More than just a connection to the front door, Intercom Anywhere lets the family stay connected across the globe. Babysitter not answering? With auto-answer enabled on your Control4 Touch Screens, you can dial into and be instantly video-connected to any room from your mobile device. Misplaced your phone? Control4 keeps you connected! Simply call a family member’s cell phone right from a touch screen on the wall or sitting on the kitchen counter.
Human-machine interfaces (HMI) or computer human interfaces (CHI), formerly known as man-machine interfaces, are usually employed to communicate with PLCs and other computers. Service personnel who monitor and control through HMIs can be called by different names. In industrial process and manufacturing environments, they are called operators or something similar. In boiler houses and central utilities departments they are called stationary engineers.
One coder described keeping the fact that he’d fully automated his job from his company because he feared it would claim the IP as its own and refuse to compensate him. Another, who asked to be identified only as Jordan, told me he had once inadvertently automated an entire department into redundancy. He now saves “several weeks’” worth of time a year with automation scripts. Jordan says he and his colleagues keep a tight lid on their automation techniques, to maintain control over how they’re used: “We generally keep these tools to ourselves.”
“Many companies are also using zonal OCR and barcode scanning to automate document filing. Zonal OCR lets the user set a predefined area from which information is automatically captured, indexed, and added to a specific database. Many companies employ Zonal OCR on their purchase orders so that scanning the document will transfer the invoice number and shipping and billing information directly to a database. Adding barcode recognition to a document automates the filing process by telling the computer where and how to file a document and its content. These capabilities help these large, established companies compete today.”
There's plenty of failure in that combination. First of all, the feedback loop from development to test is delayed. It is likely that the code doesn't have the hooks and affordances you need to test it. Element IDs might not be predictable, or might be tied to the database, for example. With one recent customer, we couldn't delete orders, and the system added a new order as a row at the bottom. Once we had 20 test runs, the new orders appeared on page two! That created a layer of back and forth where the code didn't do what it needed to do on the first pass. John Seddon, the British occupational psychologist, calls this "failure demand," which creates extra work (demand) on a system that only exists because the system failed the first time around.
“Supporting the Nation's manufacturers, especially small businesses, is critical to keeping America innovative in a global marketplace…MEP, NIST, and its partners are directed to consider the importance automation plays in accelerating and integrating manufacturing processes. The topic of automation cuts across all levels of industry, rather than serving as a stand-alone technology, and particularly affects the fields of control systems cyber security, industrial wireless sensors, systems interoperability, and other basic automation technologies necessary for the success of industrial enterprises. NIST is encouraged to consult and collaborate with independent experts in the field of automation to support the agency's efforts in working with industry to increase innovation, trade, security, and jobs."
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.
Jennifer Thomé, Business Development and Marketing Manager at Plustek, believes, “The current state of business process automation is pretty abysmal for many companies, especially well-established ones that have to bring years of old processes and documents into the modern age. Doctors, accountants, and many government agencies are slowed down by the fact that they don't have the resources to update their systems and complete their work simultaneously.
An across-the-board complaint about MFP is that it doesn’t calculate net carbs for you, and if you’re paying attention to your sugar alcohols, you have to add them manually. It does calculate your fiber and it’s simple enough to subtract that out. Only you can decide whether or not you’ll get annoyed by having to do the math in your head every day.
Digital electronics helped too. Former analogue-based instrumentation was replaced by digital equivalents which can be more accurate and flexible, and offer greater scope for more sophisticated configuration, parametrization and operation. This was accompanied by the fieldbus revolution which provided a networked (i.e. a single cable) means of communicating between control systems and field level instrumentation, eliminating hard-wiring.
At the most basic level, home automation extends that scheduled programmability to lighting, so that you can suit your energy usage to your usual daily schedule. With more flexible home automation systems, electrical outlets or even individual devices can also be automatically powered down during hours of the day when they’re not needed. As with isolated devices like thermostats and sprinkler systems, the scheduling can be further broken down to distinguish between weekends and even seasons of the year, in some cases.
The International Society of Automation (www.isa.org) is a nonprofit professional association that sets the standard for those who apply engineering and technology to improve the management, safety, and cybersecurity of modern automation and control systems used across industry and critical infrastructure. Founded in 1945, ISA develops widely used global standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; hosts conferences and exhibits; and provides networking and career development programs for its 40,000 members and 400,000 customers around the world.
Authors Dorothy Graham and Mark Fewster wrote the field's seminal text, Software Test Automation, which has guided many organizations toward success. Now, in Experiences of Test Automation, they reveal test automation at work in a wide spectrum of organizations and projects, from complex government systems to medical devices, SAP business process development to Android mobile apps and cloud migrations.
