on it right away, kick off the automated testing, and deploy soon after in true continuous delivery fashion.
"It's expensive to do localization testing," Peter says. "It's hard to find people who know the language and to visually test the images, the layout, the special themes. This is a perfect fit for Applitools."