Everything You Need to Know about Automation Testing

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Read the latest blog on iTMunch titled. 'Everything You Need to Know about Automation Testing'

What is Automation Testing?

Automation Testing involves the use of automation tools to execute test case suites, while manual testing is performed by a human executing the same steps.

The automation software is also able to enter test data into the System Under Test, compare expected and actual results and generate detailed test reports. Test Automation requires a lot of investment when it comes to money and resources.

The repetitive requirement of execution of the same test suite comes with successive development cycles. When you use a test automation tool, it becomes possible to record re-play the test suite as and when required, and once it becomes automated there is no need for human intervention. This improves the ROI of Test Automation. The goal of all automation is to reduce the number of test cases that need to be run manually and while at the same time still keeping manual testing.

Automated Testing Process:

The steps mentioned below are following in an automation testing process:

Test tool selection

The Test Tool selection mainly depends on the technology on which the Application Under Test is built.

Define the scope of Automation

The scope of automation is the area of your Application Under Test which will be automated. The points mentioned below are here to help you determine scope:

  • Important features for your business
  • Scenarios with large amount of data
  • Common functionalities across applications
  • Technical feasibility
  • Reuse of business components
  • The complexity of test cases
  • Ability to use the same test cases for cross-browser testing
  • Planning, Design, and Development

Your automation strategy & plan should consist of the following details:

  • Automation tools selected
  • Framework design and its features
  • In-Scope and Out-of-scope items of automation
  • Automation testbed preparation
  • Schedule and Timeline of scripting and execution
  • Deliverables of Automation Testing
  • Test Execution

During this phase, automation scripts are executed. The scripts require input test data before they can run. Once executed they provide detailed test reports.

Execution can be performed using the automation tool directly or through the Test Management tool which will invoke the automation tool.

Maintenance

With the addition of new functionalities to the System Under Test with successive cycles, there are more additions such as Automation Scripts which also need to be reviewed and maintained for each release cycle. Maintenance is a necessity for the improvement of the the effectiveness of Automation Scripts.

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The Benefits and Costs of Automated Testing

There is a big reason to incorporate automated testing into your workflow. Some of its benefits are:

Extensive low-level interface regression testing can be laborious and time-consuming to do manually and it might not always be effective in finding certain classes of defects. There is a possibility of performing this testing effectively. After automated test development which can be run quickly and repeatedly. This is a cost-effective method for regression testing of software products with a long maintenance life.

All testing is about feedback. The main purpose it serves is to provide insight into the robustness of the software solutions being built. Automated testing is different from manual testing. The code is continually measured and validated against expectations.

But, it is an expensive process due to the necessary infrastructure that goes with supporting automated testing. Servers or services may be required to run these tests. These requires maintenance and a database to store test results and report against them.

There’s also managing and maintaining the tests. If you decide to change the software, you have to update tests that will reflect any new assumptions or expectations as to how it should operate and behave. A good automated testing solution will have a way to mitigate against it.

Criteria for Automated Testing Solutions

There are a lot of products that support automated testing which can integrate directly into development environments without supporting infrastructure, or ones that could require a more elaborate configuration. Some could be built to support individual developers, whereas on the other hand, some could be built for scale to support teams. Regardless of the automated testing solution, it is important to consider the following criteria:

  • Type of application or system being testing against
  • Infrastructure required to support automated testing
  • Ways in which tests are authored and integrated into automated testing solution
  • Integration with existing tools and development environments
  • Reporting capabilities from the automated testing solution
  • How tests are run through your automated testing solution

Best Practices for Test Automation

Hire a Dedicated Automation Engineer or Team

This is the first step. Keep your manual testers separate from the team conducting test automation because test automation is a full time job for this dedicated resources are required.

An Automation Tool is Important, But it is not the Solution to Every Problem

Automation tools do not give you everything, only make the process easier. Skilled resources are required to complete the process or to solve bugs in the tools or if they need help in case the tools get stuck identifying complex objects on the application. The hired resources ways to work around the problems.

Select the Automation Tool Familiar to the Resources

Language learning is a time consuming process which can be easily avoided by buying a tool which offers minimal learning curve to your hired resources.

Know the Application Being Tested

Tool selection depends heavily on the technologies currently being used in your product. Know your product inside out before starting the automation. Know the technologies being used in your product, the language it is built upon, the third party controls in use, etc. to help make the tool selection and all future automation easier.

Good Automation Equals Good Manual Test Case

A well written and strong manual test case can avoid automating those test cases that are easy to automate but weak in finding defects. Automating without good test design may result in a lot of activity, but little value.

Writing the test case in manual form is always preferred. You need to identify all prerequisites and test data and then write all the steps in a clear manner along with the expected results in front of each step. The objective should be clear and less dependent on the other test cases.

This activity can help identify bugs even before the automation script is written.

Identify Opportunities with Automation

Don’t just automate all manual test cases as they are. Instead, find further opportunities in the automation process to help you expand the scope of this test case.

Always look for opportunities with automation that are typically difficult to do manually.

Do Not Automate Everything

Automation means running fewer tests more often. Automation is implemented to save time for a manual tester to focus on more important things, not as a replacement.

It is here to replace the repetitive work so that manual testers can use their full focus and strength to find new testing scenarios and bugs. Automate a few valuable and time saving tests that are difficult to do for manual testers.

Use Automation for Other Useful Purposes

Automation is more than programming a manual test case. You can use it to facilitate different operations in your organization.

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Automation is Software Development

If you develop a quality software, it needs best practices such as code reviews to write high quality code, a framework or design pattern to be followed as well as constant maintenance.

All the practices you follow while developing a software should be followed in doing automation. There should be automation framework, code reviews, bug reporting, placement of source code of automation, etc. The more you treat it like software development, the more successful automation will be.