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Advances in Software Engineering
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 620836, 18 pages
Research Article

Software Test Automation in Practice: Empirical Observations

Department of Information Technology, Laboratory of Software Engineering, Lappeenranta University of Technology, P.O. Box 20, 53851 Lappeenranta, Finland

Received 10 June 2009; Revised 28 August 2009; Accepted 5 November 2009

Academic Editor: Phillip Laplante

Copyright © 2010 Jussi Kasurinen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The objective of this industry study is to shed light on the current situation and improvement needs in software test automation. To this end, 55 industry specialists from 31 organizational units were interviewed. In parallel with the survey, a qualitative study was conducted in 12 selected software development organizations. The results indicated that the software testing processes usually follow systematic methods to a large degree, and have only little immediate or critical requirements for resources. Based on the results, the testing processes have approximately three fourths of the resources they need, and have access to a limited, but usually sufficient, group of testing tools. As for the test automation, the situation is not as straightforward: based on our study, the applicability of test automation is still limited and its adaptation to testing contains practical difficulties in usability. In this study, we analyze and discuss these limitations and difficulties.