7 steps to Boost your ROI:Test Automation with Peoplesoft Test Framework

Do you cringe when you hear the term ROI? Yes, its true that it is broadly overused and as a result, driven way down the list of business value discussions. When it comes to test automation, the market has been dominated by large software vendors such as HP and IBM who offer a comprehensive but costly package of solutions to cover the length and breadth of testing. While open source tools for testing and test automation are thriving and very relevant in social, mobile and other modern platforms, its has been slow to catch on in the traditional back office spaces such as ERP and because of its “create-your-own” framework with the open source platforms, many companies are reluctant to take it on.

PeopleSoft introduced the PeopleSoft Test Framework (PTF) in PeopleTools 8.51. Largely unnoticed, mainly because it was buried in PeopleTools and did not come with any packaged tests or advanced automation capabilities that the mainstream test automation providers offer, Tools 8.53 and 8.54 brought along several enhancements and few features. Despite this, customers are waking up to the possibility of leveraging a utility they own (PTF is included in your PeopleTools license!) to ease their maintenance and upgrade regression testing woes.

The following is based on Astute’s successful implementation of test automation solutions for PeopleSoft V9.1 and V9.2 using PTF and FasTest (Astute’s test automation toolkit to enhance and extend PTF):

  • Business as usual-

Simple ROI calculation relies on cost savings and the quickest and easiest way to achieve this with PTF is to have all your PeopleSoft resources continue to do business as usual and only turn on the PTF recorder so that without any extra effort, a test is defined and saved for future testing.
ROI Points – No additional costs for creating and managing tests.

  • Do more with more-

Why not test something 10 different ways when there are 10 different ways of doing the same thing? Sampling is the single biggest contributor to lower quality and higher production defects. Record as many tests with as many test cases (combinations of data values used for testing) and store them in your PeopleSoft instance. When it comes time to test, you or your test lead and pick and choose which ones to run or run them all for a comprehensive test.

ROI Points – Increased quality assurance levels, fewer defects, bigger smiles

  • Do not regress when it comes to regression testing-

Now that you have recorded your tests, compiling those into a regression test bed is as simple as dragging and dropping them into a single folder or for those of your obsessed with hierarchy and organization, creating as many folder structures within as you like. Once you are done with that, select all of them to run at once or run them one at a time (Don’t!)

ROI Points – Regression testing is automated and predictable.

  • Create true functional business process tests-

Use PTF to create end-to-end process tests to mimic the way your business uses PeopleSoft by simply selecting your discrete tests (remembers the ones you recorded earlier) and organizing them into Shell Tests. Run one Shell Test, run many. Break out of your shell.

ROI Points – Testing tailored for your business

  • Collect cool-looking and intelligent test metrics-

Build your own dashboards using PeopleTools (8.52 or higher) or better yet, take one of Astute’s many pre-built testing dashboards for PTF and plug them into your environment. Instantly wow your management and business stakeholders. Mesmerize them with our cool graphics so that they don’t look at the data in them.

ROI Points – Say goodbye screen captures and manual data collection

  • Track and manage defects in PeopleSoft-

When you are recording and executing a test using PTF in your PeopleSoft instance, PTF logs the test outcomes (in excruciating detail) to your PeopleSoft instance so it makes sense to log/track/assign/report on defects in PeopleSoft too. Check out the FasTest Defect Manager and assign them.

ROI Points – Track, manage, and report on defects within PeopleSoft at any time. Save logs for historical and audit purposes.

  • Blend PTF into your application management process-

The best way to ensure ongoing returns with PTF is to ensure that PTF creation, maintenance and updates are part of your application management process. Create an enhancement – create a PTF test for it, apply a fix – create or reuse a PTF test, apply PUM – run your regression test bed and create new tests for new or enhanced functionality in the PUM. Migrate PTF objects (tests and test cases) in the same project as your PeopleTools objects to keep them in sync.

ROI Points – Repeatability, consistency, integration

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