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The software testing industry involves two different kinds of testing- Manual and Automated. There are distinct differences between the testing types. Manual testing requires physical time and effort to ensure the software code does everything. Also, manual testers have to make a record of their findings. In this article, we will know What is Automation Testing and how it works

What is Automation Testing?

Automation testing is a Software testing technique to test and compare the actual outcome with the expected outcome. This can be achieved by writing test scripts or using any automation testing tool. Test automation is used to automate repetitive tasks and other testing tasks which are difficult to perform manually.

The automation software can also enter test data into the System Under Test, compare expected and actual results and generate detailed test reports. Test Automation demands considerable investments of money and resources.

Successive development cycles will require execution of same test suite repeatedly. Using a test automation tool, it’s possible to record this test suite and re-play it as required. Once the test suite is automated, no human intervention is required. This improved ROI of Test Automation. The goal of Automation is to reduce the number of test cases to be run manually and not to eliminate Manual Testing altogether.

The benefit of manual testing is that it allows a human mind to draw insights from a test that might otherwise be missed by an automated testing program. Automated testing is most preferable for large projects that require testing the same areas over and over. Also, projects that have already been through an initial manual testing process.

The test automation performs testing at three different levels:

  1. Unit Level Automation
  2. API Testing
  3. User Interface

Why Automated Testing?

Automated software testing is important due to the following reasons:

  • Manual Testing of all workflows, all fields, all negative scenarios is time and money consuming
  • It is difficult to test for multilingual sites manually
  • Automation does not require Human intervention. You can run automated test unattended (overnight)
  • Automation increases the speed of test execution
  • Automation helps increase Test Coverage
  • Manual Testing can become boring and hence error-prone.

Which Test Cases to Automate?

Test cases to be automated can be selected using the following criterion to increase the automation ROI

  • High Risk – Business Critical test cases
  • Test cases that are repeatedly executed
  • Test Cases that are very tedious or difficult to perform manually
  • Test Cases which are time-consuming

The following category of test cases are not suitable for automation:

  • Test Cases that are newly designed and not executed manually at least once
  • Test Cases for which the requirements are frequently changing
  • Test cases which are executed on an ad-hoc basis.

How does Automation Testing work?

Success in test automation requires careful planning and design work. The following steps are followed in an automation process:

 

1. Test tool selection

Any process starts with the definition, so before applying to test automation you should define the goal of automation. Now, once you are sure of what kind of tests are you performing, you need to select the software testing tool. You need to consider the following points while selecting the perfect tool:

  • Is it easy to develop and maintain the scripts for the tool or not?
  • Does it work on platforms like web, mobile, desktop etc?
  • Does the tool have a test reporting functionality?
  • How many testing types can this tool support?
  • How many languages does the tool support?

2. Define the scope of automation

Next, you define the scope of automation. So, you need to decide which test cases to automate base on the following:

  • Scenarios which have a large amount of data
  • Test cases which have common functionalities across applications
  • Technical feasibility
  • The extent to which business components are reused
  • The complexity of test cases

3. Planning, Design, and Development

After determining your goal and which types of tests to automate, you should decide what actions your automated tests will perform. Planning, design, and development include:

  • Developing Test Cases: Large, complex automated tests are always very difficult to edit and debug. It is best to divide your tests into several simple, logical and smaller tests.
  • Developing Test Suites: Test suites make sure that the automated test cases run one after another without any manual intervention. Now, this can easily be done by creating a test suite that has multiple test cases, a library and command-line tool that runs the test suite.

4. Test Execution

Automation Scripts are executed during this phase. Also, execution can be performed using the automation tool directly or through the test management tool which will invoke the automation tool.

5. Maintenance

Once test cases are executed, the next step is to create reports so that the actions performed during testing are recorded. As new functionalities get added to the software that you are testing with successive cycles, automation scripts need to be added, reviewed and maintained for each release cycle. Therefore, Maintenance becomes necessary to improve the effectiveness of automation.

Automation Testing Approaches

There are many approaches to test automation, however below are the general approaches used widely:

  • Graphical user interface testing. A testing framework that generates user interface events such as keystrokes and mouse clicks, and observes the changes that result in the user interface, to validate that the observable behavior of the program is correct.
  • API driven testing. A testing framework that uses a programming interface to the application to validate the behaviour under test. Typically API driven testing bypasses application user interface altogether. It can also be testing public (usually) interfaces to classes, modules or libraries are tested with a variety of input arguments to validate that the results that are returned are correct.

Conclusion

The right selection of automation tool, testing process, and team, are important players for automation to be successful. Manual and automation methods go hand-in-hand for successful testing.

This brings us to the end of this article. So I hope you found it informative and it has helped in adding value to your knowledge.If you found this “What is Automation Testing” article relevant, check out the live-online Software Testing Courses by Mildaintrainings.

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