Friday, October 10, 2014

Passing AST: Multiplatform

Some believe the graphical user interface (GUI) replaced the command line as the premiere computing system. While the GUI is much easier to use, thanks to its WYSIWYG system, the venerable DOS is still in use among programmers today. DOS succeeds where GUI fails, and vice versa.

This puts one of the most important requirements of passing automated software testing (AST) into perspective. Any program that can run smoothly in a GUI environment must also do the same in a non-GUI environment. In other words, the program must be able to operate in virtually any protocol. Software testers call this "backend testing."

In fact, experts suggest devoting most of the AST to non-GUI testing, particularly message-based automation, to help reduce maintenance. Message-based testing explains data more clearly than GUI-based testing, which often results in non-numeric data. Think of GUI testing as raw data and message-based testing as analyzed data.

Various protocols for sending data are currently in use, most of them proprietary, which is why no universal protocol exists. TCP/IP is the standard protocol for transmitting data over the Internet, UDP broadcasts messages over a network, and COBRA is the middleware through which information among various platforms can be shared with ease. For this reason, there is a need for the kind of automated backend testing solutions that yield accurate results.

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