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What's new and Changed in the Art of Unit Testing 2nd Edition

I still get called out for some things I wrote in the first edition published in 2009. Some people might not be aware there is a 2nd edition out there, or are borrowing old copies. Lots has changed in my thinking about unit testing practices since then and was reflected when the 2nd edition was published in 2013. In this second edition, I added:
  • Material about constrained versus unconstrained isolation frameworks : specifically those that can fake things like statics and priavte methods.
  • A new chapter 6 on what makes for a good isolation framework and how frameworks like Typemock work under the covers. 
  • I no longer use RhinoMocks. Stay away from it. It is dead. At least for now. I use NSubstitute for examples of Isolation Framework Basics, and I also highly recommend FakeItEasy. I am still not crazy about MOQ, for reasons detailed in chapter 6.
  • I added more techniques to the chapter about implementing unit testing at the organizational level, such as understanding influence factors
  • There are plenty of design changes in the code I show in the book:
  • Mostly I stopped using property setters and am mostly using constructor injection. 
  • Some discussion of SOLID principles is added, but just enough to make it whet your appetite on the subject.
  • The build related sections of chapter 7 also contain new information. I learned a lot since the first book about build automation and patterns. It’s the topic of my next book. In this book I talk about build pipelines and where unit testing fits in the process.
  • I recommend against setup methods, and give alternative ideas on getting the same functionality out of your tests. 
  • I also use newer versions of Nunit so some of the newer Nunit APIs changed in the book( Assert.thorws. vs Assert.Catch, TestCase attributes and more)
  • In chapter 10, the tools relating to legacy code were updated.
  • Having worked with Ruby for the past three years along side .NET, I gained more perspective about design and testability arguments, reflected in chapter 11, dedicated only to this topic.
  • The tools and frameworks appendix was updated with new tools, and old tools were removed.

Also, here is a talk I did about it:

A Second Look at Unit Testing by Roy Osherove from Roy Osherove


Categories: Blogs

New Testing Tool Tutorials at uTest University

uTest - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 18:01

There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing your suite of testing tools. Some tools may excel at one specific task, while others perform at an average level for more than one testing task.

A few months ago, we launched the Tool Reviews section of our site to let members of the uTest community rate and review the best testing tools. The community has responded by easily singling out the most popular and highest rated testing tools. logos

Over at uTest University, we’ve recently published new tutorials for some of the most requested tools in order to help testers set up these tools to use for testing. These tutorials are designed to be quick, easy to follow, and to get you up-and-running in no time.

Check My Links is a browser extension developed primarily for web designers, developers and content editors. The extension quickly finds all the links on a web page, and checks each one for you. It highlights which ones are valid and which ones are broken. You can learn how to set up and use Check My Links for testing using this new tutorial.

Firebug is a browser extension that allows you to edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page. Firebug is often reviewed as a “must-have” tool for both web development and web testing. Learn how to set up and use Firebug for testing using this new tutorial.

Mobizen is a tool that allows the mirroring and control of an Android device using your computer. This free tool features the ability to connect to the device using USB/Wifi/mobile network, screen mirroring with a high frame rate, and movie recording and capturing screenshots. Learn how to set up and use Mobizen for testing using this new tutorial.

liteCam HD is a computer screen recorder for Windows users that helps create professional-looking HD videos. This tool’s easy interface makes quick recordings and reduces complex settings. Learn how to set up and use liteCam HD for testing using this new tutorial.

uTest University is free for all members of the uTest Community. We are constantly adding to our course catalog to keep you educated on the latest topics and trends. Have an idea for a new course or how-to tutorial? Submit your course idea today.

Categories: Companies

Book Recommendations for a Tech Lead - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 16:50

I gave several training courses on being a Tech Lead and found myself giving a number of book recommendations. Although books are no substitute for experiential learning and close feedback cycles, they are useful as ways of introducing some key skills developers rarely practice in their day-to-day tasks.


A Tech Lead represents both the technical perspective to outside stakeholders, and often carries a business perspective back into the technical team. Conflict is inevitable and understanding how to negotiate to an optimal solution for two parties is a timeless skill.

Getting To YesGetting to Yes was one of my favourite books. It’s short and insightful. The book describes the different between Positional-based negotiation (typical) vs Interest-based negotiation.


