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UTA - A Different Approach to Automation

Anthony Shorten
Senior Principal Product Manager

The Oracle Utilities Testing Accelerator was introduced over a year ago and the tool continues to be popular with customers and is included in all Oracle Utilities SaaS Cloud Services available on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. The tool takes a different approach to providing testing capabilities that other types of testing tend to not offer.

There are three regimes of Testing that applies to Oracle Utilities products:

  • Manual Testing. This is the baseline where a group of human testers simply use the product and test it manually. Whilst this is a valid way of testing for a lot implementations, it is high cost (due to the labor cost involved) and high risk as it tends to be timeboxed, to meet deadlines, so things are missed in the testing. When regular upgrades are involved it may soon become harder to sustain.
  • Automated Testing (also known as Traditional Automation). Over the last decade or so, automated testing tools have been appearing on the market to try and reduce the manual effort involved in testing. They tend to concentrate on recording screens, creating scripts from those recording and embedding data into those scripts. The idea then is that recording can be played back over and over again. Some vendors have tried to separate the data from the script to make it reusable with different data, No matter what though they have a fundamental flow in that they only test online and any change to the online screens, for ANY reason, means manually manipulating the script or re-recording it. This means time to test (the time from installing to actually testing) in each iteration had to include refactoring test asset changes.
  • Component Based Approach with PreBuilt Assets. This is where Oracle Utilities Testing Accelerator takes the advantages of automation but addresses the time to test concerns. The Oracle Utilities Testing Accelerator provides prebuilt content from Oracle which reduces test asset building times, tests all channels used in Oracle Utilities including online, batch, web services and mobile. Those assets tend to be upgradeable automatically (using the Oracle Utilities philosophy of backward compatibility) to retain their usefulness and save costs. The product also uses an orchestration metaphor to build tests rather than programming to reduce technical skills needed for the tool.

The figure below summarizes the discussion above:

Testing Regimes

The Oracle Utilities Test Accelerator is a testing solution optimized for use with Oracle Utilities product suite with prebuilt content including the Oracle Utilities Reference Model. It is available for on-premise use and now is included in all Oracle Utilities SaaS Cloud Services.

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