For almost 20 years, TestStand has existed as a product from National Instruments. I have been working with TestStand in different contexts since 2006, and I often run across the misunderstanding that TestStand is “just” a test executer. In fact, TestStand is a framework for test management where the execution of a test is certainly an important function, but it is just one of many functions that TestStand provides.
TestStand Is Often Misunderstood for Its Complexity
TestStand provides a wide range of tools which can be used to build a test platform that fits the exact production and/or verification process of the individual company.
This great flexibility means, however, that TestStand seems very complex at first glance. As a result, many discard the product before they even know its possibilities. Some will start to develop a test executer from scratch which always turns out to be a much more comprehensive task than people imagine at first.
The Typical Process
When you start out, you will, typically, focus on the need to be able to test and see whether the test was passed or failed. And you will usually reach that goal somehow. After a short time, more needs will appear. For instance, the case of creating variants without changing or copying the test sequence, processing of results to different outputs, or to parallelize a test. Maybe, it turns out that user management with different privileges for different users is necessary.
And this is where it starts to be very difficult: If you are to create a system yourself that will meet these needs, while also maintaining and developing tests for daily production, it becomes difficult to keep the overview. The risk that you are creating a system that mix-up things is very high. Furthermore, there is also a huge risk that you will end up with a system which is difficult to split up into reusable modules. This is where we often see that test departments in most manufacturing companies do not have the capacity to perform a task like this.
Solve Your Challenges with TestStand
The message of this blog post is therefore to spend a few extra days finding out what you actually get by solving test challenges by means of TestStand. So, you should not get scared of the possibilities that you will get. Instead, you should focus on all the resources that you will save, as you are not going to facilitate the development and maintenance of an entire test management system.
If it turns out that you need some help to get started, we are ready to help you at GPower. It can be anything from making a test strategy to design and implement specific test systems.