As demands for safety and mobility have grown and technological possibilities have multiplied, interest in automation has grown. Seeking to accelerate the development and introduction of fully automated vehicles and highways, the United States Congress authorized more than $650 million over six years for intelligent transport systems (ITS) and demonstration projects in the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA). Congress legislated in ISTEA that "the Secretary of Transportation shall develop an automated highway and vehicle prototype from which future fully automated intelligent vehicle-highway systems can be developed. Such development shall include research in human factors to ensure the success of the man-machine relationship. The goal of this program is to have the first fully automated highway roadway or an automated test track in operation by 1997. This system shall accommodate installation of equipment in new and existing motor vehicles." [ISTEA 1991, part B, Section 6054(b)].
When it comes to smoking ribs or other meats in the backyard, you've typically got two choices, charcoal or gas, and neither is perfect. It's possible that the Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker is, since you control the temp remotely, using apps for iOS or Android. You just wait for the app to tell you when the food is ready. Inside there is 725 square inches of cooking space on four chrome racks that are easy to clean. Fill the smoker box with wood chips and it will work for nearly seven hours without a refill.
Kim Kadiyala, Marketing Specialist at Zapier, says: “We're in an exciting time where business process automation is accessible to everyone — even if you're not technically savvy or a programmer. Tools that connect your apps put the power of automation into the hands of marketers, founders, real estate agents, and lawyers. Anyone who is moving bits of information from one place to another can set up an automation and start saving some time. I like to say that there are some tasks that are better suited for computers and some tasks best done by humans. Automating the tedious parts of your work frees you up to spend more time on the more creative aspects of your job, like big-picture thinking and strategic problem solving.
Roberts notes, “Streamlining processes is my expertise, so I have a lot of experience here. Here's one high-level example: I worked on a technical risk management process that involved process streamlining and troubleshooting. Process upsets were two to three times more than plan. Staff satisfaction was poor. Annual business targets weren't met. After automating and streamlining that process, the process upsets were reduced to within 10 percent of plan. Staff satisfaction increased 20 percent. The business started meeting targets and saved over $3 million from efficiency gains. Talk about some serious results from automating!
Speaking of Wikipedia…here’s a direct link to all the software testing tools that meet Wikipedia criteria (to be worthy of inclusion, the tool must be deemed sufficiently notable, and that notability must be verifiable through citations to reliable sources). In addition to individual software testing tools, the page also links to category pages which compare tools on community-driven criteria. [Read this software testing tools list]
Here’s the real news of the 2018 midterm elections. One week out, Democrats appear poised to win big on two of the three big playing fields. They were never going to retake the Senate, if only because of the mix of seats up for election this year—10 of those held by Democrats are in states Donald Trump carried in 2016. But in the House of Representatives and in state houses around the country, Democrats are on the verge of scoring huge victories. Given the underlying economic reality, that’s entirely unexpected.
Test reporting tools centralize and standardize the reporting around testing activity from independent tools, bridging the Agile/Waterfall, cross-platform and manual vs. automated testing metrics divides. With the right test reporting tools teams can ditch spreadsheet and start gaining real-time insight into the progress, health and quality of software testing. Checkout the top test reporting tools to consider below:
Eric narrowly averted a career in food service when he began in tech publishing at Ziff-Davis over 25 years ago. He was on the founding staff of Windows Sources, FamilyPC, and Access Internet Magazine (all defunct, and it's not his fault). He's the author of two novels, BETA TEST ("an unusually lighthearted apocalyptic tale"--Publishers' Weekly) an... See Full Bio
For example, CUNA Mutual’ s pilot program focused on automating transactional activities for its claims adjusters. Not only did the pilot meet the strategic goal to increase capacity without increasing headcount, it also gave claims adjusters time to be more strategic in their assessments of claim payments and denials and allowed the finance team the opportunity to be more strategic in executing their process. This level of satisfaction is a rarity for many IT applications. Meeting expectations may be easier for automation and robotics given they often have a clear process to automate and a measurable business case.
This article uses the term “tester” to refer to the person involved in testing software with automation tools. It is not meant to distinguish by job title or technical proficiency. Jim Hazen describes himself as a hybrid, or “technical tester,” because he can write test scripts and develop what he refers to as “testware.” The trend is to hire for multiple skillsets, but that does not mean the non-technical stakeholders involved in software development don’t benefit from automation testing.
Stepping forward means bringing about machines’ next level of encroachment, but it involves work that is itself highly augmented by software. A glance at Hamann’s LinkedIn page is sufficient to make the point: He’s been “endorsed” by contacts for his expert use of simulations, algorithms, machine learning, mathematical modeling, and more. But spotting the right next opportunity for automation requires much more than technical chops. If this is your strategy, you’ll reach the top of your field if you can also think outside the box, perceive where today’s computers fall short, and envision tools that don’t yet exist. Someday, perhaps, even a lot of software development will be automated; but as Bill Gates recently observed, programming is “safe for now.”
Business process automation (BPA) is the technology-enabled automation of complex business processes. It can help to streamline a business for simplicity, achieve digital transformation, increase service quality, improve service delivery or contain costs. BPA consists of integrating applications, restructuring labor resources and using software applications throughout the organization. Robotic process automation is an emerging field within BPA and uses artificial intelligence. BPAs can be implemented in a number of business areas including marketing, sales and workflow.