Meetings. Meetings. Meetings. Three dreaded words that a developer doesn’t want and often can avoid. A Tech Lead often dreads the numerous meetings as well, but will be often expected to contribute. Most meetings will be poorly planned and facilitated, leading to even more drawn-out meetings. In my experience, when done well, meetings can be focused, short and fruitful when they are well-facilitated. Facilitation skills are also useful on a day-to-day basis when ad hoc meetings between team members occur, or when a particular topic needs to be discussed.

The more collaborative a team becomes, the more useful facilitation skills are to the Tech Lead as they blur into the background to all voices be heard.

The Skilled FaciliatorThe Skilled Facilitator (Schwartz) is the first book I recommend to new facilitators. I find the book easy to read and is comprehensive in its explanation about the role of the facilitator.

Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision MakingFacilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making (Kaner) is a more focused book, covering how to have group discussions, balance hearing all views and to converge into the best outcome.

Collaboration ExplainedCollaboration Explained (Tabaka) is written by an agile practitioner who I trust dearly. I have see her facilitate, and her wisdom is captured in this book that will be highly relevant to particularly agile teams.

Risk Management

With authority comes responsibility and the Tech Lead suddenly sees risks everywhere. Or worse, they don’t see any risks at all.

Waltzing with BearsWaltzing with Bears (De Marco and Lister) is the timeless book that talks about risk management in the settings of software development. Although some of the examples may feel a bit outdated (death march projects), our industry still has plenty of them and the lessons are still relevant for today’s style of software development.

Not just for Tech Leads

Unsurprisingly the book recommendations above are not only relevant to Tech Leads, but to anyone who may find themselves in a leadership role. There are plenty more skills and books to recommend, but these are a good starting set.

If you liked this article, you will be interested in “Talking with Tech Leads,” a book that shares real life experiences from over 35 Tech Leads around the world. Now available on Leanpub.

Categories: Blogs

How Yahoo! Mail Transformed Its Functional Testing + Continuous Delivery Process [RECAP]

Sauce Labs - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 16:00

Yahoo Mail 2 (1)Thanks to those of you who joined us for our last webinar, How Yahoo! Mail Transformed Its Functional Testing + Continuous Delivery Process with Front End Developer Neil Manvar.

Over the last two years, Neil’s most important contribution to Yahoo! has been developing a modern functional testing framework that is based on open-source technologies, plays well with legacy code, supports many browsers, does not need maintenance, is readable to product managers, and makes writing a pleasure.

In his quest to build this framework, he’s also learned to navigate structural and organizational challenges; most significantly convincing upper management to require each developer to write and run tests on their code as their new standard operating procedure.

Missed the webinar or just want to hear it again? You can listen to the recording HERE, or check out the slides below.

How Yahoo! Mail Transformed Its Functional Testing and Continuous Delivery Process from Sauce Labs
Categories: Companies

Hospital leverages predictive analytics to improve treatment

Kloctalk - Klocwork - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 15:00

Predictive analytics have proven themselves to be an invaluable resource for countless organizations in many fields. By leveraging this technology, firms can gain better insight that leads to improved decision-making and, consequently, superior results.

The most recent example of the power of predictive analytics surrounds health care. Massachusetts General Hospital now utilizes this technology to make better clinical decisions, leading to more efficient and effective patient care.

Identifying risk
MGH is widely acknowledged as one of the nation's leading centers for health care. Frequently, patients are referred to the hospital by doctors who simply don't have the means or experience to effectively treat these individuals themselves. This means that MGH surgeons and clinicians frequently face some of the most challenging, high-risk health care challenges out there.

Speaking to HealthITAnalytics, Dr. David Ting, associate medical director for information systems at the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, explained that the organization now applies predictive analytics technology to its Queriable Patient Interface Dossier in order to better assess individual patients' risks.

Previously, according to Ting, MGH surgeons would have limited insight into the risks involved in a given operation. They would typically work with referred patients, and therefore did not have a robust, one-on-one experience with those individuals.

"How do you know whether something's appropriate or not when this is a patient that comes to you and you have 15 minutes to go through the chart or talk to the patient?" said Ting, the news source reported. "Well, that's how we use QPID."

The doctor went on to explain that the QPID system delivers insight into the surgical risks of a particular procedure when performed on a patient with a specific set of circumstances and conditions. The system takes into account the entirety of a patient's electronic health record, delivering comprehensive predictive insight concerning the risks of the intended operation.

"The system automates those searches using national guidelines, and then it essentially shows the results in a dashboard with a red, yellow or green risk indicator for the surgeon or proceduralist to see," Ting said, according to HealthITAnalytics.

