Interoperability – Standardized Test Information Interchange
Have you ever tried switching from one automated testing tool to another but decided not to make the move because you already had too much time invested and too many automated test cases that existed using the old solution?
Hundreds of automated software testing tools solutions currently exist and each provides their own development language for automating test cases. One tool might use VBScript; another might use a proprietary scripting language; while yet another might let you choose from a multitude of programming languages to create your automated test cases .
The challenge with this non-standardized way of automating test cases development across the automated testing tool community is there is no interoperability and no data exchange capability among automated testing solutions. If you wanted to switch from tool A to tool B you would have to recreate all your tests in tool B; no standardized approach exists to automate this process.
To address this and other interoperability challenges, we at IDT, along with others, have proposed a standard to the OMG (www.omg.org) called the Test Information Interchange for Automating Software Test Processes for software systems (in short TestIF).
The goal of this standard is to achieve a specification that defines the format for the exchange of test information between tools, applications, and systems that utilize it. The term “test information” is deliberately vague, because it includes the concepts of tests (test cases), test results, test scripts, test procedures, and other items that are normally documented as part of a software test effort.
The long term goal is to standardize the exchange of all test related artifacts produced or consumed as part of the testing process.
Figure 1-1 is a notional view of the way compliant tools would access and contribute test information in a standard format. The red boxes represent instances of different types of tools that might produce or consume test information. These boxes are not intended to be prescriptive or a comprehensive capture of all of the functionality related to test data information exchange. This is merely here as an illustration of the types of tools and functionality that would utilize and benefit from this standard.
Figure 1-1: Notional Interchange Example
Let’s move Automated Software Testing into the future with TestIF.