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What is Scripted Testing | How it Differs from Exploratory Testing?

April 25, 2024Ritika Kumari
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What is Scripted Testing and How Does it Differ from Exploratory Testing?
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Many years have passed since the first testing methodology made its way into SDLC processes. At the time, the software testing activities were simple and straightforward: validating the application against user requirements after the development stage was over.

The times moved ahead, and the procedures evolved. Today, several testing types exist under the umbrella term of ‘software testing.’ Two of them are scripted testing and exploratory testing. They both have their own specifications, benefits and use cases that decide where you can use which approach.

“Scripted Testing” is the primary topic of our blog. And our aim here is to help you understand the nuances of scripted testing and its differences from exploratory testing.

We will discuss the definition, benefits, and use cases of scripted testing. Alongside this, we will also highlight some of the major differences between the two testing types.

What is Scripted Testing?

In software testing, scripted testing is an approach where the testing team follows a step-by-step procedure to check the application under test (AUT). The idea is to ensure that all necessary tests undergo execution during the testing phase. Therefore, the testers stick to a script that consists of all the necessary instructions to conduct the testing process.

Prior to starting the software test execution phase, the testing team needs to understand the user requirements, define the test cases, and follow the testing instructions and steps; basically, keep all the documents ready for testing purposes. While QAs can deviate from the script, it is usually nominal, not negatively affecting the testing potential.

Advantages

Scripted testing offers multiple advantages other than maintaining all your test cases and instructions at one central location:

  • Test cases are designed as per requirements, which helps in creating test cases covering functional and non-functional aspects of the applications – according to the requirements
  • Test case tracking is easy as it follows user requirement documents
  • It is easy to access the scripts of other team members as well
  • Scripted testing is beneficial in understanding complex test scenarios where prior planning is necessary
  • It is helpful in identifying and removing redundant test cases, which further supports the move to automated testing
  • It helps in determining usability and GUI issues with accuracy
  • Scripted testing assists testers in gaining proper knowledge about testing the application, even if they lack domain understanding.
  • It is easy to automate and follow through to record and understand the results

Disadvantages

There are some disadvantages to scripted testing that you should know about:

  • It is possible to miss and overlook critical bugs as testers will only follow the test cases document as the reference
  • Designing and planning the test cases are a time-consuming process
  • It is not a suitable approach for a situation that calls for a quick and rapid response

Scripted Testing to Automated Testing

When these scripted test cases are executed repeatedly, automating them makes sense. Automated testing executes test scripts without the need for human supervision and saves time and efforts.

Here is a guide with in-depth discussions on do’s and don’ts of automated testing.

Check out the Guide

When you decide to automate your scripted tests, it is advised to choose the tool that is right for your requirements. Here is a blog that will help you choose the right tool for test automation. Testsigma is a tool that would be right for you if you are looking for:

1. A tool that lets you start your test automation in minutes.

2. Does not need you to be an expert at coding.

3. Lets you automate for web, mobile, APIs and desktop from the same place.

For more features of Testsigma, check here.


When to Use Scripted Testing?

As scripted testing is a group of all things necessary in software testing, there are a few scenarios you should know about to implement this process. For instance, scripted testing is the best approach when working on complex and high-risk applications. Some examples of where scripted testing should be your approach are where time and precision coincide. Applications referring to finances, healthcare, and defense must follow this approach so they do not miss out on any test steps and increase the test coverage to ensure minimal life-threatening bugs.

Here are some of the instances where you would need to use scripted testing:

  • When there are too many test steps, and you cannot risk skipping/missing any, you need to document the test cases.
  • When testers need to run redundant test cases and keep the test document handy
  • Instances where high test coverage is necessary with better testing skills because high-level scripts provide testers with a set of actions to cover all these testing requirements
  • It is well-suited for a testing approach where proper documentation is required so testers can easily follow through with all the testing requirements
  • Scripted testing is the right initial approach for precision-sensitive apps and heavy tools for running test cases and moving toward automation with the intent to eliminate the instances of missed test steps
  • This is the right approach when you are automating the test cases to avoid missing out on any steps to check the application functionality

Exploratory Testing vs Scripted Testing vs Automated Testing


Scripted Testing Exploratory Testing 
Suitable to execute when all requirements and documents are available You can run this testing even when requirements and documents are unavailable 
Comparatively, more preparation is needed  because it can only be done after proper documentation Not much preparation is required 
Testers can even do it without complete domain knowledge Testers require the right domain knowledge  
New testers can easily perform scripted testingExploratory testing is better done by testers with some experience
Tests can be traced back to the original document to understand and analyze the test coverage Without documents, it is difficult to track the tests back to the original requirement documents to understand the test coverage 
Emphasis on adaptability and learning Emphasis is on prediction and decision-making 
Independent of skills of testers Dependent on the skills of testers 
Feedback is slow Feedback is faster 
It is easier to manage the test coverage It is difficult to manage the test coverage 
Can be automated It cannot be automated 
Scripted testing workflow –

Steps are:
1. Go through requirements/use cases
2. Prepare the test scripts
3. Run the test scripts and see if it matches the acceptance criteria
Exploratory testing workflow –

Steps are:
1.Testers explore the application
2. Derive and Execute the test cases per their experience and intuition

When compared to automated testing – scripted testing is easier to automate as the specifications and requirements are clearly outlined, while exploratory is usually unplanned and is not automated.

Here is a guide with in-depth discussions on do’s and don’ts of automated testing.

Check out the guide

Takeaway

Scripted testing is straightforward and easy to follow as it depends on documentation and user requirements. Testers follow this type of testing approach as it helps them follow the right sequence of test cases and record the results for a better analysis. Scripted testing differs from the exploratory testing that QAs use when they have deep technical and domain knowledge about AUT.

We highlighted all the relevant points in this blog about both testing approaches – advantages, disadvantages, and differences between them. Testsigma is a no-code testing automation that supports almost every testing effort, including test data management, results recording. test scripts in plain English, and proper documentation.

For more details, check out the demo and see our tool in action for yourself.

Start Automating your test scripts, in minutes

Check out Testsigma

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is manual scripted testing?

Manual scripted testing involves humans understanding the application, writing test scripts, and then executing them. It involves no automation. Testers carry out the entire process themselves and note down the results for developers and stakeholders to analyze.

What is an example of scripted testing?

An example of scripted testing is a project that uses traditional software development methodologies that consists of detailed documentation along with proper test scripts. If you develop any application using the waterfall model, it is likely to come under a scripted testing approach.

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