He went on to note that surgeons can then have much more informed, productive conversations with patients. Rather than relying on guesswork or general trends – for example, the average percentage of people who experience complications from an operation – doctors can offer data-based evidence that a particular procedure has a high risk for a specific patient, based on his or her unique history, and that an alternative approach may be the better option.

Not only does this help to cut down on unwise surgical procedures, but it also empowers patients to make more informed decisions in regard to their own treatment.

Integration issues
In order for this and other health care-related predictive analytics to yield positive results, though, hospitals and other care providers must overcome a number of hurdles. One of the most significant of these is the need to fully integrate with EHR systems. The MGH predictive analytics solution relies entirely on EHRs to accurately gauge the risk for an individual patient, as opposed to the average dangers posed by the operation. The same will likely be true of any organization's health care predictive analytics efforts.

Additionally, care providers must utilize high-quality algorithms to ensure the effectiveness of their predictive analytics systems. Without embeddable, high-performance algorithms that integrate with all relevant apps, organizations are unlikely to optimize the accuracy or usability of their predictive analytics tools. For a health care provider, such shortcomings may not only be frustrating, but actually dangerous. 

Categories: Companies

Getting Started with .NET Code Coverage

NCover - Code Coverage for .NET Developers - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 13:00

getting_started_blogWe live and breathe code coverage and the pursuit of building quality code. Since we have been doing it for years, we forget that each and every day new people discover and are getting started with .NET code coverage.

With that in mind, we thought it would be helpful to pull together some of the most common questions we receive about code coverage and NCover.  Here they are:

What is Code Coverage and Why Does It Matter?

In a nutshell, code coverage is the process of determining which sections of your source code have been tested and which sections of your source code have not been tested. This insight allows you to improve your overall testing strategies and the overall health of your code base. The ultimate golas for most organizations are (1) to  increase revenue by providing end users with a higher quality application that is easier to sell and (2) to reduce the total costs of supporting that application in terms of general support and bug fixes. Looking for more Code Coverage 101? We’ve got you covered here.

Can I Collect Code Coverage on My Build Server?

Collecting code coverage on your build service is available through our server-based product, Code Central. It allows you to monitor any number of build servers and test machines and collect coverage data. Code Central can collect coverage directly if it is installed locally on the build server or it can connect to any machine with Collector installed and collect coverage remotely.

Now that you know you can – the next question is HOW? Well – we’ve got that spelled out for you in three easy steps right here.

Can I Cover IIS and My .NET Web Apps?

Yes you can! NCover collects coverage on your .NET web apps by profiling IIS. Specifically, NCover watches the w3wp.exe, the IIS worker process, in order to collect coverage. This approach allows you to automatically capture coverage once you have properly configured your project. How do I properly configure my project? Well we’ve got that for you right here.

Did we miss your question? Leave us a comment or check out our support and resources sections to help find the answers you are looking for. Keep covered and code on our friends. We cannot wait to see what you make next.

The post Getting Started with .NET Code Coverage appeared first on NCover.

Categories: Companies

Unit Testing with Microsoft Fakes

Software Testing Magazine - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 12:12
Creating good, effective unit tests in .NET can be harder than it seems. In some cases, the code is designed so that isolating one component from another is easy. However, in most other cases, achieving this isolation is very difficult. First included in Visual Studio 2012, Microsoft Fakes helps you cross this gap. Microsoft Fakes makes it easier and faster to create well-isolated unit tests when you do have systems that are “testable”, letting you focus on writing good tests and not on writing test plumbing. It also enables you ...
Categories: Communities

Agile Testing Days, Berlin, Germany, November 10–13 2014

Software Testing Magazine - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 11:05
The Agile Testing Days is an European four-day conference focused on Agile software testing that takes place in Berlin, Germany. The first day is dedicated to tutorials. All presentations are in English. In the agenda of Agile Testing Days you can find topics like “Telling Stories with Acceptance Tests”, “Lean Software Testing: Explained”, “A Poet’s Guide to Automated Testing”, “The Mindset of an Agile Tester”, “Practical Agile Test Strategy with Heuristics”, “Agile Batch Testing: Practical Agile Testing Patterns from Two Major Credit Card Business Projects”, “Testing the Untestable – Beyond Requirement ...
Categories: Communities

Acceptance Tests with SpecFlow

Testing TV - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 10:55
SpecFlow is open source behavior-driven development tool for the .NET environment that is part of the Cucumber family and uses the official Gherkin parser. It is a tool to write user acceptance tests in a pragmatic, business-friendly language. It is much more than that, however. This presentation discusses the main use cases for SpecFlow, where […]
Categories: Blogs

Four Reasons Software Testing Will Move Even Further Into the Wild by 2017

uTest - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 21:12

apple0132Ever since our inception, uTest and our colleagues within Applause have always been a huge proponent of what we like to call ‘In-the-Wild’ Testing.

