Figuring out where to start
After looking through the forums I'm despairing a little on where to start even asking questions. Part of my job involves testing our product, a business application written in VB6 with data stored in MySQL. Like many small businesses, it's kind of a unique flower; our boss learned business/coding practices in the 1980s and is resistant to change. I have only the barest experience with programming.
Our current testing cycle consists of a customer reporting a bug (or a rare new feature being added), the developers fixing it and passing it back to me, and my seeing if the fix was done correctly. It's my job to track all those changes. I don't have any software tools to help in the actual testing process, so I just run the application with different sets of data and options. I see old bugs coming back on a regular basis--"Wait, didn't we fix this back in May? and again in July, September, and October?". I did a trial of TestComplete's software a while back, but their salesman was no help in showing how to connect the software to our database. Other than that I haven't tried any automated testing tools.
Can anyone suggest some action I could take to start learning more about best practices in software testing? Do I need to bite the bullet and take a class at KnowledgeWave (or someplace similar)? Go through trials of different software testing suites? Any advice appreciated.
Actually, i didn't get your question/query exactly. you mentioned for automation testing help. Can you please elaborate your challenge or why you want to do automation testing for your current activity ?
I am wondering if MS Excel could solve your task?
Put in the name of the problem, when it was fixed, What you did to test it. Then you can look back at your chart and see when the problem occurred in the past. I think all that is required is tracking. Paper and pencil would work the best for me.
If it is possible for you to give me a detailed description of your testing requirements, I may be able to suggest the right tool for that. Would you like to PM me?
I feel your pain, Joe. You've got at least three separate problems buried in this post:
1. You need to get some form of systematic regression in place as soon as possible.
2. You need a way to track issues that you or customers find and link them in some way to your testing.
3. You need a way to track feature development and releases.
I would start with excel or similar for the simple reason that you probably have it and know it. An Access application would also work for this if you have the programming knowledge for it.
You want to start with a list of your application's major functional areas and number each issue that gets reported. Link the issues to functional areas (Having a sheet for each module and listing the issue on that module works). You'll want to include the date the issue was found/reported, the date your testing verified the fix, and the version of the application it was verified with. Use a link to a file that has the details of your testing so that you can always check whether the report of its return is something you tested (a regression) or a combination of options that you didn't realize needed to be tested. This will quickly get unwieldy - a search for free bug tracking tools will find you many choices that you can use to better manage your application's testing. (You can start with this if you want - it may take you longer to get something in place this way and my impression is that your need is to get something happening as quickly as you can).
It's quite common to use the bug tracking tool to also track feature development, since much of the activity is the same.
That leaves the question of getting some flavor of automated regression in place.
Speaking from experience, you can connect TestComplete to any database engine capable of interfacing with ADO - all you need is the right query string. You can handle the connection and data checks manually through the ADODB connection, or you can use the built-in database object support - which is less flexible but much easier to work with for someone with less programming experience. The sales people typically don't have the technical expertise to go past the obvious (this goes for any automation tool).
Since you're dealing with a VB6 application, I'd recommend you go for one of the major commercial automation tools. There's much less open source support for windows applications, especially older windows tools. If you can't get programmers to build in hooks such as the Selenium Webdriver (free and open source), you'll need the big box tools. Which one you choose depends on your preference - I haven't seen much difference between QTP and TestComplete besides pricing (TestComplete is much cheaper). TestAnywhere has relatively limited database support which may not be helpful for you (although you could probably convince it to do basic database validation), but has a simple interface and isn't coding heavy. Unless you've already got access to Visual Studio Premium or Ultimate and are good with coding I wouldn't suggest even considering Microsoft CodedUI. I don't know enough about the other commercial solutions to help there.
Thats all I are able to say. You most absolutely have built this blog website into something speciel. You clearly know what you are working on, youve insured so many corners.thanks