So far, classical approach of Record and Program Style Script Driven methodology for automation implementation has been used. According to this approach, the focus was on specific user interfaces and corresponding clubbing of functionalities to create Test scripts. These Test scripts were then combined to create test suites. But, apart from test driven automation it came with the drawback such as, reusability and maintainability of test suites, lack of business focus while automation and a challenge of making non-technical users incline towards automation. With all this in mind, Business Process Testing (BPT) came into picture, since; it supports reusability in testing environment. This blog explores following issues in-case of reusability.
- Increasing reusability using BPT framework.
- Using BPT framework for OpKey testing.
- Reducing rework by using BPT framework.
What is Business Process Testing
With the perspective discussed above, OpKey framework allows business testers to move for an alternative approach called Business Process Testing, henceforth referred to as BPT. It is based on the philosophy that any enterprise application involves a number of business processes to be tested. This approach is designed for the participation of business users. Scripts are dependent on each other and combinations of scripts are used to create Test suite to test specific part of application. The BPT framework focuses on Component Driven approach expediting automation implementation and reducing maintenance effort significantly. It happens because the automation implementation starts even before application is ready and the main business focus is on testing.
The reusability of automation steps written for test cases is a very hard term to achieve. By using BPT framework early in the development cycle, reusability can be achieved. It consists of:
- Reusable business components
- Business components converted into Business process test
Business components are reusable units that perform a specific task in business process. Wherein, business process is a compilation of related activities performed to achieve task as requested by the customer. If any change needs to be done, then making it in only the business component would do. The explanation on this part will be clear by looking at the diagram of component based design in context to a Sales application. It shows three business flows which in turn are combination of business components (that is, “Create New Quote” is a business component)
Note: Business components common to different business flows are marked in same color. For example “Save Quote” component is being used in all three business flows at different places.
Business Process Test on the other hand is a scenario comprising of business components. It is based on the philosophy that any enterprise application involves a number of business processes to be tested. BPT supports new methodology for testing, by combining various plug-in tools like QTP, Selenium, etc.
BPT and OpKey
OpKey supports BPT for allowing non-technical Subject Matter Experts to quickly build data-drive and document tests at one place. It uses reusable component based approach for test design in turn accelerating test design process. The maintenance effort is reduced so much so that a change in the component gets reflected in all the flows using the component. Before an application is delivered to QA, OpKey allows test automation to start much earlier in the development lifecycle. Its component based approach expedites automation implementation in turn reducing maintenance effort significantly. BPT in OpKey consists of three unique entities, namely application component, business component and business flow.
BPT approach is specifically designed for the participation of non automation users. BPT starts automation implementation even before the application is ready and its business focus is on testing only. BPT approach allows its users to instigate quality assurance efforts earlier in the application development lifecycle. Since, the testing approach adopted by OpKey BPT is based on Keyword driving testing, the automation of tests can occur without the need for recording application flows from a stable application.
Making BPT work
The testing workflow of BPT comprises of a serial flow of business components. It is based on the foundations of creation, implementation and running of business components in BPT by using:
- Quality Center Business Components
- Test Plan modules
- Test Lab modules
The Business Component (BC) module enables to create and manage reusable BCs. In a Test Plan module, the components can be dragged and dropped into BPTs and the components can also be debugged. While, Test Lab modules are used to run BPTs and view results.
The reusability of business components for designing tests can be achieved through BPT. This approach is used to reduce test maintenance drastically and improve efficiency of creating tests. Once the manual test cases are designed in OpKey BPT, those test cases are easy to automate. The OpKey BPT takes data from test flows for developing tests. Rows of data can be created in a table for triggering test conditions during the execution of a flow. BPT is role-based, allowing non-technical Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to work on tests along with the Administrator and Automation Engineers, all work together and in parallel. BPT allows SMEs to define test flows through an easy to use by telling what steps to take and which data to use. These test cases are then executed manually through QC with hardly any additional efforts. They are responsible for the automation of components, creation of various repositories, business flows etc.
An Administrator performs the responsibility of creating project hierarchy, configuring the setting at tool level and project level. The Automation Engineers create application areas and the object repository, library files, and recovery scenarios associated with these application areas using a testing tool such as QuickTest Professional or Selenium. The Automation Engineer can also assist with the debugging process after the Subject Matter Expert creates automated business process tests.
Target markets for BPT include customers using OpKey for reducing their testing efforts, customers who are looking into exploring various automation testing frameworks and customers wanting to use BPT framework.
The ongoing maintenance and rework cost is reduced when a component can be reused for both manual and automation projects with BPT. Its use will also be higher for the projects in which regression tests are to be automated, in turn reducing efforts spent on automation scripting drastically.