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SmartBear’s no-code test paves way for ‘fusion’ of AI and automation

Dan Faulkner, chief product officer at SmartBear
Dan Faulkner, chief product officer at SmartBear

Software testing solution provider SmartBear has developed a new no-code test automation tool that will be integrated into its popular Zephyr Scale solution, a platform that delivers scalable, performance test management capabilities, the US-based company told QA Financial.

Industry observers have responded positively to the announcement, with one analyst telling this publication the new integrated capability paves the way for “a more sustainable fusion of AI-assisted test generation and automation.”

SmartBear’s new test functionality is powered by generative AI technology and will be formally launched next week, on April 30, confirmed Dan Faulkner, chief product officer at SmartBear.

The Somerville, Massachusetts-based technology specialist stressed that the new solution is a direct result of the company’s recent acquisition of the firm Reflect.

“With our strategic acquisition of advanced AI-powered provider Reflect just three months ago, we are pioneering a groundbreaking approach in test automation,” Faulkner continued.

In February, as reported by QA Financial, SmartBear acquired the AI-driven no-code testing platform called Reflect in a strategic move to strengthen the company’s GenAI capabilities.

The testing solution for web applications allows developers and testers to write tests faster as text prompts, enabling greater automation.

Prior to the acquisition, Reflect was owned by Battery Ventures, Craft Ventures, and Y Combinator. The companies declined to disclose any financial details.

AI strategy

Faulkner pointed out that the Reflect acquisition accelerates SmartBear’s AI strategy to meet diverse customer needs by intelligently powering the firm’s three integrated hubs “for API development, testing, and production readiness with insights that power great user experiences across the entire software development lifecycle. “

“SmartBear is now leading the way in test management innovation with Zephyr Scale, the first and only Jira-native test management platform to offer this functionality directly within the platform,” he stated.

“We are witnessing the emergence of a more sustainable fusion of AI-assisted test generation and automation that goes far beyond simply putting a chat interface in front of a testing tool.”

– Analyst Jason English

SmartBear is realigning around 20 products into “intuitive solution hubs,” including its Test Hub, to simplify the customer experience, Faulkner added.

The Test Hub allows testers to manage, automate, and execute all tests in one place to guarantee app quality.

Faulkner called his firm’s approach “groundbreaking in test automation” as it “removes barriers such as lack of time, technical expertise, and resources, allowing for complete traceability in the testing process.”

Sustainable fusions of AI

Jason English, director and principal analyst at Intellyx, said in agreement that the Reflect transaction in February made sense and SmartBear is now turning the deal into results.

“We are witnessing the emergence of a more sustainable fusion of AI-assisted test generation and automation that goes far beyond simply putting a chat interface in front of a testing tool,” English observed.

“A natural language interface designed with declarative, intent-based testing in mind allows test and development teams to achieve higher test resiliency and regression test coverage, as the machine learning model will gain additional user context over time,” he said.

Efficiency gains

Faulkner went on to claim that “Zephyr Scale saves 40+ hours per month on average per user” because its “reporting capabilities allow testers to generate customisable reports and metrics to track testing progress, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions.”

Paul Nashawaty
Paul Nashawaty

Scrutinising Faulkner’s statement, Paul Nashawaty, practice lead for application development and modernization at Texas-based research and consultancy firm The Futurum Group, said in agreement that he sees in his own research that now close to a fifth of all financial organisations use GenAI in production application workload.

“By extending the robust test management functionalities of Zephyr Scale with intuitive, codeless GenAI-powered automation capabilities, teams can achieve a synergistic test workflow that enhances test quality and accelerates software release cycles,” Nashawaty agreed.

“This combination democratizes testing, making it not only accessible and manageable but also significantly boosts efficiency and coverage, ensuring higher software quality and faster go-to-market times and will allow for a great adoption of AI in production workloads,” the analyst concluded.

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