TestPlant has received a United States patent for its testing software, eggPlant, which can test from one computer to another utilizing virtual networking and visual recognition, according to the company. The patent was granted on Monday.

CEO George Mackintosh said the U.S. Departments of Defense and Justice have been using eggPlant since 2003, when the software was created.

eggPlant can test from any operating system to any platform or device, and companies can purchase a floating license so that a variety of testers can access the software across the company and even the world.

“Testing is tedious and repetitive,” said Mackintosh. “Every single time the developer makes a change, the code must be tested, and with eggPlant you only have to manually test a code once, then you can train eggPlant to do the remaining tests.”

Philip Carnelley, research director at PAC UK (a European research company), said that the most unique aspect of eggPlant was its ability to take an “outside-in” approach.

“eggPlant tests software on a separate computer than the system with the new software being tested,” he said. “It remotely tests the user experience; it runs the program as an end user would.”

The visual recognition ability along with the automation, Carnelley said, is what makes eggPlant unique and patentable.

“eggPlant works with different images, icons, colors, not just alphanumeric data during testing. I haven’t come across a system that works that way,” he said.