Getting Your Test Tool Right is Key to Releasing Quality Software

choosing right software testing tools

Choosing and investing in a software testing tool or a test automation framework is like fitting into the right sports shoes – you need to run with them, walk with them, and if on an expedition climb with them. While you want the testing tool to work for you, you have multiple objectives to achieve with that tool/framework and finally get higher ROI.

Adrian Ludwig, Director of Android Security at Google, mentioned to a tech portal at a security conference that its recent launch Pixel and Pixel XL are as secure as iPhones. However, The Register recently reported that a group of Chinese white hat hackers could hack a Pixel in 60 seconds at the PwnFest hacking competition in Seoul.

With stakes so high, testing is getting redefined every second, reinforcing the need for an all-inclusive applicable testing tool for specific business requirements that would ensure quality deliverables.

What are the key activities of a tester that a testing tool can ease out? To name a few:

  • Building and sustaining a release /project cycle /component information
  • Maintaining test artefacts for every release/cycle
  • Create traceability index for test assets
  • Build support for Test execution, for example, test suite creation, test execution reports, etc.
  • Bug/Defect tracking and management

Modern day testing concepts and the new school of thought reinforces the application of testing way ahead in the development process. This has created a paradigm shift and has changed the relevance of testing in the overall SDLC process.

For instance, Shift-left approach, DevOps, Agile Testing are methodologies that encourage rigorous and constant testing right through development, with focus driven on quality deliverables.

Before you dive into the reasons/rationale behind choosing the right testing tool, here are some relevant reasons for implementing and investing in a testing or test automation tool.

  • Reduce errors due to repetition: Repetition is boring and can lead to errors if executed manually. If the tests are fed in constantly for regression tests and checked against coding standards, there are some prominent chances of errors.
  • Consistency and recurring tests: Some testing tasks need tremendous consistency and repeatability in exactly the same way. Manual efforts can lead to variations leading to errors. By implementing a tool, these tasks can be reproduced exactly and automatically to validate the consistency of the results.
  • External assessment: A testing tool can bring objectivity to the testing activity. A tool brings automation and cuts the subjective notions from the testing process. The assessment is done to identify defects.
  • Easy access to test reports: A testing tool facilitates well-designed and well-presented reports for assessing the test data and analysis. It provides information in the form of graphics, statistics, performance metrics, etc.

Testing tools are segmented according to the various testing activities that the tool is expected to execute. The market is flooded with Licensed as well as Open-source tools for diverse and increasingly challenging testing needs. The segmentation of testing tools can vary as per the changing requirements in the marketplace.

Experts have set some key predictions for Testing, namely, expansion of Mobile Application testing, rise of Agile and Continuous Delivery models, and increasing adoption of Open-Source testing tools. These intrinsic needs of products and services will keep on determining the adoption of testing and testing tools in the holistic software development process.

Types of testing tools

testing tools types

What are the questions you need to ask before choosing and finally investing in a testing tool? These questions/parameters will lead you nearer to your testing and product development goal – Quality!

Whether you are a start-up, a large conglomerate, a medium or large enterprise, these questions can further enable you to justify the costs and estimate the ROI from the tool to the management team. These parameters are applicable across any type of testing/test automation tool that you plan to invest in.

What are you expecting to achieve from the tool?

Get specific with your requirement and try to breakdown your testing goals. This will help you to further address your testing requirements and choose an appropriate tool.

Whom are you sourcing the tool from?

It is important to know the details of the vendor you are sourcing the tool from. Get to know about the company, the support that you will receive, and most importantly how stable is the company.

How established is the tool?

Before you invest time, money and efforts, know about the tool and get to know market feedback. Find out details such as how agile and adaptable it is, any expected upgrades in the near future, relevance for your business needs, and relevant Analyst feedback.

What is the quantum of training required?

First, decide between a Licensed or Open-source tool with proper required justification for your business/testing requirements. Understand the training process and requirements. Research if there is an active community supporting the tool and what is the estimated training cost.

This will help you understand the overall expected learning curve for your team and weigh it against the existing technical capabilities.

Is there a Proof of Concept (PoC)?

Free trials and demos is very much the trend amongst vendors and enterprises selling tools and related services. Additionally, it is important to figure out whether your tool vendor will provide you a proof of concept as well. It will give you a first-hand idea about the tool’s capabilities and understand whether it is in sync in with your business requirements.

Additionally, check for other related details, namely, warranty period, validity of free trials, number of free trials before purchase, etc.

What does the competition look like?

It is wise to not get carried away with only one offer in hand. Gauge the competition, know what other similar tool vendors are offering you, and experiment with various tools. This will help you justify the investment that you are planning to make in the chosen tool vendor.

If your business is not so technically aligned and your internal technical capabilities are questionable, it is suggested to on board an experienced testing partner. These partners may have partnerships with testing tool vendors to leverage for your project, or can confidently advise you on the right testing tool to choose for your Quality Assurance needs.

Over to you!

Gallop’s Advisory and Transformation Services collaborate with businesses to understand their QA focus areas – people, tools, and infrastructure across the delivery lifecycle. The Advisory Services enable clients to gauge their QA maturity and detect gaps in their practices.

Connect with us to embark on a QA transformation journey armed with the right testing tool, comprehensive testing framework, and a metrics driven QA approach. Build value-added engagements and ensure a high performance of your software/application with our Transformation services.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Guidewire Testing: Can Test Automation Help Realize Higher ROI for Insurance Industry?

guidewire testing - can test automation help realize higher roi

On the latest release of 2016.2 Guidewire Insurance Platform™, Wade Bontrager, Vice President, Business Owner, Predictive Analytics, Guidewire Software said, “This release delivers on our goal of continually adding new sources of value for our customers, particularly in the fast-paced Data and Digital engagement areas, enabling our customers to mine and deploy far more insight from the explosion of data available to the industry today”.

