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What processes and tools does DCCA leverage in providing testing to your customers?

Today, DCCA has people who are trained in various testing methodologies and technologies. Our methodologies/processes for testing are rooted in working closely with our customers, preferably in a series of face-to-face meetings with key partners, to clearly understand the system and the testing requirements and to underscore the need for testing to be an active part of the system development lifecycle. DCCA's approach is based on understanding the customer's business needs before choosing the testing approach required to address those needs. Another key factor that we consider is any testing constraint associated with the COTS products used in the customer’s enterprise in order for them to operate more efficiently.

What are some current technology-related trends in testing, and how does DCCA see these trends changing over time? In effect, what does the future of testing look like? How does IPv6 change the landscape of testing?

Current testing technologies continue to evolve to address the systems that are being developed today. One technique involves the increased use of analytic tools that can crawl through the system’s software and determine whether there is duplicative code, dead code, or error conditions that could cause the software to hang or loop. Similarly, there are tools that can help assess software complexity. Checking boundary conditions that can lead to errors is becoming more typical in testing environments. Various tools to assist in regression testing such as screen captures, keystroke captures, and data conditioning are helping to ensure that regression tests can be run regularly and efficiently and that equivalent stimuli are applied with each execution of the test. Finally, there are a growing number of security testing mechanisms that are becoming more sophisticated and comprehensive. One change that is coming to the Internet is IPv6. This transformation will be beneficial in elevating the overall integrity of Internet transactions.

What industry-leading standards does DCCA apply in delivering testing?

As a successful service provider to the Federal Government, DCCA is fully aware of and acquainted with the operational environments of our customers. We are engaged in testing as an integral part of system development and operations and maintenance efforts, as well as in specific testing contracts on behalf of our customers. Some of these contracts involve specific security testing of systems that have been developed by other parties. In each case, DCCA uses its understanding of the operational environment to inform its testing approach. There are a number of available commercial products that can be factored into a testing approach and ultimately configured to deliver testing value to our customers. We engage with our customers to determine the appropriate products to employ. We also strive to be familiar with the standards that are currently in use and we keep track of the evolution of these standards. Finally, testing for our customers often supports both formal and informal system Certification and Accreditation (C&A)