SmarteSoft creates QA framework

David Rubinstein
July 15, 2009 —  Quality-assurance tools designed for developers to use, such as those used for unit testing, have grown up in separate silos from tools created for use by QA teams and professionals. While that might help in usability, the downside is the potential for QA teams to reinvent wheels that developers have already built. For example, unit tests created by developers may be unusable by the QA group.

A company called SmarteSoft is looking to bridge this gap with today's release of SmarteStudio, a framework for the creation of automated test scripts.

“Developers create their tests using specific harnesses. The problem is, the QA test harness doesn’t read it,” said Gordon MacGregor, CEO of SmarteSoft, which began as AccordSQA about two years ago. “So long as these tools go in separate directions, you will always have communication problems.”

Existing QA tools today are used in different ways, MacGregor said. Developers doing unit tests interface with code; their tools were created by people with development in mind. QA pros doing functional testing interface with the project as a whole; their tools were created by people with QA in mind. “These tools keep testers and developers living in two separate worlds," said MacGregor.

MacGregor went on to say that the SmarteStudio test harness enables developers to do their unit tests, and then, with reusability in mind, to pass along what they’ve created (such as code and tests) to QA as the basis for that work to begin. “We’re unifying the toolkit,” he said.

SmarteStudio uses its own extensions to JavaScript and includes access to both an editor and debugger, as well as full access to all script-writing utilities included in the Microsoft release of JScript through its interpreter, explained Arthur Trevethan, director of strategic business development for SmarteSoft.

The methods included in SmarteStudio provide support for the testing of DLLs and ActiveX objects through a COM interface, and third-party tools such as JUnit, NUnit and PyUnit are all accessible through SmarteStudio’s command-line interface, Trevethan said.

Aside from the editor and debugger, the SmarteStudio framework includes a recorder to capture interactions with an application; those interactions are then translated into an executable script. Also part of the IDE are the automated reporting of results every time a test is executed, as well as a Test API designed for creating tests through the manipulation of images and spreadsheets.

The company plans to extend its platform to enable less-technical users to benefit from its full power, but with an open back end so developers can meet their goals as well, MacGregor said. He added: “We want to maintain the flow of work between [development and test] organizations.”

Related Search Term(s): QA, SmarteSoft

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