“The best way to optimize marketing automation is to connect it with a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. If your business brings in revenue by combining marketing and sales campaigns, then your system should be integrated. Connecting your marketing automation platform with your CRM will help marketers on your team connect crucial campaign strategies with the financial outcomes. This will provide your salespeople with better visibility into prospecting and leads. It also allows your marketing team to hand leads over to sales without manually exporting anything.”
Available exclusively at Lowe's and designed for small to medium spaces, the Hisense 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner With Wi-Fi can be controlled using your smartphone and easily moved from room to room. At $369 it's a bit more expensive than most similarly powered non-connected portable air conditioners, and it doesn't work with other smart home devices. But it's very quiet, easy to install, and does a great job of cooling. And it stays connected to your Wi-Fi network much more reliably than other options we've tested.
Integration Automation: More complex than process automation, integration automation enables machines to observe the way that humans perform tasks and repeat those actions. Humans must define the rules, however. For example, you could integrate your BPM software and customer support software. This could give you results from a customer support checklist processed for each customer complaint and assign personnel when needed.
“I don’t understand why people would think it’s unethical,” Woodcock says. “You use various tools and forms of automation anyway; anyone who works with a computer is automating work.” He says if any of these coders had sat in front of the computer, manually inputting the data day after day, they’d never be reprimanded. But by demonstrating that they’re capable of higher levels of efficiency, some may, perversely, feel like they’re shirking a duty to the companies that employ them. This is perhaps why automating work can feel like cheating, and be treated as such by corporate policy. On Amazon Mechanical Turk, the tech company’s marketplace for microwork, automation is explicitly against its terms of service—and the gig workers like those on the platform, who labor for cents per task, could stand to benefit from automation most of all.
“While using and teaching Agile practices like test-driven development (TDD) on projects in different environments, I kept coming across the same confusion and misunderstandings. Programmers wanted to know where to start, what to test and what not to test, how much to test in one go, what to call their tests, and how to understand why a test fails. [….] My response is BDD.”

Using a drag and drop interface, automated processes are designed to follow existing processes or improve on them. In most cases, the process is documented using a process modeling tool and then reviewed by all stakeholders for accuracy. Once the static design is approved, work begins by designing the actual process including forms, tasks, recipients, alerts/notifications, etc. This is done using workflow automation software that includes pre-built tasks (complete form, submit approval, hand-off to another person, etc.) that can be arranged sequentially or in parallel.
Programmers, of course, have been writing code that automates their work for decades. Programming generally involves utilizing tools that add automation at different levels, from code formatting to merging to different code bases—most just don’t take it to the extreme of fully or nearly fully automating their job. I chatted, via direct message on Reddit and email, with about a dozen programmers who said they had. These self-automators had tackled inventory management, report writing, graphics rendering, database administration, and data entry of every kind. One automated his wife’s entire workload, too. Most asked to remain anonymous, to protect their job and reputation.

Depending on which of the 10 diets you choose, the macro ratio will vary. If you want to build strength and choose our high protein diet, your fat and carb intake will shift down to fit in the extra calories from protein. You can also set your macro ratio manually if you already know what fits you best! Remember, all calories you consume come from macronutrients. To learn more about calories, read about our In-app calorie counter.


Created by a former bodybuilder, this comprehensive app delivers a lot of bang for your buck. At the top of the screen, red numerals show you how many of each nutrient (protein, carbs and fat) you have remaining for the rest of your day as you input saved meals or foods from the library. Looking to eat fewer carbs on a recovery day? The app will let you save different macronutrient “goals” that you can choose between, meaning intermittent fasters or athletes whose daily diets often change dramatically will be able to easily switch their goal when desired intake changes. ($2.99; iOS)


Successive development cycles will require execution of same test suite repeatedly. Using a test automation tool, it's possible to record this test suite and re-play it as required.Once the test suite is automated, no human intervention is required.This improved ROI of Test Automation.The goal of Automation is to reduce the number of test cases to be run manually and not to eliminate Manual Testing altogether.
Ideal for beginners who need some extra help along the way, this supportive app includes tons of useful tips and tricks so users have the best food logging experience possible. Portion control ideas make sure you won’t overindulge and pop-up alerts can remind you to weigh-in or have a healthy afternoon snack. Compare how your actual macro intake stacks up against your daily target each day. Plus, the app auto-adjusts your caloric goals when your body composition changes. If your Wi-Fi is spotty or you’re constantly logging on-the-go, rest assured that the complete food database is available offline, too. ($3.99; iOS, Android)

