Web services testing -- the human touch
Technology may continue to advance, but human beings are still human beings.
As such, the human factor must still be considered when choosing test tools for
Web services, according to Laura Naylor, senior director of marketing at RadView
Software Ltd., Burlington, Mass.
Noting that 'people get pulled into QA when it wasn't their career
objective,' Naylor said testing tools need to be designed to help the 'novice,
beginner and introductory QA professionals' get started on their new career
path. For the recent college graduate with a humanities degree who finds that
the sparse job opportunities in a tight economy include something called quality
assurance, testing tools need to be easy to use.
Thus, said Naylor, RadView's development team is designing the next
generation of the firm's Web application testing tools with that kind of newly
minted QA professional in mind. A graphical user interface will allow the tester
to interact with the Web service like an end user, thus creating a test script
that mimics how users will work with the service.
However, that action is only half of the human equation in Web services
testing, contends Naylor, as professional developers can also be involved in
parts of the testing process. She notes that the relationship between the people
working in QA and traditional developers is not always a marriage made in
'Historically, they are kind of contentious,' she said. 'QA will find a
problem and indicate to development that there's an issue. Development then
says, 'I can't recreate it. I'm not having that issue. I think it's something
you're doing with the test.''
To promote collaboration rather than contention, RadView officials say the
firm's new tools promise to offer a point-and-click interface for the novice,
and at the same time allow developers to code tests in Java Script. In addition,
test scripts created by beginner QA personnel using the graphical interface can
automatically generate Java Script that a seasoned developer can view and
modify, said Naylor.
This will allow the developer to see and understand what the novice tester
has wrought, she explained. In the RadView scenario for Web services testing, QA
people working with applications as if they were end users would create initial
scripts and then pass them on to professional developers. Developers could then
code additions and corrections to the script, creating a balance between
technical and human factors in the software.
The new RadView tools, currently in beta, are scheduled to be released in
October. For more information, click on http://www.radview.com.
Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.