Automation testing (Automation Software Testing) is a process of using tools, scripts, and software to perform test cases by repeating pre-defined actions. What can Automation testing do and how does it differ or affect enterprise system development? Read on…
Automation software testing
As mentioned, automation software testing is a software testing technique that performs using special automated testing tools to execute a test case suite. Automation testing is more handy than using manual software testing as it does not require many hassles such as manual documenting or manual review. Test automation focuses on replacing manual human activity with systems or devices. Since automated testing is done through an automation tool, it consumes less time in explanatory tests and more time in maintaining test scripts while increasing overall test coverage.
Automation testing has many benefits for app testing cycles which allow engineers to build better apps with less effort. Automation software testing also helps improve system development. Some of the benefits presented by automation software testing are as follows:
- Running test 24/7 – you can start the test from anywhere in the world and anytime you want to. You can even do that remotely if you do not have a lot of devices or you do not have the possibility to buy them.
- Fewer human resources – you just need a test automation engineer to write your scripts to automate your test, instead of a lot of people doing boring manual tests over and over again.
- Reusability – scripts are reusable and you do not need new scripts every time. You can also redo steps that are exactly as the previous ones.
- Bugs – automation helps you find bugs in the early stages of software development, reducing expenses and working hours to fix bug problems.
- Reliability – automated testing is more reliable and way quicker when running boring repetitive standardized tests which can not be skipped, but might cause errors when manually tested.
- Reduce business expenses – with fewer human resources, your company can save money. The idea is not to do any manual testing along with automation testing over the course of a whole project.
- Higher test coverage – automation testing allows engineers to spend time writing new tests and adding them to an automated test suite. This increases test coverage for a product.
Although automation testing gives ease to engineers, there are only certain test cases that can be done. Test cases to be automated can be selected using the following criterion to increase the automation return of investment:
- High risk – business-critical test cases,
- Test cases that are repeatedly executed,
- Test cases that are very tedious or difficult to perform manually, and
- Test cases that are time-consuming.
Meanwhile, the three below are a category of test cases that are not suitable to be automated:
- Test cases that are newly designed and not executed manually at least once;
- Test cases for which the requirements are frequently changing; and
- Test cases that are executed on an ad-hoc basis.
Automation testing flow
There are at least nine cycles in automation testing. The pictures above explain seven of them, including:
- discussing why to automate and decision making,
- identifying the modules within the software to automate,
- choosing an automation tool,
- test planning and design,
- writing test scripts,
- developing test suites,
- execute test scripts and test management,
- the two others are generating test reports, and
- testing a program review as well as monitoring.
Let’s break them down to a more understandable explanation:
During the first to third test cycle, engineers have to discuss with the team and make a decision as to why and what to automate. Engineers also need to select suitable automation tools. Test tool selection largely depends on the Application Under Test (AUT) it is built on. AUT happens after designing and coding the development section. When the application is finished, engineers need to do a test – this test is called ‘under testing’. Therefore, that time period when a built application is being tested by engineers is called AUT.
The first to third cycles also require engineers to define the scope of automation. This scope is an area of AUT that will be automated. Here are points to help determine what scope should be automated:
- Application features that are important for business
- Scenarios that have a large amount of data
- Common functionalities
- Technical feasibility
- Extent to which business components are reused
- The complexity of test cases
- Ability to use the same test cases for cross-browser testing
When engineers have done those cycles, there comes planning, design, and development – cycle number four to six. During this phase, engineers must create an automation strategy and plan which contains details, such as automation tools selected, framework design and its features, in-scope and out-of-scope items of automation, automation test bed preparation, schedule and timeline of scripting and execution, and deliverables of automation testing.
After that, execution will be done. Automation scripts will need input test data before they are set to run. The execution can be performed using an automation tool directly or through a Test Management tool which will invoke an automation tool. Once executed, engineers must provide detailed test reports and run continuous monitoring until which the application can run smoothly on its own. Even when the application runs perfectly, engineers might still need to do monitoring to check bugs and malfunctions.
Read also: UX vs CX: More than Just Buzzwords