Pragmatics wins DHS deal for software testing

Pragmatics Inc. of McLean, Va., has been awarded a blanket purchasing agreement by the Homeland Security Department's Customs and Border Protection agency for software testing services worth up to $65 million over a potential contract length of five years, the company has announced.

The contract covers testing of the Automated Commercial System, the precursor to CBP's Automated Commercial Environment that the agency is building to upgrade customs processing.

Pragmatics snared the contract in a competition with other small businesses, the company said. It is the largest order the 20-year-old company has won so far.

Kim Nguyen, Pragamatics' vice president for special programs, said, "We are actually testing a large majority of CBP's systems. As part of this contract, Pragmatics has a team that is testing software used in the [U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology] program," Nguyen added.

"There are a lot of different companies that are building the software we test," the Pragmatics executive said. His company is testing software built by IBM Corp., the prime contractor for ACE, among others, he said. "The types of tests are functional testing, performance testing, and regression testing to make sure that when you make a change, it doesn't break something else," he said.

"We don't use proprietary tools to do this testing," Nguyen said. "We do use the Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model best practices to carry out the work," Nguyen added.

Wilson P. Dizard III is a staff writer for Washington Technology's sister publication, Government Computer News.

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