Environment for powerful and convenient test automation
  • Graphical description of test routines
  • Advanced custom library concept
  • Automatic report generation
  • Support of HIL API-based simulator access
  • Remote control of calibration, measurement, and diagnostic tools such as ControlDesk® Next Generation
  • Offline test execution and development
  • Test Builder: highly customizable test  framework custom library
  • Complex signal evaluations

Key Benefits

AutomationDesk is a powerful front-end tool for automated hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing of the application software or diagnostic functions of electronic control units (ECUs).
AutomationDesk provides libraries containing a large number of predefined test steps, e.g., for easy access to the HIL simulator, to a Failure Insertion Unit (FIU) or to calibration or diagnostics software. With the AutomationDesk test automation tool, tests can be executed at any time, for example at night or over the weekend. This increases test coverage and the quality of the ECU software while saving time and costs.

AutomationDesk lets you describe test routines graphically without expert knowledge in programming.

Module Overview

The new modular packaging of AutomationDesk allows you to select the packages you need for your automation tasks, and add other modules later on if necessary.
AutomationDesk – Automation Server 
The AutomationDesk Automation Server, an alternative to the full version of AutomationDesk:
  • Tool variant without a graphical user interface
  • Planning, parameterization and execution of existing tests
  • Example client applications are SYNECT, batch scripts in Python, and customized operator UI applications
Platform API Package
  • HIL API MA port (Model Access port) implemented in Python: Interface to ASAM HIL API-compliant simulation platforms
  • HIL API MA port implemented in .NET: Interface to ASAM HIL API-compliant simulation platforms
  • RTPLIB2: Interface to dSPACE HIL platforms
  • NEW: Platform Management API: Interface to configure dSPACE platforms
Failure Simulation API Package
  • HIL API EESPort (Electrical Error Simulation port) in .NET (for dSPACE SCALEXIO)
  • Failure simulation API based on tool automation of ControlDesk Next Generation
Real-Time Testing
  • Python-based real-time test automation
  • 100% reproducible real-time tests executed synchronously with simulation model
  • Easy integration into user-defined test frameworks (AutomationDesk® or others)
  • Support of VEOS®, dSPACE’s platform for PC-based offline simulation


Graphical and Python-Based Test Development
AutomationDesk’s Sequence Builder provides a graphical, UML-compliant environment for developing automation sequences. The Sequence Builder and its overview panel help you keep track of even very large sequence structures. AutomationDesk combines and integrates graphical and Python-based test development. Typically, graphical development is used to describe the control flow and to access devices like hardware or other software. Python scripts are used for implementing algorithms or for user-specific extensions.
Reusing Automation Tasks
If a test sequence or single test steps need to be reused for similar automation tasks in other projects or sequences, they can be stored in custom libraries. Custom libraries gradually grow to contain more and more reusable elements, so you benefit from accumulated know-how in future projects. This method speeds up the test development process and increases efficiency. Different custom libraries can be shared between different AutomationDesk installations via the file system or via a version control system.
Test Builder and Framework Builder
Test Builder is a highly customizable test framework custom library. It offers a ready-to-use test framework with test and test step templates, including exception/verdict handling and reporting.
The Test Builder elements are implemented using the Framework Builder library.
  • Ready-to-use test framework
  • Test and test step templates
  • Implicit reporting
  • NEW: Standard HTML and PDF stylesheets for detailed and brief reports
  • Exception and verdict handling
  • Based on Framework Builder
  • Highly customizable and transparent
Test Project Management in AutomationDesk
Managing Project Data
AutomationDesk®’s Project Manager is the ideal way to organize the sequences, data, and results of test projects. Tests are reproducible, for example, they can be executed repeatedly to perform regression testing. Tests can be arranged according to the functions under test, the ECUs in a network, the development stages, and the users involved in a project.
Offline Test Execution & Development
AutomationDesk’s libraries can be set to offline mode, so that tests that use them are executable even if required external software or hardware is not available. The test steps then use default behavior to enable test execution. For example, tests can be executed without a hardware-in-the-loop simulator being connected to AutomationDesk. You can define the return values for the default behavior yourself, or record them in an online test execution run.
Automatic Report Generation
AutomationDesk can automatically generate report documentation based on the test results. You can select from a library of report test steps (such as AddText, AddTable, or AddPicture) to specify the report's contents. The report begins with statistics on all the test results. You can produce a detailed report, or a brief report that helps you judge the current quality of an ECU at a glance. Additionally, there are various options for controlling the level of detail and the format of the reports. Reports are usually generated in HTML or PDF format, but almost any kind of output format can be generated with user-defined XML style sheets.
Version Control of Projects and Custom Libraries
With the AutomationDesk version control interface, you can integrate version control systems that have the Microsoft® Source Code Control (SCC) interface, such as MKS® Source Integrity, Apache Subversion (SVN) 1), or IBM® Rational® ClearCase®, etc.
1)        Requires installation of SCC API plug-in from PushOk Software

Test Automation
To run HIL test systems efficiently in terms of time and cost, test automation has to be planned carefully. Sometimes thousands of relevant tests have to be defined and handled, possibly even years before start of production in the case of safety-critical systems.
The objective is to create basic test steps, save them to libraries and reuse them for other tests.
This is achieved by generic, nonredundant basic test steps, combined with a suitable library concept. These can be reused – for example, for subsequent vehicle generations – with only few modifications.

Integration of AutomationDesk in Typical Tool Chains

Connection to dSPACE SYNECT
SYNECT is data management and collaboration software with a special focus on model-based development and ECU testing. Designed to help you manage data throughout the entire development process – models, signals, parameters, tests, test results, and so on – it also handles data dependencies, versions and variants, as well as links to the underlying requirements.
SYNECT Test Management is a SYNECT module which gives you convenient connection to AutomationDesk.
Remote-Controlled Test Runs
AutomationDesk has a COM-based application programming interface (API) for remote-controlling and automating selected AutomationDesk functions. These are some of its typical use cases:
XML Test Exchange Format
AutomationDesk® supports the import and export of projects, folders, tests, and custom libraries as XML files. Using XML to import and export test descriptions means that tests can be exchanged between different test tools. For example, to be imported from a third-party tool or from a proprietary test description, a test simply needs to be converted into AutomationDesk's XML format.