Borland Software Corp. recently released updates to its Borland Silk testing software line, including a new version of SilkTest that introduces a feature, Open Agent, for record and playback of system activity. Soon, the agent will be associated with a software developer's kit (SDK) that enables application development teams to create tests for a variety of software architectures, according to the company.
The Borland Silk tools support the Eclipse open source tools standard. The new Open Agent software in the suite records objects and creates test scripts. Currently, Open Agent supports Adobe Flex rich Internet applications (RIAs). With the second release of Borland Silk 2008 later in the quarter, Open Agent will also support scripting in pure Java, said Brad Johnson, senior director of product marketing at Borland.
The Open Agent technology separates the core record-and-play engine from the API that deals with the specific object type being tested, analyst Tony Baer, wrote on his OnStrategies blog. "Under its decade-plus old architecture, the API was hardwired in. Admittedly, the old record/playback agent could 'learn' new kinds of objects, but it was a more complex process," wrote Baer, principle of OnStrategies.
Thomas Lin, senior manager of QA at Blackboard Inc., an electronic learning provider, said he was feeling positive about the Open Agent technology and the ease of integration with other tools. He explained, "We have an automation framework and a lot of in-house developed tools, so we can integrate with these easily and extend our testing and automation capabilities."
Industry analyst Baer indicated flexible script-producing agents could become more prevalent as testers try to deal with the "moving targets" represented by ever-changing technologies. He points to quickly evolving open source Ajax programming styles as an example.
This article includes reporting by George Lawton.