This estimates how Digital Transformation and Digital Engagement is making an impact across every industry and sector. Specially, the Insurance sector is facing some inherent challenges today, namely, more competition, changing consumer preferences, compliance with Federal regulations and growing digital confluence.

Guidewire Software Inc., popularly known as Guidewire is a provider of software products to Property and Casualty (P/C) insurers. A software published based in Foster City, California, Guidewire offers core back-end software for property and casualty insurance carriers in the US and worldwide.

The Guidewire Insurance Suite™ offers a comprehensive bunch of applications that support various insurance operations, namely, underwriting, policy administration, billing, and claims management. The Insurance Suite applications comprise a set of shared platform modules that include the property and casualty insurance lifecycle and particularly change the legacy systems developed and installed internally by the carrier.

Insurance carriers across the world implement Guidewire for some recognizable benefits. Some of the known names in the sector are Canadian Automobile Association Insurance Company (Ontario), Hartford Steam Boiler, Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, Kentucky Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, The Cincinnati Insurance Companies, and United Automobile Insurance Company (UAIC).

Guidewire’s three aspects, namely, operations, data and analytics, and digital engagement have enabled over 200 Property and Casualty carriers to enhance operational efficiency, speed-to-market and customer experience.

What are the most proven benefits of Guidewire?

Guidewire Suite offers a tested solution that focuses on optimizing insurance operations that have been developed with insights from an active global customer community. The overall objective is to further empower employees, agents, and customers to help adapt to the changing market dynamics.

Guidewire has been built with some clear objectives –

  1. Enable Business Agility
  2. Empower customers and improve retention
  3. Improve Operational Performance, Responsiveness, and Decision-Making
  4. Innovate with Digital Channels
  5. Build globally-accessible business model

Additionally, there are some clear factors considered while designing and developing Guidewire products –

  • Flexibility, is an important factor considered while developing the software suite. Moreover, it has to be agile enough to adapt the market changes. Particularly, the flexibility has to come by region, by business, and by functional area.
  • User Experience, is at the core of every development and has to ensure holistic experience. The focus is to design specifically to ensure the kind of experience that users expect, than to take the mundane route.
  • Performance and Reliability, are key factors considering while developing. The platform is built on a modern architecture to cater to the property and casualty insurance industry specifications.

While the benefits are overwhelming, the challenges of implementing Guidewire are inducing too. Choosing a platform will be just the first step. What do you do next?

  • Deployment option
    • Implementing the entire suite of Guidewire systems is the fastest way to comprehend the all-out benefits, however, risks can be reduced by rolling it out by business line/any other parameters.
    • There are carriers who selectively deploy Guidewire’s core systems one at a time across regions and business segments. This mainly helps in minimizing the impact of transformation across an enterprise.
    • Another option is to take a mid-way. Implementation experts suggest a combined approach, one system can be implemented followed by another system getting implemented simultaneously.

An experienced testing and implementation partner can definitely bring value in this sphere. With successful and tested implementation, Guidewire’s technology platform can enable insurers to reduce the long-standing cost of ownership by consolidating a single suite of applications.

Let’s understand the challenges generally experienced while implementing and testing Guidewire Suite.

  • Minimum know-how about QA and its criticality across the enterprise
  • Inadequate processed and QA guidelines across diverse business streams
  • Frequent upgrades in user requirements
  • Delay in execution of tests due to absence of code development
  • Absence of functional and non-functional requirements documentation

While the implementation needs are taken care of, the testing and integration of the Suite within the functional spheres is absolutely critical. Testing remains a major challenge and manual testing can be time consuming and tedious. So, the benefits of Test Automation in such a scenario are loud and clear.

Efficiency in Testing

Efficiency and consistency are significant benefits of Test Automation. While manual testing can be time consuming, automation can make the process repetitive, faster, consistent, save costs, testing efforts, and bring in more ROI.

Reusability of tests

Reusability increases profitability across the product lifecycle. Test Automation framework makes tests reusable and with every new test and discovery of bug, the test directory gets upgraded and market-ready. This minimizes costs and mainly helps justify investment in the testing tool.

Stability

Test Automation framework offers a consistent platform for your complete testing needs, as it reduces monotony that arises due to some mundane tests. It further reduces errors with availability of pre-recorded instruction. Regression tests check whether the existing functionalities are suitable for latest versions, when new development takes place with the software.

Longevity

Test Automation serves as a core component for further testing tasks. Automated testing software are designed and customized to provide flexibility, while complying with the latest security and testing protocols. In this way Test Automation makes the overall process and framework resourceful for a longer period.

Simulation

Test Automation uniquely simulates a typical user environment. For instance, Graphics User Interface (GUI) testing is one of the most tedious testing processes. Test Automation helps mock user driven environments and checks for real-time issues.

Gallop Solutions has been partnering with Insurance carriers across North America to offer robust testing solutions and garner better ROI from their Test Automation tools. While working with one of the leading Insurance companies and by implementing Test Automation, Gallop was able to achieve almost 80% reduction in Test Execution time.

The key requirement of the client was end-to-end testing of Guidewire Suite and Legacy Applications. Gallop team sketched a comprehensive strategy for functional and non-functional testing and built a Testing Center of Excellence (TCoE) with standardized QA processes.

Most importantly, the team developed a scalable, platform-agnostic test automation framework to jumpstart the testing process and ensured seamless integration.

At Gallop, we understand the quantum of investment you make in Guidewire Insurance product and the kind of ROI you expect from your huge investments. Gallop’s Insurance TCoE comprises pre-built test scripts (Manual and Automated) for the different modules of Guidewire product suite, for example, Policy Center, Claim Center, Billing Center, Under Writing Management, Mobile portals, and much more.

Several insurance companies have benefited by implementing Gallop’s Independent software testing services and Guidewire specific pre-built testing suite. We can help you reduce post production defects, improve test automation coverage and reduce your test cycle duration.

