How Finnish Tax Administration utilized open source test automation in their largest IT-project
For years, the Finnish Tax Administration has already been a pioneer in the way they run their public administration IT projects. The goal is always clear and defined: to ensure that taxation runs smoothly and without errors. Test automation is a critical function for the Tax Administration when it comes to the development of their entire system landscape.
There are enormous amounts of data from different sources. Those are handled in a versatile manner within the Tax Administration’s systems, before the data then goes forward from there. Testing around 150 different accounts has been the touchstone of the largest IT project of the 2000s in Finland. In a project called Valmis, which ran from 2013 – 2020, the Finnish Tax Administration set out to unify their business process system landscape onto a platform called GenTax. Copados test automation solution — based on the open source Robot Framework — was one of the project’s cornerstones.
When the Tax Administration was picking a solution for test automation, one crucial factor that guided them towards an open source solution was that it meant spending no extra money on licensing fees that you would normally pay for a commercial solution. This way, the money could be spent to tailor the solution to the Tax Administration’s specific needs. The taxation system’s regression testing is a huge process, and it would be impossible to manage manually. But in reality, hiring hundreds or thousands of manual testers simply wouldn’t be possible. This would have meant reducing the number of tests instead.
Copados test automation and quality assurance services for Vero cover both continuous application management and new application development. The role of automation is becoming increasingly important as new features are added to keep up with taxation changes. Every single time something is modified, an automated test has to run to ensure that the changes have not broken the system somewhere else. Vero runs these tests tens of thousands of times, and the benefits multiply as they run them year after year. The impact of automatic testing can be measured to be around 160 million euros compared to doing manual tests.
Janne Suortti is Quality Assurance Product Owner in the Finnish Tax Administration. Prior to his current role, he had worked as a test automation coordinator. Despite his educational background in jurisprudence, he found himself working in software testing and quality management. Over the years he has come to greatly appreciate the benefits of test automation and will gladly share more about how open source test automation has been utilized in Finnish Tax Administration’s largest IT-project.