In 2011, when renowned Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen wrote his seminal essay titled ‘Software is eating the world’ for the Wall Street Journal, he was referring to how every industry in this world will be disrupted by software.
He was, of course, referring to how several sectors from agriculture and life sciences to manufacturing and retail was turning to software, web and mobile applications to help improve their processes, efficiency and even core operations.
One key result of this ‘software-ized’ world, is the need for constant product updates, fixes and launch of newer versions.
How often do we get a popup message reading “Your update is ready”? At Indium, as a leading independent testing services company, we saw an opportunity to develop test automation frameworks, keeping in mind reduced time-to-market and highly efficient product development lifecycles.
We understand that product managers are hoping their Quality Assurance (QA) teams are ready to implement rapid testing processes and that’s where iSAFE (Indium’s Software Automation Framework Enhanced) fits in.
This IP accelerator has been designed to be tool agnostic; meaning it works across various test automation tools including QTP/UFT, LeanFT, Selenium/Appium, SilkTest, TestComplete, Genie, and Ranorex.
While iSAFE is one of our early frameworks for test automation services of web applications, over the years, we’ve developed multiple frameworks – iMobi for mobile app test automation, iAVA for security testing using Indium’s Anti-Vulnerability Assessment Framework, iSCOUTE for web monitoring and downtime checks and iFACT for easy browser compatibility testing.
“A testing tool accompanied by clear-cut measurable objectives, automation readiness, a well thought out framework for test automation, a way of storing & managing test data, and industry best practices & methodologies will lead to success of test automation.”
There is no doubt that testing, typically the final step in the development process, also has to keep pace and be agile.
Additionally, it is extremely important to have a test automation strategy in place. Of course, there are areas where manual testing cannot be avoided, but these are common pitfalls of a manual-only testing methodology.
First, there is the possibility of human errors. With such shortened testing cycles, the likelihood of missing bugs with a manual-only process, certainly increases.
The second limitation in manual testing is that it is difficult to recreate, recall and capture an error. The entire testing process has to be repeated to recreate a bug, thus putting pressure on time.
The third limitation is the need to rewrite multiple testing scripts for different operating systems and browsers, thus wasting valuable time.
Testing requires an understanding of not just the tool itself, but knowhow about the users it is targeted for, and the purpose for which a particular tool is used. A pre-scripted, automated tool can often be rigid and limiting.
The results will throw up a collection of bugs, but there would be no way for a QA tester to differentiate between the critical and non-critical ones.
As we were gearing up to build iSAFE, we put together a list of common testing challenges, hoping to solve each of them with our framework.
At Indium, we’ve been entrenched in the world of software testing since 1999. As an independent vendor, we had the experience of using multiple test tools in a variety of contexts.
We have served clients from a cross-section of industries including banking, technology, healthcare, life sciences, retail, education and gaming sectors, and it was crucial to bring our experience to the fore as we built iSAFE.
We believe some of the key differentiations of using iSAFE are the following:
Of course, the process of improving iSAFE is a never ending effort for us. The next version (iSAFE 3.5) to be released next quarter, will have an enhanced dashboard, built-in-analytics and generate reports to help product owners develop better software.
Additionally, we’re exploring ideas to improve User Interface testing in the upcoming version.
Also, one must keep in mind that all testing cannot be automated. There are certain aspects of the testing process – that have to be manual – and a quality automation framework will allow more time for anything that has to be tested manually.
At Indium, we’ve established a methodology to stay at the forefront of software development methodologies, a key approach to build better testing frameworks. As “software eats the world”, we hope to ensure it is “high-quality software” that is doing the job.
By Uma Raj
By Uma Raj
By Abishek Balakumar