An alternative to record and playback tools for Test Automation
In the article, “Why is Record and Playback not suitable for enterprise-class Test Automation?” we examined some of the reasons why Record and Playback tools are not suitable for enterprise-class Test Automation like the complexity in handling dynamic objects/elements of an application, authoring and maintaining test scripts, the amount of manual effort needed, etc.
Record and Playback automated testing tools have been around for some time yet do not match the enterprise-class test automation requirements.
Record and Playback tools can let you get started without much delay, by adding an extension to the browser or by installing a piece of software on the device. However, the initial time saved is compromised by the time spent in editing and re-recording every other feature of the application that is affected when a change is made.
The Record and Playback method cannot be considered an appropriate solution for Test Automation. It can only be considered a variant of Manual Testing. These tools can be used to make your Manual Testing effort easier for small but stable applications that require less or no change.
With AI and ML to maintain these tests, the tools are getting better yet far from the current test automation requirements.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Create stable and reliable tests easily
- 2 Shared Element Repository to reduce maintenance efforts
- 3 Handle dynamic Objects/Elements with ease
- 4 Dynamic locator strategy to reduce maintenance time and effort for UI changes
- 5 Shift-Left Testing for Agile and Continuous Delivery practices
- 6 Applying AI where it is most important
- 7 Reusable Step Groups
- 8 Unified platform for Web, Mobile Web, Android, iOS apps and APIs
- 9 Test Data Management
- 10 Custom Functions
- 11 Local Test Executions
- 12 Screenshots and video logs
- 13 Better Test Management
- 14 Activity and History of your tests
- 15 A few features missing in other tools
What is a better alternative to Record and Playback tools for enterprise-class test automation?
Testsigma is an AI-driven Test Automation tool on the cloud which lets you get started almost instantly to build reliable tests effortlessly. It is rather easy to get started with Testsigma with the flexibility of an enterprise-class test automation framework with no installation/setup hassle.
Let’s see how Testsigma lets you create stable automated tests using simple natural language.
Create stable and reliable tests easily
Test script development in Testsigma is as simple as writing a manual test using natural language. Testsigma takes less time to build stable and reliable tests compared to record & playback and other autonomous script development tools.
Unlike record and playback tools, you know what you are doing exactly when hand-coding the test, you have full control over the tests that you create without the need of programming skills.
All your Functional/SMEs/Test Developers and just anyone can contribute by writing clean, reusable, understandable tests that align with your business documents/process in simple natural language.
Testsigma provides the simplicity that you would get with any record and playback tool along with the flexibility of an enterprise-class test automation framework.
Testsigma has a well-managed Element Repository and uses a methodicalTest Development approach Test Development approach using Element Repository. More importantly, AI & ML is applied to auto-heal the steps through Dynamic Locator Strategy.
With features like Dynamic Locators, organized Element Repository, Test Data Management, Reusable Step Groups and other step level settings, Test Development and Test Maintenance using Testsigma is constructive and well organized right from the beginning and does not need any rework with time.
Maintaining numerous dynamic elements on a web page will be critical to ensure proper maintenance of tests.
Record and playback tools generate duplicate copies of elements and are not reused if already available. This only increases the need to maintain multiple instances of the same element.
Testsigma provides enterprise-class test automation with a shared element repository to avoid all these complications. With AI and other intuitive features, test maintenance is much better than ever.
Handle dynamic Objects/Elements with ease
Modern applications are rendered with lots of dynamic data, rarely with unique attributes to identify elements. In such cases, record and playback tools rely on HTML element hierarchy/absolute paths which is the most unstable and unreliable approach to build automated tests. These steps fail even for a small change in the application page(not just the element).
Testsigma’s ability to define dynamic element paths as part of element repository enables you with the most reliable approach to automate these scenarios.
Dynamic locator strategy to reduce maintenance time and effort for UI changes
The approach Record and Playback tools adopt to identify an element isn’t always reliable as the slightest change in the recorded element or any element on the page can break them easily.
An effective approach would be to use more than just one attribute to identify a particular element. This way, whenever there is a change in these attributes, any of the remaining attributes can be used to identify the element.