Chandra Kandukuri is a Technical Test Lead at Microsoft with more than 16 years of software development experience in multiple environments, developing automation frameworks and tools. He advocates the use of TDD and dedicating the time and resources to do it well. Although it is relatively uncommon to see teams utilize TDD in his experience, Kandukuri recommends the method with automated software testing because of the positive teamwork habits it can promote.
All recorded keystrokes and mouse activity can be saved to disk as a macro (script) for later use, bound to a hotkey, extended with custom commands or even compiled to an EXE file (a standalone Windows application). This macro recording program will save you a lot of time on repetitive tasks. You can use the Macro Recorder to automate ANY activity in ANY windows application, record on-screen tutorials.
At NASA, cost pressures led the agency to launch four RPA pilots in accounts payable and receivable, IT spending, and human resources—all managed by a shared services center. Shared services centers are often responsible for implementing RPA in many companies. At the space agency, all four projects worked well and are being rolled out across the organization. In the human resource application, for example, 86% of transactions were completed without human intervention. NASA is now implementing more RPA bots, some with higher levels of intelligence.  
Robot Framework is an open-source automation framework that implements the keyword-driven approach for acceptance testing and acceptance test-driven development (ATDD). Robot Framework provides frameworks for different test automation needs. But its test capability can be further extended by implementing additional test libraries using Python and Java. Selenium WebDriver is a popular external library used in Robot Framework.
Does tracking three things sound tedious to you? Luckily, you can record your food and keep an eye on proteins, carbs and fats with just a few taps, thanks to a new crop of food diary apps. Nutrition is part science, part art, and at the end of the day, we all know that abs are made in the kitchen! Whether you’re a competitive bodybuilder, a recreational athlete or someone hoping to shed a few pounds, we’ve got the scoop on how to track macros with these five easy-to-navigate apps.
JMeter includes all the functionality you need to test an API, plus some extra features that can enhance your API testing efforts. For example, JMeter can automatically work with CSV files, which lets your teams quickly create unique parameter values for your API tests. It also integrates with Jenkins, which means you can include your API tests in your CI pipelines.
A different take on the home security camera, the SkyBell HD is a video doorbell that lets you see and speak with whoever is outside. It may look like the original SkyBell Video Doorbell we reviewed back in 2015, but that's where the similarities end. This version delivers highly detailed video at 1080p with color night vision, and captures several of seconds of footage prior to a triggered event. It also integrates with numerous third-party smart home devices, and comes with free cloud storage for recorded video, a rarity in this category.

RPA is often propped up as a mechanism to bolster return on investment or reduce costs. But Kris Fitzgerald, CTO of NTT Data Services, says more CIOs should use it to improve customer experience. For example, enterprises such as airlines employ thousands of customer service agents, yet customers are still waiting in the queue to have their call fielded. A chatbot, could help alleviate some of that wait. “You put that virtual agent in there and there is no downtime, no out sick and no bad attitude,” Fitzgerald says. “The client experience is the flag to hit.”


Automation, the application of machines to tasks once performed by human beings or, increasingly, to tasks that would otherwise be impossible. Although the term mechanization is often used to refer to the simple replacement of human labour by machines, automation generally implies the integration of machines into a self-governing system. Automation has revolutionized those areas in which it has been introduced, and there is scarcely an aspect of modern life that has been unaffected by it.
Test automation on the other hand is the automated execution of predefined tests. A test in that context is a sequence of predefined actions interspersed with evaluations, that James Bach calls checks. These checks are manually defined algorithmic decision rules that are evaluated on specific and predefined observation points of a software product. And herein lies the problem. If, for instance, you define an automated test of a website, you might define a check that ascertains a specific text (e.g. the headline) is shown on that website. When executing that test, this is exactly what is checked—and only this. So if your website looks like shown in the picture, your test still passes, making you think everything is ok.
Once the software passes automated tests, it may be released into production (depending on the preferred rate of deployment). This process is called Continuous Delivery. The preferred frequency is the difference between Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment. You achieve Continuous Delivery with the steps required for CI. The emphasis on automated testing (and automated builds) for quality assurance capitalizes on the efficiency of successful test automation and is essential to this practice.

Another variation of this type of test automation tool is for testing mobile applications. This is very useful given the number of different sizes, resolutions, and operating systems used on mobile phones. For this variation, a framework is used in order to instantiate actions on the mobile device and to gather results of the actions.[9][better source needed]
Many test automation tools provide record and playback features that allow users to interactively record user actions and replay them back any number of times, comparing actual results to those expected. The advantage of this approach is that it requires little or no software development. This approach can be applied to any application that has a graphical user interface. However, reliance on these features poses major reliability and maintainability problems. Relabelling a button or moving it to another part of the window may require the test to be re-recorded. Record and playback also often adds irrelevant activities or incorrectly records some activities.[citation needed]
In an era of innovation, the emphasis has to be on the upside of people. They will always be the source of next-generation ideas and the element of operations that is hardest for competitors to replicate. (If you think employees today lack loyalty, you haven’t noticed how fast software takes up with your rivals.) Yes, people are variable and unpredictable; capable of selfishness, boredom, and dishonesty; hard to teach and quick to tire—all things that robots are not. But with the proper augmentation, you can get the most out of the positive qualities on which they also hold a monopoly. As computerization turns everything that can be programmed into table stakes, those are the only qualities that will set you apart.
Ecobee is the first company to embed Amazon Alexa in a light switch with its $99 Ecobee Switch+. The Switch+ is more than just a smart wall switch that connects to your Wi-Fi and can be controlled using a mobile app: It can do everything an Amazon Echo does, such as tell you the current news, weather and sports scores, play music, and control other smart home devices. It also works with Apple's HomeKit, Google Assistant, IFTTT applets, and the SmartThings Hub, and it will eventually double as a remote room sensor for an Ecobee thermostat.
RPA is often propped up as a mechanism to bolster return on investment or reduce costs. But Kris Fitzgerald, CTO of NTT Data Services, says more CIOs should use it to improve customer experience. For example, enterprises such as airlines employ thousands of customer service agents, yet customers are still waiting in the queue to have their call fielded. A chatbot, could help alleviate some of that wait. “You put that virtual agent in there and there is no downtime, no out sick and no bad attitude,” Fitzgerald says. “The client experience is the flag to hit.”

