Everything you need to know about Test Automation

What is Test Automation? 

Test Automation is the process of using software to test the functionality of a system. It involves a set of practices of managing test data, running automated tests, and utilizing results to improve the overall quality of software. These tests are often referred to as black box testing since they do not have access to the application’s internal workings. The entire goal and objective of automated testing are to reduce human error and increase efficiency. Automated testing requires several tools and frameworks to achieve these goals. 

Why is Test Automation so important? 

In the realm of sophisticated software development, test automation is essential. Most modern software projects have an excellent potential to implement test automation diligently throughout the project to achieve significant benefits. Plus, it also ensures that you have a consistent product and get accurate results throughout the entire production cycle.  

For some forms of testing, manual software testing is woefully ineffective and quickly loses its viability over time and at scale. It’s also quite challenging to know your product’s actual potency at any given time when using manual testing methodologies.  

While some aspects of testing may be better suited to manual testing, automated testing is usually preferred as it can cover a more significant amount of the project in a more comprehensive and often reproducible manner. 

 

Types of Automation Testing 

A. Unit tests are made to test a single function independently, focusing on a certain component or module. These tests are excellent candidates for automation because they are typically simple by design. Software developers, not QA, often write unit tests. 

B. Integration tests: Testing components as a whole is sometimes referred to as end-to-end testing. Integration tests can be more challenging to set up automatically because they include external dependencies. Despite this, teams frequently settle on simply developing simulated external resources, which is still very beneficial for automating the test. 

C. Automated acceptance: These tests are designed to transform acceptance criteria into automated tests that can then be used as the foundation for automated regression testing once the software modifications have been evaluated for acceptability and put into use.  

D. Regression tests: They may be automated alone or in conjunction with automated acceptance testing. Regression testing verifies that the software is operating to satisfy the requirements that have already been developed and met in earlier iterations of the software project. 

E. Smoke tests: A software testing process is employed to ensure that the deployed software builds and all its dependencies and services are running as required. After deployment or a maintenance window, you can successfully carry out these checks. 

F. Performance tests: These tests are used to evaluate the software system’s resilience to stress. This could indicate higher-than-expected concurrent usage, a large amount of data being saved into the database, etc. Typically, this necessitates some simulation or automation of the performance pressure, such as simulating thousands of users performing particular operations at once rather than attempting to recruit thousands of people to do so actively. 

G. Code analysis: Code analysis is the source code analysis performed without executing programs. These tests can assist in analyzing the code’s quality, style, form, and potential security vulnerabilities and are typically run when developers check in new code. 

H. Black box testing: Software testing that assesses an application’s functioning without looking at its internal components is known as “black box” testing. Practically every level of software testing can use this test approach. 

 

Benefits of Test Automation 

Numerous advantages of test automation exist; some are qualitative, whereas others are quantitative. The tests are categorized as follows:

1. Qualitative benefits

You can increase the test coverage within each cycle with automated test scripts. Test automation helps to accelerate the testing cycle as it shortens the time needed to run the test; hence the test script has to be updated less frequently when the application is changed. You can get qualitative benefits such as quick test script generation, code reuse, and shorter testing lead times. Regression testing is expedited through test automation, which also increases team productivity.

2. Quantitative benefits 

Test automation reduces the increased ROI of the QA (Quality Assurance) cycle by a whopping 80%! Lowering the overall costs and also assisting in cost-optimized organizational efficiency improvement. The time to market for any product also gets significantly shorter, making it an excellent test strategy. 

 

How to move from manual to automated testing? 

Now that you understand what automation testing is and have decided to transition from manual to automated testing, you must ask three critical questions. 

A. What to Automate? 

Not every test or circumstance is a good fit for test automation. And to be honest, we can’t always rely on automated testing all the time as manual testing may occasionally be required or desired.  

You might wonder when it makes sense to employ test automation instead of manual testing. There are several key areas that you can look for before making this choice, even though you should consider each scenario you face to examine the particular circumstances of the problem that needs to be solved. 

Software teams who want to employ automated testing typically start by determining whether the test can be repeated over a period of time. This often entails determining if the test will likely be the same and run in the same manner each time it is applied or if it will be different or will have to be adjusted at least most of the time. Imagine that the settings would need to be manually adjusted during the test execution. That typically suggests that since it currently requires manual intervention, it is less appropriate for automation. 

On the other hand, tests that can be executed precisely the same way each time they are used and are highly repeatable are the perfect candidates for test automation. A repeatable test should typically start with setting up the test, including any relevant data and environmental configurations, running the test function, measuring the test results, and removing the test-related data and environmental variables. The optimum moment to automate a test is probably if your test satisfies all the above-stated requirements without hassle. 

