Rational Functional Tester was developed specifically to address these latest concerns of testers and developers. Rational Functional Tester is available in two flavors: one built on the popular open source Eclipse framework and the other built on the Microsoft Visual Studio framework, putting testers and developers in the same Integrated Development Environment. Rational Functional Tester uses either the Java programming language or VB.NET, providing access to a large body of code made available on the Internet, giving testers a choice of industry-standard languages, and allowing developers to code in a language that is already familiar to them.

Rational Functional Tester uses advanced, patented technology to find objects, and it provides controls to the tester to permit flexible recognition and control over what happens when an object is not found or only partially recognized. Rational Functional Tester includes advanced object recognition and advanced verification features based on a pattern-matching mechanism.

The combination of modern Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) and programming languages means that Rational Functional Tester is easily extended to support automation of not only ERP environments, but other environments, too. In many cases, these extensions can be performed by the tester directly.

With all of these capabilities, Rational Functional Tester makes test automation an activity that delivers significant return on its investment. Large regression test suites can be created with the assurance that they will provide high value via limited maintenance, common tooling, low barrier to adoption, and adaptability for the future.

Total Quality Solution

By itself, Rational Functional Tester is a powerful tool. It enables test teams to automate large portions of their test suites, enabling them to expedite their test cycles and expand on the amount of testing that is done. However, it is just one arrow in a team’s quiver. It lacks the capability to pull metrics beyond what passed and failed. Plugging it into a quality management and defect tracking solution enables them to take advantage of the benefits of automation while capturing valuable test metrics (density, trending, and so on), tracing test results back to requirements, and so on.

IBM Rational Quality Manager is a total quality management solution built on the Jazz platform. It is completely web-based, providing rich reports, dashboards, and useful web 2.0 capabilities (such as RSS feeds). Rational Quality Manager (RQM) allows teams to create robust test plans, tracing their test cases back to requirements. Rational Functional Tester is one of the tools that can be used to automate test cases in RQM. The end result is a complete testing solution that provides end-to-end traceability—requirements to test cases to any defects that might be uncovered—using Rational Functional Tester’s rich automation for unattended testing on a selected subset of test cases.