Working With Automated Testing Tools

A Pragmatic Approach
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gain the most benefit from an automated test script. For example if a script is automated and signed-off for a given process on a Monday but the script will be executed on Thursday of the same week but between Monday and Thursday of the same week the underlying recorded business process has changed then the automated test script quite possible may not playback successfully on Thursday. A better approach would be to wait until the process that requires automation is stable and will not be changing until a future release and thus the process can be automated and successfully played back multiple times within the same release or future releases with minor test script modifications if the process has changed between releases.

The reader should note that an automated test script should trace back to either: a requirement, business process procedure, or test scenario.

Hybrid Solution (mixture of tools)
As previously mentioned it might not be possible to acquire a one size fits all automated testing software solution from a single vendor. A company might have to buy automated testing solutions from more than one vendor to meet all the project's testing needs since an IT project may be composed of several heterogeneous IT solutions.

The concept of hybrid testing solutions is not unique to automated testing some companies for instance might purchase a human resource solution from one ERP vendor, yet the company's supply chain solution might come from a second ERP vendor, and the company's help desk solution might come from a third CRM vendor. The company goes through the challenge of integration solutions from competing vendors because they want the best possible solutions for its IT infrastructure since it is possible that a single vendor will not have a world class solution for every critical process such as Human Resources, Supply Chain, and Helpdesk. The challenge now is to obtain the necessary automated testing tools that will enable the company to test how all the pieces of its integrated IT solutions work as a single component and as individual stand along components.

Avoid Redundancies
The test manager should strive to have the project wisely and consistently utilize the purchased testing tools. I was in a project once where various teams were implementing several modules from an ERP vendor. The project had purchased a test management solution that contained defect-reporting capabilities that everyone in the project could have utilized effectively. However one of the teams implementing the ERP solution was not aware of the test management tool’s capability to report defect and this one team had plans to create from scratch a database for reporting defects. This was an unnecessary waste of resources and man-hours. I brought this issue to the attention of the project director and the plans to create a customized a database to report defects from scratch were abandoned in favor of all the teams implementing the ERP solution using the defect-reporting capabilities from the purchased test management tool.

Production rates for testers
A skilled technical tester with a few years of hands on experience should produce 3-4 maintainable, and robust automated test scripts per working day. A fully automated test script means that the script has been recorded and modified with all the necessary programming logic (i.e while loops, data driven, contains error handling logic, is correlated, contains functional calls, contains verification points, etc) and the automated test script has been tested and has functional tester sign-off.

These rates presume that the automated test scripts are recorded for test scenarios that range from medium to complex difficulty and require more than just record and

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