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.  

The first tools made of stone represented prehistoric man’s attempts to direct his own physical strength under the control of human intelligence. Thousands of years were undoubtedly required for the development of simple mechanical devices and machines such as the wheel, the lever, and the pulley, by which the power of human muscle could be magnified. The next extension was the development of powered machines that did not require human strength to operate. Examples of these machines include waterwheels, windmills, and simple steam-driven devices. More than 2,000 years ago the Chinese developed trip-hammers powered by flowing water and waterwheels. The early Greeks experimented with simple reaction motors powered by steam. The mechanical clock, representing a rather complex assembly with its own built-in power source (a weight), was developed about 1335 in Europe. Windmills, with mechanisms for automatically turning the sails, were developed during the Middle Ages in Europe and the Middle East. The steam engine represented a major advance in the development of powered machines and marked the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. During the two centuries since the introduction of the Watt steam engine, powered engines and machines have been devised that obtain their energy from steam, electricity, and chemical, mechanical, and nuclear sources.
Summary: Uses pre-built workflows and services on demand for continuous testing and Agile development. IBM InfoSphere Optim makes it easy to create production-like environments, allows for functional, regression integration and load testing via integrations with the Rational Test Workbench and allows for data masking and enterprise test data management policy development and enforcement.
Many people have tried to make this point in different ways (e.g. this is also the quintessence of the discussion about testing vs. checking, started by James Bach and Michael Bolton). But the emotionally loaded discussions (because it is about peoples self-image and their jobs) often split discussants into two broad camps: those that think test automation is “snake oil” and should be used sparsely and with caution, and those that think it is a silver bullet and the solution to all of our quality problems. Test automation is an indispensable tool of today’s quality assurance but as every tool it can also be misused.

The picture is actually even worse than those numbers alone suggest, says Mark Muro, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Existing federal “readjustment programs,” he says, include a collection of small initiatives—some dating back to the 1960s—addressing everything from military-­base closings to the needs of Appalachian coal-mining communities. But none are specifically designed to help people whose jobs have disappeared because of automation. Not only is the overall funding limited, he says, but the help is too piecemeal to take on a broad labor-force disruption like automation.

The Test Manager is an automated software testing tool is used in day to days testing activities. The Java programming language is used to develop this tool. Such Test Management tools are used to facilitate regular Software Development activities, automate & mange the testing activities. Currently Test Manager 2.1.0 is ready for download. If you want to learn more information of Test Manager, Click here to get a latest copy for free.

Alex Colon is the managing editor of PCMag's consumer electronics team. He previously covered mobile technology for PCMag and Gigaom. Though he does the majority of his reading and writing on various digital displays, Alex still loves to sit down with a good, old-fashioned, paper and ink book in his free time. (Not that there's anything wrong wit... See Full Bio


In open loop control, the control action from the controller is independent of the "process output" (or "controlled process variable"). A good example of this is a central heating boiler controlled only by a timer, so that heat is applied for a constant time, regardless of the temperature of the building. (The control action is the switching on/off of the boiler. The process output is the building temperature).
Protect your home and family and enjoy a Protect your home and family and enjoy a hands-free voice-controlled speaker with a great audio experience at the same time. Introducing the First Alert Onelink Safe & Sound the first-ever smart smoke and carbon monoxide alarm with Alexa Voice Services enabled so you can enjoy the full suite of features ...  More + Product Details Close

