Imagine your company is launching a new product, and the development team has just finished the implementation work. The QA team has done proper manual testing. Product, Engineering, and QA teams have put a lot of effort into bringing quality to the product. Finally, the Product launch has taken place successfully. After a few days, change requests in the functionality started to come. A few features need an update. Now there are only a few changes but these can significantly affect the existing features if not implemented properly.
Now the question arises, who will retest the existing functionality? Does the QA team have to retest the whole application again by executing the hundreds of manual test cases? Automated tests can easily handle this situation. Automated testing helps to ensure that the existing core product functionality works as expected after implementing new changes. This article talks about some essential key points that you need to know about automated testing.
1. Key Concept of Automation Testing
Automation testing helps to execute the test cases automatically without the help of humans. Automated test scripts run the test case steps on the Application Under Test (AUT) much the same way manual testers work on the AUT. Verifying the actual and expected results, generating detailed reporting about test execution, and notifying the results to the relevant stakeholders. However, test automation can be costly and complex if teams do not know the key concepts. Thus, proper planning and solid concepts improve the ROI of automated testing.
2. Automated Testing as a changing trend in SDLC
Automated testing has become very popular in the past few years. Whether you are a small or big company, everyone is just looking for the best and most robust test automation tools. In the Agile and DevOps world, automated testing improves the quality of product releases and saves time in releasing the new features continuously to the market. Nevertheless, automated testing ensures product quality and reduces the costs required by hiring manual testing resources. However, teams must do proper test designing and planning activities to get the best results to proceed with the automated testing during SDLC.
3. Role of Automated Testing in Testing Pyramid
Various types of tests can be automated. The testing pyramid categorizes it into three types; Unit Tests, Service/Integration Tests, and UI Tests. The three levels of automated tests can be described as follows:
Level 1 – Unit tests
Developers write these tests to check if the application is working correctly. Usually, these are small tests to verify some specific unit of a class and are easy to automate. These tests are written first during the development phase and are very quick to execute.
Level 2 – Service/Integration Tests
Service/Integration tests check whether application modules work when integrated as a single unit by combining different modules. These tests are a good candidate for automated testing. The different types of integration testing involve big bang, top-down, and bottom-up approaches. The approach selection depends solely on the desired workflow by the team.
Level 3 – UI Tests
The third level of the automated testing process involves UI testing covering end-to-end testing. E2E testing ensures that the complete flow of functions, including internal and external interfaces, is working as expected. In addition, this testing level checks the full AUT functionality from the user’s perspective.
4. Automated Testing Tool Selection
Common software testing types such as regression testing, functional testing, unit testing, and integration testing can be executed easily through automated testing with the help of modern AI/ML-based test automation tools. The most challenging task for teams is to decide about the right test automation tool for their project. Many commercial tools are available in the market, but not every tool suits the project requirements. Therefore, one may need to closely examine the project’s nature and need to choose the most appropriate tool. The following list will give you an idea of defining your priorities and selecting the best tool per project and team needs. The automated testing tool should support the following major features:
- Self-healing tests
- Codeless test creation support
- Effective test execution reports
- A cloud-based test execution environment
- Multiple OS, device, and cross-browser support
- AI/ML-based modern technologies
- Support for E2E testing, UI Testing, API Testing, and Database testing
- Support of CI/CD process
- Integration with standard tools like Jira, Git, TestRail, X-ray, and various pipelines
- Good customer support from the tool provider
5. Major benefits of Automated testing
Here is a shortlist of benefits that can be achieved if you get automated testing right:
- Test execution is faster than the manual testing
- Provides the broadest test coverage of AUT features
- Ensures reliable, accurate, and consistent test results as human intervention are not required during the execution of the tests
- Helps in saving the time and total cost in executing the regression tests
- Assists in releasing the features quickly and continuously to the market
Automating your testing requires you to meet the testing goals within the appropriate timelines and with adequate resources. First, select the proper tool to implement the various automated testing levels that fit your project needs. Then, verify that the tool supports all sorts of tests without any massive effort from QA, product, and development teams. Finally, plan how to move over to using the new tool. A planned and well-structured automation process is all you need for successful automated testing. On the other hand, automating tests without a plan or sequence can lead to bloated test scripts, frequent test failures, and many manual interventions to maintain the tests.