A Comprehensive Guide to Automation Testing & its Types
Automation testing is a technique in which testers leverage automated software tools for executing test cases. These tests typically include operations that are repetitive in both their nature and outcome.
Automating the test suite helps in saving time and effort required in performing repetitive and resource-heavy tasks that are difficult to perform manually. In this blog post, let’s explore the advantages, types, and frameworks of Automation testing.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Advantages and Disadvantages of Test Automation
- 2 Types of Automation Testing
- 3 Automation Testing Frameworks
- 4 Advantages of Leveraging Automation Testing Frameworks
- 5 How can Testsigma Help You Automate Your Test Cases?
- 6 When Should Test Cases Be Automated?
- 7 Best Practices of Automation Testing
- 8 Conclusion
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions
Advantages and Disadvantages of Test Automation
Key Advantages of Automation Testing
There are a few tasks in testing that consume a lot of time and effort when performed manually. Interface testing is one such example. Besides, manually performing software or application testing is not always the preferred way to detect bugs.
Automation testing proves to be a better alternative in such scenarios as it provides the possibility of testing more efficiently. Automated tests run quickly and repeatedly once developed.
- Saves time and costs – Automation testing reduces the time taken to test an application from days to hours. The execution cycles may be reduced by more than 50%. Automated tests may be repeated whenever the source code undergoes any changes. The software must be tested against all supporting operating systems and hardware environments, which is costly and time-consuming. Once implemented, automation testing performs these tasks more quickly and at no additional cost.
- Improves customer satisfaction: Even the most experienced and sound testers are prone to mistakes during manual testing. Repeatable automation testing delivers precise results while providing a detailed record of those results.
- Reduces the risks: Test automation increases the scope of lengthy tests that can run unattended on various system configurations. Automating testing software also covers internal application details such as memory, data, and program.
- Quicker test results: Developers can use shared automated tests to find problems before sending a build version for quality assurance. Developers receive feedback whenever there are updates to the source code.
- Increases team productivity: Using automation techniques increases productivity and product quality as the developers receive quick feedback. Besides, testers have additional time to perform other challenging and rewarding tasks.
Disadvantages of Automation Testing
However, it is essential to note that automation testing may not always be the best choice. For instance, you cannot find problems with the GUI; automated tests need to be rewritten if there are any changes in the application interface.
- Needs maintenance – Automated tests may need maintenance after frequent intervals in case there are changes in code and application. In most cases, automation testing requires a team of experienced resources for the necessary maintenance.
- Requires special tools – Automation tests need specialized and well-configured tools. Additionally, the setup and installation of these complex tools often demand experienced resources, which adds to the overall maintenance and operational costs.
- Might fail to handle complex test cases – Automated tests might fail to handle complex test cases or provide full coverage. Another reason is that executing some test cases takes a lot of time and might fail or lead to inefficient results.
Types of Automation 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.
Automation Testing Frameworks
An automation testing framework is a platform that integrates various hardware, software, and tools that enable streamlined design and development of test scripts. With efficient test scripts, testers are able to perform an analysis of the detected bugs of the AUT.
QA engineers effectively leverage automation testing frameworks to find objects and sort them so that they may be reused in test scripts, perform the desired fix on the identified objects, and ensure the objects deliver the desired results.
The linear framework is record and playback driven, which is always achieved linearly. It is more commonly named the record and playback model. Typically, test scripts are created and executed individually in this scripting-driven framework. The automation scripting takes place incrementally, where new interactions are added to the automation tests simultaneously.
Test scripts are developed based on modules or clusters in a modular automation framework. These are formed by dividing the entire software or app into smaller, self-sufficient blocks. Thus, individual test scripts belonging to a particular module or group are created. These scripts belonging to these isolated modules can be integrated and driven by a master driver script to perform integration testing among the modules. All these are achieved with the help of shared function libraries used while developing modules' scripts. This automation testing framework adheres to the concept of abstraction, wherein test data is added to the test scripts. Test scripts need to be directly updated if there is a need to test with a different combination of test data. The smaller modules in the framework hierarchically communicate with each other to form a large script capable of testing an entire scenario.
