Axini was founded on New Year's Eve 2007 by Machiel van der Bijl and Menno Jonkers. Axini was born from dissatisfaction of wasted effort in the software development process. More than 30 percent of the budget and time was spent on testing and fixing errors. Due to a lack of automated support, software errors were only found at the end of the process, or worse, in production. Even projects for which software quality was the highest priority, no real solutions were present other than hiring more testing experts.
Enlightenment in Twente
In 1996, Machiel started his quest for better test automation solutions. At the time, keyword driven testing was the state of the art. During his research, Machiel found that writing and maintaining such a test suite required too much manual effort to thoroughly test real systems. The root cause he identified was that test case have to be derived from specification by hand, which is unavoidable with documents written in natural language. As a result, it likely that errors are introduced and test coverage is incomplete.
Around that time, Machiel came into contact with the formal methods group of the University of Twente. They had been doing more than 25 years of research into validation and verification of software systems lead by experts such as Dr. Ir. Jan Tretmans and professor Dr. Ed Brinksma. They developed a way of specifying requirements that is unambiguous, which allows them to be understood by both humans and computers. Using this technique, computers can help to validate specifications and even to generate test cases for possible implementations.
Machiel was fascinated by this concept and successfully did his PhD research on this topic. As a result, he learned the ins and outs of this technique. During his research, he noticed that the theory and prototype tools could not yet be applied for real systems in the software industry. They had to be developed further.
The birth of Axini
At the same time, Menno Jonkers was working on IT innovation in the financial and high-tech software branches. He was repeatedly surprised by the lacking maturity of IT systems. He foresaw that with the way of working of that time the ever-increasing complexity of systems could not be managed for long. He too was looking was a real improvement to the software development process.
Menno and Machiel knew each other as former colleagues. Menno recognized that Machiel's idea's could bring a fundamental improvement for the software industry. Moreover, they share important values: deliver high quality work and don't talk bullshit. Together they started their adventure and Axini was born.
The early years of Axini were focused primarily on model based testing. This is because the market was mostly looking for better testing solutions. Nowadays, clients are ready to make bigger changes in their development process and are willing to embrace model based working. using this technique, the benefits of formal methods can be felt in the entire development process. In the meantime, Axini has developed its techniques and tools further to make them more powerful and accessible then ever before. With this, they are ready to take the software industry by storm.