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Digging Deeper into the Benefits of Automated Software Testing: Part Two

In addition to increasing the depth and breadth of testing, we have found at least sixteen notable benefits of implementing automated software testing. In last Monday’s blog, we addressed the first four. Today’s blog contains four more. If you missed the blog on September 30, you might want to review that before continuing. This is the second in a series of four blogs that will be published on this topic.

The following four items highlight some additional benefits of automated software testing. Could they be a boon to your testing program?

Enables Focus on Advanced Test Issues:

A large portion of tests are conducted on the basic user interface operations of an application, as well as on analyzing outputs. Automating these tests allows for repeatability of these types of tests and functions and testers can spend their time addressing more advanced test problems.

Performs Some Tests that cannot be completed Manually:

As software systems and products become more complex, manual testing cannot cover all of the testing that is needed while meeting tight development schedules. The following types of testing and analysis can hardly be performed manually: code coverage analysis, memory leak detection and cyclomatic complexity testing. The man-hours and methods required to manually perform these types of tests make them cost-prohibitive or very difficult to conduct. Security testing of an application is another area that is almost impossible to complete manually. These types of cumbersome but important tests are best when automated

Reproduces Software Defects:

Once test engineers uncover a defect, it is important that they are able to reproduce it. An automated test tool records the history of test steps and defects. Using this tool, developers can simply play back the automated test script, revealing the exact steps that were taken and the defects that occurred.

Broadens System Expertise:

During critical phases of testing, it is possible that a functional expert is not present when a defect arises. The use of existing automated test scripts can allow the test team to verify original functionality without an expert present. Additionally, testers can learn more about the application under test (AUT) by observing the script execute the sequence of steps needed to exercise the functionality.

Implementing Automated Software Testing into your testing program offers many advantages. We have now elaborated on eight of them. Tune in on October 14 for part three in this series. To discuss how Innovative Defense Technologies (IDT) can help your testing program, contact us.

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.