How Model-Based Testing Tools Can Help Ease MBT Adoption

by February 9, 2018

Model-Based Testing Tools Simplify MBT Processes

Model-Based Testing (MBT) offers considerable advances in testing capacity and accuracy by replacing time-consuming “by hand” activities with a far more comprehensive and structured approach.  But although its benefits may be apparent, especially to overworked  teams in both  testing and development, this does not guarantee immediate acceptance of the concept. With the release of CA Agile Requirements Designer 2.7, a game-changing new capability has been made available, called “Automatic Model Building Accelerator,” which may help many companies take advantage of Model-Based Testing tools to overcome their resistance or doubt.

Barriers to Model-Based Testing Adoption

Many of the barriers to adoption of model-based testing come from a lasting tradition of testing that focuses on the back-end, after design and production have already been largely completed. Testers operate under extremely tight deadlines, often without the clearest of specifications, lacking in useful Model-Based Testing tools in their finger tips, and yet they are expected to focus on the short-term, producing bugs and test cases, rather than larger-scale test generation programs.

Even in the age of Agile, concepts such as shift-left and continuous testing are not immediately embraced, since they spread the obligation across the software development lifecycle. For testers, the greater focus continues to be placed on test scripting for regression tests, and for test managers, traditional test metrics are not compatible with a model-based approach, making interpretation difficult and time-consuming.

Overall, the resistance springs from a relative comfort with the status quo, as harried as it may be, and an unwillingness, or merely a lack of time, to investigate, install, learn, and roll out a new technique or Model-Based Testing tools for that matter.

The Value of Model-Based Testing and Test Automation

The value of switching to a model-based testing approach is not merely a nice-to-have. The increased sophistication and complexity of applications, paired with ever decreasing product cycles and sprints are becoming the writing on the wall. No company can afford to maintain traditional testing techniques and expect to stay competitive. The consumer calls the shots, and the demands are for better, faster, seamless, and perfect.

Some of the primary benefits of model-based testing include:

  • Reducing cost and development time
  • Improving testing coverage
  • Improving testing efficiency and quality
  • Increasing fault detection
  • Establishing templates or specifications around the intended behavior of the product
  • Representing testing strategies and a test environment more accurately

Many people know this already, but many do not, or at least have not thoroughly investigated or accepted this concept. Others may agree, but throw up their hands, citing lack of time and resources to do anything about it.

How to Make Model-Based Testing Even Easier to Adopt

The release of CA Agile Requirements Designer 2.7 includes new functionality to make life much easier. The Automatic Model Building Accelerator helps testers get started with an initial model much more easily and quickly. You can initialize your first flow by importing new or existing Selenium Builder recordings, and you can also export scripts back to Selenium, which gives you a solid starting base to analyze and expand your model.

A typical example of this might be a team responsible for an existing web application that has hundreds of regression test cases. The team executes tests manually every month at the end of Agile Sprints. They create test cases for new functionalities or change requests in each Sprint. With CA Agile Requirements Designer 2.7 and Automatic Model Building Accelerator, they can quickly record all test cases using the open source Selenium Builder.

  • The Selenium Builder Recorder captures the tester’s actions on the screen in the form of a linear Selenium script. The script covers page name, objects, data that was entered and returned, and other Selenium parameters. This is then saved to a directory in JSON format.
  • Next, the Selenium Builder Importer imports the tests as a series of steps. After the initial import, the auto-generated model represents the actual behavior of the application during the test sessions.
  • They then use CA Agile Requirements Designer features to understand the model, define the requirements, and add automation layers. This is best done in collaboration with a subject matter expert (SME) to inspect and adjust the generated model until the model represents the application requirements accurately.

Once done, the testers can export the model back to Selenium Builder.

By automating the process of building a model using Model-Based Testing tools such as this, a key stumbling block is removed. It is now easier to build them by using the intelligence and automation of the accelerator app. This is part and parcel of what testing is becoming: faster, smarter, and more comprehensive.

For more details on the CA Agile Requirements Designer 2.7 and Automatic Model Building Accelerator, please click here or watch this short video.

CA offers comprehensive solutions that automates the most difficult testing activities – from requirements engineering through test design automation and optimization. Start your Free Trial of CA Agile Requirements Designer today and fast track your Testing at the speed of agile.