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  1. #1
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    Location and overhead of automated testing tools

    Hi. Newbie about to be thrust into the world of automated testing, so I'll start with some basic questions that I couldn't find answered in the archived threads.

    For the sake of answering these questions, please assume a complete suite of testing tools (functional/regression, load/stress...) has been chosen from a major vendor (Mercury, Segue, Compuware...):

    1. Where do automated testing tools live and operate? Are they installed on a network server or installed completely on individual client machines for each tester who needs to use them? Do they process in a single location but are able to be hit from multiple clients?

    2. Should they reside in the world of the QA lab or in the world of the dev team and their code repositories? Or does that differ based on whether you're doing any white box testing? Or is location totally irrelevant as long as network access allows the tools to be pointed to the correct build of each project that's under test?

    3. What kind of hardware requirements (storage, processing speed, etc.) does one need to successfully use a suite of automated testing tools? I'm curious especially about performance testing -- how exactly does a performance testing tool manage to simulate thousands of users all having a meaningful interaction with an app... what kind of processor activity is involved?

    Thanks in advance for what I know will be helpful answers. Please forgive the basic nature of these questions--but trust me, there might be other silly (hopefully more focused) questions in my future posts.

  2. #2
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    Re: Location and overhead of automated testing tools

    ... and are any brands of automated tools widely acknowledged to be slower, clunkier, harder to configure, or bigger resource hogs than other brands? Thanks!!!

  3. #3
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    Re: Location and overhead of automated testing tools

    Rich,

    I think you forgot to mention that in addition to the server portion there is a thick client in all workstations used for test automation. This is so that it can interact with the proper interface, using the appropriate objects library, to act as a tester in the case of functional testing tools (like Winrunner and QTP). For Loadrunner you use virtual users that do not actually interact with the application interface but that directly link to the server under test.

    Most of these tools are not used for white box (development) testing, where tools based on the JUnit or Jemmy paradigm may be more effective. It is strictly a matter of being practical: on the unit testing level you may not be able to dialog via a user interface as expected by these tools, so you need an alternative that interacts on a much lower level.

    The location is not irrelevant if you plan to do load testing, which can have major ripple effects on any part of the network where messages could be bounced to. Ususally you will do that in more or less a lab setting or at least on an isolated LAN segment to stop interference with other users that might not appreciate the slow down.

    These observations are pretty well standard for the majority of testing tools. Often the primary issue is price, Mercury can be a little hefty for smaller shops. There are some very nice tools for a much lower price that may be considered if the test collateral management aspects of the major tools like Test Director.
    Frits Bos, PMP
    frits_bos@hotmail.com

  4. #4
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    Re: Location and overhead of automated testing tools

    All very good questions. I'll use Mercury as an example since that is what I am most familiar with:

    1. TestDirector, the test manager resides on a server. It can be a windows server with IIS installed or in the case of Quality center also a Linux server can be utilized. You have a choice of Assess, Oracle, and one or two other databases. WinRunner & Quick TestPro con be resident on the test box, (which is most effective), or on a server. It depends on the type of license which is purchased.

    2. We keep our servers in the test lab. They can be in the computer center or wherever they can be reached by Intranet. In all cases the faster the better on both the servers and the client side. Resources are not usually an issue. I think the non-server license is best as it can be reinstalled wherever the test box is and then de-installed as needed. This way Dev can have their own seat licenses.

    3. A performance test tool uses multiple threads and ramps up or jumps up by a preset amount of users normally performing the same task all at once or staggered so as to measure the bandwidth used and performance of the server or web site that is being tested. In this case the more clients you need to simulate the more resources you will need on your test box. This can be determined by Q&A with the Tool Vendors. Plus the more clients you need, the higher the price of the tool. Also a choice will be made as to if you should purchase server/client or Vusers for the tool.

    As for the comparison, I can not speak to that. Mercury has the best overall user support, and the tools are pretty good.

    I'll get off and let someone else give you their ideas.
    Personal Comment

    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
    ~ Winston Churchill ~


    ...Rich Wagner

  5. #5
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    Re: Location and overhead of automated testing tools

    Thank you both!

 

 

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