A New Way of Thinking About the Problem
After struggling with the problem for a couple of days, we decided to approach it from a different perspective. We clearly needed to do something about the time constraint. While thinking though where to get more execution machines and licenses, it occurred to us to use the virtual-user licenses we had for our performance test tool. Why not use virtual users instead of functional test scripts to enter the data?
Switching to a performance test tool offered several advantages over functional automation tools:
- We had a more robust programming language, which granted easier access to the production data by allowing us to write advanced conversion and data-parsing methods.
- We were no longer tied to the GUI, cutting execution time to around 45 seconds per transaction.
- We could leverage our virtual-user licenses instead of functional licenses. This allowed us to execute tests in batches of 100, while not using all of our resources (so we could continue working).
- We would lower our maintenance costs because there was less impact of application changes (specifically GUI changes).