We are on to a new project in .Net. Developers will be using some of the old project components though.
White-Box testing has already begun with CPPUnit. GUI is being developed by a third party and is not ready yet.
currently I am working on silk scripts for the old project.
I like to know when the functional testing can actually start for a new project.
It would benefit you more if the automation team starts when the GUI has stabilized. Try to exercise the custom GUI (which is almost always there!!) See the problems you face and if needed have dev. impliment hooks for troublesome UI.
Get feedback from Dev as to which properties of the GUI are not likely to change from build to build so that they can be used for tagging the application UI in Silk.
// The Persistent Bugger
you start looking at the test cases and develop frame work u need that does have to deal with UI. Non application related common code. Like others suggested better to look at the custom controls and try to interact with them thro silk test as it may take more time to communicate to custom controls iwth silk test. Ideally u can not start a full swing ui automation without UI being stable