What is Automated Testing?

Automated software testing is a software testing technique in which testers leverage automated software tools for executing test cases. Automating the test suite helps in saving time and effort required in performing repetitive and resource-heavy tasks that are difficult to perform manually.

Here’s a read that will guide you when to choose a test automation framework over manual testing.

With today’s modern development architecture and delivery methods, it is crucial for every software dependent business to invest in automated software testing to release quality software products faster than ever before. Automated software testing simplifies the testing processes with minimum effort and has a positive impact on the quality of the software releases, their associated costs, and time to market.


Why Is Test Automation Important?

Here are some of the key reasons why automated software testing is important for software businesses -

If we could have all the usable test data stored or documented at a single place (a storage facility), it would save us a lot of time that would otherwise be spent in creating different test cases using different types of test data. And if we were to find a way to build an automated process that uses data in this file to run multiple times without any manual effort, we have the perfect solution

Cost Effective - With time, the cost of manually testing your apps rises, but if you are executing the same test cases repeatedly or can save effort via automation then you can save money in the long-term.

Time Effective - Automated tests can save you a significant amount of time as regression and other repeated tests can even run at nights.

High Productivity - With automated testing, developers and testers have to spend less time on testing which they can utilize on performing critical tasks or creating new features.

Enhanced App Quality - Automated testing can help expand the test coverage which ensures the quality and performance of the app.

Quick Feedback - Automated testing facilitates instant feedback to the developers who can take quick action to fix defects if any.

Looking for a tool to automate your complex testing requirements? Here are some points to keep in mind!

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Automated Testing vs. Manual Testing

Here are some of the major differences between automated testing and manual testing:

  • In automated testing, tests are executed automatically with the help of an automation tool where human intervention is not required, whereas in manual testing, tests are executed by a human.

    Manual testing is a hands-on technique where the testers need to get involved in everything from test creation to test execution, whereas in automation testing, testers leverage tools to write test scripts and then automate the test execution

  • As automated testing helps in executing more test cases, the test coverage is higher in automated testing than manual testing

  • Automated testing is less time consuming and more efficient than manual testing

What Are The Common Challenges In Test Automation?

Though automated testing is much more efficient than manual testing, there are some challenges associated with it, such as -

Learning Curve - Most of the automation tools have a steep learning curve as they are code-based tools and coding is required from test creation to test maintenance.

Unrealistic Goals - It is important to set realistic goals and expectations from automated testing and should be mixed with other forms of testing and analysis to get optimum software quality.

Flaky Tests - Another challenge in most tools including Selenium is flaky tests. The test scripts often break if there is any change in the application.

Lack Cognitive Ability - Automated tests will only check the parts which they have been programmed to check and it will fail to detect failures where it is not programmed to detect.

Testsigma is a codeless test automation tool which is built to address the challenges being faced by the test automation industry. It lets you create tests as easily as writing a test in simple English and uses artificial intelligence to automatically heal the tests where possible.

Checkout other features of Testsigma here.


Test Automation vs. Automated Testing

Though Test Automation and Automated Testing seem to be just two different ways to say the same thing, they actually have different meanings.

Automated testing is executing various specific tests with the help of automation such as a set of regression tests. Test automation, on the other hand, is the process of automating the tracking and managing of different tests.

For an organization to have maximum gains from their test automation practices, it is essential to give both equal importance.


Checklist To Implement Test Automation

Here are the best practices for implementing test automation:

Don’t Try to Automate Everything - Most people just dive straight in and try to automate everything which is not the ideal way. You should automate tests that are repetitive, tests that tend to cause human error, tests that need multiple data sets, etc.

Have a Clear End Goal - Not having a crystal clear end goal can lead to issues at the end. Try to analyse what state your app is in and then try to automate what seems to be crucial.

Mapping Testing Process - A good strategy is to map your current approach to testing and then integrate the test automation where exactly you need it, in the best possible way

Use Existing Development Language - It is good to go with the existing language which the developers have used as it will speed up the level of automation coverage

Check a detailed list of best practices for automation in agile and continuous delivery here


Why automated testing is essential for CI/Cd

Automated testing is very crucial for implementing CI/CD as with quality automated tests running at scale, developers can get the test results within minutes which helps them to work on the defects or key issues straight away.

