Software Test Automation

Mark Fewster / Dorothy Graham  
Total pages
June 1999
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Software Test Automation
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A sound and practical introduction to automated testing, this book presents a detailed account of the principles of automated testing. The authors provide practical techniques for designing a good automated testing regime, and advice on choosing and applying off-the-shelf testing tools for specific needs.


  • Case studies describe histories and real-life experiences of automated testing
  • Hints and practical advice throughout


Table of Contents

Part One: Techniques for Automating Test Execution
1 Test automation context
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Testing and test automation are different
1.3 The V-model
1.4 Tool support for life-cycle testing
1.5 The promise of test automation
1.6 Common problems of test automation
1.7 Test activities
1.8 Automate test design?
1.9 The limitations of automating software testing
2 Capture Replay is Not Test Automation
2.1 An example application: Scribble
2.2 The manual test process: what is to be automated
2.3 Automating Test Execution: inputs
2.4 Automating Test Result Comparison
2.5 The next steps in evolving test automation
2.6 Conclusion: Automated is not automatic
3 Scripting techniques
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Scripting techniques
3.3 Script pre-processing
4 Automated comparison
4.1 Verification, comparison and automation
4.2 What do comparators do?
4.3 Dynamic comparison
4.4 Post-execution comparison
4.5 Simple comparison
4.6 Complex comparison
4.7 Test sensitivity
4.8 Comparing different types of outcome
4.9 Comparison filters
4.10 Comparison guidelines
5 Testware Architecture
5.1 What is testware architecture?
5.2 Key issues to be resolved
5.3 An Approach
5.4 Might this be Overkill?
6 Automating Pre- and Post-Processing
6.1 What are Pre- and Post-Processing?
6.2 Pre- and Post Processing
6.3 What should happen after test case execution
6.4 Implementation Issues
7 Building maintainable tests
7.1 Problems in maintaining automated tests
7.2 Attributes of test maintenance
7.3 The conspiracy
7.4 Strategy and tactics
8 Metrics
8.1 Why measure testing and test automation?
8.2 What can we measure?
8.3 Objectives for testing and test automation
8.4 Attributes of software testing
8.5 Attributes of test automation
8.6 Which is the best test automation regime?
8.7 Should I really measure all these?
8.8 Summary
8.9 Answer to DDP Exercise
9 Other Issues
9.1 Which Tests to Automate (first)?
9.2 Selecting which tests to run when
9.3 Order of test execution
9.4 Test status
9.5 Designing software for (automated) testability
9.6 Synchronization
9.7 Monitoring progress of automated tests
9.8 Tailoring your own regime around your tools
10 Choosing a tool to automate testing
10.1 Introduction to Chapters 10 and 11
10.2 Where to start in selecting tools: your requirements, not the tool market
10.3 The tool selection project
10.4 The tool selection team
10.5 Identifying your requirements
10.6 Identifying your constraints
10.7 Build or buy?
10.8 Identifying what is available on the market
10.9 Evaluating the short listed candidate tools
10.10 Making the decision
11 Implementing tools within the organization
11.1 What could go wrong?
11.2 Importance of managing the implementation process
11.3 Roles in the implementation/change process
11.4 Management commitment
11.5 Preparation
11.6 Pilot project
11.7 Planned phased installation or roll-out
11.8 Special problems in implementing
11.9 People issues
11.10 Conclusion
12 Racal-Redac Case History
12.1 Introduction
12.2 Background
12.3 Solutions
12.4 Integration to Test Automation
12.5 System Test Automation
12.6 The Results Achieved
12.7 Summary of the case history up to 1991
12.8 What happened next?
13 The Evolution of an Automated Software Test System
13.1 Introduction
13.2 Background
13.3 Gremlin 1
13.4 Gremlin 2.0: A Step Beyond Capture/Replay
13.5 Finding The Real Problem
13.6 Lesson Learned
14 Experiences with Test Automation
14.1 Background
14.2 Planning, preparation and eventual success
