The Future of Testing Blog
Business innovation thrives with software innovation and quality matters now more than ever. Application teams are running to keep up with business demand by embracing the technologies and methodologies that will help them build faster with confidence to engage consumers, go mobile and release continuously. How does a modern testing team keep up? This blog will focus on the importance and role of the tester, the innovations in testing processes, test tools, test automation solutions and best practices and discuss how to balance speed with quality through Agile, mobile, web, composite and cloud application testing.

Multi - Layered Testing with 'Unified Functional Testing'

During the last few years SOA-based / distributed applications have become more and more common. Applications that were built as silo entities are today interconnected, integrated, sharing components and services. A modern business process can begin with a transaction request on a web application, connect to the billing system, register a new transaction on an ERP system, send an email notification through the exchange system and once all steps are verified go back to the web application to finish the process with a confirmation message. Modern End-to-end business processes not only span across multiple applications but also have rich and complex steps that are happening below the Graphical User Interface (GUI) within what is sometimes called the ‘business layer’ through API calls and data bases interfaces. The business layer can consist of web services, dll files and other GUI-less entities.

This means few potential changes for the modern QA teams.

The good news:


·         The testable interfaces have expanded and allow for more elaborated testing and root cause analysis.


·         While traditional Functional Testing is mostly done on the GUI layer, modern functional testing can leverage the business layer to test earlier in the process (while the GUI is not ready or stable yet) and find bugs earlier than what was possible before.


However this also brings new challenges:


·         Sharable components and services create dependencies between applications and projects that impact how QA reacts to change


·         Testing on the business layer requires new skill sets that the QA engineer needs to acquire such as understanding WSDL files and web services.



Although the majority of functional testing is still done on the GUI layer, I see more and more of our customers complementing it with ‘head-less’ testing on the business layer. This is done by acquiring new skill sets by the QA teams, or bringing the SOA testers under the same group as the GUI test automation. Whatever the choice is, the trend is clear – the two worlds of GUI and headless testing are slowly merging.

This merge impacts the testing methodologies. Many of our customers (including HP IT itself) have today test scenarios where they interact with the GUI and the business layer within the same test scenario. For example: the first step of a test would fetch some data via a web service or an API interface to a DB and this data would be used during the rest of the test scenario on the GUI layer. Sometimes there are multiple shifts from the GUI layer to the business layer within the same test scenario. We call this ‘Multi-Layered Testing’. All of these techniques open new frontiers to the QA and automation teams, allowing them to test more, test earlier, enhance coverage and find bugs easily that were very hard to find before. However, all enterprise test tools of today (manual and automated) address either the GUI layer or the business layer. This does not allow the QA to perform multi-layered test scenarios and creates a separation between the testing methodologies of GUI and headless.

In order to address this challenge we in HP decided an integrated test automation solution that can address GUI and headless testing, is needed. Our current plans and what we are currently looking into is leveraging QuickTest Pro (the leading test automation tool in the world today) and integrating it with the innovative HP Service Test (HP’s tool dedicated for testing services). The integrated package will allow unifying the testing capabilities of both stand-alone functional testing tools, enabling multi-layered testing with both tools within the same test scenario like never before. We will call the package Unified Functional Testing (UFT).

Stay tuned for more about UFT in future posts to come. The more we speak with our customers about the UFT direction, the more use cases for it we see.

If you experience some of the multi layered testing challenges written above, I’d love to hear from you – feel free to comment below and I will follow up on anything interesting.

Roi Carmel

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About the Author(s)
  • This account is for guest bloggers. The blog post will identify the blogger.
  • Malcolm is a functional architect, focusing on best practices and methodologies across the software development lifecycle.
  • Michael Deady is a Pr. Consultant & Solution Architect for HP Professional Service and HP's ALM Evangelist for IT Experts Community. He specializes in software development, testing, and security. He also loves science fiction movies and anything to do with Texas.
  • HP IT Distinguished Technologist. Tooling HP's R&D and IT for product development processes and tools.
  • WW Sr Product Marketing Manager for HP ITPS VP of Apps & HP Load Runner
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