In this fast-paced world, people need convenience, innovation, safety, design and much more from their products and services. This pushes companies to develop and test software at a rapid pace in order to thrive in this competitive marketplace. To meet these demands in a quick time, firms leverage automation technology.
As we all know that manual testing is tedious, time-consuming and requires a high investment in human resources, and hence to avoid all these issues, automation testing is preferred by the organizations. So let’s explore test automation frameworks, when to use it over manual testing and how to choose the right one.
An automation framework is a comprehensive set of guidelines which provides an execution environment for automation test scripts to produce beneficial results of the automated testing activity. The guidelines may include coding standards, test libraries, test tools, common practices and assumptions of the desired outcome. But, it is important to know when an organization should choose automation framework over manual testing. When a team of developers is working on different modules of the same application, using a mix of various approaches can create confusion and hence the likelihood of errors gets increased. Hence it is important for the organizations to choose the ideal framework for their specific requirements and apply it to each module.
Some of the key benefits or objectives of using test automation frameworks include:
Reusable Tests: Efficiently designed test automation frameworks are easier to maintain and are usable.
Low-Cost Maintenance: Reusable automated tests results in low-cost maintenance.
No Manual Intervention: Ability to run automated tests without any manual intervention.
Easy and Transparent Reporting: It gives clear, unambiguous and targeted reporting and fits the requirement of different type of reporting with different information or detail level.
Here are the standard types of test automation framework which are generally used:
Depending on the need and requirement of the tester, there are certain widely used test automation frameworks with different functionalities which are preferred by the QAs including:
Linear Scripting Framework: This framework involves recording and replaying of test scripts in a linear fashion with no or little modification. This is the first generation testing method for automated software testing and has the simplest framework approach. Linear scripting framework is mainly used to test a web application’s user interface wherein the testers record their step-by-step actions and playback the record tests.
Data-driven Framework: This framework allows the tester to segregate both the test script logic and data by storing it in an external database such as XML, CSV, Excel spreadsheet, text etc. The best feature of this type of framework is that it reduces the number of scripts required to cover all the test cases and it has the ability to modify test scenarios with code based on the data used. The data-driven framework comes with a drawback that a combination of external data sources may crash software tools and complicate manual testing.
Keyword-driven Framework: In this type of framework, tables on a spreadsheet determine the action of a test script based on the assigned keywords. This framework offers the same benefits as of Data-driven framework with an added advantage that in this, the user doesn’t need to have extensive coding knowledge. The framework is also application independent, i.e. it is not dependent on the application, programming languages or automation tools. The main disadvantage of Keyword-driven framework is that the initial investment of time and money is high.
Modular Testing Framework: This type of framework divides the application under test into isolated modules that can be combined to make larger test scripts. The modular testing framework breaks down a user’s interaction with the application into smaller tests and then recombines them to achieve specific goals. It is scalable and comes with a high level of modularization which results in easier and cheaper maintenance.
Hybrid Testing Framework: This framework is the combination of more than one of the above-mentioned frameworks to leverage the strengths of each. Hence it combines benefits from all its associated frameworks and avoids weaknesses. Most of the test automation frameworks that are developed for modern software development cycles are of hybrid nature.
In order to be effective, these automation frameworks should possess some key elements such as:
Should be easy to maintain and reusable
Should be scalable to future needs
Have reliability and consistency
Have high efficiency
Should have maximum test coverage
How to determine which framework is right for your organization?
Every team and every project has its own requirements for test data management, test behaviour specification, error handling, reporting etc. Before finalizing the ideal framework for your organization, you should ask these questions to yourself:
Does the application have a complex flow? Have a look at the testing requirements.
What is the user experience like and consider the technology used in the application?
Determine the costs associated with each framework.
Can your team easily plug into one of the frameworks? Evaluate the skill set of your team within the organization.
What guidelines will give the desired results of the automated tests?
Which tools would be ideal for your organization before designing an approach that fulfils all the requirements?
What is the technical proficiency of the people who are going to maintain test automation?
What types of reporting is expected from the automation?
It is best to create a scorecard to assess several parameters including scripting, integration, reports generated, usage etc. while evaluating multiple tools. Test automation frameworks will establish the guidelines to achieve the desired goals of automated tests. But a qualified and proficient test automation professional should be involved in consideration of design and implementation of automation frameworks or selection of software tools.
In today’s modern software development methods, test automation frameworks have an important role to play. Even the small/medium enterprises are looking forward to reaping the benefits of automation frameworks to meet the demand for their products & services and are very much prepared for its need in the future.
If you are looking for a Unified Test Automation solution, Testsigma is built to help Agile and DevOps teams to shift from Manual Testing to Test Automation quite easily.
Testsigma has all the essential elements required for continuous testing.
Try Testsigma: Best Test Automation Framework for Agile and DevOps teams to switch from Manual testing
With advancements in technology, major areas in every field are researching and employing new tools to simplify their workflows and make things simpler. These tools also mean reduced effort and time. But as is common, we are apprehensive of anything new and are reluctant to step out of the comfort zone and into an unknown territory.
The same is the case with new improved automation testing approaches like Scriptless automation testing that are now being introduced in the market.
Some common thoughts that prevent us from exploring such new tools are “Scriptless automation is not really going to be that easy”, “What if something unexpected happens?”, “What if this is not the right way?”, “But I’m halfway through. I’m not jumping in that bandwagon!”.
And, “What is wrong with our current processes?”, ”We don’t really need a change, all our needs are met.”, “Embracing new processes means new sets of tools and processes, and again it will need either hiring new people or training the existing ones.”
Of course, fearing the unknown is good but why rule it all? Giving these scriptless automation testing tools a try and comparing them with the traditional scripted ones in all aspects is the need of the hour for better adoption of technology and moving ahead. Let us discuss the reasons why new user-friendly scriptless automation testing tools are still only a second thought.
The market tends to lean towards open source and free technologies
As Open Source and Free tools like Selenium and Appium don’t require an initial investment to learn and apply, the number of people skilled in such tools is much more compared to the paid ones. This also means that these tools are adopted by more number of companies than the ones that would require monetary investment on the automation testing tool.
