A Guide to Codeless Testing

Why is codeless testing no longer just another term for record and playback testing? Why is it the next big thing in the world of automation testing? Bust all the associated myths and learn why your organization needs to try it.

Selenium Automation Without Coding

Selenium was first launched in 2004 and at that time it was one tool of its kind. It offered automation of tasks and test cases on a website. The fact that Selenium was soon made open-source added to its popularity.

Selenium was the harbringer of a major change in the testing industry. Before the use of Selenium, major testing was done manually. With its introduction, companies started paying more attention to automation and because it offered good Return On Investment(ROI) in the long run, they started investing in it.

With the companies investing more in automation and because Selenium automation required coding, either the manual testers had to learn coding or new resources who knew coding had to be hired.

With time, other features were included - like webdriver, RC, IDE that added to its importance and value. Selenium, at present, supports multiple programming languages like Java, C#, Ruby, Python.

‘Selenium IDE’ made people, who did not want to get involved in coding, interested in trying Selenium for automation too. Via this IDE, test steps performed on a website could be recorded and then replayed. These test steps could then be converted to a supported programming language too. Basic automation was now possible by just ‘record and play’.

But, since then, there have been multiple advancements in technologies used for development of websites. As the complexity of websites has increased, the automation of test cases using only Selenium IDE is proving to be insufficient. Thus, there is a need for powerful codeless testing tools that could solve the problems encountered during automation done via Selenium IDE.

Now, there are a few codeless testing tools that are actually built on top of Selenium.

Testsigma is a codeless alternative to selenium with additional advantages

Checkout Testsigma

What is Codeless Testing? Benefits of Codeless Testing

Automated testing where the tester is not required to write code is called codeless testing. A while ago, when not many tools were available for codeless testing, ‘Record and Playback’ testing and Codeless testing were used interchangeably. But now, there are many automated testing tools in the market that offer codeless testing in the true sense.

Certain benefits of codeless testing are as below:

  • Low Learning Curve: With codeless testing, test cases can be created even when the user has absolutely no knowledge of coding or programming languages. Thus, it does not take much time for the user to learn and start creating the test cases.

  • Easy to Review: As these test cases are created without any code, these are readable and understandable for people that don’t know how to code. Thus, these test cases can be easily reviewed by other non-technical stakeholders in a project.

  • Efficient: Because the learning curve is slow and the test case creation does not need use of complex syntax, the test case creation is quick and enhances the efficiency of the automation process.

  • Saves resources: With codeless testing, the testers don’t need to learn new languages don’t need a new person to be hired for coding skills. Thus, time, cost and resources can be easily saved.

Codeless Testing Benifits

Selenium Vs Codeless Testing

SeleniumCodeless Testing
Only supports codeless automated testing when tests are recorded and played back via Selenium IDE. Maintenance cannot be done in a codeless way.Supports codeless testing much beyond record and playback. Maintenance of these test cases is codeless too. Multiple methods of testing including automating test cases in Simple English Language via NLP like what Testsigma provides.
Edit of test cases and Maintenance requires coding and is time-taking.Edit and maintenance of test cases only requires basic knowledge of HTML, CSS and xpath and is easy and does not take much time.
High learning curve because of the coding skills needed for automation of complex scenarios.Low learning curve because no coding skills are required even for automation of complex scenarios.
Setup is again time taking and requires skills.Setup is easy and does not require any skills.
Test Cases written in Selenium cannot be reviewed by non-technical people.Test cases written via Codeless testing can be easily reviewed by non-technical people.
Is open-sourceUsually paid.
Read more on comparisons between Selenium and codeless testing.

How Does Codeless Test Automation Actually Work?

Codeless test automation is same as codeless testing The basic premise of codeless test automation is that the test creation should not require any kind of coding. Now, because there are many tools available in the market that offer codeless automation, there are multiple ways of how it works on the Frontend. The common process for them is conversion of frontend representation to machine understandable code in the backend to finally make it work.