Brandon Eversole, Andrew Anglehart, Christian Ahlin, Kathleen Woolum, Estel Anahmias, Adam Schlender, Mike Luque, Encyclo, Stevie Taylor, Brent Yoder, Invisibleman, Jeff Lam, Christopher Hayes, Oliver Walker, gwendolyn bellermann, Matt Logan, Philip Chou, Brandon Young, Arlo Stewart, Thomas Hodnemyr, Viachaslau Hurmanau, Sam Cousins, Robin Hultgren, Jose Schroeder, Ched, Claustrophobya, Charles Wang, Dolan Dark, Casaro, Donglin Li, Sarah Thompson, Pamela Palmer, Fergal Harrington, Jonas Erath, Spencer, Zsuzsi Balai, Tyler Roberts, Allyssa Blalock, Robert Bishop, Carl-Johan Linde, Thomas Nielsen, Heather Pray, Marco Boneberger, Mehsotopes, Joe Johnston, ugo dubois, Keagan Boys, Miles Gard, Frantisek Sumsala, Scott, Tobias Theobald, Solar3ty Games, Nicholas Carr, K41N_of_2358, Daniel RodrÌguez, Pixlpit, Gytis Kirvela, Thomas Flanigan, Dwagon, Costin Graur, Mavis Everett, Kwiatkowski Robert, Huo Benpeng, Dan Gretton, Joshua Davison, Bryce Comp, Andrey Lipattsev, DEFECT DAVIS, Gurleen Saini, Andrew "FastLizard4" Adams, Isak Hietala, Leon Han, Sarah Johnson, Kieran Chakravorty, Hanna Khoury, Kimberly Martin, Jon Glass, Julius Wroblewski, Ben Zautner, Kester Falge, Juan Florez, Tad Moore

Ideal for beginners who need some extra help along the way, this supportive app includes tons of useful tips and tricks so users have the best food logging experience possible. Portion control ideas make sure you won’t overindulge and pop-up alerts can remind you to weigh-in or have a healthy afternoon snack. Compare how your actual macro intake stacks up against your daily target each day. Plus, the app auto-adjusts your caloric goals when your body composition changes. If your Wi-Fi is spotty or you’re constantly logging on-the-go, rest assured that the complete food database is available offline, too. ($3.99; iOS, Android)
What if, the authors ask, we were to reframe the situation? What if we were to uncover new feats that people might achieve if they had better thinking machines to assist them? We could reframe the threat of automation as an opportunity for augmentation. They have been examining cases in which knowledge workers collaborate with machines to do things that neither could do well on their own—and they’ve found that smart people will be able to take five approaches to making their peace with smart machines.
Once processes are built and tested it's time to roll them out to the relevant users. In some cases this could be the entire employee population, in other cases, it could be a single department, outside vendors or customers. Access to processes is provided through a Web portal where users can submit requests, check statuses or complete tasks depending on their role. This self-service portal houses all processes and forms but many employees will also interact through email alerts.

Sikuli is based on image recognition and has the capability of automating anything that we see on the screen. Currently, it supports desktop apps only which run on windows, Mac or Unix/Linux. This tool is good at reproducing bugs quickly and its users have reported it to be very useful as compared other tools when you are going to automate an application which is not web-based.

Lighting is a fun, accessible entry point in building a smart home, but smart bulbs—especially color-changing ones—cost a lot more than you might expect. That makes the $34.99 Eufy Lumos Smart Bulb White and Color an intriguing option. It doesn't offer nearly as much in the way of third-party integration as the Philips Hue bulbs, but it lets you select from over 16 million colors, it doesn't require a hub, and it supports voice commands via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Realizing the benefits of software automation testing first requires understanding that automation isn’t automatic. If you understand the basics — what it is, what it is not, who uses it and why they do so — you will start to see why automation testing is fundamental to modern software development. The efficiency gains associated with successful test automation require the use of automation frameworks and proper automation software tools.


IBM helps clients around the world transform and manage functional and industry-specific processes to achieve intelligent digital operations. These services rely on AI, process automation and advanced analytics to help deliver higher quality processes at lower cost with less risk. IBM process automation services address the four fundamentals of process design.
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