Gartner suggests that Insurance Technology Startups, popularly known as ‘Insurtechs’ are the next big thing in the insurance sector. Connect with us to build your business for the next big sensation and get your Guidewire effectively tested and implemented.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

10 Benefits Selenium Test Automation Brings for the Publishing Industry

benefits of selenium test automation

The age when you could literally ‘judge the book by its cover’ has vanished! A recent report states that publishers are increasingly using Big Data to sell their book rights globally. With Digitization dominating every aspect of entertainment and infotainment, Big Data Analytics and Automation of services can prove lucrative for the publishing industry. Web app/Website is now the first place to review a book and is a potent platform to reach out to the niche readers.

As the ebook market flourishes over the years, there is a massive amount of data in store for retailers and publishers. There was a time when the publishing sector was not powered with such data, but digitization of the overall reading experience and marketing has killed all the inherent limitations of the sector.

Likewise, a recent report states that the global publishing industry has experienced positive growth over the last five years and is expected to reach US $348 billion in 2017 with a CAGR of 2.3% over the next five years. Amongst some other benefits, Internet publishing, foreign investment and easing of regulatory restrictions are bound to give a boost to the publishing industry in the near future.

e-books publishing industry

E-books, E-Reading devices like Kindle are creating the right buzz and giving a makeover to the publishing industry. In this scenario, revamping and automating the digital platform is highly critical. For publishing houses, the website is the first page of the book that the readers will judge and rest their decisions.

How do you ensure that your website is giving those consistent results and offering an engaging experience to the rampant footfalls on the site? Testing is the key and Test Automation is the way to ensure your website’s expected look and feel.

With Web Application Testing it is imperative to address issues like website’s functionality, security issues, user interface, compatibility and performance. Test Automation provides a framework to run tests across browsers with no particular alterations. Importantly, it mechanically drives the same tests with a combination of various forms of data to enhance test coverage.

Some key Test Automation benefits are:

  • It ensures higher ROI on the initially huge investments done.
  • You can test 24*7 from a remotely held device as well.
  • There is less manual intervention, so the possibility of errors diminishes.
  • It makes the test scripts reusable – need new scripts every time even with changes in the version of the OS on the device and the tests can recur without any errors.
  • Automation helps you find bugs at an early stage.
  • Automated tests make the process more reliable and the tests more dependable.
  • Most importantly, it enables testing in volumes. For instance, it allows you to run tests on thousands of mobile devices. Now, this is impossible with Manual Testing.

Selenium is the most popularly used freeware and open source automation tool. The benefits of Selenium for Test Automation are immense. Amongst the many benefits, Selenium is an Open-Source tool and is easy to get started with for functional testing of web applications.

Importantly, it enables record and playback for testing web applications and can run multiple scripts across various browsers. Now that Selenium 3.0 is on its way and testing experts are mapping the roadmap for 4.0 and 5.0, the benefits of Selenium test automation hold relevance across diverse business segments.

  1. Open-Source:

As mentioned earlier, the biggest strength of Selenium is that it is a freeware and a portable tool. It has no upfront direct costs involved. The tool can be freely downloaded and the support for it is freely available, as it is community-based.

  1. Supports languages:

Selenium supports a range of languages, including Java, Perl, Python, C#, Ruby, Groovy, Java Script, etc. It has its own script, but it doesn’t limit it to that language. It can work with various languages and whatever the developers/testers are comfortable with.

  1. Supports Operating Systems:

Selenium can operate and support across multiple Operating Systems (OS) like Windows, Mac, Linux, UNIX, etc. With Selenium Suite of solutions, a tailored testing suite can be created over any platform and then executed on another one. For instance, you can create test cases using Windows OS and run it with ease on a Linux based system.

  1. Support across browsers:

Selenium provides support across multiple browsers, namely, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, etc. This becomes highly resourceful while executing tests and testing it across various browsers simultaneously.

The browsers supported by the Selenium packages are:

  • Selenium IDE can be used with Firefox as a plug-in
  • Selenium RC and Webdriver supports diverse browsers such as Internet Explorer
  1. Support for programming language and framework

Selenium integrates with programming languages and various frameworks. For instance, it can integrate with ANT or Maven type of framework for source code compilation. Further, it can integrate with TestNG testing framework for testing applications and reporting purposes. It can integrate with Jenkins or Hudson for Continuous Integration (CI) and can even integrate with other Open-Source tools to supports other features.

  1. Tests across devices

Selenium Test Automation can be implemented for Mobile web application automation on Android, IPhone, and Blackberry. This can help in generating necessary results and address issues on a continuous basis.

  1. Constant updates

Selenium support is community based and an active community support enable constant updates and upgrades. These upgrades are readily available and do not require specific training. This makes Selenium resourceful and cost-effective as well.

  1. Loaded Selenium Suits

Selenium is not just a singular tool or utility, it a loaded package of various testing tools and so is referred to as a Suite. Each tool is designed to cater to different testing needs and requirements of test environments.

Additionally, Selenium comes with capabilities to support Selenium IDE, Selenium Grid, and Selenium Remote Control (RC).

  1. Ease of implementation

Selenium offers a user-friendly interface that helps create and execute tests easily and effectively. Its Open-Source features help users to script their own extensions that makes them easy to develop customized actions and even manipulate at an advanced level.

Tests run directly across browsers and the users can watch while the tests are being executed. Additionally, Selenium’s reporting capabilities are one of the reasons for choosing it, as it allows testers to extract the results and take follow-up actions.

  1. Reusability and Add-ons

Selenium Test Automation Framework uses scripts that can be tested directly across multiple browsers. Concurrently, it is possible to execute multiple tests with Selenium, as it covers almost all aspects of functional testing by implementing add-on tools that broaden the scope of testing.

