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Piece by piece, the puzzle starts to take shape into something real, something that breathes. We started off with the biggest piece – the automation of a majority of our test cases. This component had its own puzzle pieces, some of which were nowhere to be found (or so I thought). I wanted to return the puzzle back to the toy store, exclaiming that all of the pieces didn’t come with the puzzle, but you can’t do that at work… It turns out that the puzzle pieces were there, just hidden away in small crevices or sometimes even flat out in front of my face.
So, the first piece, the automation of both target applications (Eclipse based client and web based client) is complete and needs now only to be updated.

The next piece – this is the really easy piece, the feel good piece. It looks harder than it really is, but with proper structure, its not too bad. This piece involved the setup of a test management tool to kick off the automated UI / API tests.

The piece that someone else does for you – a developer creates an Automation scheduler or a job execution framework. This scheduler grabs the latest build of the target application, performs a slient install of the target application, then kicks off our tests ensuring that everything is set up correctly, and then taps into the test management db to grab the results of the test cases. Nice!
What we’re working on now and what should be almost done is for the build team to kick off the Automation scheduler to run a small smoke test. Based on the results of the smoke test, an email notification is sent out notifying various teams that the build has been cleared for grievous errors and can now be thoroughly tested.

After this occurs, then the scheduler will kick off the more complex QA Test cases and report the various findings. Its starting too breathe…