seerene-customers-qiagen-headquarter-germany

Qiagen N.V.

  • Industry: Biotechnology
  • Revenue: 1,3 Bn. USD
  • Employees: ca. 4,000
  • Headquarters: Venlo, Netherlands
  • Stefan Küsters, Associate Director, Software
  • Industry: Biotechnology
  • Revenue: 1,3 Bn. USD
  • Employees: ca. 4,000
  • Headquarters: Venlo, Netherlands
  • Stefan Küsters, Associate Director, Software

Summary
“It is not only the maintenance, but also the programming of entire modules that is easier if the code is visible,” summarized Küsters. He says he and his colleagues certainly would not want to do without seerene in the future: “The solution considerably eases our workload.”

 

Real-time X-ray Images for Software: QIAGEN Secures Applications with Visualization
 

Challenge:
In light of the increasing complexity of applications today, it’s not surprising software development and maintenance are becoming ever more costly and time-consuming. The process can be clarified by software that visualizes the source code in real time. As the experiences of the international biotechnology company QIAGEN show, three-dimensional software maps mitigate risk for IT decision-makers and improve code quality.

QIAGEN, a Netherlands-based company, makes automated sample preparation products and testing technology, which is used in molecular diagnostics, academic research, pharmaceuticals and applied testing procedures, such as forensics and veterinary medicine.

“Our products have to meet the highest standards in medical use,” said Stefan Küsters, Associate Director of Software at QIAGEN. “We cannot afford to suffer failures or malfunctions as a result of software errors.”

In his role Küsters is responsible for software architecture, development and quality assurance. In order to identify code that could be susceptible to failure, Küsters, relies on mandated, automated tests as well as code reviews and complete architecture documentation; however, this was not assurance enough for QIAGEN.

“We wanted to add an additional level of checks over and above the standard procedures, to enable us to perform swift and reliable controls,” Küsters added.
 

Solution:
One glance. That’s all Küsters needs to recognize immediately whether there is a weak point in the code. Küsters has been using seereneTM for over a year now, and he’s found it’s enabled him to analyze and visualize application development in real time.

Küsters monitors around 20 metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) with the help of Seerene. On a software map constructed to resemble a cityscape, Küsters can determine instantly whether defined metrics are on target, or whether the code has weaknesses. Small blue houses signify “everything fine,” while orange-colored buildings indicate regular monitoring is advisable. High-rise buildings colored red highlight call for urgent action. The graphic presentation also reduces the measurement effort required significantly.

“Existing test methods offered some degree of security; however, software is a black box which one cannot see into,” Küsters said. “Just as x-ray images are used for diagnostic purposes in the medical field, we can now use imaging in software development.”

seereneTM, which is used presently by a broad scope of companies including Adidas, Daimler and SAP, obtains the information it needs for analysis from the tools and repositories referenced throughout the development process. These tools include the QIAGEN versioning system that records every code change on the part of developers, enabling earlier identification of risk and monitoring of trends.

seereneTM also analyzes information from the test case management systems and from code checkers already in place. It’s important to note the actual source code itself is checked.

Like a business intelligence system, the platform collects all raw data, analyzes it with the help of BI methods and presents the results in clear and easy-to-read software maps.

Whereas manual code reviews yield endlessly long Excel sheets that are time-consuming to pore over, seereneTM delivers a holistic overview in real time of the state of the application software. Being able to define dangers, causes and consequences at the earliest stages of complex development lets QIAGEN developers act more quickly and precisely. seereneTM allows QIAGEN to answer fundamental questions, such as whether particular requirements are testable or what the associated expenditure of time and effort would be.

“We can immediately identify where development trouble spots exist,” Küsters commented. “This allows us to take remedial action. For example, we can reduce the complexity of the functions or the number of parameters so that the function does not become confusing.”
 

Summary:
With seereneTM, developers and IT management are able to fundamentally improve the source code in multiple ways.

“It is not only the maintenance, but also the programming of entire modules that is easier if the code is visible,” summarized Küsters. He says he and his colleagues certainly would not want to do without seereneTM in the future: “The solution considerably eases our workload.”

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