Ai21 - Automation Harness


Ai21 - Database


Installation and Training





The Ai21, infrastructure and development platform, is preloaded on a 1U rack-mounted computer, running Linux, and with a 2.4GHz CPU, 512MB RAM, 80 GB hard drive, and a 10/100/1000 NIC card.

Ai21 - Automation Infrastructure

The Ai21 is a complete automation environment consisting of a test scheduling component, a test running component, a web based component for manually defining and running automation jobs, and an unlimited user license.

Scheduling Features:

  • Configurable hours of operation.
  • Multiple test bed support.
  • Diverse test bed support.
  • Event (email) driven.
  • Users and domains can be restricted.
  • Individual software image testing can be limited to specific days and/or test beds.
  • Supports simultaneous testing of different software images.
  • Supports simultaneous testing of different test beds.
  • Able to restrict software images to specific test beds.
  • Able to restrict tests to a test bed type, or a specific test bed.
  • Supports dividing a physical test bed into multiple logical test beds.
  • Supports queuing of jobs if a test bed is in use.
  • Allows specific users to have a higher job execution priority than normal.
  • Supports numerous queue and automation job management commands.
  • Provides real-time debugging of all aspects of scheduling component.
Test Execution Features:
  • Supports multiple simultaneous automation jobs.
  • Send HTML encoded email report upon job completion to distribution list.
  • Report can be customized via sections and headers.
  • Log files of non-passing test cases are hyperlinked to report.
  • Create a unique results directory for each automation job.
  • Save some, or all, test case log files.
  • Run predefined test cases against any test bed.
  • Test cases can be grouped into test suites.
  • Test suites grouped into master test files.
  • Test cases can be written in any language (Tcl recommended).
  • Test cases can be grouped into "levels" that only run at defined times.
  • Test cases can be restricted to specific test bed types, or test beds.
  • Test cases can return one of multiple return codes for testing flexibility.
  • Test cases can return user defined values that will trigger a user defined action.
  • Test cases can test multiple sub-functions and return a value for each sub-test.
  • Test cases can be flagged as critical so that a failure results in job termination.
  • Test cases can be flagged so that if they fail the next test suite is started.
  • Test cases can be flagged so that if they fail the test bed is reset.
  • Automation can be paused for any period to allow troubleshooting, etc.
  • Test beds can be blocked to prevent a job from running on that test bed.
  • Running automation jobs can be stopped at any point and generate a report.
  • APIs provided for logging.
  • APIs provided for inter-test case communication.
  • 3rd party test tools and test cases are easily integrated into the Ai21.
  • Real-time debugging.
Web Page Features:
  • Predefined existing test suites can be executed.
  • Custom automation jobs can be created and run.
  • Individual test suites can be selected and executed in any order.
  • Individual test suites can be run any number of times.
  • Different run-time execution levels can be applied to test suites.
  • Individual test cases can be executed.
  • Ancillary notes can be added to final report.
  • Report notes and report headers support HTML.
  • Override configured run tests parameters.
  • Perform administrative and job management functions.
  • Custom web-pages can be created for individual users and their specific requirements.
  • Web page and CGI source code included for individual customization.

Ai21 - Database option

The Ai21 database option is an SQL relational database designed to provide a higher level of functionality for the Ai21 user.  By enabling the Ai21 to utilize the database, the productivity of the Ai21 is greatly increased.  This increase translates to a higher degree of usefullness for the user by providing the following items.

Database Features:

  • Stores automation job statistics.
  • Store test suite and test case data; purpose, author, etc.
  • Store test bed asset information; hardware, software, 3rd party equipment, etc.
  • Store bugs found per test case.
  • Store information on software images tested.
  • Track test bed history and useage by time, user, image type tested, etc.
  • Track test bed equipment costs.
  • Track bugs found for each test case.
  • Track software image test history.
  • Easily retrieve previous test reports for specific automation jobs.
  • Provides on report current bug information for each failed test case.
  • Provides hyperlinks on report to specific test suite and test case information.
  • Provides hyperlink on report to a testbed diagram.
  • Provides hyperlink on report to test bed equipment.
  • Provides hyperlink on report to past software quality metric data.
  • Provides hyperlink on report to past customer specific quality metric data.

These features coupled with the Ai21 result in a turn-key automation harness with tremendous "out of the box" functionality, and greatly increased productivity for the automation team and management. With the database option the Ai21 becomes an:

  • An automation scheduling system.
  • An automation test case execution system.
  • An automation development and debugging system.
  • An automation test case repository.
  • An automation test equipment asset management system.
  • An automation product quality metric tracking system.

Installation and Training

This 2-3 day course covers the configuration and operation of the Ai21.  Additionally, it covers test bed design, test case design, and good automation practices that will allow an organization to develop and build a reliable and useful software test automation environment.


  • Is automation necessary for your organization?
  • Can your product be adequately tested with automation?
  • What can your organization achieve with automation?
  • Does your team have the technical expertise needed to create automation?
  • What are your team's strengths in regard to automation?
  • What are your team's weaknesses in regard to automation?

Let AbeachA help you decide if automation is right for your organization.  Basic advice, if you are thinking about automation then it probably is time to start.  However, there are times when automation is not practical.  If you are unsure about automation then let us work with you while you decide if automation is in your best interest.

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