Likewise, there is another school of thought that talks about some gaps in Selenium Automation Testing. For instance, Test Automation experts also say that Selenium is not an all-inclusive tool for automating the testing of web applications, as it needs third-party frameworks and language support to get absolutely functional and show the needed results.

Gallop’s test automation CoE takes precedence in leveraging Selenium as a tool of choice for automating web application testing, performing functional regression automation, and developing automated tests. We have worked with some innovative businesses in North America to offer some phenomenal testing strategies and solutions.

The Gallop team collaborated with a Philadelphia-based leading Academic Research Paper Publishing House to offer Testing Automation services by leveraging Selenium. The client was observing growing popularity of its research publications and its niche readership accessing the website had shot up.

The publishing house needed support with its website that required testing across browsers and Operating Systems (OS). The key challenge was to address the layout issues across different OS-device-browser combination. This was a challenge, as majority of the pages were syntactically incorrect. Additionally, the Gallop team had to deal with functionality issues and JavaScript compatibility as well.

By leveraging Selenium Testing, Gallop developed a utility using browser stack and executed multiple scripts simultaneously across browsers/OS combinations that helped address the functionality issues. Finally, the team achieved 100% test coverage for cross-browser compatibility.

Additionally, a Browser stack utility developed by Gallop executed all test scripts across different browsers and OS combinations and identified bugs/defects much faster.

The publishing industry is highly fragmented and statistics show that North America is dominating the game. Additionally, a combination of factors such as literacy level, income level, changing life style, advertiser spending, technological changes, and government regulations are seen to impact industry dynamics significantly.

The key enabler identified here is huge transformation powered by Digitization.

Connect with Gallop to leverage our unified test automation framework to overcome key challenges in Selenium test automation and get your Website/Web Apps functionally ready for your niche audience.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Integrating Selenium with Google Drive

Integrating Selenium with Google Drive

New-age technologies have extensively impacted our routine activities and quite positively. Today there are sophisticated and advanced gadgets available to further ease human efforts. While the emerging technologies continue to transform our lives, testing their performance for desired outcome is indispensable.

Test Automation holds numerous advantages to enhance the testing processes and achieve maximum test coverage. Google Drive integration is a case in point. We shall further discuss and understand the various advantages of using Google Drive.

When you integrate with the User Interface (UI) of Google Drive, users can create and open files stored on the drive within the application. This process is applicable across all the Google Drive Web applications. The Google Drive platform provides a bunch of APIs along with client libraries, language-specific examples, and documentation to help you develop apps that can integrate with Google Drive for automation.

sel-logo

Why is using Google Drive for Test Automation recommended?

  • You can create an external file that stores the test data (Input data and Expected Data) as centralized and shared repository.
  • You can populate the test data into Automation Test Script, so that several API’s can be used to read the test data.
  • The total number of scripts required to cover all the possible combinations of test scenarios is very less. Thus, lesser amount of code is required to test a complete set of scenarios.
  • You get increased flexibility and maintainability of automation test scripts, which also offers a clean and
    user-friendly interface.
  • Any change in the test data matrix would not hamper the test script code.
  • It provides effective communication and sharing, so that it is easier for manual and automation test teams to execute the scripts on Cloud with required set of data.
  • Check-in or check-out from the project framework is not required to refactor the test data.
  • High re-usability can be achieved, as tests can be reused across multiple test cases by altering the test data values.

Challenges of using Google Drive for Test Automation

  • In order to avoid script-processing errors due to incorrect data-file format or content, Notepad or Microsoft Excel has to be used to create and maintain the data files.
  • While developing and executing automation test scripts, technical skills are required to refactor the test data sheet within the Automation framework.

Prerequisites for Integration

  • Java 1.7 or greater
  • Access to the internet and a web browser
  • A Google account with Google Drive enabled

Google Drive Configuration

    1. Login into your Gmail account like xx@gmail.com and navigate to the Access Link https://console.developers.google.com in other tab.
    2. Click on “Google API Console” under Developer Consoles section at bottom of the page or navigate to link – https://console.developers.google.com/apis/library
    3. Click on “Drive API” under Google Apps APIs section.

Google Apps APIs

    1. Create/Select a project in the Google Developers Console and enable the Google API. Click Continue, then Go to credentials.

Google API 4

    1. At the top of the page, select the OAuth consent screen tab. Select an Email address, enter a Product name if not already set, and click Save.

Image credentials - 5

6. Select the Credentials tab, click Create Credentials and select OAuth client ID.

selenium-image-6
7. Now to create Client Id, click on ‘Configure consent screen’.

selenium-7th
8. Select the application type other, enter the name “client Demo”, and click Create.

9. Now dialog will appear which shows your “OAuth Client Id and Client Secret”. Click OK to dismiss the resulting dialog.

selenium-9

10. Select the client name checkbox and click the file download (Download JSON) button to the right of the client ID.

selenium-10
11. Move the downloaded file to your working directory and rename it client_secret.json.

selenium-11

12. Now click on “Create credentials” drop down button and select “Service Account Key”.

selenium-12
13. Select “Service Account – Compute Engine default service account” and key type “P12”. Click Create.

14. Click Close to dismiss the resulting dialog.

selenium-14
15. Move the downloaded file – *.P12 to your working directory.

selenium-15

16. Open Google Drive from your Gmail account.

17. Create a new Google spreadsheet and save it as testSheet.

18. Click Share and share the spreadsheet with your Client Id (xxx-developer.gsserviceaccount.com) which you  created above.

19. Modify the Access Link setting – “Anyone with the link can edit”

20. Click Save.

Java Source Code for Integration

Here is a sample code in Java for accessing the Google Drive for any user. To use the same, first download the following jars or add maven dependencies.

