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3 Reasons Why Functional Testing Must Change

‎08-09-2012 07:24 AM - edited ‎06-25-2015 10:09 AM

By Phil Nguyen, HP Software Community Director


Greater complexity. Shorter testing cycles. These are the things that turn quality assurance into a nightmare for IT organizations. But as they face growing pressure to deliver more business agility and a faster time-to-market, functional testing teams need to find ways of adapting.


What’s forcing these changes? We see three big trends:


1. Agile (in name or method) — Iterative application development processes speed up time-to- market and cut down the costs of change, providing a mechanism to incorporate feedback and minimize time wasted on long planning phases. If functional testing methods aren’t adjusted, they can end up eliminating the advantages of Agile and Agile-like methods.


Here’s what that means for testers:

  • Testing has to take place earlier in the lifecycle
  • Testing has to occur in parallel with development
  • Testers need to get their job done even if they are given minimal documentation on an application
  • Testers often have to test partial applications and features instead of a complete final version, but still must communicate a comprehensive defect description to facilitate fast remediation

2. Composite Applications — Complex architectures that include rich GUIs, non-GUI business logic layers, shared services (SOA-based, etc.) and packaged application integrations pose new challenges for testing.


QA processes must validate GUI and non-GUI services and components, as well as visualize, validate and report on an integrated test scenario of the business process that traverses the multiple layers of a composite application.


But with so many components used by multiple applications, it can be difficult for the testing team to understand the dependencies between components themselves and the applications that use them. Although test automation is one solution, it also presents challenges. Automation requires skilled resources for design, validation and maintenance, and an organization must find toolsets that accommodate all or most required testing scenarios, or else face higher costs and the lack of standardization that comes with using specialized tools.


3. Mobile — Testing has to occur on mobile interfaces in just as thorough a way as with a desktop. But mobile applications have their own user interface requirements, business process flows, and infrastructure dependencies. And they are particularly challenging for the QA organization because there are so many possible devices to support. Manual testing can be extremely labor-intensive, and it’s even worse when you consider the exponential permutations of data, usage scenarios, mobile network conditions, and carriers.


Is testing a roadblock in your organization? 

Discover some ideas for how you can modernize testing for an agile enterprise.



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