Test Maintenance: Guide On How to Maintain Automated Tests

Test Maintenance: Guide On How to Maintain Automated Tests

A clean test script is a good test script.

But a well-maintained test script is the best.

And while developers work hard to add/update application features, the well-maintained test scripts pick out tiny mistakes that slip into the code. You can turn to automation testing to fix the mistakes in the software, but what if the test cases themselves are wrong? Maintenance testing helps here. It keeps the tests up to date, ensures AUT quality, and increases overall test coverage. Both manual and automation tests require regular maintenance. And for this blog, we will focus on the latter and discuss all the possible scenarios you can implement to maintain your automation tests.

Here’s our take on test maintenance and why you should think sincerely about implementing it for your business.

What is Test Maintenance?

Test maintenance is the process of repairing test cases so they stay updated with continuous code changes.

Often, businesses have codes that keep changing as new updates get added to the application. Test maintenance ensures that your test script, manual or automation, stays up to date with the changes in code. With regular test maintenance, your business will save costs and time with high-quality tests by your side. For example, if the identifying attribute of a UI element (Id or class or Xpath) changes, even the test needs to accommodate that change to avoid failure.

There are multiple tools you can use for test automation. Some of those tools have features that reduce the test maintenance time, like Testsigma. Testsigma supports self-healing. It automatically detects the changes in the attributes of web elements and updates them so that tests don’t fail. Keep reading, and you will learn how Testsigma keeps your test cases up-to-date with the changes made in the code.

Why Is Test Maintenance Crucial to Software Development?

Test maintenance is crucial because it lowers the time and cost of writing tests. With test maintenance, you don’t need to keep working on new tests; add/delete the information from the existing ones. It simplifies testing, consistently maintains test quality, and improves automation testing scripts to run complex tests.

Types Of Maintenance Testing

When working on maintaining tests, there are two types of maintenance testing every tester needs to work on:

Confirmation Maintenance Testing

This maintenance testing type checks the modified code. While conducting this type of maintenance testing, you need to monitor every small and big modification in the code to ensure there are no functionality or downtime issues.

Regression Maintenance Testing

This type focuses on testing the existing functionality and comes after the confirmation maintenance testing phase. It checks the complete software after the code change to ensure the existing functions do not encounter any issues. It is called Regression testing.

How do You Maintain a Test?

To maintain a test, you can keep changing the script to follow the code changes. Just monitor the modifications in the code and change the data/steps in the test script accordingly. But do you think this is a feasible way to maintain a test? What if a major release influences multiple areas of the application, and you would need to change every test script manually? The process seems tedious and highly time-consuming, and even prone to errors. And manually maintaining the scripts is not the right approach in the long term. But whatever your case, manual or automation, here are some of the best practices for you to follow when maintaining a test is not a one-man’s job.

What are Some Best Practices for Test Maintenance?

Below are some simple steps that make test maintenance easy:

  • Build a clear and accessible test maintenance design where team members can easily communicate. You can achieve this by meticulously planning the test cycles and utilizing all the resources available to you. For example, if a tester worked on a test script for a certain feature, keeping everyone in the loop and being open to adapting changes to the test plan will help your team in maintenance testing.
  • Use a standard template for all test cases during automation
  • Try to create reusable tests or use a tool that supports reusability
  • Add testing as a critical part of SDLC during the development itself. This means adopting the shift-left testing technique and going for CI/CD approach.
  • Write test cases and scripts with maximum coverage in the first instance, so you won’t have to keep adding new data for every small code change.
  • Run regular technical reviews of your test cases/scripts every month/quarter to find missing cases.
  • Add test steps that focus on what users will see and experience rather than going deep to the code level because sometimes, even when the program is right visual elements are missing on the page.
  • Keep updating changes on the go in your tests as you change your code.
  • To save time and get more work done, go for a no-code test automation tool, such as Testsigma, that comes with a lot of features to reduce test maintenance time. We will talk more about it in the sections below.

What are the Main Challenges of Test Maintenance?

Here are some of the common challenges you might encounter while working on test maintenance:

  • Your team might find it difficult to manage the cost and time of maintaining the tests if they are not equipped with the right tools and knowledge.
  • It becomes challenging if you do not find a test automation tool that can analyze false positives/flaky tests.
  • Poor or delayed communication between the developers and testers can compromise the test maintenance process and make it difficult to keep the tests on track with the code changes.
  • Your team will come across issues with testing tools that do not have the capability to detect GUI objects and the changes thereafter.
  • There might come situations where there is a skill gap in testers/developers to understand the requirement and maintain the tests either manually or using tools.

And all these challenges might be difficult to surpass, but with the right tool like Testsigma, you can lower or even eliminate some of them.

How Does Testsigma Make Maintenance of Automated Test Cases Easy?

By now, we know that maintenance testing is extensive but possible. But what if we told you that it need not be as stressful? It is possible with the help of a feature called Self-healing. Testsigma supports the self-healing of test cases.

Here are some ways in which Testsigma makes maintenance of automated test cases easy:

1. Self-healing: As mentioned earlier, Testsigma’s self-healing feature is a game-changer. It uses AI-powered automation to determine any changes made to web elements in the source code and resolves them on its own, preventing the test cases from failing. This means that even if there are minor changes in the web application, the test cases will continue to function without any manual intervention.

2. Reusability: Testsigma allows you to create reusable test cases, which can be used across multiple projects and releases. This not only saves time and effort but also ensures that the test cases are consistent and reliable.

3. Easy Maintenance: Testsigma’s intuitive interface makes it easy to maintain test cases. The platform allows you to update test cases quickly and efficiently, ensuring that they remain up-to-date and relevant.

4. Collaboration: Testsigma allows multiple team members to work on the same test cases simultaneously, making it easy to collaborate and ensure that the test cases are accurate and reliable.

5. Comprehensive Reporting: Testsigma provides comprehensive reporting, which helps you identify issues and areas that require attention. The reporting feature also allows you to track progress and measure the effectiveness of your test cases.

Conclusion

Developers keep changing the code regularly. New features come up, UI undergoes changes, and users request modifications – many such activities require code changes. With these changes, the tests need to be modified too. This is when maintenance testing comes into the picture. With regular test maintenance – automated test cases can help catch bugs on the latest code too. Thus, test maintenance can take a lot of time if not managed well. A part of the problem can be solved by choosing a test automation tool that supports test maintenance. Testsigma is one such tool with features such as:

  • Easy-to-edit test steps
  • Self-healing test cases
  • Reusable test steps

Not only this, Testsigma is a low-code test automation tool that makes your test authoring 5x faster. And lets you automate tests for web, mobile, Desktop, and APIs from the same place.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When should maintenance testing occur?

Maintenance testing should occur after deploying and delivering the application to the end users. It is a sort of customer service that listens to user queries and fixes the issues encountered by them.

What is the importance of test maintenance?

The importance of test maintenance lies in saving time and cost. It helps to keep tests up-to-date with every source code change and eliminates the need to write new test cases in such situations.


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