We've long believed that automation testing is a wonderful formula for improving the quality of apps right from the start. However, it is only when we begin automating that we grasp the true reality. We frequently confront issues such as deciding when to start automating tests, what tests to automate, how to choose the correct technology, and how to write automation test scripts that follow the best practices.
So let’s discuss all this in detail in this article.
Table of Contents:
What is Test Automation and how does it work?
It is a method in which automation tools run a test suite, perform predetermined actions on a software application, report on the results, compare them, and generate detailed test reports.
Test automation requires financial and human resources, long development cycles, and repeated executions. However, before we begin automating tests, we must first determine the best time for automation, the breadth of automation, and the best tool for automation. It might lead your project to unexpected additional costs if this process is not done properly from the beginning.
Automated tests can be done across several servers during off-peak hours (midnight) and consume a fraction of the time that manual testing takes. This implies that the developer and tester’s time is used in the most efficient way possible, and the team receives faster feedback on code quality.
Criteria for Automation
To be automated, a test must match certain conditions; otherwise, it may wind up costing more than it saves. After all, saving time, effort, and money is a fundamental purpose of automation.
Here are some general test automation criteria. Keep in mind that these are only suggestions. Depending on your circumstances, your criteria may differ.
Repeatable: The test must be able to be repeated. Automating a test that can only be run once makes no sense. The following three steps comprise a repeatable test:
Configure the test, including the data and the environment.
Execute the function and determine the outcome.
Clean up the data as well as the surroundings..
We want to be able to make the environment consistent in the initial phase.
Determinant: When a function is determinant, the result is the same each time it is performed with the same input. The same may be said for automated tests. Let's imagine we wish to put an additional function to the test. We now know that 1+1=2, and that 394.19 + 5.81 = 400.00. The function of addition is determinant. Software, on the other hand, may have such a large number of varied inputs that getting the same result over time is challenging. Some variables may be completely random, making it difficult to predict a specific outcome.
Unopinionated: You cannot automate matters of opinion. This is where usability testing, beta testing, and so forth really shine. User feedback is important, but it just can’t be automated … sorry!
Most devs say software test automation demands considerable investments of money and resources. But UIlicious makes it easy to implement and maintain. We created this all-in-one automation tool with the desire to deliver better web experiences for everyone in mind.
Testing at different levels
A strategy to decide the number of tests to automate is the test automation pyramid. This strategy suggests writing three types of tests with different levels of granularity. The higher the level, the fewer tests there are to write.
Unit testing offers software products with robustness as a firm base. It's simple to write and execute tests when you test particular pieces of the code.
The service layer refers to evaluating an application's services separately from its user interface; these services include everything that the application does in response to a single or multiple inputs.
We have UI testing at the top level, which has fewer tests due to many attributes that make them more difficult to run, such as the fragility of the tests, where a tiny change in the user interface can break a large number of tests, requiring additional maintenance effort.
Type of automated tests
Knowing what are the different forms of automated testing is critical when it comes to integrating test automation in your QA department. This will give you a good idea of how comprehensive a test automation program is, and if you can integrate it into your present quality assurance procedures or not. Furthermore, understanding the various sorts of tests allows you to make informed decisions about which types of testing would produce the best results for your organization.
There are many different types of test automation. The following is a comprehensive list of the most common ones:
Code Analysis: Static and dynamic code analysis tools are just two of the numerous types of code analysis tools available. Some of these checks are for security issues, while others are for style and form. When a developer checks in code, these tests are run. There isn't much test writing to perform with these automated tests other than configuring rules and keeping the tools up to date.
Unit Testing: Unit testing is doing tests on individual components in isolation to ensure that they function properly. It is commonly the first type of automated testing performed on an application because it is usually done during the development phase.
Integration Testing: Integration testing entails testing the application's various elements as a whole. When it comes to automation, integration tests are a unique kind. Integration tests, often known as end-to-end tests, are more difficult to put up since they must interface with external dependencies. When working with resources that aren't under your control, it's often beneficial to construct false external resources.
