Digging Deeper into the Benefits of Automated Software Testing: Part Four
Automated Software Testing offers testers a broad range of advantages. Many software testing activities inherently lend themselves to automation because they are too tedious to implement using manual methods. But the list of benefits is longer than that. Our three previous blogs on this topic addressed twelve of the benefits. In this final blog, we discuss four more, completing the series.
Test Optimization and Quality Measurements
With manual software testing, it is difficult to repeat tests. The steps taken during the first run of a test will not be the exact steps followed during a second iteration. Without qualified, repeated tests it is difficult to produce quality measurements. Automated software testing allows for test optimization and quality metrics because automated tests can be easily repeated and results measured. Test engineer analysis of qualified measurements supports efforts to optimize tests only when tests are repeatable. IDT has developed various automated testing solutions, including ATRT: Test Manager for GUI and message-based automation, along with ATRT: Analysis Manager, a tool that utilizes automation to provide high-quality analysis of test results.
Improved System Development Lifecycle
Automated Software Testing can support each phase of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). There are automated tools to assist the requirements definition phase and help produce test-ready requirements. These minimize the test effort and the cost of testing. There are also tools to support the design phase, such as modeling tools, which can record requirements within use cases. For example, ATRT: Analysis Manager can reuse existing use cases as part of an automated testing program. Some tools mainly support the programming phase, such as metrics reporters, code checkers, and many more. IDT’s ATRT solutions can integrate with many existing solutions. If requirements definition, software design, and test procedures have been properly and iteratively prepared, application development is eased and automated testing can be an integral part of this entire process.
Improved Documentation and Traceability
Test programs using Automated Software Testing will also benefit from improved documentation and traceability. When testing manually, test results can include error-prone notebooks of handwritten results and lists of test times and lengths. Automation produces exact records of the timing of tests, actual results, the baseline that was tested and the configuration used, along with other test pertinent information. Automated test scripts include inputs and expected results that produce helpful documentation baselines for each test. IDT’s automated testing solutions use the BIRT reporting plug-in allowing for flexible reporting.
Distributed Workload and Concurrency Testing
Without some form of automation, it is almost impossible to conduct a distributed workload or concurrency test that provides useful results. Since hardware can be expensive, replicating a production environment is cost-prohibitive. The most effective implementation of workload testing includes using virtual users along with Automated Software Testing. Functioning together, automated virtual users provide a powerful framework for these types of tests.
Implementing Automated Software Testing into your testing program offers many advantages. We have now elaborated on sixteen of them. Automation can reduce the time and cost of software testing, improve software quality, and improve software test programs in measurable and significant ways. The question we set out to answer was, “Why AST?” But in light of all of the benefits, perhaps the better question to be asked is, “Why not AST?”
Some information taken from: Dustin, Elfriede, Thom Garrett, and Bernie Gauf. Implementing Automated Software Testing: How to Save Time and Lower Costs While Raising Quality. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Addison-Wesley, 2009. This book was authored by three current IDT employees and is a comprehensive resource on AST. Blog content may also reflect interviews with the authors.