expanded cape house vernon hills ikea kitchen remodel kitchen redo lake villa kaminsky remodeling fox river grove kasper custom remodeling beach park .. Chicago Drug testing

Making The Decision To Automate Your Software Testing

Not every software testing project can or should be automated. Before your department accepts a new test automation project, you should establish a process by which projects are reviewed and either accepted or rejected. This can be done with a simple Test Automation Acceptance Checklist.

Repeatable Test Cases with Static Data

The true cost benefit of test automation is achieved only when the same scripts are executed multiple times. The first execution is very expensive because it includes the one-time cost of the automation tools and 100% of the Test Automation engineer's time. When the scripts are executed again, the cost of test automation declines sharply. The tool has already been purchased and the scripts have already been coded. If there have been changes in the application, the scripts may require maintenance before being executed. Maintenance on minor software updates should be minimal.

Because test automation is only successful when the scripts can be executed multiple times, only application which require the same test cases to be executed with the same data are good candidates for automation. For example, a mortgage application that needs to be regression tested on a weekly basis could be a good candidate for test automation. Script maintenance is minimal and the scripts can enter a mortgage application using the same group of test data in a fraction of the time it would take a manual tester to test the same functionality.

On the other hand, a mortgage origination system, which cannot use the same test data for each iteration would not be a good automation candidate. Due to the nature of mortgage systems, data could be staged in various states of approval or rejection, based on the current data and the departments who have already processed their part of the mortgage application. If the script cannot easily figure out what data to enter in the software, it is not a good automation candidate.

Another problem with automating this type of complex system is that the test environment often contains a sampling of production data that is refreshed on a periodic basis. Sometimes this can be overcome by rebuilding the test data when the test environment is refreshed. The feasibility of rebuilding test data on a regular basis depends on the complexity of the application. You will have to make that decision on a case-by-case basis.

Application or Environmental Stability

Environmental stability is crucial to a successfully automating a software testing project. Scripts cannot be coded in a timely manner if the application environment is unavailable, experiences frequent down-times, or excessive defects and errors.

Little or No Application or Environment Downtime

It takes longer to write scripts than it does to manually test the same functionality. Most automation tools are watered down version of C or Visual Basic, which means that writing automated scripts is essentially programming and takes adequate time and specialized skills. Unlike manual test cases, which can sometimes be written based off requirements and mock-ups, automated tools require the actual application. When a test environment is unavailable, automation engineers cannot create scripts, which prolongs the project and ends up costing more.

Excessive downtime can consist of any of the following:

Unstable Environment
Lack of Infrastructure Support
Frequent Application Updates
Buggy Code

Effects of Environment Instability on Script Development and Execution

When an application or environment is unstable, scripting progress is dramatically slowed or stopped altogether. In some cases, it's possible to continue scripting, but this may causes more work at a later date. For example, if you are scripting in buggy code, you may have to script around error messages and the scripts will have to be revised at a later date. Or, you may only be able to create scripts to a certain point and finish them at a later date. To help avoid and decrease environment instability, read the chapter on Service Level Agreements.

Timely Defect Fixes

Application defects do not have to be detrimental to an automated software testing project. When defects are fixed in a timely manner, scripting can continue without significant downtime. When estimating an automated testing project, it's always best to add some buffer time that will accommodate for defect reporting and revisions.

When defect fixes take an excessive amount of time to resolve and are causing the automated software testing project to be delayed, it's time to pull together a meeting. Invite all the major players and discuss the root of the problem and what everyone can to improve the situation. Maybe development is spending too much time trying to reproduce the problem and having your automation team enter better description would help them turn the defect fixes around faster. Maybe you can work together to classify defects and establish reasonable fix times for each classification. For example, a Critical defect needs to be fixed that day while a High defect needs to be fixed with in 24 hours.

Responsive Contact Person

When your team takes on a new automated testing project, you will need a contact person. This person is responsible for making sure you have the business requirements and answering questions about how the application works. This will not be his or her main job, so you will need to make sure he or she is responsive. If you cannot get adequate business requirements, test data, or questions answered, your automation project will not be successful.

Copyright 2004. Danna Henderson. All Rights Reserved.

Danna Henderson has helped many organizations automate their software testing with WinRunner. For information on creating robust, data driven scripts, and successful automated testing, visit WinRunner Experts.

In The News:

Review on QuarkXpress 6.0

After almost two decades of existence, Quark has become the... Read More

The Dreaded Paper Label - Should it be Used?

While paper labeling CDs and DVDs may appear to be... Read More

Free Software - Powerful Alternatives to Budget-Busting Software

When you buy a computer, it most likely comes with... Read More

Know-how in Microsoft Publisher

For those who still don't know, Microsoft Publisher helps computer... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains: Customization Upgrade & Recovery ? Visual Studio VB 6.0

Microsoft Great Plains, former Great Plains Software Dynamics, eEnterprise has... Read More

Crystal Reports for Microsoft Great Plains

Microsoft Business Solutions ? Great Plains is designed to meet... Read More

CROOK: A Methodology for the Refinement of Forward-Error Correction

Table of Contents1) Introduction 2) Related Work 3) Framework 4)... Read More

.NET :Solving the Multiple Inheritance Issue Under .NET Platform

.NET platform does not support multiple inheritance. Do not confuse... Read More

Examining the Substance of Studio MX

To all web designers out there, this article is for... Read More

Marketing Your WinRunner Team

It won't matter how effective your WinRunner Team is if... Read More

Software Review: Xsitepro Total Site Management Software

It's not very often I get excited about a software... Read More

Groupware and Online Collaboration: Collaboration Series #4

This article is the fourth of a series of articles... Read More

Is Software Tester a Most Infamous Person in a Software Project Team?

The fact that a software tester is a most infamous... Read More

Free Program Removes Spyware not Detected by Premium Security Scan

What is Spyware?Spyware monitors your surfing habits and sends the... Read More

Looking for an Alternative to Microsoft Office? You Should Be!

Now is the time to look at an alternative to... Read More

Separate Anti-Keylogging Protection: Who Needs it Most?

If there still are few unprotected computers left, I haven't... Read More

The True Meaning of Freeware

The vast majority of us will have, at some point,... Read More

Microsoft CRM for Corporate Business ? Working Offline

If your company has regional and worldwide operations, you might... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Implementation: Verticals - Wholesale Order Entry center ? overview

Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains has substantial market share and... Read More

Anti-Spyware Protection ? Holes in the Shining Armor

Looking at all the ads which promise to get rid... Read More

C++ Tutorial 1, Introduction to C++

Introduction to C++Why Learn C++?C++ may at first seem like... Read More

RSS: Get Notified When Your Favorite Websites Are Updated

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a way for a site... Read More

Microsoft CRM ? Consulting in the Post-Recession Time

New post-recession era has new features, which didn't exist in... Read More

Spyware, Adware, etc. -- Terms and Common Sense

When reading an article where some term is used often,... Read More

Protect Your Computer...and Your Business!

We all take the computer for granted. I mean, all... Read More

street lights going out led parking Pete's produce ..
street lights going out led parking Pete's produce ..