Jar Files

code-1

 

code-2

code-3

code-4

code-5

code-6

 

code-7code-8code-9code-10code-11code-12code-13code-14

Conclusion

Google Drive is the most user-friendly storage option, where all test data can be loaded (For e.g. on Gmail, Google Docs, and spreadsheets), and accessed from all remote locations. Google provides both free and paid-for storage services. These provide multiple storage capacity options for your files and folders, where users can store backup local files and sync in files and folders across multiple computers.

It is recommended to utilize Google Drive services for Quality Assurance (QA) practices and further also integrate with Automation tools like Selenium.

Selenium is one of the most popular Automation testing suites. It is designed to test functional aspects of Web applications across a wide range of browsers and platforms. Considering it is an Open-Source platform, it is easy to integrate Google Drive with Selenium. Additionally, credentials of Google account can be shared with all authorized team members for effective execution of tests on the Cloud.

Ashish Jain technical lead at Gallop SolutionsAbout the Author: Ashish Jain, Technical Lead at Gallop Solutions, brings with him rich experience in the field of automation for web and mobile-based applications. He has extensive expertise in both functional as well as performance automation. He also holds expertise across various automation tools and technologies and has been involved in designing Testing solutions for various clients in Energy Utilities, Donation and fitness-based domains.
The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Can Selenium Automation really save businesses from an online breakdown?

can-selenium-automation-really-save-businesses-from-an-online-breakdown

There are instances where you try to key in a Web page address and encounter an HTTP error. This could probably be a typo error while entering the website address, but most of the times it is an error with the website. Google has identified the top 5 most common HTTP errors – Error 500, Error 404, Error 403, Error 400, and Error 401. The hit list has been created using Google’s search statistics, where the idea is to find out the most common errors that are searched by users for solutions on the search engine.

Cases like these can take away any prospective customer and create a sorry figure for the brand. It is a universal truth in today’s digital landscape that websites, web applications, or mobile applications with high-performance drive more and relevant traffic, engage better, and bring brand loyalty. Gaining and missing out on a business opportunity just takes fraction of a second.  This mounts the importance of constantly evaluating and optimizing the performance of your Web properties.

Some key parameters for assessing the performance of Web applications are:

  • Average Application Response Time
  • Requests per second
  • Peak Response Time
  • Concurrent users
  • Throughput
  • Error Rate

Functional  Testing comes into play to ensure and test that the website is showing the required results, irrespective of the challenges in the digital space. While the process has been done manually for a long time, the benefits of automated testing are immense. Automated testing and implementing a Test Automation framework helps accelerate the process, brings enhanced accuracy and reduces the test cycle. This holds tremendous benefits commercially, where businesses are able to get products and services faster to the market with assured quality.

The market is flooded with licensed Test Automation tools like HP QTP/UFT, TestComplete, and many more that facilitate faster test cycles. However, these tools come at a cost that additionally requires regular upgrades and regular training costs. As market and technology moves towards Open-Source, even Test Automation is taking the same course.

Industry reports validate that Selenium is coming up as an absolute winner in the domain. Selenium is an open-source test automation tool that enables automated functional testing. Most importantly, it is a freeware that can be customized as per the testing needs.

There are numerous Open-source test automation tools in the market, namely, Serenity (formally Thucydides), Robot Framework, RedwoodHQ, Gauge, etc. However, there are some obvious reasons why Selenium is increasingly gaining popularity over many other Open-source tools and the long-dominating licensed tools.

Capability to operate on every Operating System (OS), support across multiple languages, and compatibility on multiple browsers, almost zero training costs, easy interface, and scalability in the longer run, are some of the major highlights of Selenium that businesses are capitalizing on.

With the current security breaches and modern day hackers prying in the digital ecosystem, enterprises need more and more robust websites and sustain vigorous consumer engagement. How does migrating to Selenium help enterprises to do so?

  • It’s Compatible:

Selenium brings convenience and adaptability, as it provides mechanisms to allow the same tool to run across multiple platforms. As mentioned above, it supports almost all Operating Systems, namely, Windows, Linux, and Mac and operates across popularly used browsers like Firefox, Microsoft, Internet Explorer, and Safari. So, Selenium becomes the tool of choice for cross browser/cross platform validation.

Selenium is JavaScript-based and can run directly on the browser and supports multiple languages. Though it was written in Java, it supports PHP, .Net, Pearl, Ruby, and Python, which means that the developer can create the testing framework in a language that is widely used within the enterprise.

This kind of flexibility is unmatched when compared to established test automation tools like HP QTP/UFT, which predominately operate on Windows and some limited browsers.

  • It’s Flexible:

Selenium is known amongst testers for supporting flexible test architectures, as most testers choose to keep the tests independent to make the process more flexible and sustainable. This gives them the freedom to shift them, erase them, or redesign them as required.

Selenium supports test suite, and runs tests in a recurring and sequential manner. This enables flexibility to play around with the tests as per functionality or any other parameter.

  • It’s easy to implement:

Selenium provides an in-built, user-friendly interface to create and execute test suites. Its open-source features help users write their own extensions, which makes it easy to develop customized actions that enables advanced manipulations.

Most importantly, the tests can run directly in the browsers and the user can actually watch the tests getting executed. The commands executed get highlighted and the testers can evaluate the success ratio, which eases the entire testing process.

  • It reuses the Code & incorporates add-ons:

Selenium’s Test Automation Framework uses simple scripts that can make tests run directly across multiple browsers. At the same time, it is possible to execute numerous tests simultaneously with Selenium. It covers almost all features of functional testing. It brings several add-on tools that widens its scope.

Selenium IDE enables users to port their applications on Firefox and record them. It is increasingly getting popular amongst testers for all functional testing needs. So much so that there is threat that testers could exploit it for even lower-layer of testing needs.

  • It Reports effectively:

Selenium’s reporting capabilities are one of the key highlights for choosing the framework. It allows testers to extract the results and even take follow-up action effectively. It provides comprehensive test execution results along with all-inclusive summary and snapshots of the errors. It further generates HTML reports for sharing with the concerned group.

