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Test Automation - Take out the Tedium - Agile: More, Often, Continuously

When deadlines approach, testing suffers

A major concern for developers is how to guarantee consistent, high levels of application reliability and availability for the business after each software change.  The only sure method for achieving this is through repeat testing. Tests are vital, but can be costly, time consuming, tedious and error prone when performed manually.  In most businesses testing suffers when deadlines approach. The business imperative to deliver new application functions in smaller increments more often and with higher quality makes good testing even more imperative.

Most businesses use third party vendor software packages. Software vendors typically test new releases and service packs in their test environments using their test scenarios but how can they know how our environment may have changed recently?   Without the ability to test in our environment we could be introducing errors in the software package or our in-house applications after we install one of their releases of service packs.

Humans make mistakes all the time, some of them can be expensive and dangerous
Philippe Magne, Arcad

Automated testing doesn’t suffer from deadline panic

Automation is the key:

A recorder pre-records and stores a scenario before a software change including all the users’ keystrokes.  These recordings and their outcomes when run get stored as a reference.
After a software change the scenarios can be automatically and rapidly replayed and compared against the reference results.
An easy to understand test report is produced to help developers understand the differences.
If the scenario has passed it automatically becomes the new reference. It is also possible to simulate date changes so that EOD/EOM procedures can be simulated. This reduces the cost and duration of tests.
Regression tests verify that a change has had no unintended effects.
Non-regression tests verify that a change has had the intended effect.

Even if the deadline is looming, testing does not need to suffer!

Automate the reception of new releases and service packs from third party vendors. Perform an impact analysis, compile a list of impacted components, this becomes a starting point for a reliable roll-out.

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