We developed Degust according to the needs of the network operators and OEMs. This supports the most efficient and flexible testing.
Here are some rules, which helped us to design the system.
Be as accurate as possible – from the user’s perspective
Users are interacting with the network by issuing calls, sending messages or using data (e.g. surfing, chatting or VoIP).
Most of the great end to end test tools are using real computer or phones to emulate user interactions. Degust runs the tests using purpose build hardware, checks the results and reports as required. There is a broad range of devices available for mobile operators, VoIP providers and fixed data networks to deal with e.g. the user’s CPE.
But this E2E testing only shows how the user experiences the network. It will never prove, whether the call or session was set up correctly at all.
Check whether the call or session was set up correctly – from the operator’s perspective
There are reasons, where the user sees the call established as expected, but without being authorized correctly. This could be an error (false positive) or simply the result of a ‘No error to the customer’-initiative of the operators. These operators have special rules applied to keep errors away from the customers.
Unfortunately, most of these cases also hide errors from the operator and therefore may desperately interfere with the operator’s profit.
Degust is equipped to look behind the scenes – into the operator’s systems. It will check, whether the call was set up correctly… in real time during the test. Degust will inform the operator about any error, even if the user wouldn’t report any error in real live.
Although one could argue that end to end testing is the holy grail of testing, it takes time…. a lot of time.
End to End testing is limited to the number of available non-shareable devices (UEs).
Being limited to end to end testing and required to test the consumption of 3 GByte of date, you need an available UE. Depending on the network capabilities at the location of the UE, this will take minutes or even hours. During this time, no other test can run on the same UE… just wait until it is finished.
The end to end session is the sum of user interaction and signaling within the operator’s network, at the core interfaces.
Degust is simulating these core interfaces and their protocols to pretend the consumption of the above mentioned 3 GByte. This significantly speeds up the test.
If you need to have an end to end view but you don’t have the time to wait that long, Degust will activate the session at the Global Client (UE for E2E) and in parallel is simulation the signaling of the data consumption to the OCS core interface. This again saves testing time and frees up the UE much earlier.
If the above test incorporates roaming, you may not want to retry these tests on and on again, as you may have to top up money on a prepaid account. While this again takes up valuable time, it also costs a fortune in international operator charges. Simulating the major part of the usage makes testing faster and affordable.
Simulating core interface protocols enables Degust to pretend situations, which may be hard or even impossible to test in E2E scenarios.
Degust could e.g. pretend to change time zones or networks between calls.
You could also run smoke tests, sending wrong or misleading information for troubleshooting, interoperability and stability tests.
In test bed environments, if a particular service is unavailable, Degust can jump in and take over the role of the service on interface level.
Interface to 3rd Party Systems
Although we have years of experience in network testing, Acctopus is not claiming to know any situation or any system in the operator’s network. But Degust is built to interface to any system – as long it provides an API, a CLI or a web browser front-end.
This helps to start processes, provision subscribers, start logging or tracing and gather evidence. Expect Degust to get all required information in just minutes.
Share Test Resources
Acctopus believes in sharing. With Degust, operators can use the very same tests during type acceptance sessions as well as during go live events.
This ensures, that the exact same Tests are used for activating a system to the customer as they have been used during integration tests.
This has some advantages:
- save time on defining new tests for test environments, staging and live systems
- feedback live tests into future tests in your test bed
- involve your OEM in your testing – they will love to get the tests from you
- start tests in CI and CD tasks by triggering the Degust API
As the Degust Cockpit is an in-browser application, you don’t even require installing local software and you never need to export/import tests between local test tool installations. Just configure your team and your resources and use the rights management of Degust to let OEMs or even contractors test the service.