For eg. For a tool like Testsigma, the test cases are actually written in simple English language, via NLP. These simple statements are converted to code in the backend for execution.


Super Fast Test Automation

Codeless automation tools are being rapidly adopted by organizations worldwide and there is a reason for it. Codeless automation testing aims to solve many challenges that the testing teams were facing for a long time as also listed below:

Codeless Testing Benefits
  • Manual testers could not automate the test cases: In an organization that follows SDLC, the manual testers do the first round of testing on a feature and then once it is stable, it is automated by the automation team. Here, the manual testers had the knowledge of the feature and its working but automation was being done by another person that does not have much knowledge of the feature. Now, with codeless automation, the manual testers can use their product knowledge for automation too. Thus, improving the quality of automated test cases.

  • Test cases could only be reviewed by people who knew how to code:Earlier, the automated test cases were not easy to understand for non-technical people involved in the project. Now, with codeless automation, these test cases can be easily automated by even the non-technical stakeholders including project managers, product managers, clients.

  • Manual Test execution is slow: Super fast test automation is the main benefit of codeless automation is speed. The learning curve is low and time taken in test creation is also low. Thus, the problem where automation could not keep up with the speed of features and enhancements being added to a products and thereby becoming a bottleneck, could now be easily solved.

  • Tough to maintain test cases: The test cases once automated, were tough to maintain because of the code complexities involved in automation. These problems can be solved via codeless test automation.


What Is Codeless Automation Testing And Why It Is The Future?

Codeless automation testing is an automation practice where the tester is not required to write code. Usually these are ‘simpler’ and ‘easier to learn’ as compared to traditional automation testing tools.

We as humans tend to adopt suggestions/processes/tools that make our life better in some way. Codeless automation is the future because there are multiple ways it promises to improve the lives of testers, developers and organizations and are also listed below:

  • Saves time:

    If the Software Development and the Testing processes are such that there are a lot of bug fixes going on at the same time, doing partial regression testing after each fix will prove too much time taking. Then performing complete regression testing once all the development work is done makes more sense.

  • Saves Resources:

    Codeless automation is easy to learn and easy to implement and saves a lot of time that testers spend in learning automation and implementing it.

  • Removes the testing bottleneck:

    Because the test case automation is speeded up, the developers are no longer blocked by testing.


Why Is Codeless Test Automation Needed?

There has always been a gap where testing and automation are concerned. There are testers called “Manual Testers” who work on going through all the feature documentation, understanding the intricacies of a feature, creating test cases and executing them. Then there are “Automation Testers” who are involved in figuring out the automation needs and automating the test cases that get added.

Both the “Manual Testing” and “Automation Testing” are time-taking processes and keep the testers fully occupied. “Manual Testing” is hectic because there are always a slew of features and enhancements being added by developers that need to be tested, bug fixes that need to be verified.

“Automation Testing” is hectic because creation and maintenance of test cases is hefty and again takes time, usually because there is too much code to deal with. A change in one component means changes all across the testing framework. A minor change in the code means maintenance of all the affected test cases.

  • The first need that codeless automation testing fulfills is giving the opportunity to the ‘manual testers’ to automate the test cases they created. Thus the gap between ‘manual testers’ and ‘automation testers’ can be finally bridged.

  • The second is the need to make the automation easy and quick. Now, with codeless testing, automation is easier than ever because the biggest hurdle of coding and debugging the code has now been removed.

  • Third is the need for making the automated test cases reviewable. The developed code results in a usable product at some point so that is where it can be verified by users but the correctness of automated test cases was not something that was reviewable till the the time codeless automation came into existence. Now, with codeless testing, the non-technical members of a project including the clients can review the automated tests and provide feedback if there is some scenario that was not automated according to the actual use cases.

Codeless Test Automation is exactly the same process as codeless testing.


