Customer Review

November 26, 2002
"Just Enough Software Test Automation" written by Daniel Mosley and Bruce Posey describes test automation from a practical perspective gained from much experience by the authors with commentary and contributions from several well respected leading practitioners in the field. Key fundamental points are emphasized and explained throughout the book with supporting descriptions and concrete examples for using a data driven framework to implement and maintain software test automation.
While the book is well written and easy to read for someone who's familiar with software testing and who may have some experience with test automation, it assumes that the reader does have experience in the field.
The authors begin by reviewing important fundamental practices of software testing that are critical to effectively sustaining both manual and automated testing efforts. They provide recommendations on how to approach test automation for each phase of the software development lifecycle beginning with requirements through the final stages of testing. The authors present very specific recommended techniques and tools and offer many examples using a data driven framework with emphasis on Control Synchronized Data Driven Testing (CSDDT). Most often the tools mentioned and examples provided are those offered by Rational, Inc. as well as the use of Microsoft Excel. Frequently, automated tools from other vendors are referenced when they are applicable to the technique being discussed. They provide references to books and to several web links that offer sources of information on similar frameworks using other tools. The authors include useful information in the appendices such as a captured discussion on the subject of the data driven approach by leading practitioners, automated testing definitions, an example test automation project plan, and a test automation project work plan template.
Some of the key points in the book include the importance of identifying and documenting application and testing requirements as well as documenting test cases and conditions. They emphasize the importance of planning for test automation and implementing it similar to any other software development effort. This includes the separation of roles between test designer and test implementer. They urge that test automation be performed at most phases of software development including unit testing, but that it primarily be used for regression testing. The key success factor for test automation is the maintainability of test scripts. The authors point out that this is extremely difficult using a capture/playback method of implementation and that a data driven approach using modular scripts has shown to be much more successful in the long run. The authors do a good job of describing these key points and then making specific recommendations with examples on how to implement them.
As a practitioner of test automation, and reviewer of this book, I very much agree with these key recommendations and support the authors' intent to educate people implementing test automation as these key points can be the difference between failure and success.
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