Thus, Ease-of-use and less cost of resources, in the long run, is a factor that is missed accounting for when automation is planned.
There are a lot of test cases that are automated already, moving to a new tool seems cumbersome and expensive
When a lot of time and money has been invested during the automation of test cases and there is a large test suite that is being executed already. It does make much sense to move these to a new scriptless automation testing tool. Even though it will be scriptless, it will require some time for covering all test cases.
This is a valid point unless the test cases are proving too much to be maintained. This point will be discussed in detail later in the article.
When tools are being researched for implementation, the famous and widely adopted ones are preferred because of easily available help and talent
Before any automation testing is put into place, most of the companies spend some time in figuring out the tool that best suit their needs. One of the major factors in picking up a tool is the high adoption rate. If there are multiple organizations that use a tool, the trust factor is more.
People also rely on experience when the question of using an automation testing tool comes up. If in an organization there is someone who has previously worked on a tool, that tool will automatically get preference because that is known to work first hand. Again, in this scenario, the much-needed analysis before choosing the right tool is skipped and the advantage of using a scriptless automation tool is mostly forgotten.
Fear of the unknown
As discussed before, when someone is asked to use a new tool that has not been widely used yet. The fear of unknown failures and the belief that help, when needed, would not be readily available, prevents people from adopting it.
Even though we discussed why there is a reluctance to abandon already automated tests, we also need to know what are the scenarios when adopting new scriptless automation tools will prove beneficial for you.
Maintaining the current automated tests is tedious
If you would look at testimonials of people using scriptless automation testing tools in the market like Testsigma or any other, you will find out that people have moved very large sets of test cases to new automation tools and have saved time and money in the long run. So, if there are moments when the amount of time and effort that is being spent while automating the test cases seems to get on your nerves, re-evaluating the tools used will prove beneficial.
Because of the high learning curve of the automation testing tool in use, there are just a handful of resources that can debug the test cases
If there are a limited number of people that can write and debug your test cases and you have a large testing team, it is time to switch to a testing automation tool that enables all the users to create the test cases. The way to go here is a scriptless test automation tool. The need to collaborate is important too.
You are looking to reduce the time and cost involved in writing and maintaining your automated test cases in the long run
A scriptless automation testing tool may require some investment upfront but what needs to be considered is the total cost involved in learning the tool, test case automation and maintenance. If the total cost is less than the cost for another tool that has a higher learning curve and requires more time for test case automation and maintenance, then the choice is clear.
A scriptless automation testing tool like Testsigma that offers AI supported test case maintenance is sure to keep the maintenance cost to a minimum.
An overhaul in the product is being planned
If your product is going through an overhaul, it is the perfect time to reconsider your choices in terms of the automation testing tool being used and if possible, go for a better solution.
Try Testsigma for Scriptless Automation Testing
In today’s times, when Testsigma provides automation that can be scriptless, test cases that can be maintained via artificial intelligence, can be hosted on the cloud saving infrastructure cost, can be integrated with all widely used tools for analysis and reporting and last but not the least, the test cases can be run on a device farm in addition to physical devices!
DevOps is the combination of software development practices that combines Software Development (Dev) with Information Technology Operations (Ops) intended to speed up the development life cycle of any software application. It is critical to delivering new features and improvements, bug fixes, and updates frequently in close alignment with business objectives.
In a nutshell, DevOps practices include Agile planning, Continuous Integration, Testing and Continuous Delivery, and of course monitoring and improving. Let us remember that DevOps is not a process or a technology or even a standard. Many businesses, software companies, and IT professionals refer to DevOps as a culture focusing on rapid delivery through the adoption of agile lean processes. DevOps heavily involves technology, technologies for building systems to be delivered and more importantly, testing automation tools for QA testing purposes.
Where Does QA and Test Automation Fit with DevOps?
DevOps plays a very important role in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), but where exactly does QA fit in continuous integration of DevOps practice?
The answer to the question is simple. QAs with their test automation activities fit in every release. They, the QA tester team, after all, are obliged to thoroughly check the product, and make sure it is well-polished and production worthy. They practically make sure that quality is ensured throughout the testing and delivery cycle and each of the testing and development groups is answerable for it.
Continuous integration and continuous delivery practices, software updates take place almost every week and it is expected of business operations to encounter problems that can be rooted mainly from being a defect in the product that pretty much affects multiple business users. This is quite a common scenario nowadays for businesses therefore everyone needs a quick fix especially when the product is failing.
Having a hot fix means it needs to be tested right before it is ported to production. This is where the QAs and test team comes in. This is where they need to take responsibility and accountability in evaluating and doing some assessments whether the immediate fix resolves the current issue the production is facing and most of all, the fix does not affect the functionality of any of the existing features within the application. So just as much as the Developers and Product Owners wanted to get rid of the outage by a quick fix, a Quality Analyst is needed to mitigate future outages to as much an extent as possible.
Basically, QA ties together development and operations and enables them to collaborate to have software and applications up and running. Everyone in the organization takes responsibility for quality and stability, and thereby for the success of the business.
Developers think more like a tester, and continually checks their own code for potential errors. Conversely, a tester, whose responsibility is to test the application or software using different types of testing tools & methodologies think of workarounds to fix the code. In such a scenario, organizations without a strong and definite QA and testing strategy to “continuously test” in DevOps face troubles in meeting their goals for an accelerated speed of delivery.
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What Is the Impact of DevOps on QA?
DevOps is roughly an approach but rather it is a culture and a practice of continuous integration, continuous deployment, and continuous improvement. Multiple teams are involved and working together to work as a DevOps team, therefore it affects not only QAs but also the development team, business operations, production support, etc.
If we are solely talking about QAs, we can formulate the impact of DevOps.
One, DevOps is considered an enabler for businesses to reduce IT budget. It improves the efficiency of end-to-end delivery, runs on a lean delivery framework and it has a working end-to-end test automation framework.
Nowadays, successful businesses today are design thinking driven. The majority of them have a strong sense of urgency, aided by innovative software engineering practices. Businesses today need to have a working continuous delivery practice in place. Having one in place pretty much mandates a better outcome of product quality and speedy release. Automaton is the key to success across DevOps processes.
