Automation and Virtualization

13th Annual International Software Testing Conference Paper on
The Challenges of Software Testing: Automation and Virtualization
Authors
Primary:
Email:
Phone:
Fax:
Rajni Singh
rajni.singh@fiserv.com
+91.120.409.3073 – Work
+91.997.179.8831 – Cell
+91.120.409.5001
Secondary: Surender Singh
surender.singh@fiserv.com
+91.120.409.3068 – Work
+91.954.017.5120 – Cell
Fiserv India Pvt. Ltd.
6, 7, 8 Floor, Tower C & D,
A - 44/45, DLF IT Park,
Sector - 62,
Noida, U.P.-201301
Phone No.: +91-120-6185000
http://www.fiserv.com/
Fax No.: +91-120-6185001
The Challenges in Software Testing: Automation and Virtualization
2
Table of Contents
Abstract ................................................................................................................. 3
Objective ................................................................................................................ 3
Challenges in Automation Testing .......................................................................... 3
Challenge 1: Customer Expectation ..................................................................... 3
Challenge 2: Automation Strategy ....................................................................... 4
Challenge 3: Tool Selection ................................................................................. 4
Challenge 4: Resource Selection ......................................................................... 5
Challenge 5: Test Estimation ............................................................................... 5
Challenge 6: Technical Issues ............................................................................. 6
Challenge 7: Low Return on Investment ............................................................. 6
Virtualization ......................................................................................................... 7
Virtual Machine Optimization ................................................................................. 8
Implementation of challenges and solution in Existing Project .............................. 9
Test Automation Framework Overview: Basic Approach to Automation ............... 10
Salient Features & Benefits .................................................................................. 11
Conclusion: .......................................................................................................... 12
Acknowledgements .............................................................................................. 12
Reference Materials ............................................................................................. 12
About Fiserv ......................................................................................................... 12
Author’s Biography .............................................................................................. 13
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The Challenges in Software Testing: Automation and Virtualization
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Abstract
The perpetual demand to cater to reduce the cost, invariably leads Quality Assurance (QA)
team to test automation. Most organizations have adopted test automation only in large
programs. Typically, in an organization, large programs with sizeable budget invest in
automation since they are able to demonstrate ROI and other benefits in more compelling
fashion. These programs tend to focus on quick deployment and not on reuse or long term
development of automation processes. Over the period of time QA team struggle to sustain
the same benefits that automation previously provided.
Software Testing is critical to ensure that the existing functionality of software application is
not impaired by modification and upgrades, as independent testing is still evolving and the
software, application upgrade is dynamic and challenging. Also, creative approach is
required to automate the software successfully and to gain the long term benefits. The key
area of concern is large project for automation and cross platform with frequent software
upgrades, which require quick turnaround time. The focused approach to automation
defined here will enables testing organization to cope with the challenges faced in each test
automation life cycle.
Objective
Organizations are generally of the view that test automation should be used for large
projects only, as it reduces timelines and improves quality. It is true that automation
reduces timeline and improves quality, but to make good use of automation, it is required to
follow some processes and strategies. Some of the roadblocks and strategies involved in
automations are discussed in this document.
Roadblocks deter some organization from investing in test automation. Also, it is a known
fact that test automation requires considerable budgets and efforts. This paper provides an
insight of best practices to be followed and strategies to be adopted in order to get good
returns from test automation. This paper also provides an end-to-end test automation
framework that helps overcome the key challenges. It also covers the issues faced in
automation testing on virtual machines and benefits of virtualization with key solutions to
the roadblocks.
Challenges in Automation Testing
Few challenges in automation testing are mentioned below with the proposed solution.
Challenge 1: Customer Expectation

Customer’s misconceptions
Automation can be completed in less amount of time with the tool’s intelligence
Tools can generate test data for automation
Scripts runs irrespective of platform, environment, and hardware
100% unattended script execution
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The Challenges in Software Testing: Automation and Virtualization
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Scripts capture all defects

Customer are not aware of
Principles and Behavior of testing tool
Technology used in tools
Solution – Customer Expectation

Educate customer about
True benefits of automated testing, such as Reliable, Repeatable, Saves time,
Programmable, etc.
Testing tools, and their pros and cons
Test automation framework and ROI
Test script maintenance effort
Challenge 2: Automation Strategy

Ad hoc test automation strategy
One Test Case – One Script Automation approach
Disadvantage
High maintenance cost of large script suits
Result Analysis and reporting takes huge time for a releases

Lack of process in identifying tests to be automated
No guidelines for test case identification
Inefficient process in place
Solution - Automation Strategy
Defined Test Automation Process implementation
Requirement Driven approach for test automation
Challenge 3: Tool Selection



