Are open-source test automation tools reliable for banking systems?

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Banks are steadily adopting open-source test automation tools. Let us explore why banks rely on open-source test automation tools. Banks in less than half a decade have witnessed growth in technology and digital advancement. Open-source test automation tools offer banks a competitive advantage to remain updated with technological development.

It helps banks in cost reductions, stability, easy accessibility, training testers, testing in-house developed applications, and more. Because of its benefits and advantages, open-source test automation tools have evolved as an industry standard and became a necessity for banks and financial industry. It allows people working and evaluating the framework in large groups to identify errors, flaws, and technical glitches with ease.

The current age banking systems

Banking systems in the current times see a greater digital acceleration. The banks and financial institutions confronted the most fastidious situation and came out unharmed. The banking system is healthier and stronger in handling adverse scenarios after dealing with a global pandemic. Banks and financial industry have seen significant growth in technologies in recent times. Banks now follow the latest open banking trend, and there is unrestricted growth globally.

As per a recent report in Statista, the number of open banking users worldwide is expected to grow at an average annual rate of nearly 50% between 2020 and 2024, with the European market being the largest. As the graph shows, in 2020, Europe counted approximately 12.2 million open banking users. This figure is expected to reach 63.8 million by 2024. As of 2020, 24.7 million individuals worldwide used open banking services, a number that is forecast to reach 132.2 million by 2024. This growth in technology requires steadfast system validation to ensure that banks continue to perform and innovate.

The benefits of open-source test automation tools

To substantiate the question, “are open-source test automation tools reliable for banking systems” I will state a few benefits of open-source test automation tools in this article. Let us go through the reasons one by one to understand why open-source test automation is reliable for banking systems.

  • Better support and collaboration – There are vast fields of information available on the internet that testers can consult to overcome obstacles. Open-source framework enriches online communities, which allow the team from different locations to interact and collaborate with each other via a centralized server. There is a constant flow of information transfer within the community without any downloads and uploads.
  • Cost-efficient – The open-source test automation platform has low licensing costs and minimal hardware needs. The testing components are easily reused and have greater scalability, making the task of managing the performance and load testing easy. Testers can adjust total cloud storage based on the testing requirements making it flexible for organizations to opt for a pricing plan. All mentioned above help reduce the cost of using an open-source test automation framework.
  • Prompt testing – Open-source tools hasten the test cycles making it much shorter than the cycles run with traditional tools. Setup and tool deployment are prompt without the need of installing. The productivity remains unaffected as test updates are tracked in real-time. It reduces the overall time to market making the organization to focus on the quality and deliverables.
  • Overall quality – Several users and developers come together to ensure the quality and security of the open-source platform. The team comprises multiple developers across the globe who are among the best in innovating, improving, and enhancing the quality of the open-source test automation platform so that the users get a high-quality test automation package.
  • Easy to customize – The open-source test automation software comes with a customizable option to suit the specific requirements of the testing department. The codes are easily editable and offer smooth functionality.
  • Virtualization – Virtualization reduces the cost by easily sharing resources and making the best use of their respective skills. Virtualization ensures that testing is more efficient and user-friendly.
  • No restrictions – Open-source test automation platforms allow the organization to work with skilled teams and individuals. Users can fast track the decision-making process with complete control of the execution process. As the highly competent users and developers form a global community, there is uninterrupted support without restrictions.

Open-source test automation tools reform the banking systems

The banking and financial industry is undergoing a massive shift with the appearance of agile and DevOps practices. The importance of software Quality Assurance has increased to ensure the reliability and stability of banking software. Banking systems must be updated with regulatory and functionality changes frequently. Testing the applications from the start will only increase the time to market.

To eliminate the delays, banks and financial institutions are embracing DevOps practices. They are speeding up frequent iteration by establishing CI/CD pipelines and releasing small segments of applications in batches. QA teams are enabling early testing by taking the shift-left approach. Organizations are adopting the DevOps methodology that combines the development and testing teams to focus on a result-oriented QA process. The development team works in a cohesive manner where the development teams create and run unit tests while the test teams validate these at the API and UI layers.

As application development adapts the cloud native technologies, they are built with service packages and deployed as microservices. Open-source test automation tools speed up the testing process of financial and banking applications while reducing cost, enhancing stability, and offering easy accessibility. Banking applications are now managed on cloud infrastructure through DevOps processes and continuous delivery workflows making it accessible, flexible, and scalable.

The teams can ensure high software stability as test automation helps to achieve a larger test coverage and higher level of regression testing. Teams are also focusing on preventing and predicting application performance issues as a result organizations are replacing performance testing techniques with performance engineering.

Different types of open-source testing tools

To test the different types of banking applications and interfaces, the organizations must select the testing tools. The selection of testing tools must be based upon the two functional or non-functional testing aspects. The areas included in functional testing are Web UI, mobile app UI, and API validation, whereas the non-functional test areas include performance, reliability, scalability, and accessibility. The following are the types of open-source test automation tools that can help us to validate the banking software.

  • BDD based test automation tools

Testers or business analysts can create test cases in uncomplicated text language using BDD or Behaviour Driven Development framework. This software development approach allows even non-technical team members to understand the project details.

  • API automation testing tools

Teams are adopting agile and DevOps methodologies and shift-left testing approach that shortens the release cycles. It is imperative to execute API testing as it bridges the differences between unit and GUI layer testing.

  • Mobile test automation tools

The open-source test automation framework can help to automate workflows for native, hybrid and web apps. Many tools offer cross-platform support and JIRA integration.  Mobile test automation tools can automate workflows of iOS, Android, and Windows apps and offer support for multiple programming languages like Java, Ruby, Python, PHP, JavaScript, and C#.

  • Performance testing tools

Performance testing tools are intended for load testing of web applications. Many such tools are open-source test automation tools offering load and performance testing for cloud-native applications, APIs and microservices. A few performance testing tools allow writing test cases in ES6 JavaScript, while other tools offer built-in support for HTTP/1.1, HTTP/2 and Web Socket protocols. Some open-source test automations tools can be introduced into automation pipelines in Jenkins, GitLab, Azure DevOps, CircleCI and other CI/CD tools for performance regression testing.

  • Reliability and stability testing tools

These open-source test automation tools offer services on the cloud for generating various kinds of failures, detecting abnormal conditions, and testing the ability to endure the adversities. The main goal of focus of reliability and stability testing tools are to keep the cloud applications safe, secure with high reliability and stability.

  • Accessibility testing tools

Open-source accessibility testing tools offer thorough application testing to ensure that even the people with disabilities or specially challenged, of all age groups and different races, can use the applications without any issues or disruption. However, application testing must remain compliant with accessibility standards like WCAG 2.1 level AA and AAA, Section 508, ADA and EN 301.

Conclusion

Banking in current times is evolving fast. If it must keep up with the pace of fast changing technology landscape, the banking QA software QA must be ready to adopt newer techniques and tool sets. Banking and financial applications are the most versatile. Each application has functionalities only specific to the requirements, hence, to maintain the quality of the applications it must follow the e2e testing process. This article highlights the different open-source test automation tools and how banks can rely on them for their software testing.