Credem wanted to automate a manual and time-consuming application testing process to improve performance and achieve a faster time-to-market. It needed to improve the test data quality, while respecting data privacy in the highly regulated banking industry.
Banks such as Credem demand that IT supports key business objectives, maximizes customer satisfaction, and meets all forms of governance and compliance requirements, especially in this highly regulated industry. To achieve this, IT must offer the highest levels of application quality; and this means a rigorous, comprehensive and security-conscious testing and QA infrastructure. But how can IT deliver business value through application quality, while it has to respect data privacy rules and work within the constraints of its infrastructure? Ernesto Centrella, Test Department Manager at Credem explains: “We wanted to save disk space, while accelerating the data alignment process from the production to the test environments. This was a manual and time-consuming process with our application managers having to certify that the data had been fully masked and was data privacy compliant before moving it into a test environment. We also needed to improve performance and achieve a faster time-to-market by reducing the testing preparation and execution time. We wanted to improve the testing data quality, while respecting privacy.”
Local services provider SI.DE. Soft, a key partner for Credem, took charge of the project and soon highlighted OpenText™ Data Express which has a special focus on data masking and data subsetting; features Credem was very interesting in. Using Data Express, a process was put in place where any data which could reveal a customer’s identity was automatically masked in the test environment. Test environments were set up in parallel with the production environment, creating a repeatable and reliable test environment to support all testing activities. Tests are carried out on test data and the results are verified by analyzing the impact on the various files. With the flexibility Data Express offers, every product process was adapted to Credem’s specific needs, using custom APIs and exit routine mechanisms.
Giulio Ferretti, Technical Test Analyst at Credem, comments on the use of Data Express: “We like that we can manage our different platforms and databases from a single central repository. The Data Life Cycle feature locates every new entity (a new or changed data structure) and catalogs it in the repository, minimizing rework.”
Data Express provides extraction simulation to show elapsed time, CPU consumption, and test data storage capacity requirements. This helps prevent errors occurring during the extraction of production data. It uses the source data index to improve performance. Parallel processes can be executed so that the overall elapsed time is much shorter.
Data Express allows Credem to improve the testing process by rapidly and consistently providing test data when needed and in the required format. Ferretti comments: “In some cases we manage particularly sensitive data, such as US fiscal codes. The built-in flexibility in Data Express has made this easy for us.”
In some cases we manage particularly sensitive data, such as US fiscal codes. The built-in flexibility in Data Express has made this easy for us.
Using Data Express, the testing environment now uses the exact same data quality as the production environment, making it possible to reproduce test cases which couldn’t be certified before. This means the testing data quality has improved resulting in higher quality applications with far fewer issues in production.
The data subsetting within Data Express has allowed faster testing processes, improving the time-to-market of business applications.
Thanks to the data protection provided by data masking, Credem can now open up its systems to allow its partners to test their applications directly on the relevant environments, with no risk to data compliance whatsoever.
Centrella on the benefits: “With Data Express we have seen a reduction of 80% in our testing environment storage requirements. As we run in a mainframe environment, this is a direct MIPS saving for us. We have also achieved a 50% performance improvement for our batch testing processes. This translates to a faster time-to-market with higher quality applications. With the automation in place to generate and maintain test environment data, our developers can focus on developing and testing new functionality to cover Credem’s business needs.”
He concludes: “We have gained savings in many areas: disk space costs, MIPS/CPU usage, a more stable production environment, and a faster time-to-market for our business applications. Best of all though, Micro Focus (now OpenText™) and SI.DE. Soft helped minimize any compliance risk to data privacy. They have given us the confidence that our data is secure and fully compliant.”
With Data Express we have seen a reduction of 80% in our testing environment storage requirements. As we run in a mainframe environment, this is a direct MIPS saving for us. We have also achieved a 50% performance improvement for our batch testing processes.
Credito Emiliano S.p.A. (Credem) is ranked as the 18th largest bank in Italy by total assets. The bank has several divisions, including retail banking, corporate banking, and private banking.