Script Maintenance Kills Test Automation

If there is one thing that kills test automation it is script maintenance. It is essential to minimize this for long term success.  It is massively important in Agile methodologies as there is simply not time to have a long-winded approach to maintenance.

A technical approach perhaps involving code may be acceptable if testing SOA components if the pieces are small and their functions and output do not change much. But when components are combined or if testing the User Interface (UI) then resilience is massively important.  A coded approach to automation here will probably fail, it just creates too big a millstone on the rest of the project unless it is very well and expensively resourced.

We have seen this so many times and it is the main reason why test automation has historically had a bad reputation. If you are developing code changes you have enough of a problem as it is without initiating a parallel test automation coding project with similar challenges. 

TestDrive reflects the pinnacle of code-free UI automation. There is no code to change when the application changes.  The way the solution is architected with data, checking, logic, linking and interfaces abstracted from scripts (process and steps) reduces the impact of the change from the start.  But also, the patented features such as automatic UI annotation means that changing object technical parameters, names, or locations are handled automatically.  This is especially important where you don’t have any control over them in your vendor-supplied applications.  But the busy-sense, self-healing, drag and drop interface, data drive, and automatic picture-taking capabilities all add to the minimized maintenance and maximized usability goals.

Reuse is a key goal that drove TestDrive’s architecture, but also the approach to responsive web testing on mobile and other devices.  This has meant that a single script can test any mobile device that the browser can emulate such as a Samsung phone or tablet, a Nokia phone, an iPad or iPhone, HTC, etc.  A single solution supporting eCommerce channels.  Look for reuse.

This is an extract from a whitepaper titled “The Test Automation Silver Bullet, Myth or Reality”.

George Wilson is Head of Sales and Operations at Original Software.

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