In the continually evolving world of investment banking, the efficient delivery of high quality, properly tested systems is paramount. As a result, many firms are adopting automated testing practices to save time and improve efficiency. However, Brickendon consultants have noticed, that if not designed and executed properly, automated testing can have the adverse effect, resulting in poor performance and raised maintenance costs.
Three common problems observed in underperforming test automation practices are:
- Scripting test automation is highly technical which creates an overreliance on individuals.
- It is not easy to add or modify data driven actions to existing test automation scripts.
- It is expensive to maintain.
To address these three problems, Brickendon consultants developed the Functional Test Automation Solution (FTAS). It is designed using the risk-based approach to testing, prioritising test cases by associated risks. Automation requires a well-structured frame in order to consistently perform well. By introducing a structure that contains information utilised to script test automation, FTAS helps the testing team achieve the objectives below.
- To provide a structure upon which a non-test specialist, typically a business analyst, could build automation test scripts.
- To obtain comprehensive data and test coverage with minimal effort.
- To ensure no regression impact exists on the systems after adding new features / resolving bugs or issues.
- To test the new features of the systems in a more comprehensive and intelligent manner.
The Brickendon Solution
FTAS was designed using a hybrid model, based on a keyword and data driven framework.
The keyword framework builds a library of functional tests. This test automation framework consists of keywords* that can be used to interact with, and automatically verify, the functionality of the system. The library contains all possible parameters for intelligent testing, enabling best coverage for test data and test case scenarios.
The data driven framework helps test different trade types by simply referring the tests to a data input sheet.
The framework provides a repository of actions that gives flexibility to the user to design automated tests.
How does the FTAS work?
- Creates a set of manual test cases
- Creates a database of keywords for each functional action in the application
- Uses the keywords to design automated test cases
- Keywords can be designed to interact with a database that can be further used for reconciliation of trades
An additional benefit of FTAS is the reconciliation function of trade data with the trade entry, trade confirmation, database, trader blotter and downstream systems. This creates a fool-proof functional test automation solution.
*A keyword refers to an action performed by a user on the application under test
FTAS made it possible for non-test specialists to utilise test automation fully without prior knowledge of scripting. This reduces key-person dependency and contributes to improving efficiency in managing test automation. This process also increases transparency in test design and execution, which effectively promotes knowledge sharing and communication within the project team. FTAS is also proven to significantly improve the data and test coverage by fully utilising the benefits of automation.
- Lower the maintenance costs for test automation
- Reduction in key person dependency
- Improved efficiency in test automation
- Efficient and effective regression testing
- Improved data and test coverage
- Transparency in automation test scripting
- Automation nonstandard components i.e Custom components
- Downstream reconciliation