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4 Innovative Ways to Optimize Software Testing Productivity

Headshot of Jamie Motheral, Product Marketing Manager at Parasoft
October 18, 2023
4 min read

Optimizing software testing productivity is a must in today's business climate. Read on to discover how to drive quality, speed, and cost-effectiveness with innovative strategies, testing approaches, and Parasoft's expertise.

In today’s online world, software is often the first impression a consumer has with a company. They have high expectations for how they anticipate experiencing and interacting with websites and software programs.

Meeting the consumer’s expectations around quality, reliability, and security is often balanced with fulfilling their needs for the services and features you offer. To stay relevant, software teams must deliver on these requirements and deliver them at speed.

With many companies reducing staffing and software development resources, the remaining engineers and testers must find ways to optimize their practices and increase productivity to continue meeting consumer expectations. Parasoft’s automated testing solutions are focused on addressing those aspects through new innovations in our 2023.2 releases.

4 Innovative Strategies in Software Testing

1. Leveraging Generative AI With Parasoft

The rise of Generative AI (GenAI) has rocked multiple industries, sparking our imaginations regarding what’s possible to optimize beyond our human limitations. In the software testing space, GenAI has great potential for helping testing teams accelerate their test creation practices and increase the thoroughness of testing efforts. Parasoft is excited to be a leader in these innovations for the testing and software development space as we release the 2023.2 version of Parasoft SOAtest debuting our first integration with OpenAI/Azure OpenAI models.

Parasoft’s integration with OpenAI enables the creation of API scenario tests more easily by analyzing service definition files and generating multiple API scenario test cases based on natural-language prompts crafted by the test engineers.

When testing API scenarios, the human mind will typically focus on the logical ways a human would interact with the application to chain multiple APIs into business workflows. GenAI enables teams to increase the thoroughness of API scenario testing by generating more paths through the AUT than the test engineer may have considered. Through this new and exciting integration, Parasoft customers can increase the thoroughness of their testing strategy and drive higher test coverage by incorporating GenAI into their test creation practices.

2. Meeting Web Accessibility Requirements

At the end of the day, the consumer-facing software your company produces must not only be reliable, safe, and secure but also easily accessible for all your consumers. The SOAtest 2023.2 release introduces our new features to optimize the way teams test web accessibility.

As a unified solution for functional testing, SOAtest enables QA testers to create automated web functional tests easily through its record-playback capabilities. These test cases can be repurposed for accessibility scanning with SOAtest’s out-of-the-box integration with Deque Axe-Core. By reusing existing web functional tests originally created in SOAtest for cross-browser validation, acceptance testing, and end-to-end testing and repurposing them for web accessibility scanning, testing teams can more quickly validate that their webpages follow the WCAG 2.1 guidelines.

3. Accelerating Service Virtualization With Virtualize Learning Mode

Service virtualization provides immense benefits to application teams when it comes to mitigating long testing wait times and challenges caused by environment constraints and instabilities. However, adopting and scaling the use of service virtualization can be challenging due to the time investment needed for the creation and maintenance of endpoint simulations. With the introduction of a new learning mode in the 2023.2 release, Virtualize does the heavy lifting for you by automatically generating always-up-to-date virtual services through continuous traffic monitoring.

Application teams looking to benefit from the test velocity and environment simulation that service virtualization offers can reduce the time and costs associated with creating and maintaining virtual services by configuring Virtualize to continuously record API traffic through proxies and to generate always-up-to-date virtual endpoints for testing purposes.

4. Closing Coverage Gaps With Microservice Code Coverage

Many organizations are modernizing their software architectures to move from monolithic systems to microservices architectures due to the agile benefits of faster time-to-market and increases in productivity. Ensuring that your microservices are thoroughly tested can be challenging when testing is usually conducted through end-to-end test scenarios that can invoke multiple components in the same workflows.

Understanding what microservices were executed by which test and making sure that each component was thoroughly tested is important to ensure that the software you’re producing is meeting consumers’ expectations on quality and reliability.

Parasoft’s 2023.2 releases of CTP and DTP enable application teams to collect code coverage metrics associated with distributed microservices through the deployment and orchestration of code coverage agents that monitor the execution of those services during test runs. This allows application teams to ensure that all their AUT’s microservices have been tested prior to release and provides them with the visibility and insights they need to streamline their testing strategy to fill coverage gaps.

With this release, CTP extends Parasoft’s code coverage capabilities to test cases created outside of the Parasoft tool suite. This enables teams to gather code coverage metrics for automated functional tests, like web UI, API, end-to-end, integration, and so on, and gain insights into what has been tested while identifying areas of low code coverage and high risk.

Teams can then use CTP’s test impact analysis technology to optimize regression testing of complex microservices echo systems by focusing only on the test cases that correlate to changes in the source code of individual components, streamlining feedback to development teams.

Benefits of Innovative Testing Approaches

When we think of optimizing software testing practices, it’s important not to lose sight of your primary objectives and motivations for test automation. The most common motivations boil down to four primary goals.

  1. Increasing speed
  2. Increasing quality.
  3. Reducing costs.
  4. Reducing risk.

To reach these goals, managers need to focus on the granular details of their existing quality assurance practices and how to optimize them. Often, optimizing testers’ activities by even minuscule amounts can have a big impact on teams reaching their objectives and desired business outcomes.

Take, for example, web accessibility testing with Parasoft SOAtest. QA teams usually would need to leave their existing workspaces and switch to a different platform to set up and run their web accessibility scans. Just the time it takes for a tester to switch from one workspace to another is a slowdown in speed.

Once on the new platform, they’ll often need to conduct test setup steps to configure the tool to scan individual web pages. With Parasoft SOAtest, the tester does not need to leave their IDE environment. Instead of having to set up a full new test, they can configure their existing tests with a few clicks to scan for issues related to WCAG. While this may not seem like a huge jump in productivity, when you think about the time savings multiplied across all of your test engineers and consider the number of web pages you need to test, the number adds up.

Optimization isn’t always about making big changes, but rather about how small improvements can have large and impactful outcomes.

Parasoft: Your Partner in Software Testing Excellence

As a dedicated partner in software test automation, Parasoft has helped many companies optimize their testing practices through the adoption of scalable, efficient, and maintainable testing solutions. Empower your team to ensure the reliability of the software they’re building by leveraging GenAI, meeting web accessibility requirements, accelerating service virtualization, and closing microservices code coverage gaps.

See how to simplify functional testing across APIs, UIs, databases, and more with Parasoft SOAtest.