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First, you need the right tools. Second, you need qualified testers who need to be trained. Third, you need to invest time and effort in automation infrastructure and to develop tests on top of it. Developing automated tests is a software development effort itself. Tests need to be designed, coded, and validated before you can really put them to use. But the biggest effort comes just when you think you're done.
Test automation interface are platforms that provide a single workspace for incorporating multiple testing tools and frameworks for System/Integration testing of application under test. The goal of Test Automation Interface is to simplify the process of mapping tests to business criteria without coding coming in the way of the process. Test automation interface are expected to improve the efficiency and flexibility of maintaining test scripts.
“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.”
Research by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne of the Oxford Martin School argued that employees engaged in "tasks following well-defined procedures that can easily be performed by sophisticated algorithms" are at risk of displacement, and 47 per cent of jobs in the US were at risk. The study, released as a working paper in 2013 and published in 2017, predicted that automation would put low-paid physical occupations most at risk, by surveying a group of colleagues on their opinions. However, according to a study published in McKinsey Quarterly in 2015 the impact of computerization in most cases is not replacement of employees but automation of portions of the tasks they perform. The methodology of the McKinsey study has been heavily criticized for being intransparent and relying on subjective assessments. The methodology of Frey and Osborne has been subjected to criticism, as lacking evidence, historical awareness, or credible methodology. In addition the OCED, found that across the 21 OECD countries, 9% of jobs are automatable.
Congratulations: now that the majority of your code and business logic has been tested, most testing at the UI level has been eliminated. Your focus now at the UI level is simply to ensure that the UI itself is working correctly. UI tests are very brittle, so keep these tests to a minimum. These automation tests will need maintenance any time the UI changes, and because there are so many factors that come into play when you run a test that emulates clicks on a screen (such as network speed), such tests can result in false test failures. You can't ignore those test failures, but you don't want to end up spending more time troubleshooting and maintaining UI tests than you spend finding actual code defects.
#2: Higher Employee Satisfaction – Anyone that’s ever held a position as an intern knows that menial, robotic tasks are extremely bad for motivation & enjoyment of work. No matter how you look at it, no one’s going to enjoy doing grunt work all day. If such things can be automated, both you (see point #1) and your employees will be happier (doing more meaningful work).
“Selenium is the go-to UI automation tool. The other credible open source tools are essentially a wrap-around tool around Selenium. For web service testing, I prefer REST Assured. SoapUI is another option used frequently and offers a professional version in addition to open source. Testing G and Junit are popular for verification tools. For BDD, Cucumber and Specflow are popular with the Microsoft stack of development tools.”
Dawn Roberts, owner of Dawn Roberts Consulting, says, “According to my experience, business process automation is used slightly by some and mastered by few. Businesses tend to only really dig in on efficiency when they are forced to via market pressure. When profits are high, inefficiencies typically soar. I improve business processes through automation by taking the following approach, which I like to call the ‘4 S Model™’.”
To keep track of our ever-growing suite of tests, we also classify the automation status of our tests ("already automated," "blocked," "cannot be automated," "in progress," "to be automated") and define the scope of each test (API, integration, user interface, end-to-end, etc.) Note that we have recognized that not all tests should (or can) be automated.
TestLeft is a powerful yet lean functional testing tool for dev-testers working in Agile teams. It fully embeds into standard development IDEs enabling developers to easily and quickly create robust functional automated tests without leaving their favorite IDEs such as Visual Studio. It also works well with other tools in dev eco-systems such as source control or continuous integration systems. With TestLeft, developers can:
As mentioned previously, automated testing frees you up to focus on larger issues such as customer needs, functionality and improvements. Automated testing also reduces the cost and need for multiple code revisions, so over the course of time, the investment pays out. In addition, each time the source code is modified, the software tests can be repeated. Manually repeating these tests is costly and time-consuming, but automated tests can be run over and over again at no additional cost.
Alan Page is an author with more than two decades of experience in software testing roles, the majority spent in various roles at Microsoft. He offers another perspective on the importance of distinguishing automated and manual testing. In “The A Word,” an ebook compilation of his blog posts on automation, Page mentions that most of his commentary on automation focuses on the “abuse and misuse” of automation in software testing and development. He is skeptical of replacing manual testing activity with test automation, as you can see from the his Twitter feed:
The second area, application coverage, looks at the test process from other directions -- typically, the percentage of the requirements that are "covered." One common application coverage tool is a traceability matrix -- a list of which tests cover which requirements. Typically, test case management software records all the planned tests and allows testers to mark that a test case "ran" for any given release, which allows management to determine what percentage of tests were "covered." This is a sort of "quality assurance" look at the test process, which should ensure that each part of the application is covered, along with a management control.
Robotic process automation (RPA) is an emerging field that specifically automates artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics. Although the technology is getting savvier, RPA mimics high-volume, repeatable human tasks, leaving more abstract duties such as relationship building to the humans. RPA complements BPA, after it streamlines your processes.