Load Testing of the Rare Banking System Profile
The IT infrastructure of any organization has critical elements, without which its work would become
impossible. For one of the largest banks in Russia - VTB - this element is FIS © Profile.
This is the automated banking system that serves settlement and credit operations, as well as acts as a card processing server.
As the Profile serves most of VTB’s business processes, the bank pays special attention to its stability. Every time an update is released or software/hardware changes have taken place, a performance testing is required.
The Performance Lab team is engaged in the implementation of this important task. We will talk about the difficulties we face in this work and the methods to overcome them.
Every time an update is released or software/hardware changes have taken place, a performance testing is required.
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What is so complicated in testing FIS Profile?
The Profile is a non-standard and unpopular database in Russia. It has been created in the USA in the 1950s and 1960s and was mainly used in the medical institutions.
As a result, there is very little information about the work process of the system.
Full support of the Profile is provided only by the foreign company FIS, which makes it difficult to quickly exchange information.
Monitoring of the Profile is a challenge in itself. A beginner will almost certainly get confused about the system tables and records. In order to understand these embroiled data arrays and learn how to control the processes running in the Profile, it is necessary to develop a comprehensive expertise.
All these circumstances attach particular importance to the question of saving the experience and knowledge of the Profile working structure. The System Load Testing project has been going on for several years, so naturally the testing maintainers are not the same as in the beginning. For all these years, Performance Lab has been faced with the task of preserving its acquired competence and increasing the Profile knowledge base.
How do we test Profile?
Within the project framework the load testing tools have been developed and the load configuration has been compiled taking in the account the queries statistics analysis.
The bank puts so much importance on the system that about 30 business cases had to be implemented: operations for servicing accounts, loans, payroll projects, card processing and client data management. This feature also highlighted the project.
In order to test all business cases, the Performance Lab’s specialists have developed a framework that provided the quick record of changes in requests made by system updates. The framework also allowed to automate the preparation of the test data.
To test the processing server, the emulator has been developed. It is sending the requests on behalf of POS-terminals and ATMs in accordance with the implementation features of the Profile processing protocol.
Finally, our team has created the utility to automate the performance testing process and to collect the metrics when opening and closing the trading day.
For Load Testing we have used several software tools: JMeter, HP Performance Center, as well as self-developed solutions.
What results have been achieved?
Now VTB can regularly test the performance of various Profile configurations with the nature of the
load corresponding to the real productive system.
A company that has not done that yet may face at some point the situation, when the system doesn’t work correctly after an update, which could jeopardize life and/or welfare of many customers. After all, VTB, as one of the largest banks in Russia, serves hundreds of state organizations and large enterprises. Without stable and high-quality work of VTB IT- Infrastructure, employees may be left without salary or timely money transfers.
The complexity and significance of the Profile makes load testing of this system an urgent need not only for VTB, but also for its millions of clients.
For Performance Lab the project has provided a valuable opportunity to develop the know-how in working with a complex and non-usual banking system.