Performance Testing: Performance testing is putting a piece of software through its paces, stability, and responsiveness while under load. The fundamental goal of performance testing is to detect and eliminate any potential performance bottlenecks so that the program can offer the best results to the end-user. Performance testing is an important part of assuring a product's market success since it helps uncover potential issues that consumers may encounter, such as slow software functioning under a heavy workload.
Regression Testing: Regression testing is a sort of maintenance testing. It entails running functional and non-functional tests again to see if the software behaves the same way it did previously after a code or program change. The software is said to have regressed if the performance is no longer the same. The primary goal of regression testing is to guarantee that existing functionality is not harmed as a result of code changes.
Smoke Testing: Smoke testing, also known as "Build Verification Testing" and "Confidence Testing," is a series of tests designed to evaluate the stability and viability of the software's delivered build. Smoke testing is used to determine whether an application should be shelved due to lack of functioning or moved on to the next stage of testing. Once the generated software functions have been merged with the software build, smoke testing is performed. Any failures in testing at this stage will almost always result in the application being sent back to the development team for changes.
Why use automated tests?
Contrary to popular belief, automated testing can be less expensive than manual testing. You can't conduct repeating tests with manual testing. In reality, the cost of manually testing your application increases over time. Automated testing, on the other hand, is less expensive in the long run since once you've built your test scripts, you can reuse them at any time without incurring additional costs. True, automation adoption is initially costly, but it will quickly pay for itself.
It's important to remember that the amount of the automated testing ROI is determined by the extent of automation adoption. The bigger the return on investment is, the more automated test cases you create and use.
You can save time by automating your tests. Automated tests are quick to complete and can be repeated. To put it another way, you won't have to wait weeks to do the tests again — only a few hours will be enough.
Automated testing accelerates development by taking advantage of their quick execution and repeatability. Transitioning from manual testing to automation will shorten your development time and increase your productivity.
You're more likely to have error-free releases if you use test automation. Automated testing is more accurate than manual testing because it requires less human intervention. The problem is that a human tester can make mistakes at any stage of the review process. The machine, on the other hand, will not cooperate. Because generated test cases are more precise than human testers, you can lower the likelihood of failure by removing human errors.
Another advantage of automated testing is that it provides immediate feedback. Developers receive testing reports instantaneously with fast test execution, so they can react swiftly if a problem happens. Forget about deciphering the code that was written three weeks ago.
When your app is already on the market, immediate feedback is very useful. Manual testing can simply slow down the process if you need to fix some errors immediately. Test automation, on the other hand, will allow you to make quick changes to your application. As a result, automated testing leads to increased team responsiveness, improved user experience, and increased customer satisfaction.
Every developer's commit to the source code must be tested as part of the CI/CD pipeline, and there's no other way to accomplish it fast and efficiently than with test automation. As a result, once you've deployed automated testing, transitioning to Continuous Testing and Delivery will be simple. When the complexity of the code and the number of test cases increases, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage.
The good news is that we created a solution called UIlicious which is an all-in-one automation tool that helps anyone automate tests in minutes, not in hours. With our flexible testing solution, experienced testers, as well as non-coding beginners, can ensure that crucial error scenarios are quickly identified, so users do not encounter any unexpected failures when browsing your website or web app.
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When to use automated testing?
If you're running the same test again and again without altering it, it's likely that automating it would save you a lot of time. That's because having a manual task done on a frequent basis wastes your team's time and is likely to result in additional errors due to inattention.
Human error is no longer a possibility thanks to automation. As a result, the adoption of automated testing can drastically increase quality in particular cases.
The bottom line is that if you can save money while still delivering a high-quality product, do so. This is where automation really shines. Most automation technologies aren't cheap, so the project must be large enough to justify the investment. However, UIlicious has plans starting from $12 a month, which happen to be very cost-effective and pocket-friendly.
