RealTime IT News

Fast-Forward For Regression Testing

One of the most important, but admittedly mundane and often-overlooked aspects of software development -- regression testing -- is getting the A-list treatment by two software development and tool-making companies.

Infragistics, which specializes in presentation layer development tools in .NET and Java environments, has teamed with Mercury (formerly known as Mercury Interactive) to offer TestAdvantage, a product that features custom libraries for testing presentation layer developments. Presentation layers are considered a key growth area of smart-client applications in the Internet era and within the movement to Web services .

TestAdvantage is designed to help development teams run QA testing across a wide range of IT and application environments, Infragistics CEO Dean Guida said. The goal is simple: to ensure applications are designed and optimized for success.

As simple as that sounds, any software developer will tell you that it's not always the case in the hurly burly of application development and code-writing. After all, a key feature of regression testing, otherwise known as selective retesting, is to make sure software is not only modified to fix bugs, but to make sure that new bugs aren't introduced in the process. That can chew up a lot of development time.

Guida said the release of TestAdvantage also signals that engineering principles of quality testing -- even bullet-proofing -- are finally seeping into the development cycle of software development, where terms like "buggy," "hoggy" and just "hole-ridden" are often used by that application's end-user.

The release of Infragistics TestAdvantage is dubbed a first-of-its-kind tool that combines a testing environment for Infragistics Windows Forms applications. It offers custom libraries built using Mercury Interactive's QuickTest Professional .NET add-in extensibility.

It works like this: TestAdvantage enables automated testing of the presentation layer, which Infragistics' Guida said then allows developers to fully regression-test Windows Forms applications with user interfaces developed using NetAdvantage, which is Infragistics' own UI toolset.

Using the custom libraries feature, QuickTest Professional will quickly record and replay script commands for such applications instead of using generic mouse coordinates. Fast playback enables more test scripts to run in a given amount of time, which enables better test coverage of applications and ultimately higher quality software, company officials said.

Infragistics said TestAdvantage 2004 Vol. 3 contains QuickTest Professional custom libraries for the Infragistics NetAdvantage 2004 Vol. 3 Windows Forms elements.

The Infragistics Windows Forms elements that have corresponding custom libraries include design features, such as WinScrollBar, WinChart, WinEditors (including WinCalculator and WinCheckEditor), as well as the popular WinGrid elements, which include WinCombo, WinDropdown and WinGrid.

The release of TestAdvantage would put Mercury's products, which include enterprise business technology optimization (BTO) software and software testing tools, in the hands of more developers who are increasingly building for a smart-client environment.

The release also comes as Microsoft and its partner companies prepare for Microsoft's VSLive conference in San Francisco next month. The conference is devoted to enhancing understanding of smart clients and it will offer a new look at Microsoft's Web services platform, code-named Indigo.

Infragistics' release of TestAdvantage is riding the wave of presentation layer development that is growing in use along with service oriented architecture and the concept of reusing code assets for development and extending applications.

"There's really no secret sauce here," said Infragistics' Guida of the TestAdvantage release. "It just took a lot of hard work, over a year's work of work" to pull together the custom libraries for customers, he told internetnews.com.

Infragistics plans to continue expanding the custom libraries beyond the TestAdvantage assets it launched in conjunction with Mercury.