A Taxonomy of Software Test Automation Architecture

I am the chair of the software testing track of the 2010 7th International Information Technology New Generations conference (see http://www.vteOnline.com/ITNG2010/ ). I am working with the authors of a paper that describes a neat software test automation API set called TestApi. In that paper the authors and I have proposed a taxonomy of different approaches to test case automation. In our model we suggest six levels of abstraction that vary across five key characteristics. The six basic structures of test we propose are: custom code, tool, library, API set, framework, and integrated system. The five key distinguishing characteristics are the extent to which the automation code is reusable, how specific or general the type of target automation tasks are, the extent to which the code is documented, the type of licensing associated with the structure which mediates the extent to which the automation code can be shared, and the extent to which the automation code is designed to allow integration with other code such as logging code, management and monitoring code, and other test automation. As with any taxonomy or set of definitions, no real knowledge is generated; the purpose is to establish a baseline and common set of terminology for more effective communication.
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