Common Misconceptions about Automation testing
It is both true and incorrect that test automation will allow you to have more free time. The majority of manual testing time is spent on exploratory and functional testing, which involves manually searching for faults. Once that process is finished, the manual tester must perform the identical actions over and over again. That time is greatly reduced with automated testing. Instead of writing tests, automation testers spend their time coding them and improving them as needed. However, after the test is completed, automated testing enables for the reuse of tests, eliminating the need to repeat the entire procedure.
Automated testing allows you to concentrate on more important topics like client needs, functionality, and enhancements. Furthermore, the software tests can be run each time the source code is amended. Manually performing these tests is time-consuming and expensive, whereas automated tests can be done repeatedly at no additional cost.
Investing in automated testing may appear to be prohibitively expensive at first, especially if you're a small business. But that's not the case with UIlicious, our pricing is cost-effective because you can create tests fast. Indeed, you don't need to hire an expert who is proficient in a particular coding language to write your tests. Moreover, the monthly fee is derisory compared to most of the similar solutions.
Another prevalent misunderstanding concerning automated testing is that it eliminates the need for human involvement. In all honesty, automated testing is more precise and faster than what people can accomplish without incurring significant human error, thus this misunderstanding is acceptable. This does not replace the need for face-to-face communication in software development. Instead, it increases that aspect by giving an additional communication route.
What to and not to automate
Without necessarily automating tests end-to-end, testing tools can assist with tasks such as product installation, test data creation, GUI interaction, problem detection (think parsing or polling agents equipped with test oracles), defect tracking, and so on.
We shouldn't try to automate negative or failover tests since they need testers to think analytically, and negative tests aren't always easy to offer a pass or fail result that can help us.
Who should be involved with test automation?
With short Agile iterations, testing frequently needs a "shift left" strategy. Because of the shift to the left in the agile development process, testing can begin considerably earlier in the application lifetime. As a result of this strategy, developers with strong technical skills are increasingly being held responsible for testing, and they frequently collaborate with testers to design test automation frameworks. When assessing a testing solution, it's critical to find one that meets the requirements of all team members who will be involved in the testing process. Manual testers, automation engineers, and developers are among them.
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How to automate your tests?
If you are wondering how to start with automation testing, you can follow this easy 5 step process.
1. Select software or tools for testing.
After you've decided which test to automate, you may look at the various testing tools accessible. Consider how a tool will operate with your present software platform before selecting one, as certain tools are better suited to a specific platform. Like UIlicious is a great choice because of its framework-agnostic character and cheaper solutions than most other products out there. Not only is it easy to start, but you also don’t need to master a coding language to implement your automated testing strategy.
2. Determine which tests should be automated.
Choose which test you wish to automate first. Manual and automated testing are used by many software engineers. Certain functionality may need to be manually tested. With UIlicious, you can get started with 0 coding knowledge.
3. Plans, Designs, and Scripts
After you have chosen your tools for automation, plan the design of the framework and its features. Then you can plan automation things that are in-scope and out-of-scope. Next, you can start scripting and execution of schedules and timelines
4. Execute your automated tests
During this phase, automation scripts are run. Before they may be set to run, some scripts require input test data. Once they’ve been run, they generate extensive test reports you can easily analyze and share with your team.
5. Maintain your test scripts
The Test Automation Maintenance Approach is a phase of automation testing that is used to see if the new features added to the software are working properly. When new automation scripts are added, they must be reviewed and maintained in order to improve the effectiveness of automation scripts with each release cycle. UIlicious makes the maintenance easier because the scripting language relies less on CSS and XPATH selectors and more on user behaviors. Indeed, with our testing solution, you are actually creating scripts that are following the user journey you want to verify.
Test automation allows testers to devote more time to exploratory tests, which often uncover more flaws than any automated test. Because of these and other factors, test automation can make you save time and money on all your projects.
And so, UIlicious is there to help you out in this world of automation testing.
Apart from being a flexible and accessible way to start test automation, UIlicious provides precise results after testing, and the reports are also very informative and helpful, especially when looking up the history of past tests. It also provides a monitoring tab where we can see how our automation is progressing. It has a very user-friendly interface, and even non-technical individuals can understand the process.