An Agile Automation Framework - Hermes

QA needs a framework that enables Agile test methodologies and scalability. Automation projects that ignore the need for a framework will fail.


Agile development delivers more and more functionality to test at each increment. Each delivery will almost certainly deliver some regression to existing functionality. Regression testing is rarely planned for. The QA function is expected to absorb it. Without adopting test automation this just can not happen.


Test automation is not a golden bullet. Poorly implemented it makes QA even more of a bottle-neck and directs the most valuable QA resources into "fixing" automated tests and away from real issues.


When implementing test automation you need to appreciate the absolute necessity in having a test automation framework. You must ensure that it works at the higher test levels, such as system testing, and not simply geared for unit testing.


An automated test framework consists of functionality required for the effective development and use of automated test scripts. A framework is not simply about making tests runnable.


Automated frameworks must support QA test methodologies, best practice and provide an environment where tests can be developed, run and understood. The framework itself must be able to mature as demanded.


Test automation projects initiated without an effective framework will inherit a significant technical debt. It will have to be paid - and probably when you can least afford to do so.




Agile Automated Regression Tests

Critical to the success of Agile, the QA team need to excel in the development of automated regression test suites. These will verify that business critical functionality continues to work under rapid development.


Automated regression testing is the key to building an effective Agile QA approach.


Without developing automated regression tests, continuous development and deployment will overwhelm any QA team and undermine the benefits of Agile development.


When implementing an Agile QA methodology, it is important to learn from development not mimic it. Many development practices just do not translate and shouldn't be expected to do so.

The Hermes test automation framework provides a fully enabled Agile test framework built for QA.



Agile QA

Agile development is well established, but is there such a thing as Agile QA?


Are Agile development principles and practices applicable to QA?

Can development methodologies like test driven development (TDD) and continuous integration (CI) be applied to QA?


A key Agile principle is the development of a single source of information (SSI). User stories need to be understood by product owners and all Agile team members. Tests specified in code cannot be expected to do so.


QA must develop executable test specifications that exercise acceptance crieria and preserve the user story in a human readable form.


Human readable executable test specifications is a core Agile feature of the Hermes framework. Indeed - a Human Readable Machine Executable Specification - is what Hermes stands for.


Many Agile development practices have no meaning at the level QA operates. QA engineers can be expected to write code, but TDD is solely concerned with application development. TDD has absolutely no meaning at any QA test level.


What is needed is an appropriate QA approach to Agile and a framework that facilitates it.



Hermes - A Java 5 Framework

The Hermes test automation framework is fully extendable using all the functionality available to Java 5.


Any bespoke functionality that can be implemented in Java can be implemented in Hermes.


Developing your own framework is costly, unnecessary and hard to get prioritised in Agile projects.


Agile planning often pushes out the important in favour of the urgent. Making the case for the development of a fully functional test framework can be very difficult. Development is usually abandoned once a framework can make tests runnable. This is entry level in framework maturity - but it is where many Selenium frameworks operate.


Most "bespoke" Selenium frameworks are often poorly designed and highly idiosyncratic. They are rarely understood by anyone other than the person who created them.


Avoid this pitfall, and focus on identifying the truly bespoke functionality your project needs and extend the functionality of existing frameworks.


Hermes enables you to spend your test budget more effectively by targeting resources on what you absolutely need.





Enabled Test Services

QA offers the greatest value when empowered by a QA framework and methodology.

Hermes is fully integrated with one of the most advanced test automation platforms in the world.

Tests run as "Executable Specifications" without having to be writen in code. Hermes is the first and only framework in the world to achieve this on a fully enabled Selenium RC platform.

Hermes is fully integrated with Selenium GRID. Out of the box you can run distributed tests on the browser and platform configurations of your choice.

You could spend months designing, implementing and fine tuning your own automation framework. Or you could build on the experience of automation specialists and implement one that is execution ready and already proven fit for purpose.

Hermes is available free and under an open source license.

There has never been a more vital time to implement test automation.


W3QA will ensure you get it right.

Contact us today




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You can start using Hermes right now for free. Download the Hermes framework and its user manual from Sourceforge right here.


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