Delivery by co-located, integrated teams using innovative tools prevents collaboration and communication issues.
Manual errors, stove-piped communication issues are completely addressed just by having a good DevOps governance model. The model itself mandates “Fail Fast, Fail Often” which is driven by the “Test First” concept. This means that testing is a continuous process and more extensive in nature. Testing allows cohesiveness between the team of teams and the automation of everything possible. Testing is paving way for continuous improvement in the test processes being delivered via iterations. Intelligent test automation, improved regression, continuous test augmentation to name a few, are some benefits delivered by DevOps.
From a testing standpoint, DevOps addresses some of the key testing challenges. For instance, in a test environment, virtualization, automated deployment, automated build and configuration management, data refresh and maintenance becomes seamless. On the other hand, continuous Integration, automation, and verification – test first centric test-driven development, behavior-driven development concepts allow test processes to improve in a DevOps Model.
With all these, it is safe to say that as far as DevOps and Test Automation is concerned, DevOps accelerates the project delivery and life cycle of building an application. On the other hand, is designed to speed up the testing phase without compromising the quality of the product.
Having the best of both worlds, DevOps knowledge and practices along with Test Automation is promising for the success of the business. With the right team roster and an automation tool, like Testsigma, you will have your product live in the market in no time!
If you haven’t tried Testsigma yet, then you are missing out on shifting your QA team from manual testing to test automation in a jiffy. Above all, lets your QA team be a part of the automated DevOps process.
Testsigma: Your Best Yet Move Towards Test Automation For DevOps
Now if we start talking about the “perfect” QA tool that fits DevOps culture and practice, there are a few things we need to keep in mind. Factors like the iterative, automated, and incremental nature of DevOps. The QA tool must and at all cost be flexible enough to handle all the unforeseen changes during testing sessions. More importantly, it should be scalable to the extent to endure workloads during the continuous development, continuous testing, and continuous deployment phases.
What we should be looking for is a tool that completely adapts to how DevOps works. A tool that is an enabler which can empower your testing team for iterative releases. On a special note, the tool should be scalable and reliable to handle the incremental amount of code changes.
Just to summarize all this, what you need is a solution that is designed for Test Automation in DevOps.
Sure, there can be a lot of testing solution provider in the market like UFT that uses VBScript as its scripting language, then there are tools in service virtualization for Testing and many more of them that claims to be an “all-in-one testing solution” and choosing just one would be a difficult task.
Well in that case, sometimes it is best to try it for yourself. You may try Testsigma, an all in one Unified Test Automation Software for Web, Mobile apps and Web Services and one that works well for DevOps and CD.
Continuous Testing for Agile and DevOps teams that uses shift-left approach, incorporates Continuous Integration and Continuous Development, provide fast feedback to accelerate the delivery of web & mobile apps.
Super-Fast Test Development Using Simple English lets everyone write automated tests at least 5 times faster using plain English. No coding skills required.
Fully Loaded Test Lab on Cloud to Run Tests which offers over a thousand Operating System/Brower/Version combos and two thousand plus real mobile devices to run significant amount of tests in minutes.
Parallel Test Execution to Save Time and Cost because of scalable test environments and parallel test executions to run thousands of tests in minutes for faster feedback.
AI to Reduce Maintenance Efforts and Improve Productivity by saving test maintenance time by 70%. AI also helps identifies affected and potential failures upfront to save execution time and costs.
With all these being said, it is best to say that Testsigma is built for QA teams to automate testing in DevOps. So, what are you waiting for? Don’t be left behind. Sign up now for a free 30 days’ trial!
Testsigma undertook the work of providing customers with the best experience in using their automation testing solution. What makes this test automation suite competitive from the other vendors in the market is that it is scriptless(NLP based), maintained by AI, and can be hosted either on-premise also on the cloud.
What also sets Testsigma apart from the rest is, they built their solution to address all the testing-related concerns of every business, whether small or medium business to even an enterprise.
One of the major reasons why customers prefer Testsigma is the product’s capability to scale to the extent of catering volumes of the workload for the largest organization especially for those organizations that adopt Agile and DevOps methodologies.
Agile adoption is now a trend to many businesses which means that the playing field of software testing has been levelled.
What Is Agile Testing?
Agile based testing is a process that is intended to perform a quality check on an application or software that follows the principle of agile software development. In traditional development, typically it uses a “big-bang” deferred testing approach, while agile testing develops and test systems in small increments, often developing tests before writing the code, story, or feature.
With this approach, the test itself helps to elaborate and clearly define the intended system behavior, even before the system is implemented. In other words, quality is established at an early stage. Pretty much like agile development, agile testing is a collaborative, team-oriented process where everyone shares the responsibility of testing the software.
Yes, you have read it right! Everyone has to do their fair share in agile testing and that is to test the software! This it is often referred to as “teams-of-team”.
Agile testing comes with a “test-first” approach that practically applies to all types of agile work such as defining software capabilities and its features, outlining the non-functional requirements, creating user’s stories based on client’s specification and requirements and as well as coding. It can also be applied to the hardware components of the application. This is the same way tests are written during the coding or development stage, acceptance tests for capabilities and user stories and features are there to clearly define the output. Also, the right timing of clearly defining the proposed system behavior by the way also mitigates the need for overly detailed requirement specifications and sign-offs.
Unlike conventionally-written requirements, these test cases are automated wherever possible. Even if they weren’t, they still provide a clear definition of what the system does, rather than an idea or statement of early thoughts of what it was supposed to do.
Start your Agile Testing today with Testsigma. Automate your testing right from day one. No coding skills required!
VUCA World: Reason Why Companies Opt for Agile Testing
Today, most of the business adopt agile mainly to addresses all possible scenario of the VUCA world. But what is VUCA World?
First of all, VUCA stands for Volatility – Uncertainty – Complexity – Ambiguity.
