Test Automation Meets Simulation

By Paul Henderson

henderson_lg.jpgI'm seeing increasing interest from many companies in using simulation environments with test automation systems to accelerate the testing process. Specifically, putting Wind River Test Management together with Wind River Simics is getting creative juices flowing in industry thought leaders.

Why? Well, development teams have started to realize the benefits of simulation systems for speeding and validating system and software design, and for accelerating software development and debug in advance of hardware availabilty. And even when hardware is available, systems like Simics provide tremendous access and control to speed analysis and diagnsotics.

Testing teams are also now starting to see the benefits of simulation if they can bring it into an automated environment like Wind River Test Management. One obvious benefit is the ability to start development and validation of test cases much earlier in the development cycle. Perhaps more important though is the ability to use simulators to do regression testing within Agile and continuous integration methods.

During these iterative development processes, developers need an automated environment to re-run their unit tests and module tests within a regression test process. This is dramatically easier by capturing these tests within a test management system that can run this over and over again as features are added or software is refactored. Meanwhile testers can support system integration and start running their tests on the simulation environment rather than waiting till the target device is available, getting valueable feedback earlier. Further, test groups find they can be even more flexible even late in the cycle by using both simulators and physical systems to distribute their heavy testing loads.

Wind River Test Management and its integrated Virtual Lab Managers allows testers to easily capture tests and manage the cycle, while transparently utilizing simulators along side physical boards in the system test lab. Stay tuned for more on this subject in coming weeks.

Meanwhile, if you live in the Dallas Texas area, we are holding a live seminar on this subject on Sept 14, 2010. You can register for this seminar by clicking here.

At this complimentary half-day seminar we will show how utilizing an agile and iterative development methodology across both hardware and software allows system integration and system testing to become an integral part of the product development cycle,  instead of something rushed through at the end. This can significantly reduce your risks and costs, decrease your overall time-to-market, and increase your product quality. 

We will showcase Wind River Simics and Wind River Test Management products and cover the following subject with presentations and demos:

  • Perform code coverage on production software without need of source code instrumentation
  • Inject system and hardware faults to test software robustness
  •  Identify which set of tests to rerun based on target software changes
  • Find bugs quickly by executing the system in reverse and saving/reloading the exact system state that caused the bug
  •  Automate the creation and management of many different target hardware configurations
  • Streamline your system integration and testing process and significantly improve your product development life cycle

Please drop me an email at paul.henderson@windriver.com if you have immediate interest in learning more about this subject.