Launching Test Automation Support

/ June 27th, 2011
 

Does your team have automated tests?

  • Do you run automation as part of your tests?
  • How do schedule and execute your automated scripts?
  • Do you generate reports out of your automation? Do you do this together with your manual tests?

It’s great to see how test automation is becoming more common in today’s testing organizations. Something that used to be mainly a buzzword in the industry, is becoming a helpful tool to many teams around the world.

Regardless if you use Selenium, QTP, or even home-brewed scripts, automation is more and more a part of everyday QA life.  Even though it is still far from being a Silver Bullet, as many tool vendors want us to believe, it allows to streamline our processes and to develop more stable products, helping us release high quality products faster than before.

The problem is that, in order to make proper use of automation you need to manage it and integrate it into your overall testing process. For example, you need to understand what part of your tests are automatic vs. manual; or sometimes you are asked to generate reports that will show your stakeholders the overall testing status of your product (regardless if the test is automated or not!).

What were we looking to solve?

After getting a number of requests from users to expand PractiTest’s functionality to manage (also) automated tests we started searching for the best possible solution.

Basically we wanted to come up with an approach that would allow users to:

  1. Manage their tests and runs, whether manual or automated, in one place.
  2. Increase the visibility of the automation efforts and teams, eliminating any communication or coordination issues.
  3. To see the results of all my tests in one place, creating comprehensive reports.
  4. Providing a solution that is simple to deploy and flexible enough to manage as many tools as possible.

Our solution – the xBot automation agent

So, after talking to our users and reviewing many possible approaches we chose to develop what we call the xBot automation agent, a small java utility that runs on every OS (Windows, Mac, Linux) and is able to execute scripts written on any tool or any language.

Users who want to run automated test simply map their automation scripts to tests in the Test Library, they then create a Test Set with their scripts, and schedule the time when they want their tests to start running.  When this time arrives the xBot gets from PractiTest the order to execute the scripts locally.  Finally after each test is run, the agent uploads the results to PractiTest as part of the test execution log.

Public release of the xBot agent

In the beginning of the year we started a private beta with a limited number of customers who had asked for this functionality. Later on, in February, we released the public beta in order to get more feedback on the solution.

In May and June published a number of posts in our QAblog, linked-in and other forums, asking testers what are their biggest challenges when coordinating automated and manual tests.

Now, after taking the feedback from the Beta and the inputs from the web, we are proud to release this new solution to support automated testing via PractiTest.

We hope you’ll like our solution and invite you to keep providing us your feedback.  Here’s more information about the xBot and PractiTest’s support for Automated Tests.

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