Volatile change in environments is constant. It is usually masked by rapid, unexpected and significant changes with tentative duration. Uncertainty is a component of some instances, with a lack of clarity and making the outcome unpredictable. Complexity is a manifestation of the multiplicity of interconnected factors, and the nature of it can be quite difficult for us to process and at times, it puts limit for control. Ambiguity brings along an environment that has everything in it, are hard to decipher with mixed messages and many are unknown unknowns.
These are just some of the high-level details of what most businesses are dealing with in today’s world.
This is why it is a good move for a business to start practicing Agile as a culture. Adopting agile means you are shifting towards DevOps and it means that testing is happening and more people are getting involved in it.
With this enterprise level of testing, it is critical for everyone involved in agile testing to know their role and scope!
Know Your Role in SAFe
In a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), testing at an enterprise level means we are involving professionals from several departments. From portfolio management to program management and the team itself that primarily composed of software developers alongside the QA test team.
With so many participants, it is for a must not only for you but for everyone else to know which role to play for the project to succeed.
For you to have a clear insight into this discussion, I am sharing the three-layer organizational abstract from Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). This is how a typical agile organization looks like.
The Team Layer are teams of software developers and testers closely working together to create a product from selected user stories, strictly governed and prioritized by the Product Owner with the scrum master who makes sure that agile practices are in place.
The Program and Large Solution Layer is mostly a team of Architects and Program Manager who is responsible for demonstrating a working software at the end of each sprint cycle. The are also teams from the IT infrastructure department who provisions platforms for continuous integration, development and staging, and as well as for end-to-end testing.
The Portfolio Layer is the stakeholder group. Stakeholders are executives that make sure that the program is aligned to the enterprise’s business strategy and model.
Now just to weed out the “devils in the detail”. Here is a more detailed breakdown of roles involved in such enterprise activity.
Testers are the ones who are closely working with the product owner to add and refine the done “criteria” for user stories. They are not only responsible for developing test scripts but they are also accountable for creating frameworks for manual and automated testing. In a nutshell, they always do a benchmark of the system and find flaws within it. If there are defects then they are expected to work with developers directly to create a solution and validate them.
System Team Testers – This team is the one who develops the platform for testing and frameworks that empower the team that makes up the Agile release train. Creating and running automated tests to enable continuous integration and continuous deployment falls within their bucket too. They also provide provisioning of network and virtualization that allows the test team to test and develop independently of one another. Most importantly, they are the ones who conduct audit and testing of cross-system topics like Single Sign-On (SSO), security, compliance and regulatory standards which may or may not fall to being the QA test team “out-of-scope support”.
Then we have the “Other Actors” from the user management team, user experience experts and several other architects who play as backup and support roles in such activity.
Test Architects are those who define testing strategies, framework, and methodologies, and work hand in hand with System Architects in ensuring that the product application is designed for quality testing.
Automation Architects lead the analysis and proof of concept activities when it comes to automation testing. This is to ensure that consistency for build verification tests and regression test suite are in automation is in place. Overall, they are engaged in everything that has something to do with automation such as preparing the test cases, setup specifications and configurations, the staging of test cases and its data.
System Architects are not involved in testing directly, but they are the ones who design the system to cater to overall testing sessions and workloads.
UX Experts is team of user experience experts who are deeply involved UX testing, and providing inputs as to what approach is needed for usability testing and test automation method.
Business Analysts provide support to the agile and system teams in developing and executing end-to-end testing. They also provide recommendations on functional and non-functional requirements, and Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
Product Owners at times typically involve in testing and ad hoc testing.
Additionally, in an agile or system team, testers are becoming a part of virtual teams and are commonly referred to like the Communities of Practices (CoPs). CoPs are comprised of people from different teams and departments having common expertise and knowledge. They come together as one and participate in activities to share their expertise and experiences.
Testing in an Agile enterprise, everyone is accountable for quality which makes everyone a tester regardless of their levels within the organization. Therefore, other enterprise businesses opt for cross-skilled resources. For instance, developer-tester role, an individual dedicated to programming as well as testing.
Now that you have the bigger picture of Agile Testing, what role do you play in? How is your agile culture within your organization different from this?
Test automation is being increasingly adopted by a majority of software companies, but still, there are some places where there are reservations as to how much value test automation will provide. Most of the confusion stems from the fact that not all people in an organization, especially those who take decisions find test automation a worthy investment.
Another aspect of the same problem is that although everyone involved with the development of a project has been involved in manual testing at some level when it comes to automation, they often find themselves out of place. Hopefully, by the end of this article, we will be in a better position to solve both the problems.
A typical day in the life of an Agile Software development team that has also invested in test automation looks like this:
Developer checks in some code
The code is built
The set of automated cases run after the code is built
If the test cases run successfully the code is deployed, if not the cycle continues
In parallel with Software Development, there is the Quality Assurance team who either write manual test cases of features that are yet to be checked in or write automation scripts. Sometimes, there are test cases that fail during the 3rd step and, the reason could be a bug in the code or a change in the feature, which makes it necessary to change the test case.
Contribution From Different Resources
Black-Box Automation is done by the Quality Assurance people who have special skills to do these tasks. The contribution from Developers is in the form of unit tests and white box test cases that they add to test their own code.
Test Automation by Functional Experts and SMEs is particularly important in Agile/CD cycles.The Product Manager, Program Manager or Project Managers that are involved in business specifications gathering and handling the client end, receive and review the emails of the test results and any other analysis reports on the test.
Although Product/Project Managers are the ones that interact with the customers, their involvement in the test automation phase is not much. Even though Managers can review the manual test case documentation, reviewing automated test cases is not their cup of tea.
Once the feature becomes old, there is a big chance that the important scenarios that were run by the stakeholders may not be tested again after release. There is a high possibility that a new check-in for a new feature may break these important scenarios or some edge cases and they go unnoticed till the time it is found by the end user. Embarrassing right? What if there was a test automation tool that would enable the stakeholders to add these test cases for test automation by themselves? Testsigma sure is one such test automation tool.
What Is Needed?
Although there is a process set in to transfer all the requirements that come from the client to the developers and the testers. In all the processes involved and the time invested during the design, development and testing phase, a lot more intricacies are added to the product that needs to be taken care of both my developers and the testers. Thus, before the release time, the involvement of a person who has first-hand knowledge from the customer who has not been involved in the details of design and development gives unique insight to the product and how well it caters to the business requirements.