Our community is made up of 150,000+ testers in 200 countries around the world, the largest of its kind, and our testers have already stretched the definition of what testing ‘in the wild’ can be, by testing countless customers’ apps on their own devices where they live, work and play.

That ‘play’ part of In-the-Wild testing is primed to take up a much larger slice of testers’ time. While we have already seen a taste of it with emerging technologies gradually being introduced into the mobile app mix, there are four major players primed to go mainstream in just a couple of short years. That means you can expect testers to be spending less time pushing buttons testing on mobile apps in their homes and offices…and more time ‘testing’ by jogging and buying socks. Here’s why.

Apple Pay

Google Wallet has been out for several years now, but it is widely expected by many (including this guy) that Apple Pay will be the technology that takes mobile payments to the mainstream with its ease-of-use and multiple layers of security.

Of course, it will take more of the little banks and retailers to be on-board for Apple Pay to spread like wildfire, but Apple is banking on an ‘if you build it, they will come’ strategy, and it already seems to be working. Case in point: My little, local credit union in Massachusetts — probably 1/25th the size of a Chase or Citibank — has already previewed that it’s working with Apple to bring Apple Pay to all of its members.

This is all well for consumers, but it provides even more of an opportunity for testers — there will be plenty of retailers lined up to make sure the functionality works with their environments, along with retailers needing testers to verify that any in-app functionality is sound when consumers use Apple Pay from the comfort of their own homes. Expect a lot of testers buying socks and sandwiches (not together in the same transaction) as part of their new “testing” routine in the coming months and years.


While I have been in the camp of only wanting a smartwatch if it promises to produce lasers, I know that there are many out there that will be early adopters. And who can resist their stylin’ nature?

Once again, Apple in this technology category has made smartwatches sleek and sexy with a variety of styles and accompanying straps on its soon-to-be-released Apple Watch. While the $349 may be a sticker shock to many, one space that it is expected to take off in is the enterprise amongst executives and employees on the go.

And for testers, smartwatches will open up a whole new era and class of apps more pint-sized than ever…that you can bet will need lots of testing on proper screen rendering and functionality in those board meetings filled with execs.

Health & Fitness Wearables

With Google and Apple taking on this realm in its smartphones, and fitness-centric trackers from Nike, Fitbit and Jawbone in the form of armbands, the health and fitness wearable market is one that has already actively had much adoption.

From a tester standpoint, testing fitness devices may be the most ‘out there’ definition of in-the-wild testing. As health and fitness apps and armbands track fitness- and health-specific information such as number of steps taken, heart rate and calories burned, expect a lot more of testers’ routines including a 2-mile jog lumped in with their mobile testing.

Automobile In-dash Entertainment

From popular car manufacturers from Ford and Toyota to BMW and Audi, to navigation services like TomTom and Garmin, in-dash entertainment and navigation systems have already taken off in the past year, and that trend is only expected to continue as these packages eventually become standard in automobiles.

And this only opens up more doors for testers. We’ve all heard of texting while driving, but did law enforcement consider ‘testing’ while driving? Testing teams should consider safety first and buddy-up their testers when sending them out to drive for a “testing” assignment.

What do you think? Is the tester’s work environment going to be stretched even more into the wild in the next few years because of these emerging technologies? Are there others you would add to the list such as Google Glass? Will these technologies still just be a shadow in a tester’s daily testing routine? Let us know in the Comments now.

Categories: Companies

Progress Software Acquire Telerik Test Studio Editor

Software Testing Magazine - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 20:19
Progress Software Corporation has nnounced a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Telerik AD, a leading provider of application development tools, for $262.5 million. Telerik enables its 1.4 million strong developer community to create compelling user experiences across cloud, web, mobile and desktop applications. Telerik’s revenue for the last twelve months was over $60 million, with annual bookings growth of over 20%. Telerik is the editor of the Test Studio software testing tool, a functional UI testing too that work for HTML5, AJAX and XAML apps, JavaScript calls, Telerik controls, dynamic ...
Categories: Communities

