Rebooting Ireland: Expleo announces role in ensuring success of COVID-19 contact tracing app

Expleo quality experts ensured app could handle one million downloads in an hour. The test team carried out approximately 3,400 individual tests before the app’s launch.

Expleo, the technology partner for innovative companies, today announces details of its vital role in ensuring the successful launch and rollout of the HSE’s COVID-19 contact tracing app. Through quality assurance and software testing, the company was responsible for ensuring that the COVID Tracker app was user-friendly, fast and reliable, which involved testing it to be able to handle one million downloads in an hour.

The app, which at the time of issue has been downloaded over 1 million times, was developed by the HSE and Department of Health, with input from An Garda Síochána, Science Foundation Ireland and private partners from Ireland’s technology sector. It notifies users if they have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, defining a close contact as someone who was within two metres of a confirmed case for 15 minutes or more. To find out more about the COVID Tracker app, or to download it, visit

Expleo’s test team started work on the project on 17th March 2020 and since that date, carried out approximately 3,400 individual software tests before the app’s launch. The work totalled 4,727 man hours – the equivalent of almost 591 working days. A total of 26 Expleo employees were involved in the project.

To ensure that a user’s surroundings, or large crowds, did not negatively impact the performance of the app – and to avoid putting the Expleo team at risk of contracting COVID-19 – testing was carried out in multiple simulated environments with multiple devices. Quality testing was later carried out on public transport to ensure that it, too, did not negatively impact the effectiveness of the app.

Additional quality checks included:

  • Performance testing – Expleo’s quality assurance and quality engineering teams carried out load testing on the app to ensure that large volumes of people could download it at the same time without causing it to crash.
  • Exposure Notification Distance Testing – As devices have varying Bluetooth strengths, Expleo tested varying attenuation values that manage Bluetooth strength to maximise compliance with requirements.
  • Graphical user interface (GUI) testing – Expleo tested the look and feel of the app, ensuring user-friendly navigation; the correct and reliable function of all buttons; and that all content and text matched requirements.
  • Database Validation – Teams ensured that users’ anonymised data, gathered from downloads and registrations, was populated in the database without interfering with the anonymised data of other users.

Fran Thompson, CIO, HSE, said: “The COVID Tracker app is an essential addition to the HSE’s existing contact tracing work. For it to be effective, it needed to be easy to download and use, with highly responsive software that can cope with a very large user base. We chose Expleo due to their extensive experience in software testing and quality assurance. Their knowledge and commitment was invaluable in ensuring that the contact tracing app met all of the stringent targets and requirements we had set.”

Phil Codd, Managing Director for Ireland, Expleo, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has had – and continues to have – a devastating impact on people and communities across Ireland. We therefore felt honoured that in recognition of our experience and expertise, we were invited by the HSE to join the fight against COVID-19 by carrying out software testing on one of the world’s first contact tracing apps.

“Our team went through a rigorous, lengthy process; putting the app through its paces to ensure that it was fast, reliable and easy to use in order to maximise uptake. Now, with more than one million downloads, it has been the most successful launch of any COVID-19 contact tracing app in the world. We are delighted to see such high volumes of people downloading it and hope that this will continue so that we can all work together to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection for everyone.”

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