Global software testing provider partners with Wellington firm

One of the world's biggest providers of software testing tools, Inflectra, has entered into a partnership with a Wellington company.

One of the world's biggest providers of software testing tools, Inflectra, has entered into a partnership with Wellington company autom8 to use its new manual testing accelerator, WorX.

Autom8 is a software testing company - founder and director Aaron Athfield has spent much of his 30 years in the IT industry focused on testing.

“It has always troubled me that testing teams never seem to have quite the right combination of tools in their hands at any moment,” he says.

“I’d see teams using Word and Excel for their test cases because of the authoring freedom it gave them but this always came with some challenges, including organising their tests, execution time, maintenance and collating results.

“I’d see other teams migrate those test cases into a new test management system in order to get better at organising and collating – only to lose their authoring freedom, and often they’d actually get slower at execution and maintenance.”

The migration effort alone came with its own headaches:

• Test cases would need to be massaged or converted into a format compatible with the new system, and were not always at the level of granularity required.

• Content was often left behind during the migration process as the new system was incapable of hosting it.

• And new issues would surface to do with sharing of test cases, updating them, and the handling of images which can be quite cumbersome in some systems.

“Test teams have had a pretty rough time if you think about it – always having to give something up in exchange for something new,” Athfield adds.

Athfield sees many instances where test engineers write their tests in Excel, import them into a new test management system, only to export them out again whenever a change is required.

He’s even encountered teams who have written their own code to talk to their test management system to make the export/import process to Excel more streamlined.

“It’s absolute madness.. but it illustrates how attached we are to our authoring freedom and what extraordinary lengths we’ll go to, to preserve it,” he adds.

“Added to this, there is nothing spectacular in either world that actually speeds up the day-to-day life of the team.

“For instance, neither option assembles new tests for you automatically - while you simply explore the system you’re testing. Neither can perform rapid data entry for you by firing your input data directly into the system under test.”

When autom8 looked at how test engineers were spending their time, they found that more than 75% of their day was devoted to Test Creation, Test Execution, and Error Reporting tasks.

To address these issues, Autom8 developed WorX, which connects into popular test management and defect tracking systems as well as Word & Excel to preserve that precious authoring freedom.

“WorX lets you do Exploratory Testing by recording new tests directly into Word and Excel and then hooks those into your favourite test management system for you,” he adds.

“It will execute existing tests at twice the speed without any import or migration effort, key in data for you at lightning speed, and even allow you to maintain your tests on-the-fly during execution.”

Software developer Proaxiom evaluated an early prototype. It put a stop watch on the execution of 10 test cases, then ran them again using WorX. There was a 50% efficiency gain – and that was without any training and using some of the higher features.

Around 85% of testing is manual, so WorX delivers huge productivity gains, Athfield says. Inflectra will offer WorX to its huge US customer base as an extension to existing systems.

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