Project Description

Zircon’s client had embarked on a major programme to ‘digitalise’ the MOT testing process. Computer terminals that would connect to our client’s central database had been introduced to MOT testing stations, so that information can be viewed by testers and test results can be sent directly back to our client. In a bid to improve efficiency, the system was to be enhanced to support the use of bespoke Handheld Devices.

The development of these devices was entrusted to a number of independent manufacturers. To ensure that these devices would communicate correctly with the existing computer terminals, without corruption or loss of test data, it was decided that each device was to be put through a Type Approval test.

As our client wished to limit their direct involvement in the Type Approval process, Zircon was asked to fulfil this role and carry out the Type approval of any developed devices.

Initially, Zircon worked alongside the client and one other project stakeholder to agree on the Type Approval Process. During this time, Type Approval Requirements were generated through the analysis and development of an existing set of Business Requirements.

Following on from the Business Requirements elicitation, a Type Approval Process Specification and Type Approval Test Specification were developed. These documents defined both the testing process in detail and each test required to satisfy the acceptance criteria.

To aid developers in ensuring their devices would interact successfully with the existing testing station equipment, Zircon were tasked with developing an Interface Test Tool. The tool was developed in C# and implements a stateless transaction based communications protocol using http requests and XML 1.0 responses over Ethernet. By simulating the interface to the testing station computer terminals, this tool allowed device developers to perform testing dry runs on their product as if connected to a live computer terminal.

With everything in place Zircon carried out the Type Approval testing of the Handheld Devices at our offices in Trowbridge, where there would be developers on hand to witness each test. Each successful device was awarded a certificate detailing its specific version number and recorded to allow Zircon to inform the client of its success.