To make sure that the automation actually covers the business requirements, the reviews and inputs from the Product/Project Managers are vital. For ensuring that the developed features are fully tested via automation, the reviews by developers are essential too. The best possible way would be to enable a person who is not well versed with the automation world to review the automated test cases and if possible to easily automate the scenarios that they deem important. This way two purposes would be fulfilled:
The most important test scenarios would be automated
The automation team would get more time to work on the intricacies of automation. Giving them the time and opportunity to also include complex test cases to the test suite and more time for maintenance and increasing the robustness of the test cases.
What Do New Improvements In Test Automation Industry Entail?
Artificial Intelligence(AI) is the new technology trend that is being adopted by most industries as is by the Software Industry. What the test automation industry needs is a new tool that can enable all the stakeholders of a software/project to create automatable test cases with a minimum learning curve.
Testsigma is one such tool that is set to revolutionize the test automation industry because it uses AI as its core. Test Cases need to be written only in simple English and once the test cases are execution ready they learn and adapt to new changes and make maintenance easier with the help of AI.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Test Automation Tools That Use New Technologies And Techniques?
If such tools are used it will not only lead to a gentler learning curve for quality assurance engineers to write and maintain the test cases but will also give the opportunity to project managers and clients to add test cases where needed. If other stakeholders can add and review the automated test cases, the test suite is sure to cover the most important scenarios before the product hits the market and will lead to lesser number of bugs.
How Will The Adoption Of New Tools Lead To Test Automation Becoming More Inclusive?
Enabling other stakeholders to review and automate test cases serves more than one purpose. It will lead to more test cases and better code coverage. It will also lead to a better understanding of the process and needs of test automation. Better understanding also means better adoption. Thus, using a Unified Test Automation Tool like Testsigma which has the capability of adding test cases in simple English and learns to maintain the test cases via AI is need of the hour and answer to the need to make test automation more inclusive.
Though ‘Fail Fast, Fail Often’ is a commonly misinterpreted phrase, in a positive opinion of the person using the phrase, it is supposed to mean that there should be a quick feedback loop such that errors are caught quickly and frequently. And, creating such a feedback loop means that there should be sufficient resources to enable quick turnaround to learn from the failures and make the system ready to fail and come back up again.
Implementing Fail Fast, Fail Often
Fail Fast, Fail Often not only means the ability to fail, but it also means the ability to rectify just as quickly and any number of times. Achieving this means putting in systems that can speed up processes and allow for quick feedback. It is only when you have the ability to resolve failures in a minimum amount of time that the ‘fail fast, fail often’ mechanism works.
At present, there are multiple tools and products available in the market that aim to cater to a pain point and make the process easier. But because not all products and processes are the same, the same tools cannot cater to all the needs to establish ‘Fail Fast, Fail Often’. Hence, according to the product and the specific processes followed, thorough research needs to be done on what tools should actually be used.
Fail Fast, Fail Often during Software Development
In the Software Development world, Testing is an important process because that is what decides if the software can be released into the market. Testing is also of various types and is done at different stages of software development. Testing is just like a feedback loop at every step to uncover any issues before moving to the next stage in the SDLC.
For eg. Let’s say during the Design Phase, the Developer created a design for which development will be done but soon after a tester figured out a bug in the design. This would hamper the software quality in a real time scenario. Here, the Design failed but the feedback was quick so was the defect fix. Hence, in the next step, this error will not be repeated.
Similarly, just after the development is complete, there will be a short round of testing called smoke testing that verifies that the happy path works. This also gives a good quick feedback at the earliest and bugs can be handled at short notices.
Test Automation and Fail Fast, Fail Often
After the test cases are designed and the software is developed, it is test automation that matters. If the number of test cases that are automated is more, there is a better probability of catching any introduced bug with any new build. But for the feedback to be configured for every check-in and build, there needs to be a continuous integration system in place. After the continuous integration is put in place, the process that is followed is as below:
The new code is checked in to the repository
The code is compiled and built
If the build is successful, test cases are executed.
After the test case execution, a complete report of the successes and failures of the test cases is sent via email to the concerned people/the team
If there is any failure, the bug is identified, the feedback is sent and the issue fixed followed by rounds of regression testing. Again, the process starts from Step 1.
When all the possible steps above are automated, the time for feedback reduces by a great deal and when the test cases are run every single time, some code is checked in, the “fail fast, fail often” methodology is realized.
In terms of test automation, the execution of the test suite after every check-in is the major contributor to fail fast, fail often. Thus making it work at its best becomes important. One way is to enrich the test suite with all types of test cases including the complex ones and the edge cases. This can be achieved if along with the testers, other stakeholders are also involved in test case creation.
For eg. The client knows of the critical scenarios that can never fail for them, the project manager knows of the errors that need to be caught before the build reaches the customer, the developer knows the intricacies of the product and will know what parts will be impacted by any feature change. If all of the knowledge along with that of a tester is unified and put into place as automated test cases, the ‘Fail Fast, Fail Often’ system will surely work as it is supposed to. A tool that allows for scriptless test automation and relaxes the learning curve is the way to go here.
Resolution after failure
When there are changes in the code, changes in the test cases will be needed too. The answer to this is a tool that modifies the test cases according to code changes and makes maintenance easier. Testsigma is a tool that uses AI at its core. Here test cases can be written in simple English using NLP and AI adapts itself to new changes automatically.
Another challenge in the software world is the technology and methodologies that change every other day. Keeping up with these changes is essential for the companies otherwise they face the threat of losing out on the competition in the market. Here again, a Unified test automation tool like Testsigma comes to rescue where it helps maintain the test cases using the AI and provides integration with third party tools. In addition to local devices‘ execution, it also provides cloud hosting for all test cases as well as a dedicated device farm to run those test cases on. So the cost of investing in the procurement of any new devices in the market that needs certification is reduced.
Thus, enabling your testers with the latest tools in the market with the least amount of effort and keeping your test cases up to date and good on coverage will help your software development process to fail fast, fail often via well-defined test automation.