Library Architecture Frameworks
The library architecture framework is similar to the modular framework but provides more benefits. Rather than segregating the AUT into different scripts, identical tasks within the script are combined by function. These functions are placed in a library and are called upon by the test scripts when required. Similar to the case of the modular framework, utilizing library architecture enables greater modularization, leading to simplified test maintenance and higher scalability. Library architecture is highly scalable due to the availability of a standard function library that multiple test scripts may use.
Advantages of Leveraging Automation Testing Frameworks
Automation testing frameworks are utilized to execute test cases and decide the output coordinated with user requirements. The testing framework application is constantly independent and is straightforward to expand, use, and maintain.
Automation testing frameworks reduce the time and effort required to perform monotonous tests. It helps find the issues early and understand them at the right time. Additionally, advanced testing frameworks allow testers to explore the full potential of automation testing tools and maximize output.
Reduces Manual Efforts
An automated script saves your group time and counteracts disparities between coding guidelines. It is possible to run automated tests anytime, even when the testers are not physically present at the workplace.
Improves App Scalability
Sometimes, certain areas of the software or application may need updates. Automation testing framework expands the capability to incorporate these things without experiencing a confounded methodology.
Enhances App Adaptability
Another important benefit of utilizing an automation framework is its adaptability and modularity for application testing. The framework ensures that a significant task is separated into reasonable parts, which would then be reusable as and when required.
Reduces Cost and Maintenance
Maintenance is the greatest obstacle to effective automation. A well-planned automation framework helps maintain the code in light of common changes like Reporting structure, Test data, Page Objects, etc.
Optimizes Test Reporting
Testers do not have to execute test scripts manually whenever there is a need to initiate automation testing. Also, you don’t need to supervise the test scripts. At last, the test result is achieved without observing it once in a while. This saves time and simultaneously increases test accuracy.
Provides Maximum Testing Coverage
A well-defined automation framework structure enables keeping up a decent scope of testing and offers the best possible scope of testing.
Enables Reusability of Test Cases
Utilizing common library records is not possible in manual testing. By introducing automation software, it is possible to reuse the library records whenever required without creating them every time. If the module is the equivalent, there is no need to create new documents. This saves the need to do a similar task repeatedly and makes the entire procedure proficient.
How can Testsigma Help You Automate Your Test Cases?
Testsigma helps you automate your test cases for all types of automation testing quickly and efficiently. Here are some of its key features:
- The tool is entirely cloud-based, which saves the costs and efforts of procuring and setting up the infrastructure for testing.
- Testsigma is a codeless automated testing tool; there is no need to train testers in a specific language to create automated test cases. Anyone can start working with this tool and perform automation testing quickly.
- It is possible to automate test cases in simple English. There is no need to learn coding or complex programming languages to start automating.
- Object recognition can be done automatically or manually. The objects are scanned to save the most crucial information. If there is any structure change, the recognized object is not lost.
- If there are any failures in any test cases, Testsigma also suggests affected resources for fixing the failed issues.
- Testsigma provides connectivity to 5 different device labs on the cloud for exhaustive cross-browser and cross-device testing.
- The tool provides video recordings, screenshots, and logs of the complete test case execution or the failure enabling easy debugging.
- The execution status can be shared on emails, Slack, or any other preferred channel.
- The best part – Testsigma offers 24×7 customer support.
When Should Test Cases Be Automated?
The types of test cases that have plenty of complex manual scenarios and require a lot of data should be automated. A test case should be automated if –
- It will save a significant amount of time.
- The tests are being used repeatedly.
- The tests are stable.
- The tests are not risky and unlikely to change.
- The tests are error-prone if done manually.
- There are several downtimes between steps.
Best Practices of Automation Testing
Despite the immense benefits offered by automation testing, the process is sometimes difficult to implement and deviates from the expected results. Efficient execution of automation testing needs the right skills, experience, thoughtfulness, creativity, and zeal to create ROI-driven strategies and frameworks.
It is important to know the best practices of automated testing as they enable testers to create maintainable, readable, and simple automated test suites. Here are some of the tried-and-tested automation testing best practices testers should know of:
Design Test Cases Beforehand
It is recommended to create test cases and scenarios before automating the tests. A good test design helps identify defects as automated tests execute these test designs. The risk involved in moving directly to automation is that you’re only making the script work. In most cases, only the happy flow scenarios are automated. Instead, testers should think of other possible scenarios that may require testing.
