Blended Automation – Part 1 :: App vs Tool Assessment

Automation is a widely discussed topic and choosing the right tool at the right time for the right application is a vast research topic for any company/team/individual. There are a variety of applications in the market, be it Web apps, Mobile – native apps or websites, Flash application, API, Desktop app and so on. We need to take precautions that the tool which we opt for automation should support all our requirements from our application perspective. This will need extensive analysis in terms of tool feasibility for our application context, powerful API’s supported by a tool to satisfy our automation specific goals, advantages and limitations of a tool based on our application, etc. Hence, doing so during initial stages is critical to avoid migration of all scripts to a different tool which may be more suitable to our application, not to forget the precious time we lose.

Opting the right tool during the initial stage of automation is the key to avoid such a mess. We have faced a similar situation on finalizing a tool for our various projects in the past.

Case Study 1: For one of our project, a Cloud Based Personalized Education System, we started automation using “Tool 1″ which we thought at that time is good for the context. We started with designing test scenarios and test data for automation, eventually, we were successfully able to make various suites.

Later, after 2 months of extensive work on that tool, it made us realize that “Gosh! we are limited and blocked if we continue using Tool 1″ based on application requirements and tool capabilities to handle changing GUI attributes. As the end result, we had to migrate to “Tool 2″ which had better capabilities.

At the end, stakeholders were happy with the deliverable.

This was a wonderful experience for us which made us change our strategy and approach for our future projects.
What did we do after the above experience?

Case Study 2: One of the world’s leading publishing and education company approached us for pure Flash and Flash/Web combo based automation capabilities.

There are a variety of tools available in the market for Flash based application. To name some of them are: Genie plug-in from Adobe, Ranorex, Flex Monkey from Monkey talk, RIA Test. Working with these tools could be easy but are mainly paid tools for which support or license are expensive, plus they support latest Flash technologies which is built in Action Script 2.0/3.0. We gave a quick demo (Version 1.0) for Flash automation using Genie and Ranorex tools for sample flash applications like YouTube. As a result, stakeholders were happy with the demo presented to them along with Moolya’s Automation Architecture.

During demo, on further discussion they updated us that the goal and major challenge our stakeholders had was to get automation for their old flash based videos collection which was done via Action Script 1.0. This was an interesting challenge and we asked them a week’s time to get back to them for Demo (Version 2.0). Here is what we presented them for Demo 2.0:

  • We made a tool assessment doc (highlighting Flash automation tools like Genie, Ranorex, Selenium Flex/Flash and Sikuli) to help them take decision on which tool would be more suitable for their application context
  • This time we gave them Demo 2.0 for their own application to show them the combined power of Sikuli and Selenium Web-driver to automate for Flash application based on Action Script 1.0
  • Coverage of Scripts based on Pure Flash sample and Web/Flash hybrid sample scripts based on Action Script 1.0/2.0/3.0
  • In addition to this we showcased Moolya’s Automation Architecture and it’s standard which was a wow factor for them. They told us that we are among the best 2 companies which they have short listed out of some 10-15 companies

Being a young company this is how we do the analysis and try to be more valuable to our client’s context.

How does our readers get benefited?

We would like to make our analysis for tool assessment public for the audience who are searching over internet for better tool options based on their application context to assist them take decision faster with the provided information.

Hope you had a good read and found it informative.

Disclaimer: Information given here is based on our analysis and research. If you have any suggestions or want to contribute your pointers for the Tool Assessment then we will be happy to take your inputs.

Contributors for Tool Assessment : Yagnesh Shah, Dhiraj Bothra, Aparna Garg, Adil Imroz, Manikandan MG, Sushil Pokharia, Bhimraj Gupta, Nitesh Goyal, Himanshu Raj

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