Baltic Technology Group: Experiences from the AB Suite 7.0 Beta Test
With the release of Agile Business Suite (AB Suite®) 7.0 upon us, we thought it would be interesting to see how the efforts of one of our key beta testers helped to shape the software you see today. To that end, read on to learn what long-time AB Suite user Baltic Technology Group (BTG) experienced during their time testing AB Suite 7.0.
BTG’s participation in beta testing dates back to 1999, when the company’s specialists joined the team at the Australia Center for Unisys Software (ACUS) to assist with the testing of EAE 3.2. Since that time 20 years ago, BTG has field tested numerous EAE releases and participated in the beta tests for all AB Suite releases.
The BTG team for the AB Suite 7.0 beta test was managed by a senior EAE/AB Suite consultant and included an EAE/AB Suite system administrator and three AB Suite developers. The team participated in the Beta 2 test in February of 2018, as well as the Beta 4 test in October of the same year.
BTG followed a three-stage plan during their beta tests:
- Create the test environment and install the new version of AB Suite
- Load, build, deploy, and test model files of varying sizes
- Develop the Sample and Andablio Chocsys training systems
Here’s what they experienced…
Creating the Test Environment
BTG installed AB Suite 7.0 on a virtual machine running Microsoft® Windows® 10 Professional Enterprise (x64), Microsoft SQL Server® 2017 Enterprise Edition, and Microsoft Visual Studio® 2017. The team did not encounter any substantial problems during this stage. And, they found the updated AB Suite Qualification Matrix to be a helpful reference during this initial test stage.
Loading, Building, Deploying, and Testing
During the second stage, BTG loaded, built, and deployed two medium and two large system models:
- AA: medium model, approximately 100 MB (.mdl),
with 404 Ispecs and 561 Reports
- BB: medium model, approximately 200 MB (.mdl)
- CC: large model, approximately 560 MB (.mdl),
with 1,500 Ispecs and 1,025 Reports
- DD: large model, approximately 600 MB (.mdl)
Overall, the team didn’t run into any serious problems during this portion of the testing. They did face one issue related to the Template property replacing the Inherits that was addressed with some assistance from the
Unisys engineering team.
Developing the Sample System
Three of BTG’s AB Suite programmers developed the standard Sample and Andablio Chocsys training systems, giving them an opportunity to compare results and re-test certain functionality multiple times. Their focus keyed on testing ASP.NET Web Forms, ASP.NET Web Services, VB.NET Win Forms, and the Agile Business Suite Client Framework.
As a result of this intensive effort, the team opened one improvement suggestion with the Unisys engineering team, who promptly provided a useful workaround until the fixes were implemented.
BTG reports seeing several noteworthy improvements to the solution throughout the AB Suite 7.0 beta tests.
They were particularly impressed by the following new AB Suite 7.0 features:
- AB Suite Product Feature Modes (Standard, Advanced, User Experience)
- The ability to define extract files using the new “File” stereotype
- Improvements to Debugger performance
- The Template property that replaces the Inherits
The BTG team tells us they’re very much looking forward to introducing AB Suite 7.0 to their university students in the upcoming fall semester. And they’re already signing up for the next beta test!