IBM RFT is a data-driven testing platform for functional and regression testing. It supports a wide range of application such as .Net, Java, SAP, Flex, and Ajax. RFT uses Visual Basic .Net and Java as scripting languages. RFT has a unique feature called Storyboard testing in which users’ actions on AUT are recorded and visualized in a storyboard format through application screenshots.
One other smart home platform you might have heard something about is IFTTT. An acronym for "If This, Then That," IFTTT is a free service that lets you craft automation recipes that link smart gadgets, web services, and online tools. Select a cause ("if this") and an effect ("then that"), and the recipe will run automatically. A social networking recipe might automatically save your Instagram photos to a Dropbox folder, for instance. Once you start adding smart home gadgets into the mix things get even more interesting -- and more and more are joining IFTTT's ranks all the time.
The centrifugal governor, which was invented by Christian Huygens in the seventeenth century, was used to adjust the gap between millstones.[20][21][22] Another centrifugal governor was used by a Mr. Bunce of England in 1784 as part of a model steam crane.[23][24] The centrifugal governor was adopted by James Watt for use on a steam engine in 1788 after Watt’s partner Boulton saw one at a flour mill Boulton & Watt were building.[16]
Labor economists have been pointing out the employment consequences of new digital technologies for several years, and the White House report dutifully lays out many of those findings. As it notes, the imminent problem is not that robots will hasten the day when there is no need for human workers. That end-of-work scenario remains speculative, and the report pays it little heed. Instead, it is far more concerned with the transition in our economy that is already under way: the types of jobs available are rapidly changing. That’s why the report is so timely. It is an attempt to elevate into Washington political circles the discussion of how automation and, increasingly, AI are affecting employment, and why it’s time to finally adopt educational and labor policies to address the plight of workers either displaced by technology or ill suited for the new opportunities.
Traeger has been manufacturing pellet grills for thirty years, but the Timberline 1300 is its first connected model, and it's a beauty. Designed using input from longtime customers and professional pit bosses, the Timberline 1300 features Wi-Fi, which allows you to control cooking temperatures, set timers, and access a huge database of recipes from anywhere using your mobile device and a thoughtfully designed app. It also uses a patented smoke delivery system to ensure food gets the right amount of smoke and is cooked perfectly every time.
#4) Next on the list would be UI based tests. We can have another suite that will test purely UI based functionalities like pagination, text box character limitation, calendar button, drop downs, graphs, images and many such UI only centric features. Failure of these scripts is usually not very critical unless the UI is completely down or certain pages are not appearing as expected!
As we can see, each of these automation tools has unique features to offer in addressing the growing challenges of software automation in the years ahead. Most provide capabilities for continuous testing and integration, test managementing, and reporting. They all support increasing automation needs for Web and Mobile testing. However, intelligent testing and smart analytics for adaptive and heterogeneous environments are still something to be desired for automation tools.
“If you need a framework to test web services, you may use a different set of tools within a framework,” says Jones. “You should be able to combine tools within a framework in a way that allows you to test, so you are not limited to just UI, integration, or web-services testing. Build your framework in a way that supports a range of testing goals.”

Automation technology has matured to a point where a number of other technologies have developed from it and have achieved a recognition and status of their own. Robotics is one of these technologies; it is a specialized branch of automation in which the automated machine possesses certain anthropomorphic, or humanlike, characteristics. The most typical humanlike characteristic of a modern industrial robot is its powered mechanical arm. The robot’s arm can be programmed to move through a sequence of motions to perform useful tasks, such as loading and unloading parts at a production machine or making a sequence of spot-welds on the sheet-metal parts of an automobile body during assembly. As these examples suggest, industrial robots are typically used to replace human workers in factory operations.


See below for a list of popular unit testing frameworks and tools for major platforms and programming languages. These frameworks can be used by programmers to test specific functionality in libraries and applications. Unit tests can then be used to automatically test new versions and builds as part of an automated build system or deployment process.

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.
Control of an automated teller machine (ATM) is an example of an interactive process in which a computer will perform a logic derived response to a user selection based on information retrieved from a networked database. The ATM process has similarities with other online transaction processes. The different logical responses are called scenarios. Such processes are typically designed with the aid of use cases and flowcharts, which guide the writing of the software code.The earliest feedback control mechanism was the water clock invented by Greek engineer Ctesibius (285–222 BC)

Normally, customers reach out to your company with an issue. They must explain the issue to every person they encounter, and the response time can vary widely. It is difficult to track where the problems initiate and whether the patterns could be systemic. Your customers’ ability to find a solutions usually depends on the knowledge of the team member they reach.

There are lot of governance challenges related to instantiating a single bot in environment let alone thousands. One Deloitte client spent several meetings trying to determine whether their bot was male or female, a valid gender question but one that must take into account human resources, ethics and other areas of compliance for the business, Kuder says.

