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Monday, May 14, 2012

How to define boundaries between automation framework and a testing tool?

Automated software testing is difficult to be carried out on its own and thus requires support. This support is supplied by a frame work which is automated for all kinds of testing and is commonly known as the “test automation framework”. To define it formally we can say that it is a set of the below mentioned aspects:
  1. Assumptions whether true or false,
  2. Concepts providing support to the automated testing and,
  3. The tools that provide aid in performing the automated testing and so on.
About Automated Testing Framework and a Testing Tool
- The most beneficial advantage being the reduction in the high costs of the whole software testing life cycle or STLC. 
- Software testing life cycle is a very extensive process and requires a lot of efforts. 
- The test automation frame work alone cannot help in completing the software testing life cycle. 
There are some additional tools other than the test automation frame work that provide aid in the testing process.
- Most of the tools available nowadays are quite easy to use and deliver what they promise.
- Most of testing tools have been exclusively designed to take control of the whole testing process inclusive of the quality assurance check.
- The testing tools which create the test cases, create them based up on the requirements. 
- Some of the testing tools have been designed to carry out the user acceptance testing programs and they are also capable of tracking the testing environments.
- With so many testing methodologies around, an equivalent number of types of testing tools have been developed to carry out the corresponding tests.
- We mean to say that for every kind of testing there are particular testing tools. 

Often the software testing tools and test automation frame work are confused to be the same thing but this is not so. There is a considerable difference between the two. This article is focused up on the boundaries between the automation frame work and the testing tools.

How the work is reduced in the case of test automation framework? 
- The start-up scripts and the driver scripts remain the same in all the processes. 
- Only the test case file to whose test case the changes have been made is required to be updated whenever a change in the test case is detected. 
- Changes are not made to the driver scripts and the startup scripts since under ideal conditions there is no need to update the scripts whenever changes are introduced in to the software program or application. 

Now coming to the testing tools, how do they work? 
The testing tools build up on the requirements of the particular piece of software under test and can make many significant improvements in the following aspects of the development process:
  1. Productivity of the developers and programmers,
  2. Motivation of the development team,
  3. Quality of the software product and so on.
Purpose for which testing framework is used:
The following are the purposes for which the testing automation frame work is used:
  1. For defining a format for the expectations to be expressed in.
  2. For creating a mechanism for driving the software system or application.
  3. For execution of the test cases.
  4. For reporting of the results.F
Purpose for which testing tools are used:
  1. Monitoring the program.
  2. Simulating the instructional set.
  3. Repeating the system level tests
  4. Making the benchmarks or run time performance comparisons.
  5. Executing the program step by step.
  6. Symbolic debugging for the inspection of the programming variables.
  7. Fault detection
Test automation frame work itself can be thought of as a testing tool.

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