Welcome to this
edition of the Testing Times. In the last
publication we explored the cost of not testing.
We'll take it a step further and look at the benefits of
testing automation. Check out "Are There Savings
Through Test Automation or is it Just a Big
Expense." Let us know what you think at email@example.com.
4, Issue 1
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Tel. +44 (20) 7488 3470
be a "test dummy". Get testing smarts through
Where We Have
October 21 - 22
- BAI Retail Delivery Conference & Expo
UK - Ascert User Group November 12 - 13
Where We Are Going
Las Vegas, NV
There Savings Through Test Automation or is it Just a
Testing automation is not the end
all solution for testing professionals nor is it "snake
oil." In reality, it's somewhere in between.
Ascert Announces New Driver
Development Partner Program
Ascert launches the Driver Development Partnership
Program. The Program is a driver creation tool kit
for customer self sufficiency and marketing portal
for distribution of self created drivers.
Automator 1.1 Release Now Available
version contains several usability enhancements as well
as the initial version of Ascert's Driver Library and
Package Management features.
Holds User Conference at Tower of
The Ascert User Group Conference
continues to grow with over forty delegates attending
this year. The Tower of London venue was well
received as well as substantive vendor sessions and
lively after hours post meeting recaps.
Ascert's product developers give answers to some of
the questions they regularly get asked. See what other
users are talking about and ask your own
From Dr. D.
Dr. D. needs your help!
Are There Savings Through Test Automation
or is it Just a Big Expense?
There seems to be a lot written about test
automation today. Go ahead and Google "test
automation" and see what you find. Suffice to say
there are a whole bunch of listings. I love the
one titled "Test Automation Snake Oil." It comes up near
the top of the search page and it was written in
1999! I guess that's the power of marketing with a
In our last edition of the testing
times, we discussed the cost of not testing. If
you don't think you need to test, check these out:
Listed above are examples from Banking, Airlines,
and Retail. These are just a few examples of
errors that could have been avoided with a comprehensive
testing program. There's a lot more examples of
this out there! So, if you're really a serious
business concern, you test. Right? Now let's
ratchet it up a bit and talk about the next step;
Contrary to the
aforementioned article, testing automation is not snake
oil. Nor is it the end all solution to your
testing needs. In reality, it probably falls
somewhere in between. If done properly, automation
of testing practices can achieve huge savings.
Automation of redundant tasks can save testing time and
eliminate the possibility for human error. And a
whole lot more.
I'll never knock the
computing power in the human brain and the knowledge of
an experienced testing professional. But if there
was a way to duplicate a set of test scripts flawlessly
and repeat it as often as desired in an effortless
fashion, wouldn't that be of value? A proper
testing software solution can do just that and it can
also act as an information repository and training
tool. Organization brain drain is a danger for
companies that don't practice good process
documentation. Imagine a process being
automatically captured during a testing practice?
It can happen and the best part about it is that it
can't get sick or quit...so the knowledge is not lost to
Automation and "smart"
knowledge transference can be a valuable aid in
offshoring or outsourced testing. Automation
allows for the process to be transferable and reduces
the need for "subject matter experts." If the test
runs, it's successful. Testing automation can also
reduce time in the testing cycle. Literally,
regression testing can be reduced from weeks to hours
and sometimes to days.
difference a decade will make. Since that "snake
oil" article was written, testing tools have evolved to
automate processes, retain and transfer knowledge,
decrease testing times, justify QA headcount, and
shorten the testing cycle. They're real and real
companies are reaping huge benefits by implementing
To learn more about test automation or to let
me (Dr. Ding Dong) know how many listings you got on
your Google search, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ascert unveiled the Driver
Development Partnership Program at the Ascert User Group
meeting last November. The program provides
members with the tools and commercial rights necessary
for them to create and market their own automated test
drivers. The program utilizes the Driver
Framework Standard (DFS) which enables more efficient
use of code through shared modular functionality.
This unique methodology eliminates redundant code
development and streamlines driver creation which
translates to lower development costs. DFS drivers
also offer standardized test definition and
operation. This enables them to operate as dual
role drivers, allowing them to be usable for both
functional and performance testing.
