Are you using IBM Rational Robot? Robot will go end of life 30 April 2016. That means that IBM no longer supports Robot. In this post I will point out what that could mean to you.
On 12 August 2014, IBM announced the support withdrawal of Rational Robot and Rational Functional Tester Plus. The latter is a bundle of Rational Robot and IBM Rational Functional Tester. For a history of Rational Robot, see my post Rational Robot the living legend.
The curtain comes down
Robot has been out for more than 15 years. Since that time the software world has been changing rapidly and still is developing at breakneck speed. For many present-day applications, Robot is no longer the right tool. For example, Robot is a 32-bit tool. As such, Robot cannot work with 64-bit applications.
The newer Rational testing tool for functional testing, IBM Rational Functional Tester (RFT), has started to support 64-bit applications. However, a supported automated migration has been unavailable until now. Maybe the tips of my colleague Andreas Franke are helpful in his white paper.
Testing Using Rational Robot versus Rational Functional Tester.
For the performance testing part, the VU scripting, the last Robot version is 184.108.40.206. Rational Performance Tester (RPT) would be a possible replacement.
In case you monitor your application with the ITCAM Robot integration, IBM Rational Performance Tester (RPT) might be your first choice. See my blog post Which Rational monitor for ITCAM would you choose?.
A European customer has used Robot from the beginning of this century to monitor their web applications. At that time, only Robot integrated with Tivoli Monitoring for Transaction Performance (TMTP). TMTP, the predecessor of IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager for Transactions (ITCAM fT).
As time went, some of their applications became obsolete and new applications went life. When the Tivoli tool started to support RFT and RPT, they took the opportunity to develop their new monitoring scripts in RFT and RPT. Whenever an application goes life, the team developed RFT or RPT script. Now RFT and RPT tests monitor most of their applications. Only a few are still under Robot, but in due course the company will withdraw these applications. Are they ready for 30 April 2016? I think they are.
Next: don't shoot the messenger
Therefore I think that a gradual switch over to RFT and RPT would be the best option I can think of. When you decommission an application that you have tested with Robot, you can replace Robot with RFT or RPT for the replacement. The same might apply when you make far-reaching changes to your applications.
Hopefully this post helps you to think about the future of your testing activities. If you'd like to discuss this further, leave a comment here or connect with me on Twitter @GunangWaney. You can also open a service request against IBM support, preferably before 30 April 2016.