Klocwork 10.1 Released With Improved C# Support

Software Testing Magazine - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 18:57
Rogue Wave Software has announced a new version of its static analysis tool, Klocwork. This release underscores the ongoing commitment by Rogue Wave to help software developers accelerate great code. With a refreshed analysis engine, improved platform support, and more checkers than ever before, Klocwork 10.1 expands developer’s security, standards, and reliability strategy while delivering faster results and useful customizations. Offering more control for Microsoft Visual Studio users, developers can now fine tune when on-the-fly analysis runs. This release adds full issue citing and better performance, creating seamless integration and better ...
Categories: Communities

The Performance Impact of Async – Looking at the PurePath

In my last post I introduced the async and await keywords and I showed you what the C# compiler generates from an async method. In this post we will see what the PurePath looks like when we use an async API in our code. Feel free to follow my steps by downloading the free trial […]

The post The Performance Impact of Async – Looking at the PurePath appeared first on Compuware APM Blog.

Categories: Companies

Facts and Figures in Software Engineering Research (Part 2)

DevelopSense Blog - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 04:13
On July 23, 2002, Capers Jones, Chief Scientist Emeritus of a company called Software Productivity Research gave a presentation called “SOFTWARE QUALITY IN 2002: A SURVEY OF THE STATE OF THE ART”. In this presentation, he shows data on a slide titled “U.S. Averages for Software Quality”. (Source:, accessed September 5, 2014) It is […]
Categories: Blogs

Things To Know Before Upgrading to Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10)

The Seapine View - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 01:05

Upgrading to Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10) may impact your Seapine product installation. There are a couple of issues to be aware of:

  • If you use Surround SCM PostgreSQL databases, the Surround SCM Server will not be able to connect to the databases after upgrading Mac OS X. During the upgrade, Mac OS X automatically deletes empty PostgreSQL folders that are required for the PostgreSQL server to run correctly. It’s easy to fix this issue. See this knowledgebase article.
  • If you use TestTrack Web, TestTrack Web Server Admin, SoloSubmit, or Seapine License Server Web Admin, users will not be able to log in to the clients after upgrading Mac OS X on the computer hosting the TestTrack Server or Seapine License Server. Mac OS X 10.10 uses Apache 2.4 and the required mod_cgi module is not enabled by default in this version. This one is easy to fix too. See this knowledgebase article.

We haven’t seen any impact on the TestTrack or Surround SCM Clients after upgrading to Mac OS X.

If you have any questions or need help, please contact Seapine Support.

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Categories: Companies

TDD and Asychronous Behavior: Part 1

Sustainable Test-Driven Development - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 21:38
<!--[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]--> In TDD we write tests as specifications where each of them is focused on a single behavior of the system.  A “good” test in TDD makes a single, unique distinction about the system.   But this means when the TDD process is complete our spec also serves as a suite of tests against regression.  This is a hugely valuable side-effect of TDD.  We don’t
Categories: Blogs

BugBuster v3: WordPress and Magento demo applications

BugBuster - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 20:52

With BugBuster v3 we offer for free right into your account working test plans for two demo applications: a typical corporate web site built with WordPress and an e-Commerce one which is the infamous sample application of Magento.

To add these apps, just click on New application then let BugBuster generate the test plan.
demo apps 1

The ecommerce application has got a test plan that contain some typical functional tests for the critical components of a merchant website such as the shopping cart, the catalogs or the user registration

demo apps 2

Please note that these scenarios are fully functional. You can alter and augment them as much as you want or create new scenarios using the Scenario Templates and the Scenario Recorder.

The post BugBuster v3: WordPress and Magento demo applications appeared first on BugBuster.

Categories: Companies

TDD and Asychronous Behavior: Part 2

Sustainable Test-Driven Development - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 19:11
<!--[if !mso]> v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} .shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);} <![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE
Categories: Blogs

Sauce Labs Named as One of the San Francisco Business Times’ Top 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies in the Bay Area

Sauce Labs - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 18:00

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Oct 22, 2014 – Sauce Labs Inc, the leading provider of cloud-based mobile and web application functional and unit testing infrastructure solutions, today announced it has been ranked as 21 in the Top 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times. The award is based on net revenue growth from fiscal years 2011-2013. Sauce Labs’ revenue grew by 378.4 percent during that time.

“We’re thrilled to be recognized by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the fastest growing private companies in the Bay Area,” said Jim Cerna, Sauce Labs’ president and chief financial officer. “This award highlights the demand for a scalable test automation platform that meets the needs of the agile web and mobile app developer community.”