B. How to Automate Testing 

Although there isn’t any roadmap to automate tests, certain factors are considered while automating them, and they are as follows: 

  1. Begin modestly. 100% automation is neither the intended objective nor a realistic goal. It is simpler to maintain and reuse smaller test cases. Move a few tests to an automation platform, execute the tests, review the findings, and decide whether the procedure successfully advances the software development process.  
  2. Move more tests to automation if the operation does result in appreciable gains. Increase the variety of tests being automated in addition to their volume. Please keep in mind that this is still an experimental phase. It’s probable that some tests won’t perform well when automated and will need to switch back to human testing. 
  3. Mapping test cases can achieve better test coverage for each method or function. Label your test cases to make it simpler for the team to identify which test cases to automate. 
  4. Start the automation testing process by manually investigating new application features. Then, depending on commercial and technological priorities, build a risk plan that specifies what needs to be automated. 

C. When not Automated testing? 

Not all tests can indeed be automated; some of them that you should avoid at all costs are listed below! 

  1. Negative and failed tests: We shouldn’t try to automate failover or negative tests because these tests need analytical thinking and a lot of effort from the testers. Negative tests aren’t always easy to determine whether they will pass or fail to provide helpful information. Hence it is better not to automate negative tests. 
  2. Ad hoc tests: The effort to automate an ad-hoc test must be assessed against the criticality of the feature that the tests touch upon. These tests may not always be relevant to a product, which may even be something that the tester could think of at that early point of the project. 
  3. Tests that require a lot of setups: Some tests have stringent prerequisites and need a lot of attention. If these scripts are automated, they will always depend on the third-party software’s functionality and setup, which could be anything and have a complex overall structure. 

 

How to choose the right test automation tools? 

The most frequent query from developers and testers is, “What tool will work best for my task? Or which Test Automation Framework will make my job easier? It would be beneficial to consider various factors before choosing the right automation tools for your needs. 

Think about details like writing the tests and the number of active tests that could be run. When deciding whether to use the automation technologies, take the project’s entire budget into account. As a QA engineer, you should choose an automation solution based on its code-based or codeless capabilities, which can be either open source or paid. Some of the most popular automation testing tools are listed below for your kind reference! 

1) Katalon Studio: It is a scalable and low-code automated testing solution for Windows, iOS, Android, and web apps. The Katalon community has already surpassed 1 million users, and more than 100,000 enterprises have chosen it as their go-to automation solution. 

2) Selenium: Selenium, which was released in 2004, is one of the most widely used open-source frameworks for automating web testing. Selenium WebDriver, Selenium Grid, and Selenium IDE comprise its product suite. 

3) Appium is an open-source testing tool for mobile applications, similar to Selenium. Appium enables customers to create automated UI tests for native, web-based, and hybrid mobile applications on Android and iOS using the mobile JSON wire protocol. 

4) Cypress: Cypress is a developer-centric automation solution for end-to-end web testing that only supports JavaScript frameworks. Built on a novel architecture, Cypress can run concurrently with your application in a browser, providing native access to elements and quicker execution. 

5) ACCELQ: ACCELQ is a cloud-based AI-powered Codeless Test Automation platform that automates Web UI, API, Mobile, and Desktop. It has been demonstrated to triple the pace of automated development and reduce maintenance costs by 70%, resulting in cost savings of over 50% and enabling Continuous Delivery. 

6) Avo Assure: Avo Assure is a no-code and intelligent test automation solution. You can test complex, end-to-end business processes spanning online, mobile, desktop, mainframes, SAP, Oracle, and more, thanks to its support for more than 200 technologies. 

7) Kobiton: Regardless of your preferred automation method, Kobiton makes Mobile and IoT Continuous Testing a reality. Easily automate Functional, Performance, Visual, and Compatibility tests with our AI-driven script-less approach and/or with your favourite open-source and script-based tooling. With Kobiton, ensure comprehensive quality and release at the speed of DevOps. 

8) TestComplete: It is a GUI test automation tool that tests every desktop, web, and mobile application and is used by both technical and non-technical users. 

 

Conclusion: 

Automation testing is an essential component of any testing ecosystem. Comprehensive testing becomes challenging without switching to an automation configuration, as does keeping up with progressively shorter deadlines. To balance and complement manual testing, it is crucial to start automating testing procedures as soon as possible. Don’t be afraid to fail a few times as automating tests take time, so wait until you finally hit the sweet spot that allows successful automation without compromising human validation. 

At AFour Technologies, we offer the best Test Automation Services to our clients in USA and India in consulting, design, and implementation. We partner with software product companies to define test automation as a part of their overall test strategy and define the test automation scope, priority, and process as a part of the overall QA strategy. Be sure to reach out to us by visiting our website at www.afourtech.com if you are interested in learning more or need help with your test automation needs! 



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