Automated Testing

Automation Done Right

At Portland Webworks we often look to mitigate the challenges of enterprise development on a large scale through the judicious use of testing automation strategies. By deploying proven software-based testing tools alongside the code under development we are able to continuously verify that the software under development is behaving precisely as intended. Used effectively, automated testing can improve product functionality, shorten delivery timelines, and save money.

Although automation does offer a number of advantages, we always endeavor to prescribe automation responsibly and with a great degree of care. The QA experts at Portland Webworks work hand-in-hand with our customers to carefully explore the viable automation options, and then help decision makers to select the most appropriate approach.

Some of the steps that we take to ensure that our customers enjoy the benefits of automation include the following:

  • We target automation at application areas that have reached a relatively stable stage in their development.
  • Throughout the entire project lifecycle, our automation team works in lock-step with the development team, so that testing can proceed rapidly and continuously.
  • Automated tests are incorporated into our continuous integration process, so that testing will be triggered whenever portions of a developing software are updated.

 

TECHNOLOGIES

Part of the approach when developing an automation plan involves knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the tools at our disposal, which is why we are continuously working with and evaluating different automation tools. Following are two of our most commonly employed technologies at Portland Webworks to accomplish Test Automation:

Selenium is used to test web applications. The software has evolved over the years into a powerful and highly functional testing suite. It includes tools for recording user interactions as well as frameworks that enable testers to fully automate a web browser. The functionality made available through this software supports the entire gamut of browser testing, ranging from from quick scripts to more intensive and formalized browser-driven unit tests. The software supports such popular languages as Java, JavaScript, PhP, Ruby, and Python, among others. Selenium has a large user community, a mature code base, and as an open source product, it is certainly a best-value resource.

EggPlant is a front-end-oriented, cross-platform automation tool that is frequently used to test desktop, mobile, and web-based applications. As a GUI-driven testing product (vs. API-driven), this software helps to make sure that testing procedures are accounting for what users are actually witnessing on the screen. It can test for important CSS conditions (ex. field visibility), and even includes a built-in OCR (Optical Character Recognition) engine that aids in identifying problematic and erroneous elements. Although primarily GUI-based, Eggplant does have a robust set of object-oriented scripting capabilities, which can be used to trigger secondary shell scripts, massively expanding the testing capabilities of our engineers.

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