Remove the Uncertainties
One of the critical points of adopting automated testing is the ability to provide regular and expected results. If the success of an automated test is not consistent throughout, meaning the test passes once but fails in another run, it may not be determined the cause of app failure. In case of test case failures, testers must analyze the results to understand the cause of failure and make the necessary fixes.
Validate the Automated Test Cases
Outdated tests do not check for essential verifications. Lack of test case validation leads to testers jumping to automation directly without spending enough time on planning and designing good test cases. Always review the test cases for validity and sanity and make sure the tests are up to date.
Prevent Automating Unstable Functionalities
If automation testing begins while a new app feature is being developed, the tests may need to be updated alongside feature updates. It can be challenging to update the test case with every feature update. Therefore, automating only stable features or less subject to change is recommended.
Keep Realistic Expectations
In an ideal scenario, automation testing aims to reduce the overall time required to test an application or software so that exploratory testing may occur. Results from automated testing assure the teams that the app will perform seamlessly, even if there are any recent updates. However, testers should not expect automation testing to deliver a lot of errors as the number of bugs reported in automation testing will be less than the bugs reported in manual testing. Don’t expect automation to find lots of bugs. The number of bugs found by automation is always much less than in manual and exploratory testing.
Understand the Context
Automated tests may be run at any layer, i.e., Unit, API, Service, or GUI. Each application layer provides a different aspect for testing. Unit tests are performed to verify there are no bugs at the class level. API or integration testing is performed to achieve functions and classes that may be integrated to work together and may pass data from within classes. GUI testing ensures the user flows and journeys are seamless and as per the business expectations. If the tester wants to test the app functionality, the testing should be performed at lower layers rather than UI. UI tests should primarily focus on ensuring the application or software delivers according to the predefined use cases.
Do Not Aim for 100% Automation
Complete test coverage is impossible since there can be millions of combinations. Creating a reliable automated script takes a considerable amount of time and effort, and it is not practical for testers to automate all the tests. Rather than automating everything, the focus should be on adopting a risk-based approach so that all possible candidates for automation may be identified. Automating the most critical business scenarios is recommended to achieve the full benefits of automation. Also, automating some testing scenarios takes up additional costs and is difficult to maintain since it relies on downstream system checking. The best solution here is to prefer manual testing for such cases.
One cannot overstate the benefits of automation testing. Given the customer demand for new features every few weeks, organizations must incorporate automation testing. Since a terrible user experience will almost certainly get any application uninstalled and downvoted by customers, automation testing plays a critical role in ensuring the desired customer experience. Without it, developing software that appeals to users becomes significantly more difficult.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Different Methods of Automation Testing?
- Unit Testing
- Integration Testing
- Smoke Testing
- Regression Testing
- Keyword-driven Testing
- Data-driven Testing
- Performance Testing
What is a QA Automation Test?
QA automation (or automated testing) is essentially the process of automating the testing of software applications and mobile apps using automation tools. Primarily, QA automation tools perform repetitive (or manual) testing tasks previously achieved by a human tester.
Why is Automation Testing Used?
Automated QA testing facilitates continuous integration, which is essential for business environments that wish to create and deploy quality apps in less time. With automation testing, apps may be developed, tested, and pushed to the live environment multiple times a day instead of stages. The primary benefit is the significant cost and time savings for regression testing, which is not possible with manual testing.
What is the Difference Between Selenium and Automation Testing?
Selenium: Selenium is an open-source framework for automated software testing. Testers can use the programming languages of their choice (Java, C#, Python, etc.) to create scripts for Selenium testing. Different sets of tools featured in Selenium are Selenium WebDriver, Selenium RC, Selenium IDE, and Selenium Grid. Selenium testing is used to perform automated tests for web apps across a wide range of platforms, OS, and browsers.
Automation Testing: Automation testing is the process of performing test cases without the need for any human intervention. It is performed with the help of specialized testing tools and frameworks such as Testsigma. These tools are specially designed to reduce or eliminate human supervision while maximizing the scope of testing. Automation testing plays a critical role in CI/CD pipelines, where testers can perform tests that are repetitive and prone to human error.