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7 Benefits of Automated Testing for Guidewire

Guidewire projects follow an Agile methodology iteratively releasing new lines of business one after the other or adding more capabilities to already existing products. This approach creates the need for better quality and faster time to market to overtake the competition.

The number of existing functional tests over time sky-rockets. This puts a huge burden on testing which becomes time-consuming, repetitive and prone to human error. How many times has testing become the bottleneck of further development? Too many. Then what happens? Projects end up either not having enough testing capacity and reduce testing, or having an ever-growing team of manual testers.

The above has made automated testing critical to Guidewire implementation success. Automation easily replaces mundane tasks and leads to improved testing coverage, fewer bugs and reduced maintenance costs.

Benefits of Automated Testing of your Guidewire implementation

1. Saves Time and Money

To be effective, testing needs to occur often during development, ideally with every change.  Early detection of problems is crucial to reducing the cost of problems as the longer removed you are from one, the more expensive it becomes.  Early detection means early correction means saving time and money. So test more, test often.

Manual testing inherently contradicts this as manual repetition of tests is time consuming, expensive, and error prone.  The scope of testing inevitably grows as new code is released.  And you generally need to run the same tests in multiple environments while moving to production.  This is a significant drain on your QA resources.

However, once the investment into automated testing is made, tests can be continuously run with little, or no, additional effort. Automated tests do the same thing every time. They execute much faster than manual ones.  They can be run in parallel reducing execution time from days to hours or even minutes.  So problems are identified and resolved sooner.  These time savings translate directly into tangible monetary savings.

2. Increases Confidence

Guidewire implementations generally follow an Agile methodology meaning development teams work in short cycles, called Sprints. Each Sprint is about delivering a small set of testable features that add to, and are aligned with, the already existing system with all features from previous sprints. That’s why tests within Agile need to be organized in a specific way to achieve a satisfying outcome.

Without automated testing, you risk delivering a broken system as each sprint may break previously working features. Manually retesting everything, known as regression testing, in every sprint is highly inefficient and leads to project delays, or even failure, as QA becomes a bottleneck with little or no project progress being made.

Instead, quickly rerun automated regression tests in each sprint, hopefully with every source code change. This lets you identify problems early, even before sending them to QA.  This is why automated testing of Guidewire implementations give confidence to developers, SMEs, managers, and customers alike.

3. Increases Your Test Coverage

Manual testing limits the number of tests you can execute while automation lets you focus on writing new tests which increases your test coverage. Your lines of business and unique market features are properly tested resulting in a high quality offering to your customers.

Manual testers are also freed from mundane tasks getting more time for tailored exploratory tests. Moreover, test engineers can write more detailed and sophisticated tests mimicking your true end-to-end business processes; these lengthy tests are very often avoided during manual testing.

4. Automation Does What Manual Testing Cannot

Automated testing frameworks should provide features such as parallel execution, easy scheduling, and incorporation into Continuous Integration processes.  This allows you to run hundreds or thousands of tests at the same time, prove an environment’s readiness for large volumes of users, fill environments with custom data, and more. All this is not possible without automated testing, even with the largest QA departments comprising thousands of manual testers.

5. Faster Time to Market

Newly developed features, along with all the logic related to your already released lines of business, can be continuously tested and validated with test automation. This significantly reduces the testing cycle allowing companies to quickly respond to changing market needs and introduce products faster.

6. Increases Insight, Reveals Metrics

Having test automation in place, usually carried out as a part of your daily Continuous Integration process, allows organizations to monitor and measure numerous test quality metrics.  These should include metrics such as test coverage (i.e. the percentage of code changes actually tested), execution times for SLA agreements, and much more.

Standard automated testing gathers execution details but if test scripts live along the Guidewire InsuranceSuite codebase, more in-depth analysis is possible.  For example, CenterTest Coverage Analytics know what changes have been made and if those changes have been actually tested.  If something is not yet tested, you can target your effort to those missed changes.  This is Targeted Testing and is a great feature that cannot be achieved in manual testing processes.

7. Engage your teams

Since automated testing returns time to your QA and Development teams, they can focus on more demanding and gratifying endeavors. They can add more test scripts tailored to your specific needs, and there is more time for new ideas providing new enhancements and tools making your project and organization even more successful.

Jarek Paluch
Senior Software Architect

Watch or read our other posts at Kimputing Blogs. You’ll find everything from Automated testing to CenterTest, Guidewire knowledge to general interest. We’re trying to help share our knowledge from decades of experience.

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