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From my point of view functional testing tools for Web applications (eg Robot, QuickTest) are most useful for regression testing and for applications with forms with a lot of data to print in. Can anyone tell me more things to test where the tools are useful and effective?
Re: Useful areas
We have used our automation tool for various 'ad-hoc' type tasks. Stress testing is one area where the tools can be very helpful. The tool can invoke the application and put a user-type load on it for an extended period of time. It captures memory usage and some response times while it is running, and we can plot these once the test is done. It is a good way to check for memory leaks and performance degradation over time.
I have also used our tool for some quick text processing scripts.
Re: Useful areas
Tools become really very handy sometimes. Let me give you 2 scenarios that I had to deal with:
1)At one company we had to test what they call “Batch shipping”. What the company found out is that this program fails at 1500-2000 orders in the system. So to create that amount of orders you really need an automation tools that does that for you. So I used Silk to create 10,000 over 5 days …something I couldn’t done and verified in weeks.
2)Another Scenario in another company we found the record and play back feature of e-Test to be handy. The developers develop in 3 different machines and our build for each machine takes like 36-48 hours. So we used the record and play back to capture our test cases while we are doing them in one machine and played back against the new builds in the other 2 machines. That was a quick way to find out if there’s any failures and cam pretty helpful in this environment
I hope this helped.