Application development teams face big challenges. The pace of development is accelerating, and dev teams must follow agile practices to keep up with the competition. At the same time, maintaining quality is critical for creating apps that function flawlessly for end users.
Functional testing looks at whether an application does what it’s supposed to do. It’s a key part of your software testing arsenal, because it takes the end users’ point of view: Does this thing (as a whole) work? But, just like software testing overall, functional testing is challenged to keep up with widespread changes in software development. If you’re not thinking about how to accelerate your functional testing, you risk creating a bottleneck.
The 3 challenges in functional testing
Three things that make functional testing so challenging right now are:
Mobile: As workers become more mobile, enterprise apps will increasingly have mobile extensions so employees can work more productively. It’s a business-side no-brainer, but a logistical nightmare for the dev team. Users access mobile apps from an array of devices, operating systems, and network carriers—and the test process must factor in all of those variables.
Composite or hybrid applications: Today’s apps are no longer tucked neatly into individual silos, working away in isolation—everything is connected. Think about e-commerce applications, for example, that pull together processes for online shopping, collection of user data, bank card verification, shipping choices, and email confirmations. Test teams know all too well that these hybrid composite applications bring hybrid testing challenges.
Agile development: Yesterday’s waterfall dev model has all but dried up, because enterprises can no longer waste a year or two of back-end development and testing before an application goes into production. The world of enterprise app dev is moving at a blistering pace, agile development rules the day, and iterative releases are cranked out as often as every few days.
2 approaches you can use to deliver speed and quality
Automated functional testing is better suited to agile development than time-consuming manual processes. Using tools that help developers convert manual test steps to automated scripts—that can then be reused by everyone on the team—frees everyone from the painstaking tasks associated with test case creation and manual testing. Not having to reinvent the wheel for each test allows for faster execution and instant feedback on changes made to the code, so developers can fix problems as they crop up rather than putting out fires late in the game.
Unifying the functional testing environment helps dev teams tackle the complexities of today’s hybrid composite applications. As part of an agile process, functional testing fits into the app dev phase and iterative sprints. It gives developers and QA teams a view into an app’s “pieces and parts” as well as its overall functionality. It also unifies GUI and API testing, allowing for a more precise picture of the user experience and surfacing problems that go undetected with GUI or API testing alone.
In the end, automation and unification speed up the testing process—without neglecting quality:
- 65 percent of IT organizations realized over 2 times ROI by automating testing with HP
- Clients have reduced test cycle time by at least 25 percent
- 70 percent of IT organizations are able to design tests in half the time
- Clients have reduced their amount of regression testers in half
To find out more, including how to calculate the ROI you’d achieve by automating functional testing, download Best practices: Implementing automated functional testing.