While Selenium wins on various grounds, its strength dwells in the fact that it is an Open-Source tool and brings in all the required advantages. It has zero licensing costs and almost zero training expenditure. It has an active user community, which keeps sharing key findings and learnings.

It is known to tackle key legacy issues while automating the functional tests and offers a platform that constantly explores and innovates.

The Strategic Planning Assumption from a recent Gartner Report states that by 2020 Selenium WebDriver will become the standard for functional test execution, which will side-line vendors that can’t provide strong, agile and advanced test functionality.

Is Migrating to Selenium on your agenda?

Know it all. Gallop is hosting a Webinar on Migrate to Selenium on 29th September, 2016, 11 AM EST, covering key insights on drivers for Migrating to Selenium, and the challenges associated while embarking on this transformation journey. Reserve your slot now!

Migrate to Selenium

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Practical Approach for Improving Agile Testing Maturity – Part 2

agile testing, agile principles, agile models, scrum, agile testing maturity model, agile project management tools, agile test environment, test data, test automation, test automation framework, gallop solutions, software testing, software testing services, quality assurance testing, software testing company, gallop solutions review

Continuing from where we left off in Practical Approach for Improving Agile Testing Maturity – Part 1, let us deep dive into the remaining critical factors for improving an organizations’ agile testing maturity. As explained, the 5 steps to improve your agile test maturity are:

  1. Discover and Document
  2. Analyze and Benchmark
  3. Develop a Roadmap
  4. Transformation Approach
  5. Continuous Process Improvement

We discussed the first two steps in the previous blog. Let us now see what the remaining steps entail.

Develop a Roadmap

Based on the results and inferences that can be made from the Analyze and benchmark phase, a transformation agenda can be generated. This agenda, if adopted, will act as a roadmap to convert your goals into reality. The Vision and Mission must be clearly drafted and put in place. The roadmap should contain both long-and-short term strategic objectives that are aligned with achieving the business goals.

At a very high-level, the roadmap should include the objectives being targeted, the low-hanging fruits, quick wins, and the potential benefits. Usually a roadmap must be proposed against a set of focus areas or business objectives governed with a strategy, reference models, and enablers that complement the mission. In a testing environment, the organizations can focus on the following focus areas including, but not limited to Testing in Agile Environment, Test Coverage Enhancements, Improving the Testing Lead times, and focusing on the elements that enable the transformation. Organization can do a quick cost benefit analysis, prioritize the areas for improvement based on the value proposition, the business impact, and return on investment (ROI). Categorizing the improvement areas will help teams to stay focused and resilient. Usually efforts invested in enhancing customer satisfaction, quality, and product alignment take precedence over efforts being made on improving the operational efficiency.

That said, a roadmap without a proper transformation approach is as useless as trying to reach a destination without a proper route map to reach there.

Transformation Approach

Transformation approach is another vital aspect for converting Vision to Mission. A Target Operating Model has to be designed that sets the tone for transformation. This model can be developed with all the intended and implied needs of customers or clients. For an organization invested in, is following agile development, and is focused on improving its testing maturity, the following focus areas may be considered:

  • Test Organization
  • Functional and Non-functional test coverage
  • Test Efficiency
  • Test Tools Management
  • Transformation levers such as Knowledge base, Skilled resources, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), infrastructural needs etc.

In essence, the Target Operating Model is a low level framework and a workable solution with the finest of the details in the transformation strategy.

In the later stages, transformation can be noticed in the re-baselining of processes, training the associates on improved process, piloting the improvements in a phased manner, collecting the feedback and then re-optimizing the processes. This is an everlasting, continuing loop that organizations should tend to adopt for meeting the ever increasing demands and needs of their clients/customers.

Continuous Process Improvement

Having discussed the roadmap and transformation stages, let us get now get an insight on the process improvement journey. A continuous process improvement requires formal self-assessment/Independent audits/Third party audits to be put in place with the help of industry accepted frameworks, or customized and home grown frameworks.

The incessant demands and needs of the customers force the organizations to adapt new changes and improve existing processes. Hence, the entire ecosystem we spoke about earlier comes into scope and is again applicable.

Audits and assessments give us ample opportunities for finding the shortfalls in the system against the current business needs or prevailing conditions, thus enabling us to focus on the new improvement aspects. The shortfalls are addressed by taking corrective actions that enable improving the existing agile testing environments. This never ending journey helps organizations keep on their toes and motivate them for making continuous improvements to their process according to the changing demand scenarios created by their customers. These changes and improvements help come up with better, and user friendly features that make the product more popular and stable, thereby bringing about a much desired increase in the demand.

Organizations that try to follow and implement these 5 steps to improve their agile test maturity will definitely see a marked positive impact in their business outcomes.

If you are a large organization trying to implement an Agile test automation strategy, contact Gallop’s team of test automation experts. Our tool agnostic test automation framework consists of a huge library of keywords that help you build your tests quickly and efficiently, and seamlessly integrate with leading commercial and open source tools.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Practical Approach for Improving Agile Testing Maturity – Part 1

agile testing, agile principles, agile models, scrum, agile testing maturity model, agile project management tools, agile test environment, test data, test automation, test automation framework, gallop solutions, software testing, software testing services, quality assurance testing, software testing company, gallop solutions review

Today, a lot of software is being developed (and tested) in increasingly Agile environments for accelerating the product delivery with uncompromised quality and ability to manage the ever-changing priorities. Boundaries between diverse functions are shrinking and roles and responsibilities are undergoing a big shift. Organizations aspiring to be competitive still find it challenging to adapt to these changes. It is only with an increased level of understanding about Agile testing, its impact, and its methodologies, that the Agile practice attains a level of maturity and acceptance, that organizations will be able to grow and expand.