Compatibility with AUT
Cost and performance
Lack of tool support from vendor
Tools not recognized Third Party objects/controls in the application
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The Challenges in Software Testing: Automation and Virtualization
Solution: Tool Selection


Tool Selection Team should be formed before selecting a tool
Automation team should ensures
Analysis of backward compatibility of various versions.
Tool’s incapability and defects.
Continuous evaluation of Tool upgrades
Compatibility with configuration management tools

24 X 7 Customer Support from Vendor
Challenge 4: Resource Selection



Lack of skilled resources
Use of Sub contractors in team
Fresh resources are inducted
Rigorous training is executed to cope up with project deadline
Slow learning curve in business as well as tools
More script defects leads failure to uncover application defects
Customer lost confidence on Test Automation
Solution: Resource Selection
Efficient Knowledge Transition process should be in place
Backup plan for each resource
Manual testing team should also be involved in the automation aspects
Form tool excellence committee in team for R&D – a food for knowledge update
Minimize resource attrition and retain resources by motivations, awards and etc.
Weekly Technical Issue meeting to be conducted
Challenge 5: Test Estimation




Estimation based on the test steps in the Manual test cases.
Complexity was derived based on the number of steps in the manual test cases.
Control Factors were calculated based on experiences, not by statistically proved data.
Test Data creation effort was not accounted in the estimation.
Solution: Test Estimation

Follow “Test Point Analysis” estimation technique.

Key points to be considered for estimation
Size of the Application
Test Strategy
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The Challenges in Software Testing: Automation and Virtualization
Productivity


Derive Test Points from Functional Points.
More factors that also to be considered
Environment Factor
Quality Factor

Represent effort break up in terms of percentage
Challenge 6: Technical Issues
Tools not recognized Third Party objects/controls in the application
On the fly GUI object / object property change
Objects names are not meaningful and unique
Color Code validation is not successful
Graphical outputs and Image validations are not successful
Multi browser and multi platform validations are not successful
Critical functionality in the application were not effectively automated
 Additional manual steps required to carry out the automation







Solution: Technical Issue




Identify non-recognizable objects in early phases of automation
Work collaboratively with Design and Development team
Define Scope in, Scope Out in Test Automation Plan
Create utility scripts to support the main automation scripts through R& D
Challenge 7: Low Return on Investment





Schedule and Effort over run due to higher degree of script maintenance.
Negative impact on SLA compliance for script execution.
Higher degree of challenges in unattended execution
Frequent functional change
Application Performance Instability
Solution: Increase in Return on Investment




