Test development in Qentinel Pace

May 05, 2021 / by Kimmo Nupponen

Test development is a very broad term, but it usually refers to a process where we go from a high-level test scenario way down to very concrete and detailed test scripts. This process typically starts from those test scenarios—descriptions of testing objectives—such as “test that user can successfully log in to the system”.

These scenarios are then further refined into tests or test cases which then define what should be tested and typically a test scenario will require more than one test to ensure that the scenario has been properly covered. The most detailed level, the test script, then defines the details of the test case. Test scripts define the concrete steps that we should take; they define both the input to the tested application, or the stimuli and the expected output that is then verified against the actual observed output.

This all is much easier said than done. It’s even harder to do it in a maintainable fashion. The current test automation solutions, even still today, are primarily focused on automating test management and test execution while test development and in particular, test design, remains largely a manual activity. This where Qentinel Pace, or more specifically PaceEditor, comes in. 

PaceEditor is the next-generation highly advanced test development environment for PaceWord and Robot Framework test scripts leveraging a massive amount of test case data to guide you through the scripting process. It helps you to create scripts by constantly monitoring and analysing your actions. The guidance is then provided from various directions. 

First, based on your test cases and flows so far, it will infer and predict the most probably next steps as opposed to merely completing what you have already started typing (which PaceEditor does as well). The results of this inference and prediction process are proactively provided to you through suggestions, guidance, and tips. The predictions offered by the PaceEditor make the scripting process extremely efficient. The editor helps to make sure that we don’t accidentally omit steps that are required for achieving the overall goals of scripting which often include completeness and quality. These predictions can on one extreme eliminate the need of manual scripting altogether and it has a huge potential to take your productivity to the next level. 

Second, it will automatically detect any behavioural deviations in the observed logic in the test scripts from what was expected from the “normative models” of test cases. The results of the analysis and detection process are visualized in a form of a heat map in the PaceEditor user interface in real-time as you continue to work with the script.

Intuitively you can think of this in a way that predictions guide you to a certain beneficial or “normative” direction while the deviations are used to guide you away from a potentially inconsistent behaviour; away from thin ice, so to speak.

Even further, PaceEditor can provide advanced analytics on your test case. By looking at your test case and its flow the editor can make predictive estimations on a test case’s probability of success, execution time, correlation with other test cases, and more information on test generation. All this way before the test cases are ready for test execution. 

PaceEditor is part of Qentinel Pace and you can directly access it using your favourite browser by simply logging in to Pace and navigating to your test suite. If you have no account for Pace already today, you can quickly create one at Pace Sign up and start using Pace for free. You can also install PaceEditor directly to your VSCode editor from Marketplace and use it for local test development. Whatever you prefer for test development! 

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  1. PaceEditor available as a VSCode extension
  2. Test development in Qentinel Pace
  3. Predict the most likely test steps in your test cases with ML
  4. Test case deviation detecting and visualizing PaceEditor 

Topics: Software Testing, Test Automation, Software Development, Test Creation

Kimmo Nupponen

Written by Kimmo Nupponen