This has become a standard practice in many test automation tools. This approach addresses maintenance issues with element attribute changes. Test Automation tools like Testsigma uses AI to create paths dynamically using recorded attributes.
Testsigma not only uses Dynamic Locator Strategy on element attributes but also takes into account the attributes of sibling and parent elements to solve this maintenance issue better!
Many a time, there would be more than just element attribute change. Hence it becomes necessary to consider all the parent and siblings of a particular element to ensure that the tests do not break easily.
Shift-Left Testing for Agile and Continuous Delivery practices
With these tools, you cannot start your automation testing until you have a stable UI to automate.
Because of this either automation testing will be pushed out of the delivery pipeline or the time to release the product continuously is delayed.
Both these are not acceptable for the current fast-paced Agile and Continuous Delivery practices.
Testsigma is ready for Shift-Left Testing right from the planning phase. With Testsigma your automated tests would be 90% complete along with your development and lets you start automating the application even before you have the user interface to automate!
More on Shift-Left Testing: Is your test automation tool ready for Shift Left testing?
Listed below are some of the most important features that match the current test automation requirements.
Applying AI where it is most important
Legacy automation testing tools and approaches like Record and Playback are not sufficient today with the advent of development methodologies like Agile and DevOps that demands faster frequent product releases.
With the need for better and smart automation testing tools, there is a lot of scope for AI in Test Automation. Apart from self-healing tests, Testsigma applies AI to a wider part of Test Automation.
This article on AI-driven Test Automation discusses the areas in which AI can be applied in Test Automation.
Reusable Step Groups
Reusable Test Groups allows grouping of Test Steps that might be used multiple times in the same or different Test cases. This way, the test steps need not be repeated every time and reduces test development keeping the scripts readable and concise.
Unified platform for Web, Mobile Web, Android, iOS apps and APIs
Every team has more than one application types to automate.
Testsigma is one of the first cloud-based automated testing tools to support Web, Mobile Web, Android, iOS apps and API applications on a single platform.
A unified, extendable and secure testing solution is essential to help testers connect thousands of web, mobile devices with different device configurations, in one go. And, does not require multiple teams to automate different application types.
Test Data Management
Test Data is vital to test coverage in test automation. It is important to test every page of the application interface with all possible test data sets to ensure error-free navigations for your customers. It is important to test applications with different data sets and the data can have different scope and can come from different test data sources.
Testsigma provides you with multiple test data types and inbuilt test data repositories to organize and manage all data in one place. By default, Testsigma supports Parameter type test data, Runtime test data, Global test data, Random test data and Function type test data to generate test data using corporate address login.
Testsigma uses a simple and intuitive UI to generate test data to run tests with different data sets to maximize coverage and to cover all the boundary conditions.
How much ever the tools try and cover possible requirements, there might be instances when you’d like to add a couple of tests which cannot be generalized.
You can attune your Test Automation needs with custom functions in such situations. You can extend Testsigma to match custom requirements using one of the widely implemented Java/Selenium approaches.
Local Test Executions
While we are trying to move everything to the cloud, there may be instances which cannot be tested on cloud infrastructure.
Unlike other tools Testsigma enables you with executions on your local environments, to see the executions real-time.
Screenshots and video logs
When your tests execute remotely, it is important to capture all the evidence to debug any failure easily.
Testsigma enables you with not just screenshots but also videos and text logs of your executions to understand the failures faster.
Better Test Management
There may be multiple applications to automate and multiple versions of one application like Web, Android Web, Android Native, iOS Web, iOS Native and Web Services.
Testsigma reduces the operational time and effort involved in managing multiple application types.
Inbuilt Test Management helps you manage all your tests better for better test coverage and productivity.
Activity and History of your tests
It is important to know how your tests have been performing over time, what changed and what has not. Unlike other tools, Testsigma gives all the information on the activity and history of tests.
A few features missing in other tools
Comprehensive Reports, Result Trends, and History, Team Collaboration, Parallel Testing, Cross Browser Testing, Data-Driven Testing, Enterprise-class test automation features.
Testsigma is a test automation tool with the same simplicity of record and playback tools but with enterprise-class flexibility and stability. Testsigma is built to address issues of existing Test Automation tools.
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