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Frequently Asked Questions


1. Why should I be interested in test automation?

    The need to regression test large mission-critical systems quickly and thoroughly is a fact of life in business today.  Manual regression testing takes too long and forces organizations to cut corners testing.  This inevitably leads to costly delays and system problems that will impact the bottom line.  The only practical way to thoroughly regression test today’s large complex systems is to automate the testing process.

2. My testers are already swamped.  Isn’t automation just more work?

    Done properly, automation should reduce the testing effort.  Developing automated tests should be a seamless, natural progression from manual testing.  The time and effort savings occur during regression testing.  Much less effort is required to execute and re-execute the tests. While automated testing cannot totally replace manual testing, and it is not cost effective to automate everything, done properly, the payback can be substantial.  Your testers will spend less time executing regression tests and you will have fewer production problems.

3. Why do so many organizations have trouble realizing the benefits of automation?

    In one word MAINTAINABILITY.  Improved reusability coupled with an efficient process can significantly reduce maintenance costs and enable the automation to remain viable.  Automation works most efficiently when the testing process is designed so the manual tests are easily automated. Efficient automation architectures focus on reusability to minimize the number of testing artifacts that must be maintained when the system is changed.

    Mosaic’s MSTAR® testing methodology shows how to design manual tests so they are reusable and are easily automated.  Mosaic’s automation architecture is designed to minimize the effort required to maintain testing artifacts.

4. What makes an automation architecture maintainable and efficient?

    In one word REUSE.  The more reuse, the fewer artifacts that must be developed and maintained.  keyword and data-driven architectures provide some level of reuse, but to achieve Full Reuse™, Mosaic’s term for the maximum level of reuse, the test data must also be reusable. 

    Mosaic’s framework combines the best of key word and data driven architectures into an object-driven approach.  RSTAR™ and DSTAR™ enable Full Reuse™ by managing test data in a central repository and delaying binding of test data to tests until execution time.

5. What kind of tools do I need to automate testing? 

    There are many test automation tools available today.  An analysis of your requirements should be conducted before purchasing any tool. 

6. Isn’t it difficult to find people who know how to use the tools?

    Tool expertise can be expensive and in short supply.  Practical automation approaches will separate the tasks that require subject matter expertise from the tasks that require tool expertise.  Subject matter experts can be efficiently supported by a tool expert(s) without requiring that the tool expert(s) gain subject matter expertise.

    The automation architecture integrated into MSTAR® separates the activities requiring subject matter expertise from the activities requiring tool expertise.  Moreover it also separates the activities requiring in-depth tool expertise, from the activities that just require basic tool knowledge.  As a result, the need for tool expertise is minimized, making automation much more practical.

7. When should I start the automation process?

    As early as possible.  There are many things testers can communicate to developers that will make a system easier to test and easier to automate.  Moreover, if manual testing is approached in the right way, it will be easier to automate the manual test cases.  However, these benefits are unlikely to materialize if automation planning starts late in the project.

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