14.3 Benefits of test automation
14.4 Lessons learned
14.5 The way forward
15 Automating System Testing in a VMS Environment
15.1 Background
15.2 The first attempt at automation
15.3 New tool selection and evaluation
15.4 Implementation of V-Test
15.5 Conclusion
16 Automated Testing of an Electronic Stock Exchange
16.1 Background
16.2 The System and Testing
16.3 Test Automation Requirements
16.4 Test tool selection
16.5 Implementation
16.6 Maturity and Maintenance
16.7 Our results
17 Insurance quotation systems tested automatically every month
17.1 Background: the UK insurance industry
17.2 The Brief, or how I became involved
17.3 Why automation?
17.4 Our testing strategy
17.5 Selecting a test automation tool
17.6 Some decisions about our test automation plans
17.7 The Test Plan
17.8 Some additional issues we encountered
17.9 A telling tale: tester versus automator
17.10 In Summary
18 Three Generations of Test Automation at ISS
18.1 Introduction
18.2 The Software Under Test
18.3 First Generation
18.4 Second Generation
18.5 Third Generation
18.6 Three Generations - A summary
19 Test Automation Failures - Lessons to be Learning
19.1 Introduction
19.2 The projects
19.3 Problems
19.4 Recommendations
19.5 Pilot Project
19.6 Epilogue
20 An Unexpected Application of Test Automation
20.1 Introduction and Background
20.2 Helping the Background
20.3 Doing the testing
20.4 Automated Testing
20.5 The results
21 Implementing test automation in an Independent Test Unit
21.1 Introduction and Background
21.2 The evaluation process
21.3 The implementation phase
21.4 The Deployment of the tool
21.5 How QARun has been used
21.6 Problems we have experienced
21.7 The benefits achieved in two years
21.8 Conclusion
22 Testing with Action Words
22.1 Introduction and Background
22.2 Test clusters
22.3 The navigation
22.4 The test development life cycle
22.5 Applicability for other types of tests
22.6 Templates: meta clusters
23 Regression testing at ABN AMRO Bank Development International
23.1 Background
23.2 Problems with conventional testing
23.3 Pilot project using TestFrame
23.4 Regression test project
23.5 Spin-offs
23.6 Future
24 A Test Automation Journey
24.1 Introduction
24.2 The five generations of testware development
24.3 Radstar
24.4 Window-centric Scenario Libraries
24.5 Business Object Scenarios
24.6 Mixing Business Object Scenarios with existing tests
24.7 Re-use versus Repeatability
24.8 Conclusion
25 A Test Automation Journey
25.1 Introduction
25.2 First Steps
25.3 An Off-the-Shelf Automated Test Foundation: RadStar(
25.4 How we have implemented automated testing using RadStar(
25.5 Payback
26 Extracts from The Automated Testing Handbook
26.1 Introduction to this chapter
26.2 Introduction to the Handbook
26.3 Fundamentals of Test Automation
26.4 Test Process and People
26.5 Test Execution: Analyzing Results
26.6 Test Metrics
26.7 More information about the Handbook
27 Building Maintainable GUI Tests
27.1 Introduction and Background
27.2 Cost Drivers
27.3 Test Planning and Design
27.4 Well Behaved Test Cases
27.5 Encapsulated Test Set-up
27.6 Putting it All Together
28 Test Automation Experience at Microsoft
28.1 History
28.2 Batch Files
28.3 Capture/Playback tools
28.4 Scripting Language
28.5 Cosmetic Dialog Box Testing
28.6 Help testing tool
28.7 Tools to randomize test execution
28.8 What should I automate first?
28.9 My Top Ten list for a successful test automation strategy


Dorothy Graham and Mark Fewster are the principal consultant partners of Grove Consultants which provides consultancy and training in software testing, test automation, and Inspection. Mark Fewster developed the test automation design techniques which are the primary subject of this book. He has been refining and applying his ideas through consultancy with a wide variety of clients since 1991. Dorothy Graham is the originator and co-author of the CAST Report (Computer Aided Software Testing tools) published by Cambridge Market Intelligence, and the co-author of Software Inspection published by Addison-Wesley in 1993. Both authors are popular and sought-after speakers at international conferences and workshops on software testing.