How to document tests in a standardized way

In order to be able to find measurement data quickly even after a long time and to interpret and compare it unambiguously for different purposes, it is necessary to precisely document the context in which they were created. With the help of templates, this can be standardized across team and department boundaries.

The templates may be used in the test process, e.g. in test planning phase (see: Backbone system for the global management of test orders) or during data import, for the systematic collection, allocation and maintenance of test descriptions (= metadata).

openMDM® 4 operates e.g. with a hierarchical template concept. This makes it possible to keep the design of the description templates flexible for different test types. The following illustration provides an overview:


Figure: Hierarchical template concept of openMDM®

At the top level, so-called “Test Templates” describe a test with its individual test steps. An arbitrary number of “Test Step Templates” can be assigned to a “Test Template”.

The “Test Step Templates” always consist of a “Component Template”-triple of the types “UnitUnderTest”, “TestEquipment” and “TestSetup”. These “Component Templates” are again created from components of the “Component Catalog”, which are also divided into the above-mentioned types.

A simplified example: To document the test objects (= UnitUnderTest) used in endurance tests (= Group of tests), a description template for “Aggregates” is created in the “Component Catalog”. This consists of the subcomponents “Engine” and “Gearbox”. The attributes “Designation”, “Fuel Type”, “Cubic Capacity” and “Number of Cylinders” describe the engine. For the attributes “Fuel Type” and “Number of Cylinders” value lists are stored. From this, the user has to select later in the test description. The unit “Cubic Centimeter (ccm)” is assigned to the attribute “Cubic Capacity”. The individual “Catalog Components” (= “Engine” and “Gearbox”) can be nested hierarchically in the creation of the “Component Template” (= “Aggregates”). This results in a uniform, clear structured, complete and high-quality description of the test objects. The definition of test templates for the test equipment and the test setup is similar. In the last step, the individual “Component Templates” are combined into “Test Step Templates” and these are merged into “Test Templates”. By the way: Within the templates can be distinguished between test constant and test variable attributes. Test constant attributes (e.g. “Fuel Type”) do not vary throughout the test, while test variable attributes (e.g. “Rotational Speed”) may take different values from test step to test step. By grouping the “Test Templates” (e.g. Group = “Endurance Test”), finally various types of tests can be modeled.

In openMDM® 4, the data structure underlying the templates is standardized by ASAM ODS. This ensures that the analysis tools of different vendors can later access the respective test descriptions flexibly via the ASAM ODS API. As a result, users become more independent of the tools of specific providers. Additionally, the standard reduce the integration effort for implementing integrated process chains for test data management.


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