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Tool for Automated Testing of Notes Client Applications?

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My current client is in the planning stages of a Domino 6.5 to 7 upgrade and has a substantial amount of required testing to do to ensure their Notes client  applications are running properly.  I have therefore been asked to look into automating some of that testing in order to minimize the headache and tedium of running through test scripts manually.

Cursory research has not uncovered any slam dunk tools for this sort of thing, and being that I'm on a blogging roll already today, I figured I'd throw this out to the Blogosphere and see if anyone else out there has any suggestions.

As is often the case, Notes seems to be the oddball among the various application development platforms.  I suppose some test scripts could be automated simply by writing Lotusscript, and this would at least make those tests easily repeatable, but there are probably many things that cannot be done easliy or well in script.

Ideas anyone?  Or have you been down this road and hit a dead end?

Comments

1 - There is a Rational product for testing Lotus Notes applications which I saw demonstrated at an IBM event a while back. It might be worth investigating.

/lekkim

2 - Ethann, thanks for contributing to the discussion. I've come to similar conclusions about the over-reliance on automation, and discussed it a bit in a more recent blog post here: http://www.lotusguru.com/lotusguru/LGBlog.nsf/d6plinks/JDOZ-6QXNBB

As for how easy it is to crack the top 100 on Google, you can see for yourself it's not hard at all. If you Google "automated testing of Lotus Notes client applications" today http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=automated+testing+of+Lotus+Notes+client+applications&btnG=Google+Search), you will find that this very blog post is the 1st entry found.

While this is certainly a testament to the power of blogging, it really begs the question what Original Software's http://www.origsoft.com/News/AnnounceNotes2.htm marketing folks are doing (hint: not much). To make matters worse, it's been 3 days since I submitted a request on their site for more information and a demo, and I have received no response. Since the main link on their site to request such information is broken (does it ever end?), I had to hunt for the link and eventually found this: http://www.origsoft.com/gen-rfi.htm . I would encourage others to fill in the form...maybe somebody will get through. In the meantime, I guess I'll try calling them .

3 - Wow Bruce, looks like you've pointed me to exactly what I was looking for but didn't think existed. Thanks! I have to say though that these guys are almost impossible to find on Google by simply querying logical things like "automated testing of lotus notes client applications"...doesn't even come up in the first 100 results, and I gave up after that. Talk about not wanting to be found.

Of course, I'm still waiting for a proper demo/trial so it remains to be seen whether this tool will actually deliver on its promise. My fingers are crossed.

4 - Hi Lekkim,

Thanks for the pointer. Unfortunately, I checked out Rational and found several automated testing products at http://www-306.ibm.com/software/rational/sw-bycategory/subcategory/SW730.html but no mention anywhere of working with Notes or Domino, just the other usual suspects.

Still looking, but if IBM's own software testing products don't address Lotus, it doesn't bode well. Then again, this is a perfect opportunity for a 3rd party to fill the need, as Teamstudio has done for Notes version control and other development tools.

5 - I had heard of that tool but forgotten all about it. I agree with you about Google search results although on the other hand it can be difficult to get in the top 100.

If you are testing on Windows then you should be able to get away with using a standard tool like those from Mercury.

Be warned that developing the test scripts can be very time consuming. Don't under estimate this. Developing the test scripts will probably take longer (probably much longer) than testing manually. Where they earn there keep is in regression testing i.e. when you run the tests multiple times. If you are doing a one-off round of testing (which it sounds like) then you are probably better off hiring some bods to do it manually. This has been my experience with using automated testing tools and also the experience of QA professional I have worked with over the years. Obviously vendors will tell you a different story. Email me if you have any questions.

Ethann

6 - There is hope. I have a session with my Rational colleagues pending. Once I have results I'll blog them.
stw


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