Test Automation. Is it right for you?

by Barry Burke

When it comes to assessing the efficiency of JDE E1 test planning and execution, organizations should adopt a pragmatic approach. The likelihood is, if you are already wondering whether you could test more efficiently and benefit from automation, the answer is almost certainly yes.

If you need further justification for an investment in test automation, stop and think about the way you test currently. Do you and your team need to perform the same tests, or variations of those tests, repeatedly? If so, could you benefit from a more efficient, error-free approach to testing?

Ask yourself, how much time do you spend on testing every week? How much of that time is spent on mundane, repetitive tasks?

For the majority of JD Edwards customers, the answers to these questions will point to the need to at least assess the potential impact of introducing test automation. Gather your Business Analysts and key business process owners and define your objectives.

As a part of your evaluation, think about the following:

Set realistic expectations for automated testing

An automated testing product will not magically negate the need to have human testers. The services of Business Analysts and Testers will always be required. However, automation will enable Analysts and Testers to significantly improve the quality of testing and compress timelines for change event projects.

Evaluate both the tangible and intangible benefits of automated testing

A tangible benefit may be that the time taken to perform regression testing of the Accounts Payable module has been reduced by 40%. Intangible benefits could be that staff morale has been lifted as the more mundane and repetitive nature of some testing tasks has been drastically reduced, enabling the tester to use their time on more interesting and directly beneficial tasks.

Satisfy yourself that the test automation software is tightly integrated with your JD Edwards release

Ideally, your Business Analysts and Testers should not have to be subjected to a steep learning curve when on-boarding a new test automation product. The product should look and feel native to JD Edwards, such that the navigation of the screens is intuitive to the experienced JD Edwards user.

Ensure that the software reduces testing effort and compresses timelines. In other words, that you can carry out faster, smaller and smarter JD Edwards projects

Record the time taken to run your newly created and automated script and compare it to the time taken to enter that test scenario into the JD Edwards system manually.

Use multiple real-life scenarios, where one might have several different types of Sales Orders or Purchase Orders to test. Compare the copying and editing of one sales order script to several others with minor edits against having to enter all those sales orders manually to test functionality is still working as expected.

Is it intuitive and easy to learn, without the need for specialist, technical knowledge?

The Business Analyst or Tester should not have to engage with any technical 3rd party scripting tool that requires technical knowledge. All changes should be intuitive and carried out via point and click type navigation. The test automation product should be upgrade friendly to JD Edwards.

Once you have completed your objective assessment and concluded that test automation is the right thing for your organisation, you might need a little support building a rock-solid business case. In a future article, we will explain in detail just how test automation can add value; including improvements in test speed, accuracy and reliability.

In the meantime, if you’d like to understand more about the test planning and automation products available from DWS, visit our Dimension SwifTestTM and Dimension FocusTM product pages.

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