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  1. #1
    Moderator ifraser's Avatar
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    5th Generation - scriptless automation frameworks

    I see there is a group on Linked In that references 5th Generation - scriptless automation frameworks. I am curious to know how many people are out there using these kinds of frameworks.

    What has your experience been?
    How have you found manual testers acceptance
    What has been the attitude of Automated testers.

    I have been working with this methodology for a while now starting with an Excel based version and currently a .Net developed GUI that removes the need to use Excel.

    The acceptance from manual testers over the years for this kind of solution has been great. A number of prototypes and testers as well as project types have been tried using QTP as the run engine.

    The single biggest issue is other Automation specialists. They either simply don't understand the concept or they feel threatened by the process that allows manual testers to create effective automation.

    These 5th Generation frameworks are the future but some players seem to blocking or resisting the change.

    How have others managed the issue of traditional automators pushing back and resisting the change that 5th Gen frameworks offer?
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  2. #2
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    Re: 5th Generation - scriptless automation frameworks

    Ian,

    I'll be one of the people who push back on the "scriptless" automation (sorry, Olde Dog), but give the caveat for you to explain what exactly you mean by scriptless.

    I know of one company that talks about "codeless" methods, but in the end they do generate their own form of script code.

    I'm just of the opinion that in some way shape or form you will eventually need to write some type of code/script. Now you may be talking about an extrapolation layer & UI that makes it "easier" for non-programmers to use the automation; is that correct?

    I've been working with BPT recently where I write the components/code, and the manual/business testers put those components together into tests. So are you doing something equivalent?
    Jim
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    For all the general stuff to know about QA/Test go here http://www.softwareqatest.com/

  3. #3
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    Re: 5th Generation - scriptless automation frameworks

    Scriptless is not new, Storyboard testing (where one can write tests by arranging screenshots) has been around for a long time.

    But as you work more and more with automation, you don't worry so much to the speed to writing a test, but the growing amount of effort and cost that goes into maintaining one and getting it running unsupervised. You'll find here, you really want to have to customizability that scripting gets you.

    * You want to be able create scripts with robust error handling.
    * Scripts that can run on different environments with just a simple config change.
    * Scripts that can intelligently find it's target objects given slight changes.
    * Scripts that can handle product changes backwards/forwards compatibility
    * Scripts that can be mixed and match into different contexts.
    David Lai
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  4. #4
    Moderator ifraser's Avatar
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    Re: 5th Generation - scriptless automation frameworks

    Jim

    My experience here is a process that takes a collection of values objects and methods and runs them trough a process that builds a script in memory at run time. The actual script component never exists in the real world it only exists while the process is running.

    Axe from Odin creates an actual script the process I have been using does not. I don't consider Axe to be a 5th Gen framework.

    However the framework dose allow for scripted components to be called and run so for a process that may not be easy to write in a keyword manner you write the code required and call it when needed.

    These script-less frameworks will become a commercial reality I know 3 in development now.

    I am really interested in hearing from people using a 5th Gen process.
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  5. #5
    Moderator ifraser's Avatar
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    Re: 5th Generation - scriptless automation frameworks

    Seems there is not much discussion on this. I got access to the Linked In group that referenced 5th Gen frameworks but sadly it seems to be more of the same general automation babble as other Linked In groups.

    Are there any people out there working on Advanced Scriptless Automation Frameworks?
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  6. #6
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    Re: 5th Generation - scriptless automation frameworks

    I think the general trend is for test automation engineers to come increasingly from engineering backgrounds instead of testing. You can really see this trend becoming very apparent in job listings today, where many will require a BS in computer science or computer engineering.

    Things like storyboard testing and keyword testing were sort of enablers to allow non-engineers to recompose tests by either recomposing recorded scriplets, or test fixtures written by other test engineers.

    As more and more test automators are fully skilled engineers, the idea of getting rid of scripting doesn't make as much sense as you want to be able to write more robustness and reliability into the scripts. That usually means moving away from things like record and playback and really fine tuning your script code to handle multiple exceptions.
    David Lai
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  7. #7
    Moderator ifraser's Avatar
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    Re: 5th Generation - scriptless automation frameworks

    [ QUOTE ]

    As more and more test automators are fully skilled engineers, the idea of getting rid of scripting doesn't make as much sense as you want to be able to write more robustness and reliability into the scripts. That usually means moving away from things like record and playback and really fine tuning your script code to handle multiple exceptions.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Image if you will a set of libraries and dll's that take keywords, objects, methods and data and assembles a script in memory at runtime. The libraries and dll's already have fine tuned code to handle exceptions and reporting.

    You don't need an expert to create automation. I have had manual testers creating effective robust automation in 2 days using a script-less methodology. There is also the ability to call in coded functions that can't easily be handled by a keyword process.

    We also have a process to reverse engineer a recorded script and import it into the framework. ie convert a click and record back to keywords and data. This great for getting SME's to create scenario's that can be cleaned up and included in the framework.

    There must be others out there working with advanced scriptless frameworks?
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  8. #8
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    Re: 5th Generation - scriptless automation frameworks

    [ QUOTE ]

    Image if you will a set of libraries and dll's that take keywords, objects, methods and data and assembles a script in memory at runtime. The libraries and dll's already have fine tuned code to handle exceptions and reporting.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    I know you're looking for feedback here, but this makes me curious.
    How are the DLLs put together?
    How do you transform a simple action on the AUT into something that can be called scriptless?

  9. #9
    Moderator ifraser's Avatar
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    Re: 5th Generation - scriptless automation frameworks

    Like any framework the solution I am working with takes keywords data methods and passes them through the framework code. Some key parts that do the assembly into actual running script code are in dll's. In a tradition framework there would be scripted code to accept the framework outputs.

    I am not looking for feed back... I am looking for others working on similar projects. I know of 3 other projects doing this.
    You can buy my Art from: "Post Cards now available"
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  10. #10
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    Re: 5th Generation - scriptless automation frameworks

    Not sure that it is directly related, but my framework has evolved from largely scripted, to largely API level record/playback. This is based on developing the AUT specifically to support API automation, as opposed to UI level automation. So for example, where I have a specific item of functionality, it will be supplied with a GUI interface and an API interface, which is common in many apps. As I drive the application through a GUI, the internal recorder records by actions in terms of the API. The resultant script is robust as it is written in terms of a well defined API, terse, because it doesn't include the mass of references to mouse, keyboard, screen and other UI objects, and correctly abstracted in that it describes what the user is doing rather than how they are doing it.

    There are downsides. The UI doesn't get tested via automation, and the approach wouldn't be suitable for a UI heavy application. A large part of automation overhead is pushed back to development. There is also an additional maintenance overhead of keeping a parallel UI and API up to date. That said, it works very well in my specific context.

 

 
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