Original Bolsters Support for Java, Mainframe in Testing Tool
December 16, 2008 Alex Woodie
The IT industry moves relentlessly forward, forcing professionals to continually adapt to new technologies. Simultaneously, IT pros must keep an eye to so-called “legacy” technologies that are still in widespread use. This seeming dichotomy was on display with a recent announcement from Original Software, which makes test automation tools. The version 6 release of its TestDrive suite moved forward with improved support for testing Java applications (the “new”), as well enhanced support for “old” 3270 mainframe applications.
The IT world’s on-going clash between old and new hit home for Original earlier this year when the company unveiled better support for 3270 mainframe applications in TestDrive-Assist, one of three TestDrive editions, which helps quality assurance (QA) teams initiate automated testing, while retaining some manual aspects.
“The response astonished us,” Colin Armitage, CEO of Original Software, says in a press release. “Perhaps we shouldn’t have been so skeptical, because although the media focus mainly on the latest buzzwords, the fact of the matter is that many line-of-business applications, on which major corporations rely, are built over indestructible green-screen technology.
“This stuff isn’t going out of fashion and people recognize their importance to the business, and thus the need to ensure quality,” Armitage continues. “As a consequence, this new release sees us adding 3270 automation support to our repertoire, as well as further improving the functionality of our IBM i5 5250 solution.”
The release of TestDrive version 6 introduces support for 3270 mainframe applications across the whole TestDrive suite, which is Original’s software for automating functional, regression, and quality testing on the visual aspects of new or modified applications. (For the “invisible” aspects, such as underlying DB2/400 or Oracle databases, Original offers the TestBench suite).
In addition to 3270 support, TestDrive version 6 gains better support for Java-based applications. Original already supported some aspects of Java and Java-based applications–including the Java programming language, Java Server Pages (JSPs) and Java applets–when it launched TestDrive-Gold in March 2006. But support for Java-based applications in TestDrive has lagged support for Windows applications.
The reason for this lag has to do with how TestDrive interacts with the screens of the applications it’s testing. TestDrive utilizes several techniques, depending on the underlying technology used to create and run the application to be tested. However, the technique favored by Original taps into the accessibility classes that software developers are required to include in their applications to enable people with disabilities another way of interacting with the software.
Because Microsoft is very good about including these accessibility classes, support for Windows has excelled in TestDrive. The Java language offers the Java Accessibility Grid, which TestDrive can tap into. But for some reason, Original needed to bolster its Java support, which it has done with version 6.
The new release also introduces support for Oracle Forms, a Java-based Web user interface design tool that is used in many enterprise applications based on the Oracle database, including Oracle Financials. With TestDrive version 6, Original says its has bolstered the monitoring and understanding of Oracle Forms apps, which enables the product to deliver consistent testing, regardless of application performance, the company says.
Original sells three versions of TestDrive. TestDrive-Gold focuses on Windows, Web, Java, AJAX, and Lotus Notes applications. TestDrive-Green is aimed at “legacy” 5250 applications that run on IBM i–Original’s original platform focus, as it were. The third product, TestDrive-Assist, enables QA teams to integrate some automation into mostly manual testing efforts.
Licensees for TestDrive-Gold start at $9,500, which includes TestDrive-Assist. Yearly maintenance is 20 percent. For more information, visit www.origsoft.com.