Dudekula Mohammad Rafi; Kiran Moses Katam Reddy MSE-2011:70, pp. 124. COM/School of Computing, 2012.
Context: Software testing is expensive, labor intensive and consumes lot of time in a software development life cycle. There was always a need in software testing to decrease the testing time. This also resulted to focus on Automated Software Testing (AST), because using automated testing, with specific tools, this effort can be dramatically reduced and the costs related with testing can decrease . Manual Testing (MT) requires lot of effort and hard work, if we measure in terms of person per month . Automated Software testing helps to decrease the work load by giving some testing tasks to the computers. Computer systems are cheap, they are faster and don‘t get bored and can work continuously in the weekends. Due to this advantage many researches are working towards the Automation of software testing, which can help to complete the task in less testing time .
Objectives: The main aims of this thesis is to
1.) To systematically classify contributions within AST.
2.) To identify the different benefits and challenges of AST.
3.) To identify the whether the reported benefits and challenges found in the literature are prevalent in industry.
Methods: To fulfill our aims and objectives, we used Systematic mapping research methodology to systematically classify contributions within AST. We also used SLR to identify the different benefits and challenges of AST. Finally, we performed web based survey to validate the finding of SLR.
Results: After performing Systematic mapping, the main aspects within AST include purpose of automation, levels of testing, Technology used, different types of research types used and frequency of AST studies over the time. From Systematic literature review, we found the benefits and challenges of AST. The benefits of AST include higher product quality, less testing time, reliability, increase in confidence, reusability, less human effort, reduction of cost and increase in fault detection. The challenges include failure to achieve expected goals, difficulty in maintenance of test automation, Test automation needs more time to mature, false expectations and lack of skilled people for test automation tools. From web survey, it is observed that almost all the benefits and challenges are prevalent in industry. The benefits such as fault detection and confidence are in contrary to the results of SLR. The challenge about the appropriate test automation strategy has 24 % disagreement from the respondents and 30% uncertainty. The reason is that the automation strategy is totally dependent on the test manager of the project. When asked “Does automated software testing fully replace manual testing”, 80% disagree with this challenge.
Conclusion: The classification of the AST studies using systematic mapping gives an overview of the work done in the area of AST and also helps to find research coverage in the area of AST. These results can be used by researchers to use the gaps found in the mapping studies to carry on future work. The results of SLR and web survey clearly show that the practitioners clearly realize the benefits and challenges of AST reported in the literature.
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