Implement Process for Test Automation
Provide detailed efforts to develop automation script.
Implement Automation Frame Work
Plan and organized scripts execution for each build
Risk Based Execution
Maximize unattended execution
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The Challenges in Software Testing: Automation and Virtualization
Virtualization
Virtualization refers to an act of creating a virtual version of something, including but not
limited to a virtual hardware platform, operating system (OS), storage device, or network
resources.
It refers to creation of a virtual machine just like the real one but not the original operating
system.
In order to achieve virtualization, some key factors should be kept in mind, which are as
follows:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Ensure high availability of environment
Maximize Resources
Improve Performance
Security
However, while achieving virtualization, various challenges are faced. Some of the most
common challenges faced while achieving virtualization are as follows:
1. VM Slowness: While working on the virtual machines few things which we experience is
slowness of the applications, tools or basic day to day software’s which we use
Solution:
Adjust the visual effects settings/performance settings of the machine to “Adjust it
for best performance”
Changed the virtual memory setting to set it on the basis of “System managed size”
Avoid using any wallpaper/screen saver on both Local and VM workstation
Changed the display properties of both local and VM workstations by either selecting
the “color size” to be minimum i.e 16 bit
Run and schedule Disk Defragmenter on the Virtual machines
Run and schedule disk cleanups
2. Dependency on third party tools like VMWare or Junos(for VPN) to connect to the virtual
machine
3. Third party tools have sometimes impact/dependency/conflict on tools which we
currently use ex
VMWare view client software is a java based software so installing
“Java Add In” in QTP causes conflicts
4. Virtual machine causes additional space/infrastructure requirements. Solutions to
optimize the virtual machine are caching, defragmentation etc.
5. Network Limits Implementation – When connected with the VPN(Junos Pulse) the rest
the network goes down i.e it is not integrated with rest of the network
6. Transfer of data from the virtual machine to the local workstation is not possible
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The Challenges in Software Testing: Automation and Virtualization
Virtual Machine Optimization
1. Use Webmail to Access Outlook on Virtual Workstation on a limited basis
2. Only Start Web Applications on the Virtual Machine from icons established on the
desktop
i.
ii.
Avoid running Web Applications like Facets and, Knowledge Central from Team
Central.
Establish application icons on the Virtual Machine desktop and always access the
application using the desktop icons.
3. Visual Effects and Advanced Virtual Machine Performance
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
vi.
vii.
viii.
ix.
Verify the Visual Effects and Advanced Virtual Machine Performance options are set
correctly
Go to Start > My Computer select >Properties.
Click the Advanced tab select > Performance Settings button.
On the Visual Effects tab, select > Adjust for Best Performance
On the Advanced tab select Programs under the Process Scheduling box
On the Advanced tab select Programs under the Memory usage box
Click the Change button in the Virtual memory box
Select System managed size
Click OK>OK>OK and close Window
4. Avoid bringing up any Application on the Local Workstation when on a call
5. Avoid using a background and screen saver on VM and local workstation desktop
6. Verify display quality is set to 16-bit on the virtual machine and local workstation
desktop
7. Other local workstation and virtual machine considerations
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The Challenges in Software Testing: Automation and Virtualization
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
9
Machine – Both - If using Vista or Windows 7 disable side bar options
Machine – Local Workstation – Verify Windows auto updates are set to non-hours
Machine – Local Workstation – Verify Update cycle of security software is set to nonbusiness hours
Machine - Both - Do not run streaming internet media from either the local
workstation or the virtual machine (this includes internet radio, television, excessive
news feeds)
8. Verify all local workstation NIC drivers are current
9. Disconnect Virtual Machine. Make sure to disconnect your Virtual Workstation by the end
of the work day. Go to Start > Disconnect.
10. Run and Schedule Disk Defragmenter on Virtual Machine. Run the Disk Defragmenter to
reorganize your disk space. Then schedule the Disk Defragmenter to run on a monthly
basis.
11. Run and Schedule Disk Cleanup on Virtual Machine
Implementation of challenges and solution in Existing Project
Our Project is for Tesco bank for Signature Europe, requirement of Project that we need to
automate around 460 business scenarios in 3 months of time with complete regression pack
execution. The main objective for the Regression pack is that it should work for different
environment and result can be verified and compared with each next release. Reports
should save in secured manner so that no one can do any changes. Scenario Verification
points and triggers points screen shot should be captured and verified by Business Analyst
at their end.
Now the challenge we faced in initial phase are
1. Team Skill: Both domain and technical skill was not expected for the required project.
Our Team comprise of 4 team members with maximum of 3-4 months of experience in
banking domain as well in IT industry and one team lead with Automation expert to run
this project
2. Existing Framework challenges: Existing Framework does not include successful
verification screen shot and also reports are not protected
3. Environment challenges: Configuration settings changes and set up issues.
a. Setup challenges include test data setup for scenario for each environment.
4. Unattended Execution Automation script should execute unattended.
5. Automating IBM mainframe AS 400 as IBM AS 400 is very protected mainframe type so
most of the object properties are protected, which cause object identification issues.
 To resolve the banking domain knowledge and vb script coding skill proper 2 week
training were planned with the Business Analyst and Quick Test professional Tool
training were given.

Framework enhanced first to meet the business partner reporting and scenario
description requirement. Took 20 hours to make changes in framework. Converting
HTML reports to PDF and protected from any further changes.
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The Challenges in Software Testing: Automation and Virtualization




