Storyboard Testing is a new feature introduced in Rational Functional Tester version 8.1. Its purpose is to enable automated test creation by testers who might have significant subject matter expertise with application under test but might not have programming skills.

Original look at Test Automation

Initially, all test automation was done by programming. To use those early tools, testers had to learn a programming language and become proficient at it. This was a barrier for testers who might have had expertise in the subject matter of the business, but who had no training in programming.

Record-and-playback technology enabled non programmers to create automated test scripts and execute them. However, if the application being tested was changed (as one would expect it would be in the course of maintaining it), then the test scripts often needed to be recorded again. Unless the automated script was executed frequently, the savings of a tester’s time through test automation would decrease because maintenance of test automation required almost as much time as executing the tests manually.

The use of wizards simplify tasks, which otherwise require or re-programming, but also for other tasks, the only recourse was to learn the language, or assign the task to someone who does not know the language. Again non-technical user was shut out.

Whether the script was programmed or recorded, the fact that the script was represented as a program required the tester to visualize what the application looked like at each statement of the script, rather than by seeing the interface itself. This also tended to favor those with programming backgrounds because this kind of visualization is an essential part of a programmer’s training.

Overall, test automation required too much skill in programming. Subject matter experts needed an easier way to create test automation, one that would not require them to become coders.

Rational Functional Tester provides this easier way. Storyboard Testing enables nontechnical users to see their scripts in a human language instead of in a programming language.