In the last blog post, I gave you some information about a test object called “Car Configurator,” which is used for over 15 years now in ISTQB training to illustrate the complex methods and processes in software testing. Although the Car Configurator existed as an actual application, it was only available to those who joined training at the imbus Akademie. For those who gained, for example, testing knowledge in self-study with the book “Basiswissen Softwaretest” (German version), respectively “Software Testing Foundations” (English version), that test object only existed on paper.

Time for Something New

For several reasons, the “old” Car Configurator had served its time, and the idea for the “VirtualShowRoom” was born. First, it should be accessible for everyone interested in improving testing. Second, with time new trainings were created that brought new requirements for a test object. Our trainers needed examples to teach specific test methods and techniques, e.g., for test automation, equivalence partitioning or boundary value analysis, and exploratory testing. And, of course, there must be some bugs within the application to perform, for example, a retest.

The result is the following test object:

A test object available for everybody: The VirtualShowRoom

The VirtualShowRoom is a virtual electronic sales system for car dealers and customers.

A customer who wants to purchase a vehicle can configure his desired car on the screen (model selection, engine, color, equipment, etc.) with a salesperson or independently. The system displays models and equipment variants and immediately determines the respective price for each selection. This functionality is realized by the subsystem “DreamCar”. Once the customer has decided on a vehicle, he or she can use “EasyFinance” to calculate the optimum financing for his or her needs on the screen, order the vehicle online with “JustInTime”, and take out the appropriate insurance policy using “NoRisk”. Finally, the “FactBook” subsystem, which is only accessible to the car dealer, manages all customer information and contract data.

Requirements for Test Automation

Initially, the requirements came from our test automation experts. An example project was required that included all the small and big challenges that can be encountered in test automation: different GUI elements such as buttons, checkboxes, dropdown lists or tooltips, hard to reach GUI elements without unique IDs, images, other language versions, pdf downloads and much more. That was implemented in the subsystem DreamCar.

Subsystem DreamCar

Requirements for ISTQB Certified Tester Training

For the training of test design techniques such as equivalence partitioning or boundary value analysis, our trainers of the Certified Tester Foundation Level training have set the following requirements. They needed input fields that must be decomposed into several valid and invalid equivalence partitions and require a boundary value analysis. Preconditions, test steps, and the expected result must be specified in the exercises during the training. Once a car has been configured, this can be practiced in the EasyFinance subsystem.

Subsystem EasyFinance

Requirements for ISTQB Advanced Level Training

For Advanced Level training, it becomes a little more complex in the NoRisk subsystem. Here there are several input fields. Test data must be combined sensibly because a complete combination of all input parameters would lead to a test case explosion that is no longer economical.

Subsystem NoRisk

Find Defects

Trainers can choose between different releases of the VirtualShowRoom in administrator mode to “switch off” known bugs and thus simulate different development stages of the software. That can be used to illustrate test management tasks or to perform a retest. To make the test execution repeatable, the possibility to create a defined – clean – state of the database had to be implemented.

Subsystem FactBook

Now, the application is no more limited to internal use for trainings; it is available to everyone. After the development work was finally completed, the “VirtualShowRoom” was handed over to the TestBench team for hosting in the cloud. It is available at All you need to do to access the VirtualShowRoom and use it to its full extent is to register for the free Basic license of TestBench. In your user account “mytestbench,” click on the tab “Workspaces” and create your login to the VirtualShowRoom via “Create VirtualShowRoom”.

As mentioned in the first blog post of that series, there are more benefits for TestBench users concerning the VirtualShowRoom. We have created a test specification for it that is included in TestBench. In the upcoming blog post, I will tell you how that test specification was created and what you can do with it!

Read also part one: From Theory to Practice With the VirtualShowRoom


Written by Christine Lacher

Christine has worked for imbus for 23 years. She is responsible for the induction of new employees, e-learning, and the “JumpStart” program. She is also active in project management and test management for customer projects.