Automated Testing of Industrial Automation Software: Practical Receipts and Lessons Learned

R. Ramler, W. Putschögl, D. Winkler:
"Automated Testing of Industrial Automation Software: Practical Receipts and Lessons Learned";
Vortrag: 1st International Workshop on Modern Software Engineering Methods for Industrial Automation (MoSEMInA), In Conjunction with ICSE 2014, Hyderabad, India; 31.05.2014 - 07.06.2014; in:"Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Modern Software Engineering Methods for Industrial Automation (MoSEMInA), In Conjunction with ICSE 2014", ACM, (2014), ISBN: 978-1-4503-2851-7; S. 7 - 16.

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Abstract:


The share of software in industrial automation systems is steadily
increasing. Thus, software quality issues become a critical concern
for many automation projects, which require effective software
quality assurance measures. In this paper we describe an
architecture for automated testing of software applications part of
industrial automation systems. We focus on testing programmable
logic controller (PLC) software for machineries, which can be
achieved by using test automation frameworks derived from software
development. The paper provides a collection of practical
receipts describing how different approaches from software engineering
best-practices can be applied in the context of industrial
automation systems. A combination of these receipts has been
used for automating software tests in an industrial automation
project. In this project, more than 200 tests have been developed
to assure the quality of critical PLC components. The tests are an
integral part of the project´s automated build and continuous integration
system. Every software change triggers an automated
build and test process to ensure that no defects or unintended side
effects have been introduced. The feedback from the project confirmed
the applicability and usefulness of the outlined testing
approach in context of industry automation. The paper concludes
with providing recommendations and sharing additional lessons
we have learned from automated testing of PLC software.