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Robotic Process Automation (RPA) assuaging ‘Quality Assurance’ in the times of COVID-19

April 10, 2020 - Romil Bhalla Senior Analyst - Product Management, EdgeVerve

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Most of us across the world are in a lockdown at our homes in these testing times. The economies are facing a tough time considering many businesses are at a standstill without manpower. IT/ITES industry is also facing similar challenges despite the companies trying their best to equip the employees to work from their homes. With this arrangement, the quality assurance (QA) teams have their work cut out for them. Since most application developers are working in a lesser controlled environment, the onus is on the quality assurance teams to furthermore ensure the rigorous testing of deliverables before signing them off.

To help with the increased scrutiny of the developed applications, RPA will prove to be an effective ally to the Quality Assurance teams across the board. Using the codeless, workflow-driven configuration of test cases with RPA, the automation of functional and regression testing is made more efficient. Contrary to most test automation tools which cater to specific technologies, RPA tools like AssistEdge RPA work flexibly across most platforms including web applications, windows applications, java-based applications, widely used enterprise applications like SAP, Oracle EBS, Siebel and productivity tools like MS Office suite, email applications and so on. Moreover, applications hosted on Citrix/ VDI and Mainframe applications are automated with increased reliability.

Robotics Process Automation propagates reusability, and QA teams should create reusable assets like automation frameworks, rich assertions, validation reports, integrations with test management tools, and share with the entire team. Additionally, most RPA tools provide a repository of frequently used automations. AssistEdge RPA has such a repository of 200+ reusable skills that are accessible from the AssistEdge Marketplace1. These assets are easily reusable in the automation of different test cases without much hassle.

RPA tools bring in a multifold increase in the ease and speed of test case automation using these ready integrations with different applications and the aforementioned reusable assets. Also, in case of any change in the applications being tested, only a minor tweak in the automation tasks is required. We have observed the QA teams reaping the following benefits using RPA tools for test automation:

Once the test cases have been configured as automated tasks, these are deployed to be executed by bots with different data sets. With RPA tools like AssistEdge RPA, there is no need for the QA team to deploy bots or processes on virtual machines physically. This means that while staying at home, working on their computers, they can utilize the computing prowess of server-class virtual machines (VM).

These automations are configured to run in an unattended mode without any manual monitoring. Additionally, RPA gives the flexibility to execute these in an attended mode where the process is configured to wait and receive inputs from the testers during runtime. The bots executing these test cases are scheduled to run at specific times/ intervals or be triggered by an incoming mail or file being placed in a folder. Alternatively, the execution is configured to be triggered as a downstream job in a DevOps model or CI/CD pipeline once a build is deployed.

Post execution of the test cases, the QA team members get a detailed view of the status of all test runs. Also, a step level information for each test run is available to drill down and identify the root cause of each failure and raise appropriate bugs. RPA tools also provide detailed logs that are used for auditing or tracing back the path of each test run/ test case. Out of the box dashboards and reports are used by the QA managers and heads to get a view of the test case executions for their span of control based on the robust access management provided by AssistEdge RPA like platforms.

Most of the RPA tools are quite easy to use, and members of the QA teams get themselves acquainted with these platforms using the available training and enablement programs. AssistEdge RPA has many online courses, learning modules, training videos, and detailed product documents hosted on the AssistEdge Academy2, a self-learning portal where the QA team members equip themselves with the required knowledge at their own pace. AssistEdge Community Edition3 is a good starting point for beginners to get a hands-on understanding of what the tool has to offer. In case of any questions or doubts, AssistEdge Community Forum4 with like-minded RPA enthusiasts will always come to your rescue.

So why not utilize the RPA bots to share your load in these testing times and set new standards of quality within the applications being developed by your teams.

References:

AssistEdge Marketplace1https://marketplace.assistedgeautomation.com/
AssistEdge Academy2http://academy.assistedgeautomation.com/
AssistEdge Community Edition3https://www.edgeverve.com/assistedge/community
AssistEdge Community Forum4https://forum.assistedgerpa.com/

Romil Bhalla

Senior Analyst - Product Management, EdgeVerve

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