Itecor @ Tricentis Accelerate 2019 Vienna

Itecor @ Tricentis Accelerate 2019 Vienna

28 November 2019

I’ve just returned from the Tricentis Accelerate conference in Vienna and wanted to share some of the excitement from my trip. “Accelerate” is the largest Testing conference in Europe and it’s organised by  Tricentis, one of the market leaders in Testing solutions. The conference showcases the current state of testing, provides guidelines for developing automated tests, and gives a heads-up for innovations.

I was able to learn about the range of testing tools on offer, as well as best practices for Distributed Execution and End to End testing – but of everything I saw, I was the most impressed by NEO – the new Artificial Intelligence engine from Tricentis.

Please read on for more details!

Artificial Intelligence

NEO was one of the big announcements of the conference and I could see why they were hyping it so much. It is an Artificial Intelligence engine developed by Tricentis – designed for intelligent automated tests. It identifies and interacts with UI controls – such as buttons, dropdowns, inputs, etc through a textual description provided by the user.

This description is readily understood (it resembles Gherkin quite a bit). E.g. a command to click on the “Save” button could look like: “Click on the ‘Save’ button”.

Example of NEOScript, the scripting language used by NEO, Tricentis’ AI engine

The advantages of such an architecture are:

  • Extreme stability of test cases. E.g. you could completely change the UI and the scripts would require minimal changes, if at all.
  • Can develop tests before the UI is created
  • Test cases are cross-technology/cross-browser

A couple of technical details for the geeks:

  • It’s based on a Deep Convolutional Network, which is good at classifying objects into groups.
  • It manages to identify controls in roughly 150ms on 1080p resolutions
  • Currently, NEO manages to recognise controls in 95% of cases. A stunning result, considering the AI has been trained over ‘only’ 500,000 screen captures of the planned 5,000,000.
  • They’re currently in closed beta and are aiming for a Q2 2020 public release.
  • Controls can be identified in the script by saying e.g. “click the ‘Submit’ button above ‘End of Form’ and left of ‘Cancel’”, as well as by their colour.

As an example, we were shown a ServiceNow instance. The presenter spoke commands, such as “input Tricentis Accelerate 2019 in the title field” or “input this is really cool in the additional comments”. After only a short pause, NEO would move the mouse, click on the text field and input the desired text. The commands were understood wrongly on occasions, but that’s probably down to the commands not being enunciated clearly enough.

Learning about Distributed Execution. Each conference was broadcast over headphones to keep noise down between rooms.

Tools & Methods

I learned about designing meaningful load tests using ‘SPEAR’: Scalability, Performance, Elasticity, Availability, and Reliability. Tricentis Flood was demoed – this is a cloud-based tool for load testing. The team showed how you could use Tricentis Test Design Studio to easily design workflow and integrate with QTest (Test management tool)

Additionally, I was able to follow some interesting presentations about best practices for  Distributed Execution and End to End testing, as well as a talk on how to perform Continuous Testing Transformation within an enterprise.

In summary – I’m excited to see how the new technology and best practices will change the future of testing, and I’d like to thank Itecor for making this visit possible for me.

 

If you want to learn how we can help you with testing, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

 

by Renzo Cotti