One of the main features of CI/CD is to test more frequently and reduce the manual work on the developers. Hence, automation of tests plays a key role in organizations that are planning to maximize the value of CI/CD.

Checkout a test automation tool that is made to solve all your CI/CD woes

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Is low code replacing test automation

Low code/codeless testing is helping the current Agile and DevOps scenarios to continuously release quality software faster than ever. The complex, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks are easily manageable by these low code testing tools such as Testsigma. Team members who can not code can easily perform automation testing quickly and effortlessly.

However, the intention of low code test automation is not to replace test automation but to aid it. Human effort, time, and attention can be utilized for specialized tasks such as making the testing process better, resolving complex issues in projects, better test coverage, innovating novel solutions, etc

Currently, low code/codeless test automation tools are working in tandem with the traditional test automation to provide astonishing quality results with low human effort and time.

Easy Handling of Changes - As there are numerous small changes in the application as it progresses, managing each and every small change becomes easy with automation

Read more about codeless automation tools here .


Types of automated testing

  • Regression tests:

    They are ideal for automation testing because of their repetitive nature and huge test suite size.

  • Unit tests

    The smallest units of code are tested using automation, during the early development stages.

  • Integration tests

    They help to certify the seamless interaction between modules and are really critical for any software.

  • Smoke tests

    Checks major functionalities of the software are working when an initial new build is deployed.

  • Data-driven tests

    Huge data inputs, outputs, and results are easily managed through automation testing, which would otherwise incur enormous manual time and effort.

  • Keyword-driven tests

    They are popular today, because of the flexibility, reusability, and clarity keyword-driven tests provide.

  • Performance tests

    These tests help test the speed, responsiveness, and stability of the application under test, and most can be performed only with help of an automation tool.


What Are Some Common Test Automation Tools?

Some of the most common automated testing tools are:

Selenium - It is the most popular automated regression testing tool for automated web application testing. Majority of the browser vendors have made Selenium an integral part of their browsers

Testsigma - It is a cloud based, AI-driven test automation platform that helps you automate your web application testing, automated mobile application testing , and APIs from the same place with ease of writing the test cases in simple English.

TestComplete - A functional test automation platform that can help you create reusable automated tests across mobile, web, and desktop

Robotium - It is a automation testing framework for Android and supports hybrid and native apps

SoapUI - It is an open source app for automated web application testing for SOA and REST. It is useful in automated functional testing, load testing, and compliance testing

Watir - Watir is a tool that uses Ruby libraries, open source library, to automate web browsers

Here's a detailed comparison table of popular automated testing tools and how they compare with each other

Check comparison

Types of Test Automation Frameworks

Here are the six types of automation frameworks that are used commonly:

Linear Automation Framework - In this framework, all the test steps are written one after the other in a sequential order

Modular Based Testing Framework - In this framework, the app is divided into “functions” and “sections” and each of them are tested in isolation

Library Architecture Testing Framework - It is largely based on modular framework with an added advantage of higher degree of reusability

Data-driven Framework - In this framework, test data is separated from script logic which allows testers to store data externally

Keyword-driven Framework - In this framework, test data and script logic are separated but keywords are all stored in an external data table

Hybrid Testing Framework - As the name suggests, it is a combination of both data-driven framework and keyword-driven framework


How To Choose Which Tests To Automate?

The types of test cases which have plenty of complex manual scenarios and require a lot of data should be automated. A test case should be automated if -

  1. It will save significant amount of time

  2. The tests are going to be repeated

  3. The tests are stable, not risky, and unlikely to change

  4. The tests are error prone if done manually

  5. The test has several downtime between steps

You can automate test cases, based on these qualifications which will increase the ROI on the test automation.

For a more details on what to automate and how check here

Get notified of affected resources due to a failure. Create test plans with impacted tests automatically for any change in your application.

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What kinds of software tests should be automated first?

Here are the three types of test cases which should be automated first -

Unit Testing - Unit testing is the fastest testing method, hence should the first to automate. They are easier to debug, highly reusable and get fixed at low costs

Integration Testing - Integration testing should be on priority for automation as integration tests make sure that everything is working as per the expectations

Functional Testing - Running functional tests upfront will help you identify the flaky tests, so it is good to automate functional tests on priority

Cross Browser Testing - If there are the same kinds of tests that are being executed on multiple browsers multiple times then automating them will save a good amount of time for sure.

