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Oracle is to bundle Mercury Interactive's testing tools into Oracle E-Business Suite. The purpose of this is to encourage customers to actually carry out some testing before they expose their online applications to an unsuspecting user community.

The announcement heralds the availability of a Test Starter Kit based upon the capabilities from Mercury Interactive. This means the inclusion of reusable test plans and scripts that reflect the work regularly carried out by Oracle's own engineers.

The Test Starter Kit will be available within release 11.5.7 of the E-Business Suite Rapid Install. There is an additional upgrade package for Oracle 11i that is available immediately and consists of Mercury's performance testing, functional testing and regression testing tools as well as some consulting services.

So the big question is whether Oracle is feeling some pain from customers who are implementing their e-business applications without adequate testing and has felt the need to address the problem. The alternative is that this is a simple extension to the applications environment that is designed to add value to an Oracle 11i solution.

Clearly, Oracle recognises the need for applications to be properly tested so this is not just another of those cosy partnership announcements. There is actually quite a lot more than originally meets the eye. There is a great deal of experience that has gone into the Test Starter Kit.

The most important parts of the announcement are that the development is based upon the work being done every day by Oracle's own people and that the test plans and scripts are strong templates that can be reused repeatedly. It is another example of a major vendor that is looking to see which parts of its own implementation processes can be automated. Between them Oracle and Mercury Interactive have come up with a foundation that will allow businesses to carry out much more rigorous testing than is the norm, and in a way that should not make excessive demands on application builders.

Once the plans are in place, of course, they can be used over and over again for each new release of Oracle software or when new application developments are put into place. As always, the investment in testing capabilities has long term benefits and this is what Oracle has bought into.

From MI's point of view, this can be seen as another success in its strategy to become the absolute leader in application management and testing. It already dominates the market for testing tools but it has been working hard to increase the size of that market through partnerships with application providers.

This is a big step forward for Mercury Interactive, in terms of increasing availability and awareness of testing and monitoring of applications, and for Oracle in terms of helping its customers to deliver better quality solutions.

© IT-Analysis.com.

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