More and more people reserve airline tickets using the internet, so travel agency and airline companies must focus on their website as the quality of the website represents the company and the quality of their services. From our experience, there are two important factors for airline software testing in ensuring their overall quality; system integration and business rules implementation.
Systems Integration Testing
Travel booking services are usually based on one of the following: Global Distribution System (GDS), also sometimes called Computer Reservation System (CRS), and the Internet Booking Engine (IBE) combined with a payment system. Each of these components has evolved over time to have more and more functionality as well as complexity. As is the case with any system with multiple components, their integration is critical so requirements need to be specified clearly along with testing requirements. One method to alleviate this situation and avoid unexpected issues in systems interaction is using a simple test harness that can efficiently call on every interface with variables and parameters so that issues can be quickly detected.
In addition, GDS/CRS and payment systems have very strict tolerances for performance. Slow response when retrieving information may result in the UI not rendering correctly or a failed ticket transaction, so seamless integration with low overhead is critical.
Testing Business Rules Implementation
Customized business rules, packaging and pricing rules should be accurately implemented in the booking process. Parameters such as passenger amount limitation, infant tax calculation, selling insurance policy, loyalty service, etc., each as individual rules and in combination leads to complexities in test case design. So domain knowledge is required. For instance, the rule for destination and insurance needs to be applied so that certain destinations are not provided a flight insurance option depending on rules and regulations which could change in the backend system as well. The rebooking process increases the booking process complexity further.
Additionally, processes in a ticketing system are not serial. A variety of business rules and systems’ mutual and concurrent calls within the booking process should all be taken into account using a coherent test strategy. Functionality, adherence to regulations, and ease of use (preventing user mistakes) are critical quality factors when designing the test strategy and plan. A smart test strategy should also account for:
- End user preferences including browser and behavior.
- Test case design using orthogonal analysis, cause-effect graphing, state transition, etc depending on the user scenario and application functionality design.
Since the competition in the travel industry is intense, a minute mistake may result in loss of customers and might even result in heavy losses, so make sure your strategy and test plan has all the bases covered.