Automation Test Data Generation for DNA Analysis System

Our client creates biotechnologies to research DNA. One of their inventions is a system for DNA sequencing, which is perfected an well put. According to MIT, the company holds third place in the list of 50 smartest companies of 2016 and it continues to develop.

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Business problem

Our client’s priority task was an automatic examination of laboratory information management system (LIMS) in order to automate information management of genetic blood analysis.
The information management stretches from application filling to genetic material analysis, and to the moment doctor receives the results.

The assembly line analysis required meticulous testing, which should have been in accordance with the United States Department of Health and Human Services requirements.

A rack under test contains 96 test tubes (4 of them are control samples); every one of it is examined by 30 variants of one test. Manual test scenario preparation for a test tube took up to 4 hours (the test data had to satisfy special conditions during combination). Therefore the company needed to reduce the test data generation time, as well as business process verification.

Moreover, the system should not be prone to errors, because any disinformation about client’s health can lead to serious consequences for him and his relatives; also, the company’s positive image can be lost.

Here are the problems that needed a solution:

  • Automation of test data generation;
  • Verification of the genetic analysis’ life cycle;
  • Dependency examination for analysis parameters and results;
  • System’s precision examination.

PFLB's solution

We automated the following processes during the project:

  • test data creation;
  • testing for genetic blood analysis.

We used the following tools:

  • Selenium WebDriver (as automation testing tool);
  • Java programming language (in order to write autotests);
  • C# programming language (in order to run the tests).

Given the intensive system development (our client deploys updates every 2-3 weeks, and regularly releases patches), the approach increased the testing performance by the factor of 40. At the moment the autotests run every night.

The automation system discovers major bugs in time. For instance, we have discovered the following bugs:

  • performance decrease after changes in the system functionality and database structure;
  • Jerrors in analysis results;
  • input analysis data differed in the doctor’s report.

Advantages for the client

Automation of test data generation reduced preparation time from 4 to 2 hours increasing the test coverage by the factor of 12. The project improved testing process; it also jettisoned a set of critical bugs on the level of genetic material research.

Furthermore, the client used PFLB’s automated testing reports as supporting documents for yearly certification by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.