Some coders say that they’ve been fired outright for automating their work. In 2011, a user posting as AcceptableLosses wrote, “They took what I had developed, replaced me with an idiot that they showed how to work it, and promptly fired me for ‘insubordination.’ I had taken a business asset that was making them $30 grand a year profit and turned it into a million dollar a year program for the company, and they fired me for it to save ~30 grand a year on my salary. Job creators my ass.” As such, gainfully employed self-automators’ concerns are less likely rooted in ethical questions and more in not wanting to be fired or exploited by an employer that, as Woodcock notes, “expects not only all our time, but anything we create.” Wary self-automators, he speculates, “don’t trust our workplaces. The boss is going to say, ‘Thank you, good work. Now do it again.’”
Every software project takes time before its requirements and design stabilize. A classic comparison is between the UI that can change at any time in an application's lifecycle and back-end services that may live untouched for generations. Agile projects behave differently from waterfall in this respect. If you're developing a SaaS product, you must use automation to support frequent deliveries, but you'll have to carefully consider the effort you invest in developing tests because your requirements may also change frequently. This a fine balance you'll have to learn to work with. For an on-premise solution, it may be easier to identify the stage in which automation tests can be safely developed and maintained. For all these cases, you have to carefully consider when it's cost-effective to develop automated tests. If you start from day one, you'll expend a lot of resources shooting at a moving target.
After hearing of a recent Oxford University study on advancing automation and its potential to displace workers, Yuh-Mei Hutt, of Tallahassee, Florida, wrote, “The idea that half of today’s jobs may vanish has changed my view of my children’s future.” Hutt was reacting not only as a mother; she heads a business and occasionally blogs about emerging technologies. Familiar as she is with the upside of computerization, the downside looms large. “How will they compete against AI?” she asked. “How will they compete against a much older and experienced workforce vying for even fewer positions?”
An HR service provider from Europe was processing 2,500 sick leave certificates per month with an average handling time of four minutes per item. Within three weeks they implemented an RPA solution and achieved 90% process automation. The RPA robot extracts data from a transaction in SAP, inserts the information into the customer’s systems, and prints it. The HR service provider achieved a return-on-investment within six months, with error rates reduced to 0%, manual effort reduced to 5%, and processing time reduced by 80%.
“It felt weird to have free time during the day,” he told me. “I spent that time learning about the other systems in the hotel.” He then made himself useful, helping management with bottlenecks in those systems. Auto-automation had erased menial toil, reduced his stress, and let him pursue his actual interests. “In effect, I made my position into something I love, which is troubleshooting,” he says. Two weeks before he left, he handed his boss a diskette loaded with the program and documentation on how it ran. His boss was upset that he was quitting, Gary says—until he handed over the diskette, showed him how the program worked, and told him to call if there was ever any problem. No call ever came.

Z-Wave and Zigbee are the two most popular wireless technologies, using RF to communicate between devices. These technologies are licensed out, meaning any number of companies can create their own products using Z-Wave and Zigbee technology. As a result (for the most part) all Z-Wave devices can work with each and all Zigbee devices can work together - regardless of brand. A Hub, or other Z-Wave interfaces will be required for smartphone control or voice control of Z-Wave products.
I believe the more common (though still not necessarily correct) expression is that Quality Assurance concerns building the right thing whereas Testing is confirming it was built right. Also, I hope the coming articles distinguish functional from structural test automation and distinguish both of them from the types of tools that developers use for test-first development.
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.
In our automated testing starter kit, we provide a variety of resources and tools for you to use to get the ball rolling. You will learn how to efficiently roadmap your efforts, build scalable and easily-maintainable automation frameworks, and how to compare and choose the right tool based on your needs. Don’t worry, we’ve also included tips regarding what testing types should remain manual. Not all tests can or should be automated, and to reiterate our previous statement, it’s essential for your success that some testing types, like exploratory testing, are performed manually.
Set schedules are helpful, but many of us keep different hours from day to day. Energy costs can be even further reduced by programming “macros” into the system and controlling it remotely whenever needed. In other words, you could set up a “coming home” event that turns on lights and heating as you’re driving home after work, for example, and activate it all with one tap on your smartphone. An opposite “leaving home” event could save you from wasting energy on forgotten lights and appliances once you’ve left for the day.
Once you start to understand the possibilities of home automation scheduling, you can come up with any number of useful and creative solutions to make your life better. Is that west-facing window letting in too much light? Plug your motorized blinds into a “smart” outlet and program it to close at noon each day. Do you have someone come by at the same time each day to walk the dog? Program your home automation system to unlock the front door for them, and lock it up again when they’re done.
We know that APIs are critical to your business. Whether you are providing APIs or consuming them, you need to visualize what they do, validate that they function as intended, virtualize them to use in agile testing, and monitor them to make sure they are not just available, but efficient as well. Our ReadyAPI tool set provides all of those capabilities and more – including functional API testing, load testing for APIs, and API security testing.