"The Driver Development
Partnership Program provides everything necessary to
build drivers for your own operation. It empowers
Ascert customers by allowing them to either create their
own drivers or to contract with the company. The
Program is open to both individuals and organizations
who wish to expand their experience, customer reach, and
revenue opportunities. In addition to providing partners
the technology, tools and licensing rights needed for
them to develop their own drivers, Ascert will promote
their efforts by making partner-developed drivers
commercially available via the Ascert web site.
For more information on becoming an Ascert partner,
visit the partner page
on our website or contact us at email@example.com.
The latest version of
VersaTest Automator contains several usability
enhancements as well as the initial version of Ascert's
Driver Library and Package Management features. This
enables pre-packaged drivers to be downloaded and
installed direct from the Ascert website into VersaTest
Automator allowing a far simpler driver deployment and
upgrade path than was previously available.
release extends the flexibility in the already easy to
operate user interface and enhancements were based on
customer feedback. As a result of such feedback
this version includes a forms-based, validating editor
that makes test case maintenance easier, and
reduces human error as well as enhancements to the
flexibility of test case reporting.
release is compliant with Quality Center 10.0 allowing
for users of HP's product to significantly extend their
testing capabilities, with VersaTest Automator as the
back end testing engine and the familiar Quality Center
interface as the front end. This not only enables
extended testing capabilities but also measurable time
savings in the testing process.
In addition to
time savings in testing, VersaTest Automator decreases
the time involved in analyzing testing results.
With an easy to use GUI interface and "audit capture"
functionality, the product increases both testing
accuracy as well as ROI. To find out more about
VersaTest Automator, checkout the datasheet
on our website
or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ascert User Group took place on the
12th and 13th of November at the historic Tower of
London, close to Ascert's EMEA offices. There were
over forty delegates from twenty one customer and
partner organisations in attendance including
delegates from continental Europe and the USA.
Ascert used the morning of the first day to
announce and demonstrate the VersaTest Automation
Server version 1.1 which elicited lively
discussion. The afternoon saw user and partner
presentations from Jim Tibbetts of RBS Worldpay in
Atlanta, Georgia, and David Silverstone of NMQA,
whose formal partnership with Ascert was also
announced at the meeting.
The evening saw the
daytime discussions continue in a lively manner at The
Stirling, which is situated at the Swiss Re Building,
better known to all Londoners as "The Gherkin". Day two
consisted of an interactive training session with topics
led by user interest at Ascert's offices.
presentations from the event are available for
registered users to download from the Ascert
The hunt for a venue for the next
User Group is now underway, but it is hard to top a
Royal Palace! Provisional dates for the event are the
11th and 12th of November. Make sure it goes in
your diary today. If you wish to ensure you get an
invitation to the next User Group please email us at email@example.com
Questions & AnswersQ: If I have a field declared in
a struct that I want to set to spaces do I physically
have to do:
AAT_APT_RSP_DEF.sys_err_prog_id := ' '
(i.e. manually enter all the spaces)
or is there
something I can use along the lines of:
A: You have to use " ".
i,e, the characters for spaces.
Q: Is there a way
of automatically starting VersaTeat Automator testing
environments and running tests using a .bat or .sh file?
Command Line Interface (CLI) tool, named vtascmd, is shipped
with VersaTest Automator. It supports the following
These commands can be
used to set up batch jobs that start/stop environments
as well as perform tests themselves. An example is
bin\vtascmd http://127.0.0.1:8085 env
abc; start_vtmp ; start_env; execute
question? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
and ask the experts!
begin this year with a bit of relief. At
least it "seems" like worldwide economic conditions
are begining to improve. One lesson that many
companies had in the last year was being mindful of
making sound investments. In many cases,
capital was not flowing...and that alone increased its
percieved worth. What has resulted is a much more
cautious approach to business investments and a revised
look at ensuring the business practices of
yesterday are as relevant today. In this
newsletter, we've featured past articles around testing
efficiencies and testing automation. These topics
focused directly to the problem stated above.
Dr. D. needs your
help. What would you like to read about in future
newsletters? I've received emails from readers
with the following suggested topics::
Begins with Leadership
How to Avoid Brain Drain
in Your Testing Practice
How Can I Get Management
to Take Testing Seriously
Each of these topics alone
could fill several of the next few issues. To add
to this list, please send me an email to email@example.com
Thanks for reading and thanks for your great
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Duplication of any portion of the Testing Times is
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