The number of organizations embracing Agile methods has been steadily increasing even though there are a number of obstacles. However, the good news is that more and more organizations are becoming confident and show growing levels of maturity in applying Agile testing processes.

What is Agile Testing?

Agile testing, per Wiki, “is a software testing practice that follows the principles of agile software development.” It involves cross-functional agile teams whose members are usually testing experts responsible for delivering the required business value at frequent intervals.

A few challenges in Agile Testing:

  • Lack of comprehensive testing approaches that may fit with existing agile environments
  • Applying test automation to agile projects poses another challenge
  • Improper identification of the focus areas of focus
  • Unavailability of testing tools for creation of reusable test sets
  • Unavailability of skilled agile testing expertise

What is Agile Testing Maturity?

Agile Testing Maturity refers to the level at which an organization has implemented the best practices using Agile Principles and models like SCRUM, SAFe. However, a practical approach to improve the maturity level is to follow a model like CMMI or TMMI which provides a staged approach for improving the maturity.The Agile testing maturity model (ATMM) acts as a Team related maturity model that helps you measure the current levels of Agile maturity.

5 Steps to Improve Your Agile Test Maturity

  1. Discover and Document
  2. Analyze and Benchmark
  3. Develop a Roadmap
  4. Transformation Approach
  5. Continuous Process Improvement

We will cover the first two steps – Discover and Document & Analyze and Benchmark in this blog. The remaining steps will be covered in the next blog.

Discover and Document

Based on the goals and objectives of your organization, use this step to clearly define where you want to go. Use customized questionnaires and inventory templates to capture the AS-IS state of the Agile maturity in your organization and document your goals, constraints, timelines, risks, and the key focus areas.

Analyze and Benchmark

The best way to go about improving the Agile maturity of an organization is to know exactly where you stand. Using this as the starting point, assess where you are in terms of the existing implemented processes and People, Test Automation & Performance, and Tools, Environment, and Test Data practices around agile implementation. Develop an end-to-end Agile Test Assessment Framework using models like TMMI, TPI, Agile, DevOps and ITIL, and prioritize key focus areas per their maturity levels and benchmark them against industry.

The following sample image depicts the various components involved in providing Agile Test Maturity to an organization:agile testing, agile principles, agile models, scrum, agile testing maturity model, agile project management tools, agile test environment, test data, test automation, test automation framework, gallop solutions, software testing, software testing services, quality assurance testing, software testing company, gallop solutions review, Agile-testing-maturity

The components are described below.

People

People form the backbone of any system that aspires to become huge. Agile values and principles strongly voice them. Hence, cross-functional skills, motivation levels, learning appetite of the resources becomes critical success factors within organization. Agile testing also in similar lines needs people who are competent, skilled and versatile in testing various platforms.

Following are some commonly found stages of agile team formations:

  1. Forming: At this level, the Team starts to perform as an Agile team with roles and responsibilities fully understood.
  2. Agile Bonding: At this level, the Agile team starts getting accustomed to the new rules and starts to work in tandem as a well-knit team.
  3. Performing: At this level, the team is a fully-functional Agile team that has understood the concept of Agile and SCRUM.
  4. Scaling: At this level, the Agile Team is mature enough to develop its own methods of working based on continuous improvement.

Processes

This covers the multiple processes that support and complement collocated and geographically distributed teams. A set of customizable practices and lean processes need to be implemented in the projects for producing quality products with accelerated delivery.

Agile Project Management Tools, Test Environment, and Test Data

These crucial set of elements need special attention. Agile Project Management Tools such as Atlassian – Jira, Microsoft-TFS, Rally, and Version One go a long way in helping organizations improve their Agile Testing Maturity. Using these tools, geographically distributed teams can access real-time updates, thereby improving the transparency and information. Continuous integration and continuous deployment also increases the rate of feedback and provides space to teams to react and fix the issues/bugs instantly. Testing teams should be provided with agile test environments that closely resemble the production environment. This instils better confidence with regards to product performance and delivery in the real time scenario. Today a lot of licensed and open-source test environment provisioning tools help teams to have test environments set up with a push button, saving a lot of time and effort. Similarly, automation is being used for test data management wherever possible to cater to the needs of testing, thereby reducing manual intervention and ensuring accuracy and timeliness for test data provisioning.

Test Automation & Performance

While delivering products at sheer speed, the delivery pipeline needs to be robust and flexible enough to meet the continuous demand without compromising on the quality of the product. There exists an opportunity with modern set of IT tools for organizations to automate certain amount of manual tasks. This results in reduced manual efforts due to the improvements the in terms of testing the products performance. Automation strategy for testing helps expedite the process of delivery and quality checks with minimum effort and maximized ROI.  Test Automation framework is the key factor to get beneficial out of test automation.

Amature Agile Testing approach adds a lot of positive business benefits such as reduced time to go-to-market with a product showcasing the complete understanding of the customers’ requirements, helps teams to feel appreciated and valued which makes them want to contribute further and add more value to the organization.

Read on for the remaining steps – Develop a Roadmap, Transformation Approach, and Continuous Improvement – that will be covered in the next blog.

If you are a large organization trying to implement an Agile test automation strategy, contact Gallop’s team of test automation experts. Our tool agnostic test automation framework consists of a huge library of keywords that help you build your tests quickly and efficiently, and seamlessly integrate with leading commercial and open source tools.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Accelerating Time to Market through Next-Gen Test Automation

agile testing, devops testing, test automation, next gen test automation, continuous testing, continuous delivery, continuous testing, test automation framework, test design, test execution, performance testing, quality assurance testing, software testing services, software testing company, selenium test automation, selenium test automation framework

Accelerating time to market has become the standard requirement for the organizations across all verticals and domains. With Agile and DevOps taking the center stage for the software development process, it is becoming very important to assure higher quality to the applications. Next-gen test automation can provide the necessary catalyst for the organizations looking to achieve their goals in the era of CI, CD and CT.