Finally, stepping forward means constructing the next generation of computing and AI tools. It’s still true that behind every great machine is a person—in fact, many people. Someone decides that the Dunkin’ Franchise Optimizer is a bad investment, or that the application of AI to cancer drug discovery is a good one. Someone has to build the next great automated insurance-underwriting solution. Someone intuits the human need for a better system; someone identifies the part of it that can be codified; someone writes the code; and someone designs the conditions under which it will be applied.

Negative feedback is widely used as a means of automatic control to achieve a constant operating level for a system. A common example of a feedback control system is the thermostat used in modern buildings to control room temperature. In this device, a decrease in room temperature causes an electrical switch to close, thus turning on the heating unit. As room temperature rises, the switch opens and the heat supply is turned off. The thermostat can be set to turn on the heating unit at any particular set point.
Such generous benefits are unlikely to be offered anytime soon, acknowledges Muro, who has worked with manufacturing communities in the Midwest (see “Manufacturing Jobs Aren't Coming Back”). However, the presidential election, he suggests, was a wake-up call for many people. In some ways the result was “secretly about automation,” he says. “There is a great sense of anxiety and frustration out there.”
A variation on this type of tool is for testing of web sites. Here, the "interface" is the web page. However, such a framework utilizes entirely different techniques because it is rendering HTML and listening to DOM Events instead of operating system events. Headless browsers or solutions based on Selenium Web Driver are normally used for this purpose.[6][7][8]
The first tools made of stone represented prehistoric man’s attempts to direct his own physical strength under the control of human intelligence. Thousands of years were undoubtedly required for the development of simple mechanical devices and machines such as the wheel, the lever, and the pulley, by which the power of human muscle could be magnified. The next extension was the development of powered machines that did not require human strength to operate. Examples of these machines include waterwheels, windmills, and simple steam-driven devices. More than 2,000 years ago the Chinese developed trip-hammers powered by flowing water and waterwheels. The early Greeks experimented with simple reaction motors powered by steam. The mechanical clock, representing a rather complex assembly with its own built-in power source (a weight), was developed about 1335 in Europe. Windmills, with mechanisms for automatically turning the sails, were developed during the Middle Ages in Europe and the Middle East. The steam engine represented a major advance in the development of powered machines and marked the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. During the two centuries since the introduction of the Watt steam engine, powered engines and machines have been devised that obtain their energy from steam, electricity, and chemical, mechanical, and nuclear sources.
Support includes the tools that testers use to move faster or extend their reach. Software to generate random names to use for input, or test data in general, falls into this category, as well as software to create screen captures and videos. This type of software exists to record all of the interactions that a tester has had with various fields, simulators for mobile devices, and developer environments that blend into the background and pop-up on command to record notes.

Business process automation (BPA) is the technology-enabled automation of complex[73] 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,[74] sales[75] and workflow.[76]
Fitocracy is a super-simple macro and calorie counter. The app not only allows you to track your caloric intake but also protein, fat and carbohydrate consumption. This will help you reach your fitness goals, whether that’s losing weight, or building lean muscle.  Fitocracy Macros tracks your eating history and provides you with weekly averages for macronutrient and total calorie consumption. You can also receive free exercise routines that you can perform in conjunction with your diet plan.
“The most important thing to consider is the problem you are trying to solve. Many test automation initiatives fail because teams are trying to jump in head first and automate every test possible instead of the most valuable tests according to the goals of development. They find themselves in a maintenance nightmare. Pick the most valuable test you were already performing manually and automate those first.”
Robotic Process Automation is the technology that allows anyone today to configure computer software, or a “robot” to emulate and integrate the actions of a human interacting within digital systems to execute a business process. RPA robots utilize the user interface to capture data and manipulate applications just like humans do. They interpret, trigger responses and communicate with other systems in order to perform on a vast variety of repetitive tasks. Only substantially better: an RPA software robot never sleeps, makes zero mistakes and costs a lot less than an employee.
It’s a story the Democratic National Committee has, until recently, utterly failed to tell. Until recently, the DNC was focused almost exclusively on the battle for Congress. I’m glad it has finally taken notice of the fact that 36 states are holding gubernatorial contests this year and that Democrats are likely to flip many of the most important state houses from red to blue. But from a strategic standpoint, it’s been very late to the game—although it’s better to be late than sorry.
No stranger to outdoor appliances, Sweden-based Husqvarna offers a variety of robot lawn mowers for yards of all shapes and sizes. We got our hands on the Automower 315X, a high-end, feature-packed model with a premium $1,999.95 price. The 315X works with a well-designed mobile app that lets you use your phone to start and stop the mower, monitor its progress, create schedules, and see where it's been on a map of your property. Its user-friendly programming options, outstanding cutting performance, and quiet operation earn it our Editors' Choice for robotic lawn mowers.

