The 5 W’s of Automated Testing (What, When, Why, Which, and How much?)
Automation Testing or Test Automation is the natural evolution and the long await solution the pitfall ridden manual testing. As the name suggests, Manual Testing is a type of software testing, performed by a human sitting on a computer carefully executing the test steps that go on to certifying that the software works as designed. A simple definition of Software testing is that it is a technique that when performed using special automated testing software tools should be able to handle a test case suite. Besides its core functionality, it can also enter test data into the Test, compare expected and observed outcomes and generate detailed test reports. While it has huge cost and times saving benefits in addition to being fast and accurate, Test Automation demands big investments of money and resources and it usually means a whole existing infrastructure and work processes and culture need upgrade alongside.
The real benefits of Testing development through an automated route show the software goes through its successive development cycles. This is where it needs the execution of the same test suite repeatedly. In the past, the companies had to invest a huge amount of money in hiring people and time in testing software development and even then, like all human processes, it was processed to prone. But with test automation tools, it is now possible to record this repeated test suite and re-play it as and when needed for a test. Once the test suite gets automated, no human intervention is required, it has enough nuance built into it to handle a robust or a specific range of tasks.
What is the IMPORTANCE of automation in the first place?
The primary goal of Automating process is to improve the process, speed, reduce errors and increase profitability. This is when the developer can reduce the number of test cases to be run manually and not to eliminate Manual Testing, as it involved huge time and people costs.
When to do Automation?
An expert would advise to purse automation after careful thought and recommend it be undertaken under the following circumstances.
1. To reduce the cost and hassle of Manual Testing all workflows of all fields and all negative scenarios. This alone can significantly reduce the overall development cost.
2. When software is being developed for multi-lingual purposes, this manual testing can stress the developer’s budget, automation, not only standardizes the process but also delivers and consistent product.
3. A simpler, but a very important advantage is the process doesn’t’ need human supervision or intervention and the system needs no rest. A human performs with testing with errors 8 hours a day, but an Automated tool can run error-free test cases indefinitely.
4. Because of the above-described advantages, when the need of the hours is speed, Test Automation is the answer.
5. As it saves time and it is very robust, it inherently allows developers to do more Automation testing helps increase Test Coverage, thus resulting in a superior product.
6. And this cannot be stated, enough, Manual Testing is very boring and hence error-prone, a human error is far harder to detect both for the party committing the error and the party who has solved it. Whereas a part of the process, in automation can be decomposed and handled for problems individually.
Which Test Cases Merit Automation?
While just about all repeatable or semi-repeatable process with varying levels of robustness can be automated but the guiding principle above must be increasing efficiency, timesaving, improving quality and standard which should then organically result in better business results. There is are certain criteria for selection, or questions that decision-maker can ask before deciding to invest in automating parts of the business. The processes that are High Risk - Business Critical test cases or those that are repeatedly executed or are very tedious or difficult to perform manually or are time-consuming.
Also given below are a few examples when automation should be avoided. For example, in Test Cases where news designs and not yet executed manually at least once or when the requirements are frequently changing or when the testing is done on an ad-hoc basis.
What is in it for the Automator?
So far, we saw all that we need to do to benefit from it and now let us look at some of the Benefits of Automation Testing.
Well for starters, it is 70% faster than manual testing, as recorded and studied across. It also offers wider test coverage of application features and a higher degree of Reliability in results. As they follow the same code or protocols the testing results Ensure Consistency and this, in turn, saves more time and cost, while being more accurate than manual testing.
As Human Intervention is not required while execution, the chance of errors is lesser and machines perform at a rate which is light years ahead in speed, thus the stakeholder can reap the benefits of Increased Efficiency.
Software development must be done in time bound fashion for it is both relevant for the consumer and can be developed in a time, which also lets the developer benefit from development. This is better possible in automated test scenarios because of better speed in executing tests and most of them tend to be Re-usable test scripts, which can run tests frequently and thoroughly. Moreover, when time is saved and effort is saved, it can be better invested in more cycles of execution and thus achieve a faster time to market TAT.
Types of Automated Testing
Automation test Types define the kind of test suites that can be automated. Following is the list of types of testing:
1. Smoke Testing:
Smoke tests are post-build tests, that are executed immediately after any build is given out of the application. This is done to ensure that the application is still functioning for its designed purpose after the build is done. It is a small test and executed multiple times.
2. Unit Testing
Automated Unit tests test the code level Bugs, which get identified in the functions, methods, and routines enlisted by the developer. Because the test runs as a unit, every time the code compiles, all unit tests are run which reveal the if the functionality is working. A unit test fail means a bug present in the production code. Most popular tools include NUnit and JUnit.
3. Integration Testing
Integration phase involves running API tests. Both the development and testing team and run these before or after the UI layer is built. These tests are based on the request and response on which the application is built.
4. Functional Testing
This form of testing deals with how applications functions, or its relation to the users and especially to the rest of the system. A team of testers, independent of the developers, does functional testing.
5. Keyword Testing
The Keyword-driven testing, also known as table-driven testing or action word based testing, deals with a functional automation testing framework, wherein a table format is used, usually, a spreadsheet, to define keywords or action words for one function each that we would want to execute.
6. Regression Testing
Automated regression testing uses the tools that are computer-based and the techniques in testing software after its changes or updates. It involves a test automation process applying the workflow, plan, scripts, and other processes within a regression testing methodology.
7. Data-Driven Testing
DATA-DRIVEN TESTING saves the test data in a table or spreadsheet format. This test automation framework lets automation engineers to use a single test script that can run tests for all the test data in the table.
8. Black Box Testing
Black box testing tests the functionality of an application without looking at the code or internal structure. In this form of software testing, any test, which examines the interface of the application, is considered black-box testing.
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