QWE2000 Session 1T

Ms. Miriam Bromnick [UK]
(Ovum ltd)

"Automated Software Testing: A New Breed of Tools"

Full Technical Paper in QWE2000 CD-ROM

Key Points

Presentation Abstract

Test managers are faced with increasing problems to meet the rush to market, project timescales are getting shorter and shorter. Applications are being developed to take opportunity of new and innovative business models. More and more complex applications are being developed, using complex mixes of technology. However these opportunities bring a number of risks. Testing process needs to adapt and testers need to innovate, and to work smarter, to counter the risks.

Functional test tools are well accepted and offer good support of capture/replay testing. Scalability issues, especially for e-commerce, have meant the increasing acceptance of load and performance test tools. Even automated code checking tools have become more commonplace. However these automated test tools do not help the testing processes and they do not help test managers solve some of their biggest concerns.

New automated test tools and new techniques are required to ensure quality applications are delivered and that the rush to market does not ignore the risks of software failures.

This presentation looks at a new breed of tools that is emerging to support some of the processes around quality assurance and testing. These tools can be used standalone, or as "plug-ins" to the capture/replay tools. Some of the mainstream tools have also been enhanced to give more support in these areas, for example Mercury Interactive's TestDirector. This new breed of tools help to automate some processes that may already be used (for example as "best practice") and support application developers introducing and automating new repeatable processes. Implementing these tools will bring short term saving in delivering higher quality application and will allow long term benefits as the tools support sophisticate processes, such as requirements traceability, allowing quality across the whole life of an application. These tools will be examined in 3 categories:
Throughout this presentation experiences of a test manager are referred to, indicating typical practical testing problems. The new breed of automated test tools is discussed in detail to understand which problems that they aim to solve. The research method used to evaluate these tools is presented, indicating the benefits of rigorous software evaluation. This presentation concludes by discussing long term investment in testing tools and ideas to influence budget holders that investment in these tools would be worthwhile.

About the Speaker

Miriam Bromnick is the editor of Ovum Evaluates: Software Testing Tools. http:\www.ovum.com\
In this role she makes in-depth evaluations of the leading software testing tool sets. She also researches into the background issues underlying testing and is currently interested in the testing of e-commerce applications. Her previous software experience spans 20 years. She followed a traditional IT career path in the commercial sector from programmer to analyst and then to project manager. She has managed testing teams in blue chip commercial organisations. As a testing and quality expert she has developed and supported software testing procedures and methods. She believes in continuous improvement and has herself recently gained a first class honours degree in Information Management.