Business Process Testing

The Business Process Testing model is role-based, allowing non-technical Subject Matter Experts (working in Quality Center) to collaborate effectively with Automation Engineers (working in QuickTest Professional). Subject Matter Experts define and document business processes, business components, and business process tests, while Automation Engineers define the required resources and settings, such as shared object repositories, function libraries, and recovery scenarios. Together, they can build, data-drive, document, and run business process tests, without requiring programming knowledge on the part of the Subject Matter Expert.

Note: The role structure and the tasks performed by various roles in your organization may differ from those described here according to the methodology adopted by your organization. These roles are flexible and depend on the abilities and time resources of the personnel using Business Process Testing. For example, the tasks of the Subject Matter Expert and the Automation Engineer may be performed by the same person. There are no product-specific rules or limitations controlling which roles must be defined in a particular organization, or which types of users can do which Business Process Testing tasks (provided that the users have the correct permissions).

The following user roles are identified in the Business Process Testing model:

Subject Matter Expert. The Subject Matter Expert has specific knowledge of the application logic, a high-level understanding of the entire system, and a detailed understanding of the individual elements and tasks that are fundamental to the application being tested. This enables the Subject Matter Expert to determine the operating scenarios or business processes that must be tested and identify the key business activities that are common to multiple business processes.

Using the Business Components module in Quality Center, the Subject Matter Expert creates business components that describe the specific tasks that can be performed in the application, and the condition or state of the application before and after those tasks. The Subject Matter Expert then defines the individual steps for each business component comprising the business process in the form of manual, or non-automated steps.

During the design phase, the Subject Matter Expert works with the Automation Engineer to identify the resources and settings needed to automate the components, enabling the Automation Engineer to prepare them. When the resources and settings are ready, the Subject Matter Expert automates the manual steps by converting them to keyword-driven components. Part of this process entails choosing an application area for each component. The application area contains all of the required resource files and settings that are specific to a particular area of the application being tested. Associating each component with an application area enables the component to access these resources and settings.

Using the Quality Center Test Plan module, the Subject Matter Expert combines the business components into business process tests, composed of a serial flow of the components. For example, most applications require users to log in before they can access any of the application functionality. The Subject Matter Expert could create one business component that represents this login procedure. This component procedure can be used in many business process tests, resulting in easier and more cost-efficient maintenance, updating, and test management.

The Subject Matter Expert configures the values used for business process tests, runs them in test sets, and reviews the results. The Subject Matter Expert is also responsible for maintaining the testing steps for each of the individual business components.

While defining components, Subject Matter Experts continue collaborating with the Automation Engineer. For example, they may request new operations (functions) for a component or discuss future changes planned for the component.

Automation Engineer. The Automation Engineer is an expert in using an automated testing tool, such as QuickTest Professional. The Automation Engineer works with the Subject Matter Expert to identify the resources that are needed for the various business process tests.

The Automation Engineer then prepares the resources and settings required for testing the features associated with each specific component, and stores them in an application area within the same Quality Center project used by the Subject Matter Experts who create and run the business process tests for the specific application.

Each application area serves as a single entity in which to store all of the resources and settings required for a component, providing a single point of maintenance for all elements associated with the testing of a specific part of an application. Application areas generally include one or more shared object repositories, a list of keywords that are available for use with a component, function libraries containing automated functions (operations), recovery scenarios for failed steps, and other resources and settings that are needed for a component to run correctly. Components are linked to the resources and settings in the application area. Therefore, when changes are made in the application area, all associated components are automatically updated.

The Automation Engineer uses QuickTest features and functionality to create these resources from within QuickTest. For example, in QuickTest, the Automation Engineer can create and populate various object repositories with test objects that represent the different objects in the application being tested, even before the application is fully developed. The Automation Engineer can then add repository parameters, and so forth, as needed. The Automation Engineer can manage the various object repositories using the Object Repository Manager, and merge repositories using the Object Repository Merge Tool. Automation Engineers can also use QuickTest to create and debug function libraries containing functions that use programming logic to encapsulate the steps needed to perform a particular task.

Using the resources created by the Automation Engineer, the Subject Matter Experts can automate component steps, and create and maintain components and business process tests.

Automation Engineers can also create, debug, and modify components in QuickTest, if required.

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