10
Reusable functionality identified and functions are created and shared object repository
created. Team then started preparing the scenario automation script. Automation script
verification point’s screens are then verified by Business analyst and if some changes in
functionality or workflow required is implemented. To avoid script changes scenario
manual workflow is verified first.
For Environment configuration setting and setup changes challenges in first cycle we
prepared the issue log related to configurations and setup with proposed solution is
maintained, which further set in other environment comes. For this shakedown activity
we take 4 hours to setup to avoid execution roadblock for new environment. Also, for
the scenario which are require any data setup we upfront created pre-requisite test
data script for new environment execution.
As best practices we maintain Issue Log, update traceability matrix, Automation Run
book, Failure analysis is easier with pdf report document, daily status update with
business partner and defect are maintained in Quality center.
Unattended Execution was the biggest challenge
Banking application and office premises security issue for system unlock
Unlock code written so that closed screen can take screen shot and system does not
go to sleep.
Pcomb process is required to successfully verify most of the scenarios
Automated scripts were dived before and after pcomb run steps and well maintained
in batch in cycle driver.
Recovery scenario reduces the performance of scripts as well processes are
slow.
Functions created and called where ever recovery is required.
System Performance for large batches execution
To avoid the low system performance due to cookies and temp files created while
execution simple clear file and cache delete code written and after batch of 10 or any
intermittent error this code execute and resume to execution. Also, on AS 400
reusable login and purge code written to have secure login each time it fails to
connect.
Test Automation Framework Overview: Basic Approach to
Automation
A hybrid framework which incorporates the best practices of Test Library, Test Modularity,
Data Driven and Descriptive Programming approaches is developed which will be used with
QTP to automate the test scenarios defined in the regression test pack. This framework
mainly focuses on re-usability of automation code and automated test scripts which reduces
the maintenance effort. This translates to a significant savings over the course of time.
The framework architecture diagram is shown below.
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The driver script written in VB Script invokes the execution. It launches QTP which loads the
test scripts marked for execution in Cycle Driver Excel sheet. These test scripts load the
corresponding object repository (shared and/or local), test data (global variables and/or
data sheets) and calls the re-usable functions (automation code in VB Script) from the
function library. It then performs the appropriate operations on the Application Under Test
(AUT) as per the business flow. At the end of test execution, the framework generates a
user-friendly test report in Excel, HTML, pdf format which contains total execution time,
total test scenarios executed, number of test scenarios passed / failed, environment details,
machine name on which test execution was done, executed by, operating system,
verification point screen shot etc.
Salient Features & Benefits
In addition to standard features such as performing operations and verifications on the test
objects, this hybrid framework offers other sophisticated features, like
1. Independent test Architecture
2. Wise use of Descriptive programming and Vbscript coding used
3. Flexibility to create application-specific modular functions; operations or task that cannot
be performed by library functions for example – composite test objects
4. Ability to test variety of applications like web, windows-based, and AS/400 (IBM
Mainframe)
5. Multi-language support
6. Optimum utilization of the test automation tool
7. Simple Test Design; a non-technical or a novice user / tester can effectively create test
scripts with minimal training or mentoring effort
8. Configurable framework settings
9. Create reusable automated test scripts
10. Parameterization of test scripts; iterate for same or different data
11. Maintenance & Expandability is easier and quicker
12. No database required
13. Smart exception handling
14. Unattended execution attained
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The Challenges in Software Testing: Automation and Virtualization
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15. Screen shots for verification point and trigger points
16. User-friendly test reports in Excel format, HTML and PDF format.
Conclusion:
A Reusable Automation Framework approach fits all domain automation. Not only
automation also the challenges in virtualization can be overcome by adopting a
comprehensive strategy which focuses on initially identifies the challenges and applies the
proposed solution.
Deployment of Reusable Automation framework in different business units within Fiserv
Global Services provided significant benefits in terms of savings in test designing and
maintenance, test execution cycle time, component reusability, and framework extensibility.
Test automation helped Fiserv QA teams to re-allocate resources to perform specialized
testing operations. In turn, productivity of resources increased along with enhanced
software quality.
Some of the take away from the above explained challenges and comprehensive strategy
are:
1. Automation and Virtualization challenges identified at early stage with proposed solution,
which help us to decide our approach while initiating Automation and Virtualization in
Project.
2. Ready to use Framework
3. Secured and protected Reports in pdf format
4. Easy to maintain and create scripts
5. Reports can be used for Application understanding document
Acknowledgements
We would like to thank everyone who supported us directly or indirectly. We would like to
express our gratitude towards Saroj Patnaik (GM) for reviewing our work.
Reference Materials
1. Automation templates and training material available on QMS intranet portal of Fiserv
Global Services
2. Reusable framework user manual created by Fiserv Global Services, Noida
About Fiserv
Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV) is the leading global provider of information management and
electronic commerce systems for the financial services industry. Fiserv is trusted by more
than 16,000 clients worldwide including banks, credit unions, thrifts of all sizes; mortgage
lenders and leasing companies; telecommunications and utility companies; brokerage and
investment firms; healthcare and insurance providers; and retailers and municipalities.
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The Challenges in Software Testing: Automation and Virtualization
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Fiserv delivers financial services technology solutions in five areas of competence namely –
Payments, Processing Services, Risk & Compliance, Customer & Channel Management, and
Insights & Optimization.
Author’s Biography
Rajni Singh (Author) has more than 6 years of experience in Software Testing and is
working as Senior Quality Analyst in Fiserv Global Services (FGS), Noida. She has more than
6 years of experience in Information Technology with framework design in Test Automation,
analysis, integration, maintenance implementation, estimation, how to approach new
assignments. She is QTP, Six Sigma – Green Belt, and Load Runner certified professional.
She has earned Bachelors of Engineering and currently she is pursuing an Executive Post
Graduate Diploma in International Business from Indian Institute of Foreign Trade.
Surender Singh (Co-Author)
Mr. Surender Singh (surender.singh@fiserv.com) has around 1 year of experience in
Software Testing and working as Associate Software Engineer in Fiserv India, Noida. His
core competency is automation testing and focuses on other areas like performing feasibility
analysis of different applications for automation, continuous improvement in automation
framework, quality control activities, automation knowledge sharing, conduct QTP trainings.
He is a QTP certified professional. He basically comes from a development background and
has done 6 months DAC Course (Diploma in Advance Computing) from C-DAC, Pune
(Government Institute for Research and Development in IT).
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