In the evolving Testing phase, Automated Testing has been in the limelight. The benefits are obvious. Check out Why Automated Testing is necessary. A lot of companies are rummaging through automated testing tools to achieve their business objectives. While some find success, many still fail to make the most out of the ‘automated’ approach to testing.
Does that mean that automated testing is not the right way? Do automated testing tools fail to maximize the ROI? A common reason why the time to market is not stepping up is due to maintenance issues. Whenever a change is introduced in the product, the entire automated testing script needs to be updated.
This calls for an increased time and cost investment to be utilized for running the automated testing. It also requires other in-project investments like training for the testers on various scripting languages and familiarizing with new testing tools to create an ideal framework to perform automated testing.
Thankfully, there exists a way which can save product companies from this dilemma and make full use of automated testing techniques. This with the help of Scriptless Automated Testing. If you are new to the term, Scriptless Automated Testing reduces the time taken to create automated test scripts with less/no coding. Testers can simply compose tests by choosing objects from dropdown menus and visually create test conditions without writing complex lines of code.
By going scriptless, you will definitely experience a significant rise in productivity as compared to the traditional way of script based automated testing. Although there is no denying the fact that test automation will work the way it is, Scriptless Automated Testing can reduce the scripting time by many folds and can maintain and manage objects and identifiers automatically.
How does an Automated Scriptless Testing Tool Work?
Scriptless test automation comes as a revolutionized approach that offers a very minimal yet powerful interface for testing. You don’t need to spend a lot of time learning a new coding style or a programming language. All you need to do is to operate a drop-down mechanism and you can utilize all the basic fundamentals of automated testing such as modularity and keyword driving. Along with test case management and reporting, you can also fix bugs within the automated script setup.
Easy To Use Interface
Scriptless automated testing test automation brings together the best concepts of test automation together. This includes data driving, keyword driving, sequence of keyword, data per step, the sequence of keyword, UI object definition, and modularity. All these come in an easy to use interface.
The quicker your automated testing concludes, the faster will be your time to market. Scriptless automated testing enables you to easily automate large test suites and fasten the product delivery speed. This saved time can be invested in detecting and fixing the bugs in the earlier phases of the product development lifecycle.
Reduces Cost Of Automation
You would see yourself spending a considerable amount of money to train your in-house resources on automated scripting skills. But if you go scriptless, you save yourself from investing in training sessions.
Functional Testers who have sound product understanding can perform the will find this effective. While the manual testers make use of the scriptless testing, automation engineers can focus on other important aspects such as DevOps, white box testing, unit testing, select the right test cases and create test suites for the scriptless automated testing approach.
Easy To Maintain Scripts
Scriptless Automated Testing is a comprehensive way of running automated tests. Scriptless test suites are easy to maintain – which is important as the maintenance phase is one of the critical aspects of the product development lifecycle. Ease of optimization for the product under test accounts for agility and quick response times. Moreover, you might have experienced that scripts created for automated testing often break during the maintenance phase. This is simply because the framework is generally not created from a reusability or traceability standpoint. On the other hand, scriptless automated testing features traceability of all reusable components.
Removes Tool-Specific Coding
If you successfully remove the tool dependency from automated testing, the overall process of QA and automated testing becomes more efficient. Scriptless automated testing removes the need for dedicated Selenium or QTP professionals and lets your testers create scripts through objects and actions. Later, when there is a need to change technologies in your project, your testers do not need to go through the fuss of any tool or language complexities.
Participation Of Business Analyst And Experts
Non-technical people such as Business Analysts and stakeholders are often far from coding. You would rarely see these people from sharing their thoughts on the highly complex automated testing environments. However, with the help of scriptless automated testing, business analysts and subject matter experts can actively contribute and track progress. This way, you get a perfect blend of technical knowledge and the non-technical domain expert.
Scriptless Automated Testing Advantages In A Nutshell:
Your automation engineers would need a one-time effort to create the architecture and workflow of the solution, define class libraries, and set keywords
You can write automated tests on the go
You can always stay up front with the increased workload without adding any extra resources
Improved execution of automated tests
Highly customized keyword and data-driven approach.
Applicable to smoke testing, regression testing, and user-acceptance testing
Selenium is an open-source Automated Testing tool which provides a single interface to help you write test scripts in programming languages like Java, NodeJS, Python, Ruby, etc. to test web-based applications.
Selenium has 4 components:
Selenium Integrated Development Environment is a Chrome and Firefox plugin that can log interactions in the browser and generate its code in programming languages mentioned above, as well as Selenese which is Selenium’s own scripting language (yes, Selenium has its own scripting language!).
Selenium WebDriver, also known as a Selenium 2.0, is the most important tool of the Selenium Suite. Selenium WebDriver formed as a Selenium RC upgrade, and it does not require any manual process like Selenium Server, instead, there is direct communication between code and browser.
Selenium WebDriver consists of:
API – Application Programming Interface. Ports test scripts written in Ruby, Java, Python, etc. to Selenese (Selenium’s own scripting language), through bindings.
Driver – Executable module that opens up a browser instance and runs the test script.
Framework – Support libraries for integration with natural or programming language test frameworks, like Selenium with Cucumber or Selenium with TestNG.
The way Selenium WebDriver works:
The WebDriver protocol has a local end named client which sends the commands (test scripts) to a browser-specific driver. The driver then executes these commands on its browser instance. So, if the test script calls for execution on Chrome and Firefox, the ChromeDriver will execute the test on Chrome; the GeckoDriver will execute the test on Firefox.
Note: Test scripts execute only when the WebDriver’s client and browser/driver are connected. It doesn’t have to be on the same device. However, to enable test execution on multiple remote drivers, you need RemoteWebDriver and the Grid.
Selenium Grid is the last component of the Selenium Suite and it is used for the parallel testing or distributive testing. It allows us to execute test scripts on different machines at the same time.
The Architecture of Selenium Grid
In Grid one of the systems is created as Hub. Hub works as a central point controlling all the nodes, it accepts access requests from WebDriver client. Nodes are an actual machine on which execution is done and contains a native OS, browsers and RemoteWebDriver.
