In my view , the system should have a GUI where manual,functional or any stakeholder can pick and execute the testcases.
Selection of testing tool will also matter. A fitness tests provides faster feedback on GUI testbut it can be very slow when compared to JUnit tests. Canoo webTest,Selenium with Geb and spock or any open source tool are ideal for my way of testing. UFT is not free needs licenses to run in parallel.XML is the easy and effective way to provide data.Excel can also be used.
Parallel testing is most efficient when we do-
- Version assessment
- Localization testing
- Internationalization testing
- Linguistics view and content validation
- Cross browser testing
- Cross platform testing
- Simply running huge test asset into different systems.
Not all the testcases can be made parallel. The optimum balance should be drawn between coverage and speed.