Sauce Labs’ rapid growth is attributed to the need for a reliable automated testing platform that developers and QA/QE teams use to ensure their applications function properly before they go to market. “With increasing adoption of continuous integration and continuous deployment workflows, automated testing is in great demand,” said Steve Hazel, chief product officer and co-founder. “High reliability is absolutely critical to our customers so that their builds continue to run and their dev teams are not blocked by issues with infrastructure.”

To meet this demand, Sauce Labs has more than doubled its headcount in the span of one year, adding employees across all departments to aggressively scale both its teams and infrastructure in San Francisco, California, and Vancouver, Canada. Sauce Labs plans to focus on building and scaling the organization and its service offering in the coming months, including adding on-demand access to mobile real devices.

About Sauce Labs
Sauce Labs is the leading cloud-based web and mobile application testing platform that helps organizations achieve success with continuous integration and delivery, increase developer productivity, and reduce infrastructure costs for software teams of all sizes. It has emerged as one of the major tools in the agile testing ecosystem, growing alongside the adoption of open source standard testing frameworks. Sauce Labs’ secure and reliable testing service enables users to run JavaScript unit and functional tests written with Selenium and Appium, both open source tools sponsored by Sauce Labs, on their mobile web, native, hybrid, and desktop apps across more than 400 browsers and platforms — in parallel — without setting up or maintaining test infrastructure. Whether running automated tests for web or mobile apps, JavaScript unit tests, or manual tests, users get test results with screenshots, videos, and log files to help developers find bugs faster and release higher quality software more quickly. For more information, visit

Categories: Companies

Data mining used to develop comprehensive disease database

Kloctalk - Klocwork - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 15:00

Despite tremendous progress in recent years, contagious diseases remain a worldwide challenge. The current Ebola outbreak in western Africa is a powerful reminder of the damage that these pathogens can cause.

In an effort to combat global disease outbreaks, researchers at the University of Liverpool are working to develop the world's most comprehensive disease database, Labmate Online reported. And to achieve this goal, the scientists are turning to data mining solutions.

Data mining diseases
The source explained that the Liverpool University Climate and Infectious Diseases of Animals team aims to describe and map the connections between diseases and their hosts. All of this information will go into the group's Enhanced Infectious Diseases database, known as EID2.

To develop EID2, the researchers are applying advanced data mining techniques to the massive amount of scientific literature and relevant information already existent in disparate databases, the source explained. A significant portion of this data exists in unstructured or semistructured states, which previously made it difficult to collect and utilize in a single, coherent database. By applying big data analytics tools combined with high performance computing, though, the researchers hope to create a useful resource for anyone studying these pathogens.

Complex matters
According to Labmate Online, the Liverpool researchers have and will continue to utilize the data accumulated in EID2 for a variety of purposes. For example, the scientists have worked to examine the history of different human and animal diseases, tracing their spread and development over many years.

Additionally, the research will prove invaluable for predicting the impact climate change will have on numerous diseases. With this insight, researchers can create maps that reveal where certain diseases are more likely to spring up, and where they are most likely to spread.

Finally, the EID2 data can help disease researchers better understand the often-complex relationships between human and animal carriers and hosts. Improved categorization in this area could lead scientists to discover previously hidden connections between pathogens, which in turn could lead to new avenues for cures and treatments.

Data mining health care
While the EID2 project focuses on global health trends, data mining is also being applied to health-related matters on a more granular basis.

For example, Bloomberg Businessweek reported last month that the Carolinas HealthCare hospital chain uses this technology to analyze patient credit card data. By doing so, the organization is able to identify those patients who are most likely to require treatment in the near future and then take preventative steps to minimize the risk. 

Michael Dulin, chief clinical officer for analytics and outcomes research at Carolinas HealthCare, told the news source that providers can gain a lot more insight into a patient's health by data mining consumer-related information than through a single appointment at the doctor's office. He stated that his organization aims to assign risk scores to patients and deliver this information to the relevant doctors and nurses. These care professionals can then decide if and when to reach out to the affected individuals to provide lifestyle recommendations or encourage a visit to the hospital if they are at risk.

As more hospitals, clinics, doctor's offices and research facilities pursue data mining strategies, it is important for decision-makers to ensure that the right tools are in place to support such efforts. For example, personnel will need access to comprehensive numerical libraries, which can provide reliable, embeddable algorithms that can be incorporated into the organization's applications easily and effectively. Without such assets, many data mining efforts will yield suboptimal results.

Categories: Companies

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