The way Selenium Grid works
WebDriver-client executes the test on a faraway device through RemoteWebDriver. RemoteWebDriver is like a regular WebDriver, except its two components are the Client (your test script) and Server (a Java servlet that actually executes the test on the remote device).
In your test script, you define ‘desired capabilities’ (device, platform, browser, etc.) of the node where the test will execute. The Hub receives test script, runs through the registered nodes to find the one that matches the desired capabilities, and assigns the test to it for the execution.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Selenium
Advantages of Selenium
Selenium is an open source software, anybody can download the source code and use it, modify the source code according to company requirements, but selling modified code is not allowed.
Selenium supports various programming languages to write test scripts – Java, C#, Perl, Python, Ruby and PHP. Although it supports all mentioned languages, only one language can be used at the time. Most of the Selenium Testers use Java (nearly 70%).
Selenium supports all currently available operating systems (Mac, Windows and Linux).
Selenium supports various Browsers (Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.)
Using Selenium Grid, we are able to execute tests in parallel, so that we can reduce the test execution time.
Selenium integrates well with popular tools such as SauceLabs, Selenium Grid, Extent, JUnit, TestNG, and others.
Selenium is backed by a vast community of developers and testers who actively contribute to the tool and documentation.
Disadvantages of Selenium
Since Selenium is an open source software, nobody providing reliable technical support.
With Selenium, we can automate Computer Web Applications and Mobile Web Applications, but we cannot automate Computer Desktop Applications, Mobile Native Applications and Mobile Hybrid Applications.
Selenium WebDriver does not have built-in Results Report facility, we need to use JUnit or TestNG Testing Framework to generate Test Reports.
Selenium demands higher-level technical skills, such as programming, from QA team members.
There is no support for running tests in parallel on a single computer.
Selenium + TestNG/JUnit is not the complete, comprehensive solutions to fully automate testing of your web application. You need different libraries (POI API, GSON, Extent Reports) to make it a complete solution for a testing framework. Managing multiple dependencies is difficult and requires extra maintenance work that everyone wants to avoid. A good dependency management tool such as Maven, Gradle or NPR can make this task easier.
With Selenium Grid you can execute tests in parallel, as is mentioned above. However, it is not always feasible to set up and manage test machines since the requirements for devices vary with projects.
As you could see, Selenium has pros and cons and depending on your type of software you should consider which approach is the best. After considering all, maybe Automated Testing would not be the best approach, and that is where Scriptless Automation Testing advent.
We will tell something more about the challenges in Selenium based Automated testing, so you can better understand the difference between Automated Testing and Scriptless Test Automation.
Challenges involved in Automated Testing
Lack of quicker feedback: Scripts are written after the application is built and stabilized. Early feedback, which is essential for the reduction of the cost of quality in Agile development, is seldom available. Read more on the importance of Shift Left Testing.
Change of focus: The prime objective of the testing team has moved from testing the functionality of the application to the technical development and execution of scripts.
In conclusion, the key holdups in adopting traditional QA methods are the issues faced by functional and business teams in understanding automation scripts. Additional effort is required to make them available to non-technical users, leading to reduced collaboration between the functional specialists and automation teams.
One of the solutions to maximize the scalability of Automated Testing is Scriptless Test Automation. Scriptless Test Automation enables QA Engineer to automate test cases without coding, and any knowledge of it. It helps to achieve faster results and reduces the time expanded to understanding the code.
Software testing represents a vast scope, but it can be categorized into the areas of Manual Testing and Automated Testing.
Nowadays, companies work in an Agile environment and to provide Continuous Delivery of quality software. However, is hard to ensure continuous delivery without Automation Testing, but on the other hand, all cannot be covered only with Automated Testing.
Both Manual and Automated Testing has its benefits and disadvantages. Within each category, specific testing methods are available, such as black box testing, white box testing, integration testing, system testing, performance testing, and load testing.
What is Manual Testing?
Manual Testing is performed by QA Engineers without the support of any testing tool nor scripts. Manual Testing is not optional. Every application must be tested “by hand” at least once or any time during the first cycle.
Manual Testing ensures fast and accurate visual feedback. Also, if it is only for one cycle, it is less expensive and does not require that we spend budget on additional tools or training. For a good performance of Manual Testing, it is important to understand a product you are testing.
What is Automated Testing?
Automated Testing is a software testing technique which uses an automation testing tool to execute a test suite. The aim of automation testing is reducing testing efforts, delivering new features faster and more affordable. With less effort, you can release better quality software.
Test cases which should be executed in every regression process, but does not require “a human eye”, should be automated. With that, the regression process will take less time and if any bug exists, it can be found faster which is more important to be found early in the cycle and get it resolved quickly. The bugs found earlier are easier to fix and the process is less expensive than finding them at a later stage when it would be difficult to fix.
Manual Testers may have to deal with mundane repetitive tasks and it is a high chance that they miss out on something and to omit some things while testing in case that they are passing the test cases repeatedly.
In short, Manual Testing is best suited for the following areas/scenarios:
Exploratory Testing emphasizes personal freedom and responsibility of the individual tester. In Exploratory Testing documentation is mandatory, and to assure the quality it is necessary to document testing in details. Also, Exploratory Testing always needs to be done by expert Manual Tester.
Usability Testing is a type of software testing which is focused on the user’s ease to use the application, flexibility in handling controls and the ability of the system to meet its objectives. It is also called User Experience (UX) Testing.
Ad-hoc Testing is an unplanned method of testing, informal testing type with an aim to break the system. Test cases are not followed by any test design techniques. Documentation is not a basic need for this type of testing. Manual Testers always attend the testing without specific documentation. Also, Ad-hoc testing is not important to be executed by an expert Manual Tester.
Automated Testing is the preferred option in the following areas/scenarios:
Load Testing provides insights into how your application scales and whether it can perform under pressure.
Repeated Execution requires the repeated execution of a task when you need to use multiple test data sets.
Performance Testing is testing which requires the simulation of thousands of concurrent users. Performance Testing is a type of software testing which ensures software applications will perform well under their expected workload. The goal of Performance Testing is not to find bugs but to eliminate performance bottlenecks.