Here’s a blog on how you can prioritize and automate test cases.


How To Handpick Manual Tests?

Smoke Testing - It focuses on verifying the proper functioning of the core functionalities of the app

Exploratory Testing - In exploratory, the tester to test the app based on their curiosity without any set guidelines or structure

Negative Testing - It checks how the app responds or behaves to invalid inputs

Usability Testing - Usability testing is done to ensure the user-friendliness of the app by observing the reaction of the user

Acceptance Testing - It focuses on how the application is capable in meeting the user’s needs and expectations


Building a test automation framework for your DevOps team

Frameworks are the base of test automation as they provide reusable components that can be utilised for creating custom automation tests. Building a test automation framework and test environments require a lot of effort from tech experts.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while building an automation framework for your DevOps team:

  • Companies should automate workflows to reduce testing time and costs and bugs should be tracked and fixed quickly

  • Focusing on achieving the full test coverage

  • Searching the automation experts having the right skills

  • Maintaining excellent communication and collaboration between the teams

If test automation frameworks are implemented properly, they can significantly reduce test suite maintenance costs during DevOps.

For more detailed reading on this topic, check here


5 Rules for successful test automation

Here are the 5 rules for successful test automation -

Automation Improves the Process - It is crucial to understand that automation just improves a process that you already have, but it does not replace it. Automating a good process can amplify the results for you.

Building a Dedicated Team - Having skilled professionals can guarantee the quality you expect and also reduces the burden on the developers.

Automating the Right Things - Don’t expect to automate everything. Test automation is ideal in some specific situations, but not work well everywhere.

Treat Automation as Another Development Project - Put specifications on what automation will do and it will not. You need to plan, monitor, and manage automation just like any other project.

Automation Metrics - Metrics matter a lot in the success of automation as this is how you will justify the investments. Check the time and money you can save annually with automation as compared to manual.

Also checkout the best practices for test automation here


How To Choose A Test Automation Tool?

Selecting an ideal test automation tool is one of the most crucial decisions for a software company before the starting of automation.

Here are a few things that you should consider before selecting an automation tool -

Understand the Project Requirements - It is important to get a deep understanding of the project requirements including the nature of your app, what you need to automate, and the amount of test cases to be automated

Consider an Existing Tool as a Benchmark - You can consider an existing automation tool such as Selenium as a benchmark to determine the best tool for your project

Ease of Maintaining Scripts - You should consider a tool in which developing and maintaining the test scripts is simple to save time and effort.

Ease of Test Execution for Non-technical members - Analyse how simple the test execution is and whether a manual tester having little to no technical language can easily perform it.

With Testsigma, you don’t have to worry about the technical aspects as it is codeless and uses simple English for test cases and has an intuitive UI which makes it easily accessible even by non-technical members.

Easy Effortless automation testing for all! One tool for all your continuous testing needs.

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Testing Needs - First and foremost, understand your testing needs and whether the tool suits your project environment, technology, and all the objects used in the code.

Budget - Once you have the deep understanding of your project, it’s time to analyse whether the tool match your budget

Learning Curve - It is also important to analyze the learning curve of the tool and whether the learning time is acceptable for your goals

Coding Language - It makes sense to invest in a tool that supports most of the coding languages on your projects

Tool Version Stability - Check whether the current version of the tool is stable or not and the company has good reviews, customer support, and help resources online

Read 10 things you need to know before choosing a test automation tool.


Setting Up Your Own Test Automation Environment

You can easily install your own test automation environment and run tests using Selenium WebDriver and also integrate it with other commercial tools, including LambdaTest, SauceLabs, and BrowserStack. WebDriver is an API that calls browsers to automate it and is ideal to run automated tests.

Different browsers need different drivers to allow WebDriver to communicate with them. Most of the environments have a framework that installs WebDriver.


Cloud automation testing

When automation is done using resources on the cloud, it is termed as cloud automation testing.

According to a stat listed here: 90% of companies are on the cloud. So, testing their application using resources on the cloud makes sense too.

Test automation on cloud offers a wide range of benefits including almost zero initial time and cost, 24/7 access to resources, better team collaboration, multiple test environments support, and faster app reach to the market. Thus, we can say that cloud automation testing is something that is here to stay.

