Software QA FYI - SQAFYI

Quality Goes Bananas

By: Rex Black, Daniel Derr and Michael Tyszkiewicz

The most important quality risks we wanted to address were:
• Reliability
• Translation completeness
• Functionality of UI
• Input error checking
• Verification of requirements

The automation tool needed to do the following:
• Address defined risks
• Produce accurate form-flow diagrams
• Reduce tedium and opportunity for error in manual testing
• Save effort associated with manual testing for these risks
• Improve time-to-market by reducing test cycle duration through 24x7 testing
• Provide auditable documentation
• Handle any screen flow or translation without custom test scripts (i.e., be trial-independent)
• Be easy to implement
• Be cost effective

This is a case study in how we reduced our risks and achieved our test automation objectives in just a few months on a total outlay of $0 for tools. Now, it wasn’t as if we started with zero cost as a target. Often, buying tools is the most cost-effective solution, so we evaluated test automation tools as a potential solution. Since we were developing custom software on a hand-held device, we found the commercial options limited. ePRO-LOG is highly configurable and optimized to make diaries easy to produce. The drawback of our approach was that our widgets were non standard, and are therefore not handled gracefully by common testing tools. We also needed an easy way to generate screen flows and compare those with our requirements.

We had hit a dead end. We couldn’t find a commercial tool to meet our needs and human labor was cost prohibitive. That’s when the monkey came into the picture; a Dumb Monkey to be precise. Why is the Monkey dumb? Because the architecture is so simple. The Monkey is an unscripted automated test tool that provides input at random. To minimize cost, effort, and time required for development, we implemented the Monkey in Perl under Cygwin. We also took advantage of our application’s cross-platform functionality and performed the bulk of our testing on a Window Every test automation tool tends to have its own terminology, so let’s start by introducing some terms

Full article...

Other Resource

... to read more articles, visit

Quality Goes Bananas