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2, Issue 4
Sausalito, CA 94965
3rd Floor Signet House
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Tel. +44 (20) 7488 3477
be a "test dummy" Get testing smarts through
Where We Have
HP/ITUG conference in Las
Vegas. Ascert introduced the new VersaTest
Automator Quality Center Plug-In. Click
Here to see pictures.
ACI Customer Exchange
(ACE) - Scottsdale
Where We Are
BAI - Orlando,
Florida, November 17 - 20
Ascert Users Group - Tower of London,
London, England, November 27
Here for More
Simulation Does Not Equal
There's a lot of talk regarding
automating the testing process. Everyone wants that
"magic bullet" which will cut redundancy and save time
and money. Mistakenly, some vendors confuse simulation
with automation. Don't get us wrong, simulation is
great. You need to do it if you're going to find flaws
in the system. There are some basic steps that need to
occur before testing can or should take place. Click
below to find out more.
Ascert Releases Plug-in for
Ascert announced the launch of
the VersaTest Automation Plug-In for Quality Center to
the market place while at the HP Technology Forum, Las
Vegas, NV. The new product provides a bridge between
VersaTest Automator and HP's Quality Center. It
automatically creates central management, visibility,
and a repository of tests and test results.
Ascert's product developers give
answers to some of the questions they regularly get
asked. See what others users are talking about and ask
your own question.
Not Equal Automation
There's a lot of
talk regarding automating the testing process. Everyone
wants that "magic bullet" that will cut out redundancy
and save time and money. Mistakenly, some vendors
confuse simulation with automation. Simulation is the
ability to reproduce the full set of individual actions
performed in an entity. Automation is the ability
to initiate, coordinate and control a defined set of
behaviors within a known environment. Don't get us
wrong, simulation is great. You need to do it if you're
going to find flaws in the system. Automation is
There are some basic steps that need to occur before
testing is to take place. When you think about them,
you'll see that it is nearly impossible to automate the
entire process. There is always some level of manual
intervention. However, levels of automation previously
unheard of are now available.
The first step is to define your test plan. It seems
fairly commonsensical, but too many professionals don't
take the time to lay out a testing plan. Not doing so
puts you at the whim of any occurrence that could not
only cost you time, but cost you money as well. More
importantly, you need to make sure that your test plan
can actually support automation.
Once the testing plan is in place, you can take it to
the second step which is starting your testing
environments. This is fairly easy when you just have one
or a couple of environments to test, but what about
plans that include 5, 10, 15, or more than 15
environments? Unfortunately, the addition of testing
environments is usually not additive in terms of effort
involved. You also can't forget about the collection,
analysis, and storage of the test results for each
environment. Add this to the equation and the effort
grows exponentially with each new environment. If
you can't automate these you really haven't got
So why is automation really important? Well, there
are a number of fairly substantive reasons. First, you
want to be able to test the same way every time. The
ability to duplicate exactly the same steps conducted in
prior tests is important for comparative as well as
auditing purposes. Imagine what could happen if
you forget a small but crucial step?
Duplication becomes more and more important as the
number of steps in each test increases. Sure, you can
probably follow a test plan that has 50 or even 100
steps in it. But what if it has 1000 or more than a
1000? The more steps, the more chance for human error to
occur, the greater the likelihood that your test won't
be accurate. Mix the number of steps with different
people repeating the same test over and over again and
you have the makings for one big headache!
Automation ensures that you get exact duplication of
processes, which ensures that you get consistency and
repeatability every time.
Also important is the issue of tracking and recording
test results. Let's face it, government
regulations regarding the practice of auditable
processes continues to grow, and they are not going to
go away or get better any time soon. You have a
responsibility to do provide an audit trail, don't you?
How do you do it now? I bet it's a laborious manual
process. Having an automated process to record all of
your steps will help you a great deal.
Finally, today's cost crunch has most companies
looking for ways to be more efficient. How can you cut
down the test cycle timeline? The answer to all of these
questions is automation. There are a few testing
automation tools on the market today. Unfortunately,
it's difficult to get a real "apples to apples"
comparison. Factors such as ease of use, flexibility,
return on investment, platform compatibility, and
technical/ professional support all need to be
considered. However you decide to approach this topic,
there are a lot of moving parts!
Do you want to know
more about how testing automation might work at your
company? Do you want to know how to create a proper test
plan that can support automation? Do you want to
know how testing automation can save your company time
and money? If you answered yes to any of the
questions above, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or
call one of our local offices. Make sure to use
the promo code word "automation" and you'll get a free Automation Review
that you can use to assess next steps for your testing
Plug-in for Quality Center
Ascert announced the launch of the VersaTest
Automation Plug-In for Quality Center to the market
place while at the HP Technology Forum, Las Vegas, NV.
The new product provides a bridge between VersaTest
Automator and HP's Quality Center. It automatically
creates central management, visibility, and a repository
of tests and test results.
"The VersaTest Automation Plug-In for Quality Center
is unique as it is not just a typical plug-in module
like many others that exist in the market place. The
product achieves a significant level of automation and
expands the reach of Quality Center into parts of the
enterprise that are otherwise inaccessible," said Rob
Walker, Managing Partner of Ascert. "The new Plug-In
allows for a Quality Center user to define and execute
VersaTest server-level interface tests within Quality
Center, validate the pass/fail results automatically,
and gather the result files back to Quality Center".
"We designed the plug-in to allow those users to
execute VersaTest Automator tests and store test results
from within the Quality Center software. Users get the
benefit of an expanded knowledge base from a familiar
setting, without having to acquire new user skill sets."
Q: How do I know if I
have the latest version of software?
A: The Ascert
Development Team is constantly enhancing our software
products. Do you have the latest versions? To find the
latest version, go to http://www.ascert.com/.
Sign in and go to the Downloads section. While on the
downloads page, you can also subscribe to our RSS feed,
that way your RSS news reader will notify you of updates
virtually as soon as we post them. Alternatively, if
you'd like us to send you an email alert regarding new
releases, send us an email to email@example.com
and put "new version alert" in the subject line.
Q: What encryption
algorithms are supported by VersaTest?
has general encryption for DES and TRIPLE-DES (3DES)
built into the product. With Electronic Code Book and
Cipher Block Chaining modes. Also the following checksum
- ISO 9797-1 - Message Authentication Code using
block cipher mechanisms1
- LRC - Longitudinal Redundancy Check
- MAC - Message Authentication Code using the ANSI
X9.19 (DES-based) algorithm
- MOD10 - Modulo 10 checksum (Also known as a Luhn
Have a question?
Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
and ask the experts!
HPTF / ITUG
Jennifer and Rich ready to do
Rich that testing is not "rocket"
Dr. Ding Dong
gets a shoe repair job.
O.K. What's this mystery photo all
about? Take a guess. Here's a hint: It is
something that happened to one of our employees at
the last trade show. Something to do with double
sided tape. Send your guesses to Rich at email@example.com.
We'll recognize the winning guess and publish the
mystery photo in the next Testing Times.