RPA, Testing

The future of Automation – Part 1

The future of Automation – Part 1
By : Walt Carper

Published : September 9th, 2020

As IT professionals responsible for system delivery, our professional lives are dominated by how we answer three basic questions:

  1. Am I meeting requirements?
  2. Did I break anything in the last release?
  3. Is anything going to fail?

Functional and System Test Automation with RPA

The following image is a depiction of a checklist that can be followed when answering the question, “Did I meet requirements?”

In this four-part series, we are going to look at two emerging technologies – RPA and AI Operations, and illustrate how they complement existing technologies to make the life of an IT professional easier and more productive.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is one of the hottest topics for an IT Professional and for good reason, the ability to provide relief from manual repetitive tasks is something that all business teams want. When it comes to testing, particularly manual testing, the act of repeating the same manual processes over and over again has traditionally been long accepted to simplify part of the job.

With RPA, user interaction can be mimicked via the GUI, allowing the test professional to develop a script that will perform a series of steps. This is not a new concept, there have long been automated testing tools such as WinRunner or Selenium, but the additional value that RPA brings is that the test professional can use RPA through a relatively simple user interface and create test scripts on their own with development intervention that will work across multiple systems.

In the world today, it is quite common for a single process to require several systems to work hand in hand and may often require a user to perform an action in one system, then swivel chair to another system to complete another step, or possibly do offline calculations in Excel. RPA can mimic these specific behaviors for QA testing purposes as well as for System testing – relieving professionals from the repetitive burden of manual testing.

RPA does not replace other tools, as they are optimized for the testing function, but does complement them by removing the manual testing steps across systems that other commonly used tools do not address.

Check out part two of our ongoing series on the future of automation, where we answer the question “Did I break anything?”

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