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How can you Ensure Comprehensive Automation Testing?

Automation testing has become pivotal for developers and testers. It provides insights into the comprehensive testing of components, indicating if further enhancements are necessary. Insufficient test coverage heightens the risk of more bugs in production.

Hence, achieving maximum test coverage is essential before software deployment.

What is Automation Testing?

Automation testing refers to a software testing method that employs specialized automation testing tools to execute a suite of test cases automatically, delivering quicker and more precise results compared to manual testing approaches.

The process of repetitively running the same test suite manually is time-intensive. By utilizing an automation testing tool, it becomes easier to script the test suite, replay it as necessary, minimize human involvement, and improve the Return on Investment (ROI) for testing efforts.

Through automation testing, you can seamlessly input test data into the System Under Test, compare anticipated outcomes with actual results, and generate comprehensive test reports. Although it requires an allocation of funds and resources, automation testing proves to be a valuable investment for organizations seeking to streamline their software testing processes.

Determine which cases to automate

Determining which test cases to automate is crucial since attempting to automate all tests is challenging.

The advantage of automated testing lies in its repeatability. Tests that are executed infrequently are better suited for manual testing. Optimal test cases for automation are those that run regularly and necessitate substantial data to perform consistently.

To maximize the benefits of automated testing, consider automating the following:

  • Repetitive tests across multiple builds: Tests that are recurrently run in various builds
  • Tests prone to human error: Automate tests that tend to be error-prone when manually executed.
  • Tests requiring diverse data sets: Cases demanding multiple datasets to execute identical actions
  • Frequently used functionality with high-risk conditions: Automate tests for functionalities carrying high risks.
  • Tests impractical for manual execution: Cases unfeasible or challenging to conduct manually
  • Tests across different hardware or software platforms: Tests that need to run on various configurations
  • Time-consuming tests: Automate tests that demand significant time and effort during manual execution.

Successful test automation hinges on meticulous planning and design. Start by outlining an automation plan to identify the initial test set for automation and guide future tests. Define the goal for automated testing and choose the types of tests to automate.

Once you've outlined your goals and test types, specify the actions your automated tests will undertake. Opt for smaller, focused tests rather than complex, all-encompassing ones. Dividing tests into logical, smaller components makes test environments more manageable, facilitates test code and data sharing, and enables easy updates for new functionality.

Evaluate the application's functionality incrementally as it's implemented, instead of waiting for the complete feature to be ready.

Keep tests small and focused on singular objectives, like distinct tests for read-only and read/write actions. Later, group these smaller tests into larger ones for more comprehensive coverage. Organize tests by functional areas, application divisions, common functions, or test data, and establish a test tree if needed to execute tests in a specific order or when one test references others.

Why is Automation Testing Essential?

Automation testing significantly enhances efficiency, broadens test coverage, and augments execution speed in software testing. Several reasons underscore the criticality of Automated Testing:

  • Enhanced Accuracy: Automation testing curtails the likelihood of human errors as automated tests strictly adhere to predefined steps. They eliminate the chances of human testers introducing errors, such as skipping certain steps during test execution.
  • Increased Speed: Automated tests can operate continuously and concurrently, 24/7, without human intervention, accelerating test execution and diminishing overall testing duration.
  • Consistency: In continuous testing scenarios like regular regression test runs, automation suites are indispensable. With automation testing, test cases consistently execute in the same manner every time, aiding in rapid identification and resolution of new issues, thereby boosting confidence in software quality.
  • Cost Savings: Projects employing advanced infrastructures or various application types realize the most significant automation Return on Investment (ROI). While initial automation setup incurs costs in terms of time, technologies, and human resources, the long-term gains in accuracy, speed, and consistency are assured.
  • Enhanced Test Coverage: Automated test suites can be reused across multiple browsers, devices, and operating system combinations. Instead of repetitive test steps, focus on the primary environment your users access and initiate testing. Employing cloud environments is also beneficial for testing on older browser versions, devices, and operating systems.
  • Improved Test Reusability: Once created, automated tests can be stored and reused across multiple systems effortlessly, sparing testers from recreating and executing tests for each cycle.
  • Continuous Testing: Automated tests can run frequently at various stages of the development process or even integrate into the development pipeline, executing automatically each time new software changes are made, be it during development, integration, or after deployment.

