Software testing in the banking industry is an important exercise performed to accommodate and reflect operational changes. Given the surge in use of banking applications and technology, the industry is dependent on testing. While manual testing is still required to test the application before it goes live, automated testing helps reduce time to market and improves the quality of the application in the production stage.
While automated testing tools make testing easier, they come with their own set of challenges. Test automation projects require unique scripting skills that testers sometimes lack. The most demanding phase of an automation project is the initial stage when tools are set up and test scripts are written.
Even when an automated testing solution is implemented, chances of failure often frustrate banks. This is mainly because of the flawed implementation of the solution or investments in automation failing to deliver on their promise.
Let us look at other reasons why a bank’s software test automation project fails:
- Blend of deep domain and programming skills
Banking and financial domain applications need extensive testing for over 5,000 screens with more than 50,000 fields. It becomes challenging for testing automation tools, which are capable of handling simple cases with 5 or 10 screen workflows. There are also other challenging factors like different technologies of the bank’s underlying applications that lead to wrong ROI calculations.
Automation testing is complex for banking and financial sectors. One needs to have adequate knowledge to handle the set of tools to run through the operation. Each tool requires programming skills to use and often leverages different programming languages. Hence the domain-led developers demand right tools to venture into automated testing. But without an adequate domain knowledge and programming skill, a functional tester would fail completely to use the automated testing tools.
- Complex Environment with multi-platform hops
Application testing today spans desktop-based GUI, Command Line Interfaces, API’s, and Mobile devices. Not many tools offer the ability to deal with these different interfaces in a uniform manner. Not many people have the skill set to work with the diverse tools. It would be challenging to integrate actions across tools in a complex environment of banking and financial domain. The situation can be even more complicated in case of slow network speed and application response times. The bad test-data can add on to derail programmatic test-automation efforts very fast.
- Time and Effort Required to incorporate change
To keep test automation scripts in-sync with application changes, there is a need for high maintenance. In the event of large changes in the application, the amount of rework on scripts, cases and data can negate the anticipated benefit of automation. Automation is best attempted one application at a time. Many applications attempted simultaneously quickly overwhelms the team. With the diversity of applications in a modern enterprise means that any test-automation endeavour is going to be complex and take time to complete.
- Validation of computed data
In the banking domain, the testing solution must be able to test loan schedules, interest charges, accounting entries, exchange rates, messages, and client communications. Dual-factor authentication, a need for live data (viz. SSN numbers), online values, values to be compared after a batch execution, UI properties (colour, highlight) etc. all make the validation process complex. Validating these variations of computed data with automated testing tools ensures its quality and security during data migration. A testing solution must make room for validation. The software is validated at the end of the development process to see if the software meets the expectations and requirements. Failing to meet all the requisites may lead to project failure.
- Changing data states in testbed
Testbed focus on data subsets of a total system. The understanding of the functional requirements and operation behaviour of the system can be improved with the testbed. However, when there is any modification or development of new data inputs, there is a need to change the state in the subsets. Testbed identifies new feature inputs in the software and accordingly it may change the data state, opening up to many vulnerabilities. To test the component changes in the hardware-software environment, in the absence of ultimate automation testing tools can be tough. Using the automation testing tools for this integrated environment needs adequate evaluation time to time with every change in the data state. Failure to do so could cause the automation project to fail.
It all boils down to this—plan proactively and do not underestimate the tool, the deadline, and the resources to ensure the success of the testing project. A script-less easy-to-use automation solution can help banks meet their testing needs. The Tenjin Automation Suite makes uninterrupted banking operations a possibility.
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