Appvance debuts AI-driven test automation; improves machine learning

Appvance announced Tuesday breakthrough using artificial intelligence algorithms to automatically create and maintain scripts for testing software applications. By modeling human testers, including manual and test automation tasks such as scripting, Appvance has developed algorithms and expert systems to take on those tasks, similar to how driverless vehicle software models what a human driver does.

AI-driven test automation is currently available to preview, commercially in October, and requires no changes or added code in applications under test.

Appvance spent years developing the underlying technology to deliver on the promise of artificial intelligence. The Appvance AI technology learns from various existing data sources, including learning to map an application fully on its own, various server logs, Splunk or Sumo Logic production data, form input data, valid headers and requests, expected responses, changes in each build and others.

By feeding the system large amounts of data, it analyzes and then synthesizes the best tests which represent what real users would and could do with the application. In beta testing with large enterprises over several months, developers and QA team members watched as the system generated 1200 test scripts in five seconds (the equivalent of over 1000 man-hours of scripting effort). The resulting test execution represented real user flows, data driven, with near 100 percent code coverage.

Appvance AI Screen Shot (PRNewsfoto/Appvance Inc.)

Most software testing is manual (up to 90 percent based on recent industry surveys). The rest is semi-automated by writing scripts in various languages such as Selenium or Java to repeat actions for future tests. This automation model has persisted since the mid 1990’s and offers small improvements in productivity with large improvements in repeatability. Some $70B is spent around the world in testing software for functionality and bugs, performance and security.

Appvance AI technology learns from several existing data sources, as well as the application under test, and then writes its own test code. This can generate hundreds or thousands of coded scripts, depending on the amount of input data available. No scripting or coding or recording is required from testers.

In general, Appvance’s AI script creation is 1000 times faster than human script creation, freeing QA engineers from mundane scripting tasks to focus on higher level tasks such as application usability, layout issues, device responsiveness, flow, performance, and results analysis.

For the majority of testing, Appvance AI obsoletes legacy scripting (such as Selenium) in favor of machine learning and fully-automated script generation, empowering a QA organization with DevOps and agile speed and increasing depth of testing and analysis.

“Artificial intelligence has arrived for software QA. As applications get more complex and agile timelines get shorter, QA teams have been squeezed to the breaking point,” said Appvance CEO Kevin Surace. “Our patent-pending machine learning technology can immediately augment Dev and QA teams, empower them to respond lightning fast, and deliver far better results than manual testing or scripting could ever do. I believe that with this announcement, today is the most exciting day in software QA history.”

“Artificial intelligence closes the gap between what scripting has been providing and what users actually do in real life,” said Peter Varhol, Principal, Technology Strategy Research and a recognized authority in test automation. “It enables teams to fully address how an application will respond and perform in production, without the associated baggage and traditional scripting. To my knowledge, this could be a quantum leap forward for QA automation, and no one else in the industry has taken this direction. Enterprises that seek to save money and time and come out of the gate with high quality and high-performing applications need to get Appvance in their arsenal.”

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