WavebreakmediaMicro - Fotolia
Taking a page out of the software development low-code/no-code movement, testing automation provider LogiGear Corp. has developed a "code-free" automated testing platform designed to make it easy for nearly anyone to achieve scriptless test automation.
At a time when companies of all sizes are moving to a DevOps approach from software development, the need to automate testing has never been greater. A Forrester Wave report in 2016 on functional testing automation tools said companies need to automate 80% of testing, leaving only 20% manual. But the research showed just between 42% and 45% of Agile companies are automated.
To look at it a bit differently, a 2016 research paper written by Divya Kumar and K.K. Mishra, titled "The Impacts of Test Automation on Software's Cost, Quality and Time to Market," indicated testing is the most expensive part of the development process. According to an email interview with Kumar, nearly 60% of the money spent on developing software is used for different types of software testing. So, despite the initial costs of setting up test automation, it pays for itself very quickly, he said.
LogiGear's new product, TestArchitect Team, is designed to achieve scriptless test automation for small businesses and will be free for two users, said Hung Nguyen, CEO of LogiGear, based in Foster City, Calif. "We think it's good to get more people to have access to automation options, even though they often look at ways of finding tools that can be free," Nguyen said. "Now, we offer a free solution that is beyond open source. Our 'freemium' version offers full features, and we also gain the advantage of having more engineers using the product, so it's beneficial to everyone."
Though the company's core user base is large companies, Nguyen said small companies need scriptless test automation, too. "In many situations, you have a developer who's also a product manager and a project manager and a tester and a customer support person. That's the real world, and giving this tool to this person gives him or her the automation ability to keep up."
To make TestArchitect Team work in a low-code/no-code or scriptless test automation way, Nguyen said the company took two approaches. The first step was to identify which are the most common command functions and translate those in to a businesslike language in English. Using natural language was key. "It's the old-school way of thinking that you write tests and run them. Today, it's you write the test and somebody else may run them, and if it fails, they have to have the ability to understand what your test was doing and how to analyze the results," Nguyen explained.
The second part of the process was to ensure a tester could create brand-new testing scenarios by choosing among prescripted actions. "It's like taking different blocks of Legos and slapping them together to create something new," Nguyen said.
The goal for TestArchitect Team is to open the world of testing to anyone on the development team. "This is very different from any approach we're seeing out there," he said. "By using action-based language, we're making the potential staff writing the tests huge. Now, companies are going to have a larger pool of resources."
What is a citizen developer, and why should you care?
A primer on software testing automation
It's a low-code world, but you need to learn to code -- here's why