To fasten up your digital transformation and perform quicker upgrades by automating resource intensive manual testing, implementing ServiceNow’s ATF is necessary. You can also gain immediate visibility in the test results with lesser risks and quicker remediation.

ServiceNow has introduced the long awaited automated test framework (ATF) in its Istanbul release focusing on test automation. ATF enables to save time and produce accurate test results without human interventions. Although there are other new plug-ins of the same sort, they come with a massive price tag unlike the free ATF. Let us decipher the comprehensive structure of ATF, and how it can be leveraged to enhance ROI.

How does ATF work?

You can create, modify and run automated test on instances with ATF. As you create the automated tests, you also create records during its run that is used to inspect any incidence or for future references. The test record contains test steps defining certain actions for execution. It also helps to check if the instance remains unaltered post upgrades. ATF revolves around the concept of performing number of same/similar manual operations through the web browser.

Functions and Operations

The basic functionalities of ATF to perform the test automation are

  • Creating and running tests
  • Adding or deleting steps if required
  • Altering the order of execution
  • Creating and running test suites
  • Recording the details and enabling to view them with screenshots
  • Transiting values from one step to the next
  • Changing the administration settings

Through these functionalities you can very well perform the required tasks by incorporating the following basic operations.

  • Impersonate the user
  • Open a new form like the ‘Catalog Task’ form
  • Set field values on the forms like ‘ assigned to’ and ‘description’ or add field that doesn’t exist
  • Submit the current form and confirm to server

Business Benefits

  • Quicker go-to market with reduced test cycle
  • 80% decrease in time cost
  • Reduced man-hours from 5-days to less than 2 hours
  • Reports with real-time screenshots
  • Creation of future tests purpose template
  • Improved product quality
  • Simpler test automation process

Precautious measures to overcome limitations

While ATF has voluminous benefits, it also has its share of challenges and limitations which ServiceNow constantly strives to overcome. It is yet to have test step configuration and does not have manager or tester role. To overcome these it is wise to be precautious, you need to be ready to experiment with different scenarios and tests. The readiness towards quick analysis, decision-making and scheduling tests act as a key to succeed overall limitations.

Evolution of ATF – Recent and upcoming releases of ServiceNow

The Istanbul release of ServiceNow that launched ATF focused on form activities and had numerous pre-built test cases as references for future use. It has chained all simple activities together into one big transaction.

While the ATF introduced in the Istanbul release ensures test automation and sustenance post upgrades, the Jakarta release comprises of many new features providing more flexibility of testing instances with the new ‘recorded_at’ field enabling to view the transaction data for automated test results.  It has made day-to-day work easy, so you can

  • Choose screenshot preferences of what to capture, and this improves efficiency and performance time
  • Schedule automated test suites to execute at your desired time
  • Send email notification that contains information of the suite run, and test results to the user once the execution is complete

ServiceNow has evolved more rapidly than expected. In the London release, ATF automated the service portals and catalogue testing, making it an integral part of testing Arsenal and resulting in numerous benefits financially, qualitatively and personally. The major changes done in the London release are introducing the world of service portal and new service catalogue, integrating the asserted test steps with navigators for module visibility, whitelisting client errors and screenshots settings

The latest Madrid release has come up with some stand-out features like copy test case, parameterizing testing, custom UI testing and page inspector. With the incorporation of the new features, it might take some time in the actual environment to set up the test cases but once set, you can run them with just a click. We can expect greater features and benefits in the New York release further this year.

The features in this latest release enable

  • Parameterizes Test- You can create different parameters for each test, store the data and import it wherever required. This resolves the issue of handling huge amount of data.
  • Copy Test- The new addition ‘copy test’ of the UI action enables copying and reusing all test cases, either as a sample or as a template.
  • Custom UI testing – with the introduction of ‘testing component’, you can test different HTML and JavaScripts for service portals and ITSM processes automatically.
  • Page inspector – ATF provides a new manual page inspector and allows you to choose either the UI or the service page for inspection.
  • Automates test suites via filters – once you define the filter, the test suite includes the tests matching a particular condition automatically. This helps in handling test suites in the development and testing cycles.

ROI of ATF

With everything preconfigured in ATF, a little pressure on the ‘Run’ button is all that is needed to replace the tedious manual process. Despite the longer set up time due to simultaneous configuration and documentation of test, ATF stands out for simplifying the implementation process and reducing run time and expenditure. The automation process reduces man hours sparing them more time to focus on better innovations, implementations and maintenance.

Conclusion

With the progression of ServiceNow, ATF is one signature attribute to look forward to through every release. Since its inception, ATF has positioned itself in a way that you can take advantage of it to accelerate your digital transformation with quick remediation and visible test results.

We at Aspire derive the best of approaches to leverage ATF to attain a high return on investment. Listen to our experts on how to explore the new features and assertions that can be utilized to add value to your business development. Aspire Systems is hosting a webinar to cover a wider area of the ATF. To be a part of the session and to understand the different attributes and advantages of ATF, register now!

Dhanwandhi Panneerselvam

Executive Research Analyst at Aspire Systems
She holds a Master degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering with specialization in Power Electronics and Drives. She is a passionate and an ardent writer who has earlier worked on write ups and several copies related to media. She spends her leisure time reading philosophical books and loves exploring new places & cuisines.