“Not paying attention to nutrition while going after your fitness goals is like trying to start a fire with unseasoned, wet firewood,” says DailyBurn trainer Ben Booker. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or build lean muscle, the first step is taking a hard look at how you’re fueling your furnace. “Start learning what is entering your body,” says Booker, who recommends keeping track of macros instead of obsessing over calories.
It has a large database and allows for barcode scanning or data input via text, voice or camera, which is a great feature. Tracking meals at restaurants seems to be simpler than with other apps, because of its large image library, and it’s always super easy to check your remaining net calories for the day – you can even see them in the notification bubble, if you wish.
This might be one of the more interesting job categories that will thrive with automation. While less and less time will be focused on the mundane tasks, people will have more time to focus on growing themselves as a person. In fact, I believe the key to automation being a growth engine rather than a means to replace jobs, we are going to need a path for people to grow and adapt to human/machine partnerships.  This is where the coach can really shine. A coach, just like on a soccer field, is a person who assists people see their potential in a certain area and capitalize on it. This category isn’t directly related to automation, but like continuing education, it is one that has a lot of potential because as automation becomes more pervasive, people will need help to adapt into our changing world.
The U.S. government, among many others, recognizes the unsung value of automation professionals. Support for the importance of automation to industry comes from the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations. On 30 June 2009, the committee submitted report language (including the excerpt shown below) to accompany the bill: H. R. 2847 (Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010) emphasizing the importance of automation to industry:
Mokyr describes himself as “less pessimistic” than others about whether AI will create plenty of jobs and opportunities to make up for the ones that are lost. And even if it does not, the alternative—technological stagnation—is far worse. But that still leaves a troubling quandary: how to help the workers left behind. “There is no question that in the modern capitalist system your occupation is your identity,” he says. And the pain and humiliation felt by those whose jobs have been replaced by automation is “clearly a major issue,” he adds. “I don’t see an easy way of solving it. It’s an inevitable consequence of technological progress.”
API driven testing. A testing framework that uses a programming interface to the application to validate the behaviour under test. Typically API driven testing bypasses application user interface altogether. It can also be testing public (usually) interfaces to classes, modules or libraries are tested with a variety of input arguments to validate that the results that are returned are correct.
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BPA is designed to maintain efficiency and increase the stability and operational productivity of an underutilized workforce by integrating business critical software applications. BPA works by analyzing critical and non-critical business processes and their relationship and dependency on other business processes and external partners, in addition to developing or sourcing automated software and computing processes.

Bots are typically low-cost and easy to implement, requiring no custom software or deep systems integration. Schatsky says such characteristics are crucial as organizations pursue growth without adding significant expenditures or friction among workers. "Companies are trying to get some breathing room so they can serve their business better by automating the low-value tasks," Schatsky says.


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Software testing tools themselves do not perform actual testing. Humans test with attentive minds, as well as the ability to discern differences and interesting details based on the information they receive. Testing tools can be programmed to run a series of operations and check for expected results. In a skilled person's hand, these tools can extend the reach of the tester. In this feature we talk about three major categories of test tools: automation, bug tracking and coverage.
You can’t talk about the future of home automation without mentioning the Internet of Things (IoT). That’s the catch-all phrase for the trend toward embedding sensors and microchips in everyday objects in a way that allows them to be connected to a network—like, say, the Internet. With the Internet of Things, your washing machine, for example, can send an alert to your phone when it’s time to move your clothes over to the dryer.
The real hands-on control comes in when you start interacting with the home automation system from your remote app. In addition to arming and disarming your security system, you can reprogram the scheduling, lock and unlock doors, reset the thermostat and adjust the lights all from your phone, from anywhere in the world. As manufacturers are creating more and more “smart” devices and appliances all the time, the possibilities for home automation are virtually limitless.
While automated testing has been considered essential for organizations, both large and small, to implement in order to deliver outstanding software and stay competitive in the industry, it can be tough to get started. Outlining an effective roadmap, building robust frameworks, choosing the right tools, and measuring the potential monetary impact that automation could have on your delivery lifecycle are all critical components of any successful automated testing strategy, but each step presents its own challenges and costs.

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.

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