Comprehensive automation testing

Let’s have a look at how to perform efficient and comprehensive automation testing.

Dividing your Automated testing

  • Splitting your automated testing efforts depends on the proficiency of your QA engineers. Identifying their skills and experience is crucial to assigning tasks effectively. For instance, writing automated test scripts demands expertise in scripting languages. Therefore, individuals well-versed in the scripting language provided by the automation testing tool are ideal for these tasks.

These tests are often viewed as an alternative to automated test scripts, suitable for technical and non-technical users, enabling various skill levels to create robust tests.

  • Collaboration among QA engineers is vital for an effective automated testing project. Leveraging the right automated testing tool allows multiple testers to share projects, enhancing defect detection efficiency.
  • Developing quality test data is crucial, especially for data-driven testing. Test data, often stored externally, can be read from databases, text/XML files, Excel sheets, or database tables. Comprehensive automated testing tools understand these data file contents, iterating through them during tests.
  • External data makes tests reusable and simpler to maintain. Tools like TestComplete offer features like Data Generator, simplifying data creation for data-driven tests. This tool generates various data types, saving time preparing test data.
  • Crafting structured test data is essential, despite being a tedious task. Well-structured test data streamlines automated test creation. Creating good-quality data early in the testing phase eases test extension alongside application development.
  • Automated tests, whether scripted or through keyword tests, rely on the application's interface. Changes in the UI between builds can affect test outcomes or render tests incompatible with future application versions. Automated testing tools identify and locate objects using properties, sometimes even relying on location coordinates. If UI elements change, tests might fail.
  • Providing unique names for controls ensures test resilience to UI alterations, preventing the need for extensive modifications in the test structure when the application evolves. This practice eliminates dependence on unstable location coordinates, boosting test stability.

Ensuring Stability of Environment and Application Under Test (AUT):

Stability in both the AUT and testing environments is crucial to maintaining consistent automated testing results. Unstable applications lead to reworking automation scripts with every release, negating the purpose of automation.

Choosing the Right Automated Testing Tool:

The selection of an appropriate tool is pivotal to effective automated testing. Consider aspects like:

a. Application Technology: To choose a compatible tool, understand the application type (web, desktop, mobile).

b. Platforms and OS: Ensure the tool supports the platforms and operating systems required for your application.

c. Skillset Available: Assess your team's skills in scripting languages; consider training, hiring, or using scriptless automation tools if there's a mismatch.

d. Cost of the Tool: Analyze the cost factor based on whether the tool is open-source or licensed and how it aligns with your budget.

LambdaTest is a cloud-based AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform. The platform seamlessly integrates with CI/CD pipelines, facilitating smooth testing across a wide spectrum of more than 3000 browser and operating system combinations. This empowers developers and testers to effectively assess their web and mobile applications, guaranteeing superior performance and compatibility across diverse platforms and devices.

By harnessing the capabilities offered by LambdaTest, teams can optimize their testing procedures, detect and address problems early, and ultimately deliver top-notch applications to their user base.

Adherence to Programming Design Principles

Follow established programming principles for scripting in automated testing to create maintainable and reusable frameworks.

  • Simplify Test Design: Maintain simplicity in test design for easy comprehension and maintenance, keeping test data and scripts separate, enabling test case independence.
  • Utilize Screenshots, Logs, and Detailed Reports: Select a framework that generates detailed reports, logs, and screenshots for effective debugging and issue identification.
  • Regular Review and Removal of Outdated Tests: Periodically assess and eliminate redundant or obsolete test cases to avoid unnecessary resource consumption.
  • Implement Clear Naming Conventions: Use self-explanatory names for test classes, methods, fields, and variables to enhance readability and easily identify failed/passed tests.

Adopting these automated testing practices can significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the testing process.

Conclusion

Automated testing stands as an important element in software development, assuring application quality and dependability while minimizing the time and labor needed for manual testing. By employing suitable tools and methodologies, businesses can enhance the pace and precision of their testing procedures, identifying glitches earlier in the development phase and, in turn, providing superior products to their clientele.

Expanding the scope of automated testing can accelerate feedback within DevOps pipelines, potentially lowering the expenses associated with test execution, ensuring heightened precision, and liberating essential resources for exploratory testing and other valuable tasks.

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