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Automation Anywhere tackles automated testing

Automation Anywhere, a provider of automation software solutions has entered the software testing market with its new offering, Test Anywhere. Test Anywhere uses SMART Web and object recorders to optimize and monitor software testing processes and can be used from remote. This new software can reduce the dependence on over-sized QA departments and provide them with a customizable test function.

Automation Anywhere, developer of the Automation Anywhere software for automating both simple and complex tasks across applications, last week entered the automated testing market with its new Testing Anywhere product. According to the company, Testing Anywhere allows testers and developers to test applications, Web sites, objects, controls and GUI front-ends in any language, using a single tool.

According to Mihir Shukla, co-founder and CEO of San Jose, Calif.-based Automation Anywhere, the tool allows any type of testing, ranging from regression and load testing, to unit and functional testing, to acceptance testing, to performance and system testing. The goal, he said, was to leverage the Automation Anywhere software for testing and reduce both the time it typically takes to automate a test and the price for automated testing software.

With Testing Anywhere there are five ways to create automated tests: the SMART test recorder, Web recorder, Windows Object recorder, editor and image recognition. Users can also program tests if they prefer not to use the drag-and-drop ability, Shukla said. In addition, the tool features automated visualization, providing for a screenshot of every step of the automation process for a storyboard view of an entire test. Collaboration features allow users to share test scripts and reports, and there are a variety of reporting options.

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Shukla said Testing Anywhere's most significant feature is the Test to .exe, which allows remote testing on any machine, anywhere, as an executable file. He calls it a "game-changer."

"The industry is used to 100-people test teams, but at the end of the day you can only guarantee that this application works in the QA lab on 100 machines," Shukla said. "You don't have the ability to run test cases outside the network or the lab. It's a fundamental problem of the industry."

Typically, he said, if a customer deploys software and has an issue, QA tries to reproduce it, which can take months to resolve. With the Test to .exe feature, the test can be exported as an executable and run on the customer's system. The customer can then send QA the file the test generates. "The QA professional will be certain the customer did what he was told to do, so there's no chance of user error [in running the test]," Shukla said.

Test to .exe enables testers to more quickly and identify problems, said Parthive S. Zaveri, head of Global Sales-Products at Tekstrom Inc., a full service IT company based in Newark, Del., with an offshore support center based in Bangalore, India. Tekstrom is also a partner of Automation Anywhere. "It's one of the best things to happen in the testing industry," Zaveri said.

Tekstrom has an independent software testing and quality assurance services division and is using Testing Anywhere internally as well as reselling it to customers. "It's a totally different product for our portfolio," Zaveri said. "It's a low cost of ownership; by deploying it into the test environment the client reduces development time by 70 percent," he said, since writing test cases and scripts represents a large chunk of the total project time. "With Testing Anywhere, with mouse and keyboard clicks you can build scripts using a GUI; you don't need to write scripts. That itself reduces the time." Also, he said, the learning curve is low, which also helps to take time out of the process.

Zaveri's company also uses Hewlett-Packard's QuickTest Professional. The difference, he said, is that if QA wants to do performance testing, that requires another product, HP LoadRunner. Whereas with Testing Anywhere, all types of testing can be done with the one tool. And Testing Anywhere has a significantly reduced learning curve, comparatively, he said.

Shukla said the industry agrees that automated testing makes sense, but that price and time involved to develop the automated tests have been obstacles. "When we entered the space our goal was not to do what's been done before. We created an environment that doesn't require programming," he said.

"In my experience, I've seen companies hesitant to automate due to factors such as cost," Zaveri said. "I've also seen companies buy tools but they're lying on shelf, because they don't have proper capability to do automation and the training [required]. With Testing Anywhere that's the easy part. I believe with the launch of this software we will look at our mission in different manner."

Testing Anywhere is available now and pricing starts at $25,000. The company is eliciting feedback about Testing Anywhere at

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