Discover Performance

HP Software's community for IT leaders // March 2013

Why—and how—you need to change the way you test

Functional testing will remain a major roadblock for organizations stuck using yesterday’s tools and methods.

Functional testing has never been so challenging—or so critical. Even as today’s business requires faster testing processes, testing teams deal with increasingly complex applications that often rely on third-party components. Mobile makes things even more complicated, with users expecting to access apps on every available device and operating system.

Testing teams might be game for this new world, but their tools and processes aren’t. The way they’ve done things in the past can’t keep up with faster time to market, the demands and quirks of mobile, and the complexity of today’s hybrid applications. Instead, organizations need to rethink their long-established practices, transforming them with automation to make testing faster—and better at producing bulletproof, market-ready apps. Here are three steps to get started.

Rethink ingrained practices

Testing teams need to reevaluate everything: their processes, tools, and general approaches to testing. Look for opportunities to cut out repetitive steps, introduce centers of excellence, automate manual test processes, and adopt methodologies that accelerate productivity.

Specifically, it’s time to rethink:

  • Waterfall lifecycles, in which a product is fully built before any serious testing is done
  • High-maintenance effort for test assets, such as automation scripts, documentation, and data
  • Accepted inefficiencies associated with manual testing
  • Duplication of effort across different testing teams (and even within a single team)
  • The inability to test complete permutations of GUI system configurations and mobile configurations
  • The use of disparate tools across the enterprise—which equates to a lack of shared assets, higher training costs, and no leverage of investments

Invest in test automation

After rethinking the old ways, implement the tools that will let you meet the new demands. Automation is a must. The right automated test tools can give developers instant feedback on code changes and enable them to fix problems as they appear, to deliver a higher-quality end product in less time.

Automation tools can also help you address both legacy code and new software functionality. You can automate tasks associated with test case creation and manual testing by integrating test authoring features into your processes, as well as scanners that capture spelling errors and localization and compliance issues. You can accelerate time-consuming manual testing by integrating tools that let your developers convert manual test steps to automated scripts that anyone can reuse.

Unify the functional testing environment

When you’re testing hybrid, composite apps, you need a unified approach. That will let developers and QA teams evaluate both the individual pieces of an application and the end-to-end functionality of the whole thing. A unified approach puts test automation support for both graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and application programming interfaces (APIs) into one, integrated interface, solving these three challenges:

  • Testing the GUI layer, which entails traditional functional validation as well as testing across mobile interfaces and social media technologies.
  • Testing the API layer, which requires automation from the start to catch bugs as early as possible.
  • Tying GUI and API testing together, which allows you to create a true, end-to-end validation of the user experience and uncovers problems that you don’t find when you test GUI and API separately.

Start transforming today

The pressure on testing teams will only intensify as the world becomes more mobile and as always-connected users demand instant gratification. But your team can’t deliver on the demands of the future by relying on the tools of the past.

Read more in our white paper, “Three Challenges to Functional Testing” (reg. req’d). Get more details and practical advice on improved testing for the age of continuous delivery from our functional testing page.


IT leader assessment

This tool evaluates the correlation between IT attributes and business success and, based on how your answers compare with average scores, will advise you where to invest in IT.

It is based on data HP collected from 650 global companies about a range of IT characteristics (server capacities, approach to information management, security, BYOD, etc.) and how they correlate to revenue gain. This assessment will compare your answers to the average scores in that study.

There are 12 questions that will require an estimated 10 minutes of your time. You'll receive a summary of your rating upon completion.

Let's get started

Please select an answer.


Your answer:
Your score:
Average score:
Revenue leaders' score:


Please select an answer.



Your score:
Average score:
Revenue leaders' score:

Get detailed results:


Popular tags


Discover Performance Weekly

HP Software’s Paul Muller hosts a weekly video digging into the hottest IT issues. Check out the latest episodes.

Faster dev, better apps

The authors of the Capgemini-Sogeti World Quality Report discuss emerging trends in testing, including shifting roles and techniques.

Enterprise 20/20

Dev Center 20/20

How will we organize development centers for the apps that will power our enterprises?

Introduction to Enterprise 20/20

What will a successful enterprise look like in the future?

CIO 20/20

Challenges and opportunities for the CIO of the future.

Marketing 20/20

Welcome to a new reality of split-second decisions and marketing by the numbers.

IT Operations 20/20

How can you achieve the data center of the future?

Employee 20/20

What the workforce of 2020 can expect from IT, and what IT can expect from the workforce.

Security 20/20

Preparing today for tomorrow’s threats.

Mobility 20/20

Looking toward the era when everyone — and everything — is connected.

Data Center 20/20

The innovation and revenue engine of the enterprise.

Read more

HP Software related

Most read articles

Discover Performance


Tweets @ HPITperformance