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Method and Approach for unifying test automation, user guide production and training material production for software development

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000202775D
Publication Date: 2010-Dec-31
Document File: 9 page(s) / 170K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a software development approach and framework that is used by developers, QA testers and tech writers in a cooperative manner and has a repository of user scenarios, automation scripts and UI artifacts. It supports the creation and execution of automated scripts that exercises the software against various scenarios for automated testing purposes, and further supports the automated generation of user interface artifacts, such as textual guidance and screen shots, linked to the exact steps of each use case, for each language supported. The proposed automated solution simultaneously produces both test scripts and documentation for information development along with the required learning and training aids for multiple languages.

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Method and Approach for unifying test automation , user guide production and training material production for software development

Today, there is no known methodology for producing user guides with rich UI guidance (with both step-by-step textual guidance and accompanying screen shots) that is globalized and accurate, over multiple iterations of a software product. Keeping the UI guidance in guides accurate and up-to-date is an increasing challenge to tech writers as the software evolves from one release to the next software UI are changing at ever-increasing pace as product vendors continue to introduce new features and improve product usability to stay competitive. With the advent of agile development methodologies, tech writers are being asked to produce product documentation as the product UI, or even product operating procedures, evolves from one sprint to the next within the same product release's development phase.

What we are proposing is a software development approach and framework (possibly to be incorporated into Rational's product suite) that
* is used by developers, QA testers and tech writers in a cooperative manner
* has a repository of user scenarios, automation scripts and UI artifacts
* supports the creation and execution of automated scripts that exercises the software against various scenarios for automated testing purposes
* supports the automated generation of user interface artifacts, such as textual guidance and screen shots, linked to the exact steps of each use case, for each language supported.

In short:
* Conventionally, QA and Information development team work separately for testing and documenting the product respectively. QA and ID team uses their own / respective tools for their process. The only point of collaboration is to verify the documents, very close to the release cycle. We advocate the change in the existing process in software development cycle and insist that documentation and QA collaborate during the earlier stages of product development.

* Conventionally, technical writers watch out for every minor change in the user interface such as screen title, window title, button and field labels the process, the fields and its description. This verification is a manual process and it is error prone. We advocate to automate the process and capture the steps along with every minute detail into the documentation.

* Uniting both QA and ID team results in huge savings in terms of resources, process, delivery timeline, etc. We propose an automated solution that simultaneously produces both test scripts and documentation for information development along with the required learning and training aids for multiple languages.

Background

In many software companies, QA testers and tech writers work separately in testing and documenting a software under development. Each team has its own set of tools, and go about completing their deliverables independently, with the exception

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of QA being asked t...