Testautomation is a matter of Return of Investment (RoI). There are three important cost factors. The first factor is the Software (SW) library to control the Device Under Test (DUT) the second one is stimulation and measurement Hardware. The last factor are the Testcase– (TC) related SW parts. This SW depends on the number of tests and there complexity.
At the starting point the first two factors are the biggest investment which have to be done to get any kind of output. But we have also to find a way to reduce this cost as much as possible. In general this are one time cost which could be reinvested fast if you are not looking only to one project. But normally the target for automation is to reuse all factors of the Automation also for other project. This reduces the SW library cost for all further projects and change the decision to use a Testautomation also for test which are done not often in the project life cycle .
The following graph shows a typical RoI curve for a Testautomation.
We uses commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) for stimulation and measurement HW
The COTS HW have the best factor of function to cost (ftc). For automation we need to connect to these HW with a SW interface. We try to generate driver which uses the HW without any additional SW executable which came from the HW vendor. This reduces the onetime cost for the SW licenses for each Testbench.
Due to the big sales quantity of COTS HW products we believe to have a long lifetime of our products and can believe to get alternative successors for old products with SW-compatible interface.