Keep Your Test Automation Platform Up-to-Date

Every day there is something ‘new’ in the market, some new feature or device that will make things ‘easier and better’ to use. And although this is good news to consumers, it means suppliers and operators must assure the new features and devices are as usable as expected. Items cannot be simply added without rigorous testing. This is especially true when the new features or devices are expected to work within a complex network ecosystem.

GUI screen that shows 'software update available'

Fortunately most companies with products that need to work within a network have implemented test automation solutions which reduce the time for testing. Typical network test automation solutions utilize time-saving test libraries and pre-defined ‘session’s for each type of device communication. Common session types are Command, Telnet and SSH since most devices support these. Of course, there are other popular session types such as those to drive web and mobile devices. A good automation platform would support a plethora of session types to communicate with all of the devices that a product is required to work with. If the automation solution can’t communicate with a device then it will not be able to test it!

For instance, let’s say you are introducing a new device into your testbed. Using a best practices approach means that you automate tests for the device by leveraging abstraction methods as much as possible. This allows the automated test to be reused. Sounds pretty straightforward—but—there is an assumption. In this case the assumption is that the test automation solution has support the required session type to communicate with that device.

A good test automation solution will grow with your organization’s needs over time and offer additional session types for new devices as needed. Some things to look for when selecting an automation solution are:

  • Session support—verify the session types supported by the test automation solution you need match the sessions you need
  • Established track record—since test automation requires a long term investment in you want to make sure that the test automation solutions will be supported in the future
  • On-line and local support—an active online community is a must and a local support presence when first starting out is helpful too
  • New sessions—verify the test automation solution supplier has the ability to delivery new session types as needed, without requiring new platform releases

In a perfect world each new session type would be available for every new device you want as soon as you want it. Some due diligence in selecting a test automation solution will help ensure that new session types can be added as you need it.

Learn more about test automation and the benefits seen by companies that have successfully implemented it visit http://www.spirent.com/Products/CLEAR/Automation

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