TestComplete by Smart Bear Software

Smart Bear Software has announced the newest version of their TestComplete package. This has a number of tools for testing. I think it aims to allow people with limited technical skills to become productive in testing. However there are some hooks in there for advanced users as well.

There is a Test Visualizer that let's you set up tests by clicking around in the user interface. There is also another tool that let's you type in free form text of the test. It then reads your text and generates test scripts. That seems pretty amazing.

The tool also has a Data-Driven Loop Wizard which let's you import data from a file to create tests. Finally for the seasoned testers, there is the JavaBridge. It allows you to use an API to grab data from within a Java application. That is sweet. If I get into more Java development, that feature alone could be worth the cost. Pricing starts at a grand for the Standard version.

The Many Faces of Quality

I read an insightful article on the different quality professions out there. These include quality assurance, quality control, verification, and validation. These terms are often confused and used imprecisely. So what exactly do they refer to.

Quality Assurance deals with processes. That does not necessarily mean testing. In fact, QA can involve review of a design or requirements document. This is in line with verification, which checks that development was conducted correctly.

Quality control deals with the product of software development. This is achieved through the execution of tests. It is closely related to validation, which is the execution of code.

Visual Studio Ultimate

There are a number of tools in the Visual Studio Ultimate Edition that help the test mission. These tools are included in the price of Microsoft's MSDN subscription. Some of these tools include Test Manager and Lab Manager.

Test Manager is meant for non-techies to developer test cases. This helps eliminate non-technical testers clicking buttons manually.

Lab Manager gives you an environment to conduct tests. It works with Intellitrace and Hyper-V. Unfortunately Lab Manager does not support Silverlight applications. This tools does require a lot of hardware to run on.