Over 100 people turned out for our June webcast “Eat Your OATS: Reduce Risk Through Oracle Application Testing Suite.” The webcast was presented by IT Convergence’s Global Director of Development Services and its Chief Technology officer who were joined by Prasanti Madireddi, Director of Quality Assurance at Oracle India and Srikanth Krishnan, Senior Director of Oracle E-Business Suite Quality Assurance at Oracle India.
We’re now happy to make the entire transcript from the Q & A session available below:
If I am using Oracle OATS, what percentage of the test groups can I run automatically and which percentage will I still need to run manually?
Theoretically, any test scenario that can be run manually can be automated using OATs. It is a very flexible tool in that regard. When trying to determine if a particular test case, string test, or end-to-end business process is a good candidate for automation, we typically access the scenario from two different aspects. The first relates to the need for the test to be easily repeatable. If the test scenario is a key component of the functional testing required to move through various test cycles on a project, then it would be a good candidate for automation.
The greater the number of times a test needs to be executed over the life of the application, the greater the ROI associated with automating that test script. The second factor that we always take into consideration relates to whether or not the code or configurations are sufficiently stable to warrant automation. Automating the process of booking a standard purchase order via Oracle forms would not make sense if later in the project a 3rd party application for booking PO's needs to be introduced into the flow. When investing in the time necessary to automate a particular test scenario, that scenario should be as close as reasonably possible to the end state business process.
In our experience we often see a breakdown of 70% automated and 30% manual in stable ERP footprints.
If I am an End User, do I need to buy the Oracle OATS licenses if I want to use it with my Oracle E-Business solution?
That is a good question, because when upgrading to Oracle R12, you might say: “Well, I am not going to invest in a testing platform because I am going to use it just for this particular project.” You can partner with a provider who provides testing as a service offering, allowing you to get testing throughout the project so that you can get access to OATS without having to purchase the product.
Can OATS recognize all elements of an interactive application (Forms, Grid, Subforms)?
Yes. One of the advantages of OATS is that it easily recognizes all elements present in both Oracle and most non-Oracle web based applications. Beyond that, OATS has especially strong integration capabilities with forms, and has the ability to capture form actions from both Oracle forms and non-Oracle forms.
In our company we are already doing monthly integration testing, load testing, etc. using QTP, Load runner, etc. Other than “OATS is an Oracle product”, what is the one key feature of OATS to tell my company to replace the existing software?
QTP and Load Runner are both good products that were designed to address specific types of testing needs. The one key turn-key feature that we believe OATS provides is that through the Oracle Test Manager and Oracle Application Testing Suite Administrator, OATS seamlessly integrates all of your testing results and configurations in one place. The ability to control all of your automated testing from a single dashboard and to generate consolidated reporting on the results is extremely powerful for any organization whose application footprint encompasses a wide variety of both Oracle and non-Oracle applications.
Moreover, as a Java based tool, OATS is easy to understand and configure. You can integrate OATS with third party systems and use it to check the data flow from one system to other.
Can OATS be used for screen playback?
Yes. The accelerators are great starting points for a few key reasons. They provide a framework for testing key functional flows across most Oracle modules. For analysts new to writing OATS scripts, they can dramatically shorten the learning curve. Most accelerators will not work in your instance straight out of the box, but depending upon the level of customizations present in your application, they can often be quickly and easily altered to function for testing the basic business flows.
Any script that is run in OATS can be played back. This is a powerful tool when assessing or troubleshooting various points where a script failed during the original test run.
If you’re thinking of using OATS as a training tool, where you can play just like a video the test script, then we suggest you consider thinking of another product such as User Productivity Kit (UPK) or others in the market.
What is the skill set that is required for Oracle OATS and OATS automation engineer?
Oracle is a strong supporter of open standards and open technologies. That is one of the reasons why we have a key component like Java because it is a key driver towards standardization for developing OATS. So typically someone seeking to hire an OATS automation engineer will be looking at someone who has an understanding of automation, an understanding of testing concepts and a good knowledge of Java. That said, OATS depends on how you want to use it. If you use it in a simplified way, you could do that, but if you want to really experience the power of this tool and extend it you need to have a knowledgeable person who is able to execute it.
Besides the fact that Oracle OATS is an Oracle product, what are the key features we can highlight to executives in our company to get them to go to OATS and leave legacy testing solutions behind?
If you do a lot of data-driven stuff, you have to test span across multiple applications. Therefore it makes sense to make the accompanying investment in both areas of load testing and function testing. Those are all featured, function-level benefits of OATS. The biggest sell from your perspective is that you have one hand to shake. You have a vendor who gets these products with these applications to your comfort level.
The same reason applies for core level maintenance issues. Let’s use the database area as our example: apps drive a lot of the features of the database, and then some of the cutting edge features of the database are from apps. So there is a positive reinforcement cycle which happens when you have the same vendor who owns the entire technology stack. And that is the same reason why we would look at it. If you are using IM, if you are using Oracle Database, using Oracle Labs, why wouldn’t you use Oracle OATS as well? The answer is: of course you would use OATS, because it integrates all of these solutions.
Will OATS support third party applications for End-to-End testing (Example: Essbase)?
Yes, OATS supports third party applications for End-to-End testing if they can be launched in the same browser as Oracle applications and have objects that are identified by OATS. Essbase is associated with spreadsheets which is a format that OATS cannot currently recognize.
Does Oracle use OATS to test the E-Business Suite?
Yes, Oracle uses OATS to test the Oracle E-Business Suite. We have been using other automation tools in the past and are now in the process of migrating to OATS for all applications.
Are there any pre-recorded test groups for various standard Oracle E-Business Suite functionalities?
That is a new feature called E-Business Suite accelerator, so when you buy OATS you can buy the whole product or you can buy the accelerator, one of which is a set of libraries specific to the application under test that can be leveraged to get you started going fast. And then also a set of sample tests that we provide, which we call Starter Kits. It will give you an idea of how to use it; it will give you a blank slate and a few ideas on how to use it for basic transactions. That is not to say that you could use them right away in your production, it is more like guidance for someone who is starting: this is how you will create a report, or create an invoice or match an invoice and so on. There are 19 to 20 example scripts in the Starter Kit.
Do you recommend working with the E-Business Suite accelerators for OATS as a starting point?
Yes. The accelerators are great starting points for a few key reasons. They provide a framework for testing key functional flows across most Oracle modules. For analysts new to writing OATs scripts, they can dramatically shorten the learning curve. Most accelerators will not work in your instance straight out of the box, but depending upon the level of customizations, extensions, flexfields present in your application, they can often be quickly adjusted to your implementation.
Can test groups created in UPK be imported into OATS?
Right now OATS doesn’t have that ability; we will explore and get back to you on that. You can import test groups into OATS using Excel files, we need to explore whether we could do this from UPK, to export it in a common format and then load it into OATS. We could explore that, but right now this feature is not available.
Environmental setups were mentioned. What types of setups can be tested with this tool?
OATS is a testing suite, not created for a particular product or focused on a particular software. Testing of any custom application can be automated using OATS; so it is not a product that is directed for any particular application or business software. In fact, we are planning to use it with Oracle Fusion Applications as well, it will touch multiple business Applications.
For more information on OATS click here to visit Oracle’s page on application testing.
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