TestPlant granted US patent for eggPlant

  • Posted by JB Brockman
  • On January 24, 2011

Press Release
Software test industry first: TestPlant granted US patent for eggPlant


24 January, 2011 – London, UK and Boulder, CO, USA – TestPlant, an international software company with operations in the USA and the UK, today announced that its robotic test tool product, eggPlant, has been recognized by the US Patent and Trademark Office and secured a US patent. The patent, number 7,870,504, has been granted for eggPlant’s unique method of controlling or testing a system from another computer using a communications link such as Virtual Network  omputing (VNC). This allows eggPlant to ‘see’ the screen on the system under test recognizing icons, buttons, message boxes, prompts, text, backgrounds and colors.

George Mackintosh, chief executive for TestPlant said: “This patent recognizes the innovation in how eggplant works and secures our position in the market as the leader in GUI testing”.

By creating a visual depiction of the screen, eggPlant can intelligently search and compare while signalling test success or failure. The technique is non-invasive,  nother unique and valuable feature for testers in industries such as defense, security, media and medical devices.

George Mackintosh continued: “This is the first example for years that a complete and current product in the $2.4bn global test tool marketplace* has been recognized by the US Patent and Trademark Office as being sufficiently novel and innovative to deserve this distinction. It’s a great demonstration of our leadership  nd technical expertise in a market that many consider dominated by giants such as HP, IBM, Micro Focus and Microsoft. This is a stamp of TestPlant’s authority to describe our approach to user interface testing as truly unique”.

The testing industry
Testing is a crucial function in the production of software. Worldwide spending on testing is estimated by PAC to be $105bn*. The elimination of bugs requires extensive review of programming code and exhaustive manual testing of the graphic user interface (GUI). Such repetitive manual testing is tedious and prone to human error. eggPlant uses intelligent image-recognition algorithms to ‘see’ the screen on the system being tested and, by comparison with responses it has been trained to expect, pass or fail the new or updated software version. With a flood of new and diverse computing devices appearing on the market – smart phones, tablets, wearable computers, point of sale terminals, head-up displays – the test industry and its practitioners are faced with mounting demands to validate software performance across multiple browsers, devices, operating systems and networks. Consequently there is a surge of interest in automating as much of this process as possible. Automation in software testing helps shorten system delivery times, improve quality and reduce costs.

The inventors
Jonathan Gillaspie and Doug Simons are the two founder developers responsible for the invention, design and development of eggPlant. Now with MacOS, Linux and Windows versions available, Jonathan and Doug work in TestPlant’s Boulder, Colorado development center. Jonathan studied computer science in Pittsburgh at Carnegie Mellon University and is now TestPlant’s Chief Software Architect. Doug, originally from California and now enjoying life in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, has more than 30 years of experience in software design and development. He is eggPlant’s Principle Developer. The IP is protected and monitored by international law firm Clyde & Co* with Quill & Disc* as patent advisors.