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Thread: Evaluating Silk

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    Evaluating Silk

    I'm currently evaluating SilkTest and WinRunner to determine which tool best suits our automated testing needs. We currently test everything manually. Our programs are on the AS/400 (in RPG) but we are starting to develop on Windows NT and we want to use the testing tools on both systems. I will be the primary person using whichever tool we choose but I have no programming experience. How much programming does SilkTest (or Winrunner) require? If I need to take programming classes before I can use the tool, what would be best to study?

    All responses and advice are appreciated.

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    Re: Evaluating Silk

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by gastewart:
    I will be the primary person using whichever tool we choose but I have no programming experience. How much programming does SilkTest (or Winrunner) require? If I need to take programming classes before I can use the tool, what would be best to study?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I've been on a team of about 5 people and we have Silk available for the group to use. I personally have seen that those of us with programming experience have quickly adapted to how SilkTest works and those who don't have programming experience have been at a disadvantage.

    The fact is, in order to write robust and powerful automated tests in Silk, you must know how to program those tests in 4Test. And learning 4Test is just like learning any other language -- the more experience you have in programming, the easier it will be. I think 4Test is a pretty straightforward language that's relatively simple for someone with programming experience to pick up. But again -- it is programming.

    If you're going to take a programming class before learning Silk, I'd recommend some kind of Silk class, if they have such a thing. No use spending time and money on a language then having to learn Silk in addition to that.

    Sorry, I can't help you with Winrunner.

    Erich

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    Re: Evaluating Silk

    I agree with Erich, it is programming.

    For SilkTest, I suggest an object oriented structured college course in either Java or C++. This will teach you programming structure, and object oriented programming.

    Winrunner is more "C" like, from what I can tell. I don't have much LoadRunner / WinRunner experience, but do remember from training that WinRunner recorder was friendlier to non programmers.

    [This message has been edited by styler (edited 01-31-2001).]
    Steven Tyler
    Manager - Performance Engineering

    Kronos Incorporated
    tel: +1 978 947 4219

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    Re: Evaluating Silk

    1. Review the Silk/WinRunner features description document written by myself and few other senior automation engineers:

    http://www.lakefolsom.com/whitepaper...WrFeatures.pdf

    2. To do complex automated testing you will need to be proficient using the proprietary scripting language provided by each tool [here Silk has the upper hand].

    3. I strongly recommend that you base your final decision on which tool to select based on a hands-on evaluation against at least one of your applications. Review the following document for ideas about structuring a hands-on evauluation:

    http://www.lakefolsom.com/whitepaper...alCriteria.pdf


    4. I am pretty sure that neither of these tools is supported on the AS/400 platform.

    -Good Luck, Terry Horwath


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    Re: Evaluating Silk

    IMHO, ST and WR are very similar in approach adopted towards automation but...

    ST: Less intuitive, 4Test is quite a bit more difficult, more powerful tool for high-end use, proper class hierarchy mirroring development language, more aimed towards programmer level.

    WR: Many user-friendly features (automatic generation of functions etc), TSL is more straightforward, less rigid in approach, faster to get return at low-end, limited scope high-end.

    An understanding of basic programming constructs - ideally C, but pretty much any OO language could be leveraged - would be strongly recommended for any type of serious automation effort.

    Choose your weapon with care...

    'Automatrix'

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    Re: Evaluating Silk

    If you have no programming language experience, need to be up and running fairly quick and both products can recognise the objects in your application (especially on NT don't know too much about AS400) then go with Mercury WinRunner.

    "come with me if you want to live" Terminator, T2


    The Test Force is strong in this one

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    Re: Evaluating Silk

    Simple answer.
    If your in for the long term then go for Silk. If you need a set of regression tests for 1 or 2 years, go with another product. HOWEVER, beware you must evaluate all products before you decide, cause either one may not be usable at all for you.
    Tony

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    Re: Evaluating Silk

    I, too, am in the middle of an evaluation of Segue's and Mercury Interactive's toolsets (there seems to be a lot of that going on!). Here's my $0.02:

    Both tools are C-based, and success with either requires a programmer-type individual. If you're not a techie, you won't be successful, beyond simple record/playback scripts, which aren't worth much. If you know programming constructs, study the C language (sans pointers) for syntax and design. A proper group would be comprised of expertise at different levels, so don't think you have to be an expert.

    SilkTest's 4Test is more structured than WinRunner's TSL, and appeals to programmer types more (IMHO). This is because the language is strongly typed, compiled, OO-based, and has very rich function support. The Silk UI has some nice features, with lots of options. TSL is interpretive (which I like because it's quick to develop and easy to debug) and not typed (except for it's 'compiled' modules). WinRunner doesn't have the large set of build-in functions/methods, but the language is open-ended so you create what you need. Sometimes that's easier than extending/overriding Silk's methods.

    As has been said before, question one is what works with your current (and upcoming) apps? Both tools are robust and sophisticated enough to recognize standard controls in various development langauges. The problem comes in dealing with special (3rd party) controls. If you have any, TEST THEM WITH THE TOOL. Tool add-ons might be available from the vendor.

    Learning and supporting the two tools is a major issue. I am a certified expert with WinRunner, and have regularly taught TSL to programmer-types in 3-5 days. 4Test, on the other hand, in not as easy and requires (lots) more training and individuals with stronger tech abilities.

    Finding people who know WinRunner is easier. As to company support, this is Mercury's strong suit. Being this is a Silk group, I won't disparage Segue support, other than to say that (the word is that) it's been poor for a while, although the company is trying to change that image.

    As to platforms, I believe that WinRunner has a wider base. BTW - WinRunner WILL work on AS400/UNIX platfroms. I ahve also used it successfully against mainframe CICS (unsupported by Silk).

    I've been studying SilkTest for a couple a months now, and I like it (I'm a techie). But if I tell my boss that I like Silk because of merly technical (rather than testable) issues, he won't be impressed.

    Perhaps the rule of Occam's razor should be applied; the simplest of two competing tools should be used to create testware.

    Sorry to be long-winded;
    Jerry


 

 

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