Quality is the most important factor when it comes to gauging the success of the software application as it is directly related to the customer experience. Continuous delivery and agile execution strategy for your software application need to have software testing as the central element to ensure that your goal is met.

So how do you achieve this?

Agile and DevOps has made it easy to a certain extent by bringing developers, testers, operations team, product owners and the business on the same discussion table. As the features get decided by the product managers, the quality and risk of those features are also being discussed and developers and testers can decide on the right unit testing and test automation framework needed to have that perfect deliverable. You surely do not want to Ship the broken code quicker to market right. That’s when the Next-gen automation framework helps you achieve your goal.

It becomes really difficult for the organizations to go the manual testing way if they want to adhere to their goal of Quick time to market. Creating, executing and maintaining manual tests can be a real pain especially at scale. Also with consistent pressure for the business to deliver the features quick, it can be a really stressful situation for the manual testers and the end result cannot guarantee the result which is expected. This puts test automation as the central element of your Continuous delivery approach towards quicker time to market.

With plethora of testing tools available in the market, it is important that your test automation framework adapts to the needs of the software application requirement. It needs to be dynamic and flexible at the same time to deliver the ultimate goal. The right test automation framework binds all the elements together and makes sure that the various CI, CD and testing tools are integrated to handle the large volume of data, test results as the application grows. It should also give quick insights into what is going wrong, why it went wrong and how to fix it without spending significant amount of time.

The right test automation framework encompasses various factors like scope of test automation, scalability of the approach, extent of reusability, and more importantly the metrics to measure the success of your test automation. At the same time, it needs to be comprehensive enough to encompass the code analysis, unit, functional, performance, regression and stability tests, usability analyses for the all the features of the software application or app.

At Gallop, we strive hard to achieve this by having a 35000 feet view for the CIOs of the company as well as various other stakeholders. Below is the typical screenshot of the typical metrics we measure for Test Automation with our In-house CIO Dashboard tool.

agile testing, devops testing, test automation, next gen test automation, continuous testing, continuous delivery, continuous testing, test automation framework, test design, test execution, performance testing, quality assurance testing, software testing services, software testing company, selenium test automation, selenium test automation framework

Going forward, Agile & DevOps are going to be de facto standard for the software development process. With this, the next-gen test automation framework and IP led accelerators will drive the testing transformations across industries. At Gallop, we have a continuous test delivery platform and right test accelerators to ensure you meet your goal. Contact us if you are looking to Accelerate Time to Market for your next-gen application or mobile app.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

7 Reasons to Invest in Open Source Test Automation Frameworks

7 Reasons to Invest in Open Source Test Automation Frameworks

This article discusses seven reasons testing organizations take the open source automation route rather than the traditional automation frameworks.

  1. Inexpensive

The cost of ownership for an open-source test automation framework is considerably lower than for regular testing tools. The major advantage of Open-source is low licensing costs and fairly minimal hardware requirements. Furthermore, testing components are more easily reusable, and their high degree of scalability ensures that they can easily manage load and performance testing. Organizations can also make use of flexible pricing plans that allow testers to adjust their total cloud storage according to their specific testing needs.

  1. Customizable

The open-source software itself can be altered easily to suit a testing department’s particular requirements. This easily editable code allows for smoother functionality, which, in the case of closed proprietary software packages, becomes more difficult, and occasionally perhaps even destructive.

  1. Better support and collaboration

Online communities abound for open-source automation frameworks, which allows testers to overcome obstacles by consulting the vast fields of information available on the web. Teams in different locations can also collaborate via the centralized server, without the need to make several downloads and uploads in the constant flow of information transfer.

  1. Rapid testing

Test cycles with open-source tools tend to be shorter than with traditional tools. Setup and tool deployment are also pretty quick, and there’s no need for a tedious install. Updates happen in real-time without affecting productivity, and the overall time to market is reduced, thereby giving organizations an important push ahead in the endless app delivery race.

  1. Overall quality

Users and developers play a crucial role in creating the automation framework, so such platforms are more likely to be superior to proprietary packages from a technical standpoint. A software suite produced by a small number of developers is less likely to be technically sound than one created by thousands of developers from around the world. A huge number of developers and users work constantly to tighten the security of open-source frameworks, and an equally huge number make innovations, improvements, and enhancements that translate to a higher quality package.

  1. Virtualization

Virtualization allows organizations to make the best use of their resources, which ensures that testing is ultimately more efficient and user-friendly. Virtualization also allows the easy sharing of resources with an associated dip in costs.

  1. Freedom and greater security:

In using open source automation tools, organizations can free themselves of the restrictions of being tied down to one particular vendor. In such cases, the vendor’s priorities make things very inflexible for testing teams: vendor priorities, timetables, usage rules, and various other requirements that greatly limit the potential of all their testing tools. With open source software, however, the decision-making and execution power is entirely in the user’s hands, along with a global community of users and developers that can provide support whenever it’s needed.

Also, in terms of security, open-source software is definitely superior to traditional frameworks.

This boils down to one obvious reason – when there is a larger number of people working on and evaluating a framework, it’s easier to identify and take care of any flaws, errors, glitches, etc. The exact opposite is the case in expensive proprietary software packages, where the vendor gives assurances of security, and the customer can do nothing more than take their word for it and hope they don’t run into any major issues at critical junctures during the development and testing process. The knowledge of bugs in the platform architecture is known only to the vendors, who can take a very long time to patch things up. These delays, of course, detract from customer productivity.

* SeleniumHQ labelled Gallop Solutions as a Aluminum Level Sponsor on their official website, www.seleniumhq.org. This recognition confirms Gallop’s position as a specialized software testing service provider, committed to making sure clients get value from their QA investments. Learn more about Gallop’s selenium test automation here.

 

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.