What is Automation Testing?
Manual testing is performed by a human sitting in front of a computer, carefully executing the test steps.
Automation Testing means using an automation tool to execute your test case suite.
The automation software can also enter test data into the System Under Test, compare expected and actual results, and generate detailed test reports. Test Automation demands considerable investments of money and resources.
Successive development cycles will require execution of the same test suite repeatedly. Using a test automation tool, it’s possible to record this test suite and re-play it as required. Once the test suite is automated, no human intervention is required. This improved ROI of Test Automation. The goal of Automation is to reduce the number of test cases to be run manually, and not to eliminate Manual Testing altogether.
In this tutorial, you will learn-
- What is Automation Testing?
- Why Automated Testing?
- Which Test Cases to Automate?
- Automated Testing Process
- Test tool selection
- Define the scope of Automation
- Planning, Design, and Development
- Test Execution
- Framework for Automation
- Automation Tool Best Practices
- Benefits of Automation Testing
- Different types of software testing that can be automated
- How to choose an Automation Tool?
Why Automated Testing?
Automated software testing is important due to the following reasons:
- Manual Testing of all workflows, all fields, all negative scenarios is time and money consuming
- It is difficult to test for multilingual sites manually
- Automation does not require Human intervention. You can run automated test unattended (overnight)
- Automation increases the speed of test execution
- Automation helps increase Test Coverage
- Manual Testing can become boring and hence error-prone.
Which Test Cases to Automate?
Test cases to be automated can be selected using the following criterion to increase the automation ROI
- High Risk – Business Critical test cases
- Test cases that are repeatedly executed
- Test Cases that are very tedious or difficult to perform manually
- Test Cases which are time-consuming
The following category of test cases are not suitable for automation:
- Test Cases that are newly designed and not executed manually, at least once
- Test Cases for which the requirements are frequently changing
- Test cases, which are executed on an ad-hoc basis.
Automated Testing Process:
Following steps are followed in an Automation Process
Test tool selection
Test Tool selection largely depends on the technology the Application Under Test is built on. It’s a good idea to conduct a Proof of Concept of Tool on AUT.
Define the scope of Automation
The scope of automation is the area of your Application Under Test which will be automated. Following points help determine scope:
- The features that are important for the business
- Scenarios which have a large amount of data
- Common functionalities across applications
- Technical feasibility
- The extent to which business components are reused
- The complexity of test cases
- Ability to use the same test cases for cross-browser testing
Planning, Design, and Development
During this phase, you create an Automation strategy & plan, which contains the following details-
- Automation tools selected
- Framework design and its features
- In-Scope and Out-of-scope items of automation
- Schedule and Timeline of scripting and execution
- Deliverables of Automation Testing
Automation Scripts are executed during this phase. The scripts need input test data before there are set to 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.
Example: Quality center is the Test Management tool, which in turn it will invoke QTP for execution of automation scripts. Scripts can be executed in a single machine or a group of machines. The execution can be done during the night, to save time.
As new functionalities are added to the System Under Test with successive cycles, Automation Scripts need to be added, reviewed and maintained for each release cycle. Maintenance becomes necessary to improve the effectiveness of Automation Scripts.
Framework for Automation
A framework is a set of automation guidelines which help in
- Maintaining consistency of Testing
- Improves test structuring
- Minimum usage of code
- Less Maintenance of code
- Improve re-usability
- Non-Technical testers can be involved in code
- The training period of using the tool can be reduced
- Involves Data wherever appropriate
There are four types of frameworks used in automation software testing:
- Data Driven Automation Framework
- Keyword Driven Automation Framework
- Modular Automation Framework
- Hybrid Automation Framework
Automation Tool Best Practices
To get maximum ROI of automation, observe the following
- The scope of Automation needs to be determined in detail before the start of the project. This sets expectations from Automation right.
- Select the right automation tool: A tool must not be selected based on its popularity, but it’s fit to the automation requirements.
- Choose an appropriate framework
- Scripting Standards- Standards have to be followed while writing the scripts for Automation. Some of them are;
- Create uniform scripts, comments, and indentation of the code
- Adequate Exception handling – How error is handled on system failure or unexpected behavior of the application.
- User-defined messages should be coded or standardized for Error Logging for testers to understand.
- Measure metrics- Success of automation cannot be determined by comparing the manual effort with the automation effort, but by also capturing the following metrics.
- Percent of defects found
- The time required for automation testing for each and every release cycle
- Minimal Time is taken for release
- Customer Satisfaction Index
- Productivity improvement
The above guidelines if observed can greatly help in making your automation successful.
Benefits of Automation Testing
The following are benefits of automated testing:
- 70% faster than the manual testing
- Wider test coverage of application features
- Reliable in results
- Ensure Consistency
- Saves Time and Cost
- Improves accuracy
- Human Intervention is not required while execution
- Increases Efficiency
- Better speed in executing tests
- Re-usable test scripts
- Test Frequently and thoroughly
- More cycle of execution can be achieved through automation
- Early time to market
Different types of software testing that can be automated
- Smoke Testing
- Unit Testing
- Integration Testing
- Functional Testing
- Regression Testing
- Data Driven Testing
- Black Box Testing
How to choose an Automation Tool?
Selecting the right tool can be a tricky task. Following criterion will help you select the best tool for your requirement.
- Environment Support
- Ease of use
- Testing of Database
- Object identification
- Image Testing
- Error Recovery Testing
- Object Mapping
- Scripting Language Used
- Support for various types of test – including functional, test management, mobile, etc…
- Support for multiple testing frameworks
- Easy to debug the automation software scripts
- Ability to recognize objects in any environment
- Extensive test reports and results
- Minimize training cost of selected tools
Tool selection is one of the biggest challenges to be tackled before going for automation. First, identify the requirements, explore various tools and its capabilities, set the expectation from the tool and go for a Proof Of Concept.
The right selection of automation tool, testing process, and team, are important players for automation to be successful. Manual and automation methods go hand-in-hand for successful testing.