Testsigma is a test automation tool that is completely cloud-based. Being on the cloud, the time to setup is almost negligible. Also, most third party integrations and configurations are as easy as plug and play. With the support for test automation on 5 cloud device providers, ability to automate your tests on web, mobile, APIs from the same place and very easy test creation ecosystem - Testsigma saves your time and cost throughout your test automation journey.


Best automation testing tool - a few features of the tool

You might have decided that you want to start with automation. But if you don’t choose the right tool for automation then you might not see the ROI you wanted.

Testsigma is a cloud-based test automation tool that uses simple English and an intuitive UI to increase the speed of test automation by upto five times. WIth no coding, or tools knowledge required, writing automation tests is as simple as writing manual tests. It brings both the power of manual and automated testing to meet all the requirements of a software organization.

With Testsigma, you can actually start seeing a positive slope in your ROI graph from day one.

Did you know Testsigma is now open source!?

View on GitHub


Examples of automated testing include unit testing, integration testing, functional testing, regression testing, and acceptance testing.

The common mistakes while performing automation testing are:

  • Choosing the wrong automation tool : Different testing requirements for an application may call for different automation testing tools. E.g. Cross-browser testing will require an automation testing tool which supports testing on varied browsers, devices, and platforms. For API testing, another that supports it.

    Hence, it is recommended to first identify the requirements thoroughly and then choose an appropriate automation tool. Open-source is not the answer to all our automation issues, for saving the budget we cannot put our precious efforts and time into creating things from scratch. Also, with the help of automation testing tools, we can have better quality, time management, ease of use, availability of real devices/platforms, and detailed reporting. Here’s a blog you may like.

  • Choosing wrong test cases for the automation: We cannot just pick the manual test cases one by one and start automating them. It is a wrong approach, we need to pick test cases wisely for a good ROI (Return On Investment). For example: repeating test cases is an ideal choice for automation.

  • Lack of training: If the team is unaware of the programing language of the automation framework, the learning and training time gets added to the time invested in development. It is always better to use codeless automation tools or pick a tool which the team already knows about. Learning Testsigma does not require any coding skills and we can start using it immediately by writing test cases in simple English. See the demo here.

Below test cases can be automated in testing:

  • Repeating test cases. E.g., regression tests, sanity tests

  • Test cases which are prone to human error. E.g. tests involving complex calculations

  • Data-driven test cases, where only the data changes

  • Performance tests are difficult to perform manually.

  • Cross-Browser testing

  • Time-consuming test cases e.g. overnight running test cases

  • Rarely run test cases which will be run only once during testing can be skipped for automation testing.

  • Usability test cases which test the user experience cannot be tested effectively using automation testing.

  • Ad-hoc and exploratory test cases where human eye-for-detail is required are bad candidates for automation testing.

  • Unpredictable test cases, which have variance in the test results every time they are run cannot be automated.

  • Test which cannot be fully automated.

  • Decide why automation testing is required in the project?

  • Decide the budget for automation tool licensing, training, etc.

  • Select the right automation tool which will cover the testing requirements perfectly.

  • Select the right set of people for the team, who already have the knowledge, training, and mindset for automation.

  • Select the correct automation framework- data-driven, keyword-driven, modular or hybrid, etc.

  • We cannot automate everything, so decide what to automate and what not.

In the wake of DevOps and Agile development methodologies, we are frequently hearing terms automation testing and test automation being used frequently. Although they may sound like two names for the same thing actually they are entirely different. However, the end goal of the both is same to provide high-quality, fast, managed, maintained, and CI/CD-based software development.

Automation Testing

Test Automation

Deals with writing, running, and verifying the test cases automatically, in order to find bugs and improve the quality of the software.

Deals with managing, tracking, and controlling the whole testing needs of the organisation during continuous testing.

Present since traditional testing times, where the testing was performed towards the end of the development cycle.

Introduced during the DevOps model, where the software is developed and tested in small chunks continuously.

It works mainly for the benefit of the

Works for the benefit of the whole

developer and tester by providing a high-quality application as a result.

organisation by continuous communication, tracking, feedback, monitoring of the CI/CD process.

Uses mainly automation tools/frameworks for creating test cases, executing them, and recording the evidence. E.g. Selenium

Uses other tools in addition to the existing automation tools. E.g. Jenkins, Ansible, etc.


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