A comparison that can be drawn between the desired performance outcome with the actual performance outcome of software is testing. Ideally, a software testing professional would conduct several tests to identify the possible points of an application. With increasing frequency of releases, regression efforts spent on “regression testing” overshadows the test on “new features”. Manual regression testing therefore requires running a test repeatedly to identify bugs or errors.
Automation of such repetitive and detail-oriented tasks helps in,
- Freeing higher value resources
- Ensuring extensive coverage of complex work paths
- Ensuring consistency in methods and results
- Saving time and efforts
- Ensuring compliance with norms w.r.t. documentation
Application platforms today are a complex interplay of systems, parametrization choices and processes. Enterprise software is buggy, not because of the prowess of the company that builds it, but because these are complex software with a myriad set of choices overlaid with custom code overlaid with org specific integrations. Despite buying a packed software (commercially off-the-shelf product), the piece of software that runs your organization is generally unique because of the interplay of these factors.
With significant increase in the velocity and volume of changes being applied to enterprise platforms, the need for robust testing is also increasing. Manual testing allows one to test WIP platforms, which might not be fully stable, identifying bugs early in the development or deployment lifecycle. However, once the platform is stable
Like the saying “the sum is greater than the parts”, the bugs in the final software are different than those identified during the unit testing phases.
Functional Test automation allows you to automate repetitive tasks and other testing tasks, which otherwise are difficult and time-consuming to perform manually. The developers and the testing professional need to save the testing time of an application without compromising the quality and accuracy of the product. Under this scenario, it is essential to adapt automation testing to efficiently accomplish their goals while maintaining the quality of the application. It may be ideal to follow the complete Automation Testing Life Cycle, instead of relying on the Software Development Life Cycle.
Comparison between Manual Testing or Automation Testing
Why Automation Testing?
- Cost-efficient and time-efficient – Over the lifetime of the application being deployed, it is tested repeatedly to ensure a glitch-free performance. Repeated running of these tests manually is expensive, time-consuming, and mind-numbing. Automated testing can be repeated and run fast without any extra cost. The repeated automated software testing saves time and costs.
- Increases testing scopes – Automated software testing can run on multiple computers with varied configurations. It increases the breadth of tests, frees up manual testers to focus on the newer sections of software thereby help improve the quality of software. Automated software testing allows a thorough survey of an application and investigates its performance behaviour. Multiple complex test cases are examined, which is otherwise impossible to cover during manual tests.
- Improves accuracy – As manual testing involves running a test repeatedly, the most experienced and vigilant testing professional overlook aspects due to testing-fatigue. Through automated testing, one may execute the tests seamlessly and can record the error-free reports. It allows our human testers to create and cope up with more complicated tests and features.
- Win-win situation for developers and testers – Developers can quickly detect issues through automated tests reports before sharing it with the QA. The source codes can be instantly checked and notified to the developers if they have failed to detect during automatic test runs. This saves time and extra effort for both the developers and testers.
- Navigating the success – The QA and the development team will be able to improve their skills and navigate it on more challenging and rewarding projects. As automated software testing can handle most of the repetitive tasks, the team members will be able to channelize their experience and knowledge.
Automation Testing Life Cycle
A structured automation testing life cycle has multiple stages. It supports the activities in the process integration. Through this process, the automated test tool is used to develop and run test cases. It is also used to develop test design, build, and handle test data and environment. The implementation of automation testing life cycle runs simultaneously with the software development life cycle process.
Elaboration of Automation Testing Life Cycle
Determining the Scope of Test Automation – The first stage of automation testing life cycle is required to identify how automation can support your application at this stage of your development / deployment lifecycle. The test experts need to identify the application modules, the test that needs to be automated (and those that would remain manual) and consider factors like expense, team size and expertise to determine the scope of test automation. This will help build ROI models that can justify any investments.
Selecting the right Automation tool – Your choice of automation tool would depend on the application focus and stage at which automation is being introduced. Testing during development cycles and during deployment cycles are significantly different in scope, vigour, and functionality. Similarly, automated testing of enterprise applications would have different needs than that of a mobile application or an e-commerce app. Another consideration is the expected volume and velocity of change. Software that changes significantly in short periods of time vs. where regression is of a higher emphasis.
With significant emphasis on shift-left testing, there is a need to test micro-services or units of code by development teams. While this does not reduce the rigour of validations required downstream, the emphasis of acceptance testing is far different than testing during development cycles.
Automation testing needs right automation tools. Hence, choosing the right automation testing tool is essential for an automation testing life cycle. Start by selecting a tool that integrates well with the technologies used in the project. Choose a tool that is intuitive, flexible and functions as a support team to resolve the queries.
Planning, Designing and Strategizing a Test – Planning, designing, and strategizing a test are an extremely important phase when it comes to Automation Testing Life Cycle.
- At the test planning phase, the team establishes the test procedure creation standards and guidelines, hardware, software, and network to support the test environment.
- At the designing stage, the team develops a test architecture to describe the test program structure and the way test procedures are managed after the test program model is designed.
- At the test strategy phase, all manual test cases are collected from the test management tool to identify the test cases that need to be automated.
Setting Up the Test Environment – The stage in Automation Testing Life Cycle involves setting up a machine or remote machine where test cases will be executed. A remote machine is required to access your website or web application or devices in the case of mobile applications. The phase needs thorough planning to maximize your test coverage across as many different scenarios as possible.
Automation Test Script Development & Execution – The phase of automation testing life cycle is dedicated to the execution of all test scripts. For script execution, the process must be signed-off, and unit-tested test scripts are delivered to automation testing team who ensures that all test scripts are running correctly.
Analysis and Generation of Test Results & Test Reports – At this stage, the testing team analyse and identify the functionality of components that experience several problems in the reports. The report suggests whether additional test efforts and procedures are essential. It also confirms whether executed test scripts are capable to identify errors.
To meet the testing goals within the stipulated timelines and with adequate resources automation software testing is important. But an inadequate plan can lead to the creation of elaborate scripts, which might not be beneficial for the process. A well-planned and structured automation life cycle methodology is a fundamental requirement for automated testing.
About Yethi – Yethi leverages the domain led testing approach with the inhouse automation testing platform Tenjin to cater the needs of the customer irrespective of the scale and complexity of the project. Our unique solution approach ensures functional experts can conduct testing without relying on technical resources and business objectives are achieved within the stipulated timeframe. We have proven our capabilities by creating 45,000 + test cases to help our clients in their business assurance journey.