On the Industrial Applicability of Augmented Testing: An Empirical Study
Paper in proceeding, 2020
Testing applications with graphical user Interfaces (GUI) is an important but also a time-consuming task in practice. Tools and frameworks for GUI test automation can make the test execution more efficient and lower the manual labor required for regression testing. However, the test scripts used for automated GUI-based testing still require a substantial development effort and are often reported as sensitive to change, leading to frequent and costly maintenance. The efficiency of development, maintenance, and evolution of such tests are thereby dependent on the readability of scripts and the ease-of-use of test tools/frameworks in which the test scripts are defined. To address these shortcomings in existing state-of-practice techniques, a novel technique referred to as Augmented Testing (AT) has been proposed. AT is defined as testing the System Under Test (SUT) through an Augmented GUI that superimposes information on top of the SUT GUI. The Augmented GUI can provide the user with hints, test data, or other support while also observing and recording the tester's interactions. For this study, a prototype tool, called Scout, has been used that adheres to the AT concept that is evaluated in an industrial empirical study. In the evaluation, quasi-experiments and questionnaire surveys are performed in two workshops, with 12 practitioners from two Swedish companies (Ericsson and Inceptive). Results show that Scout can be used to create equivalent test cases faster, with statistical significance, than creating automated scripts in two popular state-of-practice tools. The study concludes that AT has cost-value benefits, applies to industrial-grade software, and overcomes several deficiencies of state-of-practice GUI testing technologies in terms of ease-of-use.
Industrial Case Study