Automation Testing And Codeless Testing

Automation testing is referred to a process where an application is tested via automated tests. That is, no manual efforts are involved in testing it. Manual efforts are usually put in to automate these tests and making them executable.

Codeless Testing is the type of automation testing that is automated without any involvement of coding. Initially, codeless testing was referred to record and play methods where the test steps corresponding to a test case were recorded and then via a tool, for eg. Selenium IDE, Katalon IDE, these steps were converted to executable coded steps.

Now, the codeless testing has evolved to also include other methods of automation which are much beyond and better than the record and playback methods.

The Future Of Codeless Automation - Will It Kill Automation Testing?

Codeless Automation Testing is now the future of automation testing because it enables organizations to perform the same automation in much less time with much less resources. The world is evolving and organizations want to use tools that help them grow and reiterate quickly according to feedback, codeless automation does exactly that by saving time on test case creation as well as test case maintenance.

Codeless Automation Testing in no way will kill automation testing because it enables easier and quicker automation testing. What it will do is enable organizations that have feared automation testing, just because of the huge amount of time and maintenance it required, to adopt the codeless automation testing tools to achieve the results they want to achieve in much less time.

Codeless Automation Testing Future

Scriptless Testing And Record And Playback Testing. Are They The Same?

Scriptless Testing or codeless testing was the term that was coined when record and playback tools came in the market. These tools enabled testers to record their test steps and then convert them to any of the supported programming language. These test cases could then be played back again and again to test the application. The drawback with these tools was that once recorded, there was no other way, except for re-recording,to edit these test cases if the tester did not know coding. Thus these tools were not truly scriptless or codeless.

Scriptless Testing then evolved, with the help of new and advanced technologies, to enable the testers to write and edit those test cases without actually writing any code.

Thus, record and playback testing could be called a subset of scriptless testing but they are not the same because scriptless testing offers multiple other features that record and playback testing tools don’t.

To know more about the scriptless testing methods read here.


Codeless Testing Myths

There are multiple tools in the market that offer codeless automation testing but still there are some myths related to codeless testing. The myths lie in the fact that till sometime ago codeless testing was pretty non-existent or even if it was there, it was in the form of record and playback tools.

These record and playback tools did record the test steps and allowed those steps to be converted to any supported language but the problem was that usually to make them run successfully, some code always needed to be added. Also, to edit these test cases if they were failing or needed some steps added again coding was a requirement. Thus, the belief was that codeless testing only helped people start automated testing but to take it to a robust and maintainable level, it required coding skills.

Below are a few points that are now myths related to codeless testing:

  • Codeless testing is the other name for record and playback: As discussed above, this is just a myth. There actually are codeless testing methods that are not record and playback.

  • Codeless testing steps are not easy to edit or maintain:This again stemmed from the record and playback testing solutions and does not hold true now. The codeless testing tools now support easy editing and maintenance of test cases.

  • Codeless testing is not truly codeless: The codeless testing tools usually convert the codeless steps written in the frontend to code in the backend and then execute them. Though, the knowledge on HTML, CSS and Xpath may be required to execute these test cases successfully every time, the knowledge of a programming language is not a requirement. The advance technologies like AI and ML now enable tools to actually offer truly codeless testing solutions.


Codeless Automation in the Cloud

Codeless Automation On Cloud

There are a few codeless testing tools that allow the automation to be done directly on the cloud like Testsigma does. There are a few benefits of having this automation on the cloud.

  • No need to maintain hardware on your own premises

  • Automation on cloud offers scalability, the amount of hardware and machine performance needed can be upgraded or degraded according to the automation testing requirements

  • The test cases can be accessed from anywhere, anytime

  • The test cases perform better as the creation and execution is done on cloud infrastructure that has robust and state-of-the-art hardware offering

  • The security of these test cases is managed by the cloud hosting service providers and does not need to be worried about in addition to the test case creation.

  • No need to setup anything, just login and start automating