Cross Browser/Cross-Device Testing has to be run on several different hardware or software platforms and configurations.
Continuous Development Process has tools which are designed to help you keep track of bugs and issues as you go. It is also crucial that the systems, these teams use for testing, are fully integrated into their CI server.
Try Testsigma built to help manual testers move to automation testing effortlessly. Writing automated tests is as simple as writing manual tests using simple English. Sign up for a free trial.
Benefits of Automation Testing
Before starting with automation testing, the question which should be asked is “Which test cases should be automated?”. First of all, important business test cases should be automated for sure, the ones which are executing repeatedly, time-consuming test cases and the ones that are difficult to perform manually.
The following list represents some of the main benefits of automation testing:
Fast: As we discussed earlier, Automation Testing is significantly faster than Manual Testing. It helps you find bugs in the early stages of software development, reducing expenses and working hours to fix these problems as well.
Reusable: The same tests can be reused on different versions of the software. Some applications can have several test cases which only differ in some parameters, and in that case, automation testing is preferred since you can set up the environment once, and then only change the required parameters.
Reliable: The same operation can be performed each time a test is executed, thus the precision of accuracy is on the enviable level.
Comprehensive: A set of tests can be grouped and classified as Test Suite where tests for the same feature should be included.
Running tests 24/7: You can schedule the execution of tests, and to see the results when execution finished. when you leave the office and see the results when you get back in the morning.
Volume: As for mobile testing, for example, Automated Testing allows running tests on thousands of mobile devices (more than 18000 devices). We would all agree that testing all of them manually would be impossible. Now that you can test all devices even without owning them on the cloud, we can fully utilize the capabilities of Automated Testing.
Nowadays every organization faces the question of what should be chosen – Automated Testing or Manual Testing? If the application is not large, complex, does not have thousands of test scenarios and when there are not many cycles to repeat, Manual Testing fits better than Automated Testing. On the other hand, for a complex, huge applications and if there are many testing cycles for the same set of features Automated Testing should be preferred. But you cannot do only Automated Testing, Manual Testing is obligated in some part of the testing cycle.
Most organizations are now part of the Agile Development and for successfully delivering good quality software, Automated Testing is a better solution than Manual Testing.
In my next article, I am going to discuss Automation Testing tools and its benefits. The focus will be the most on Selenium, which is the most popular Automation Testing Tool nowadays. But, is it the best? Please check out in my next. It would be titled, “Selenium based Automated Testing“.
“With the best Automated Testing Tools, the ROI is sure!”. You might want to give Testsigma a try!
To put a system in place for Automated Testing is not just about selecting a test automation tool but also involves setting up several elements and components that contribute to a successful test automation process.
Various components that comprise a fully functional test automation system are:
Right Test Automation Framework, to reduce the scripting efforts for the automation engineer
Automation testing tool to write scripts
Some machines to host the automated test cases – A dedicated machine is needed to execute the test cases which means extra cost
CI/CD system/Integrations to make sure the test cases are executed consistently when needed, mostly after a check-in
Tools to gather information about test-coverage(Test Management)and code-coverage to make sure all the written code is being executed
Integrations with Collaboration tools, Bug reporting tools etc.
Test Data Management, to increase the coverage of the tests
Testsigma is a web-based test automation platform for test managers, manual testers and automated testers to collaborate across entire test life cycle including the phases automated test development & execution for web applications, mobile applications and web services.
Try Testsigma which has all the essential elements to get started with test automation immediately. No initial time, cost and resources are required. No coding skills required!
Putting all the above components together and making sure they work as expected is not an easy task either. The various steps involved before an automation suite can become functional are:
Decide if Automation is a feasible option
Analyze the test automation tools available in the market
Determine what resources are going to be involved in automation
List down the testing matrix
Test Case Creation
Execution, Reporting and analysis of the Test Results – Integrations with other tools in the ecosystem
1. Decide if Test Automation is a feasible option
If you have very frequent releases and the testing resources are less, automation is the solution that can help save the manual testing time while the results of every test run shall be emailed after its execution. But the automation will only prove beneficial when the following conditions hold true:
There is a big set of regression test cases that need to be run quite frequently such that the cost of manual testing would exceed that of automation
The product is such that there are multiple modules that don’t get changed frequently. If a lot of changes are pushed in the product all the time then the cost of maintaining the test cases would be higher as compared to manual testing cost
A large set of test cases are automatable. Each UI element should also be considered for automation if the product/website is UI intensive.
2. Analyze the tools available in the market
This is where most of the time is spent. It is always good to do POC with multiple tools before taking the final decision.
Once it is decided that automation is a viable option, the next step is to analyze the automation tools available in the market and decide a suitable tool depending on the budget and the nature of the product. One of the factors that needs consideration is what technology the product is built in and then ease-of-use of the automation tool should be considered as well.
Another factor that should not be missed is the skills of the existing resources which leads us to the next point.
3. Determine what resources are will be involved in Test Automation
After the test automation tool is decided, the obvious step is to decide how to go about with the automation process.
If using the test automation tool needs special skills and more resources to be hired, it would again be a time-consuming task and newly hired resources also mean more cost. If it is decided that the existing resources would be trained, it requires a bit of time and cost for training the old resources.
If at this point, the test automation tool is such that it requires minimal training for automation testers then that would be highly beneficial. If other stakeholders can also be involved in writing the test cases it directly means there is a major reduction in time and cost.
Such tools are the ones that allow for scriptless test automation solutions like Testsigma are efficient and allows the test cases to be written in simple English language using NLP and maintained by AI.
Also, along with human resources, infrastructure in the form of machines is needed that would host the test cases for execution. That again means added cost. This cost can be optimized if the infrastructure can be used as a service as well. Such services are already available in the market like AWS and Google Cloud Platform that can host your test cases and execute them at minimal costs. Saucelabs and Testsigma offer are test automation specific services that host test cases on the cloud and also provide the execution and reports.
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4. List down the testing matrix
This is more like preparing a checklist of all the different environments(OS, browsers, devices) supported by your product that will have to be tested via the automation suite. It can prove very costly if you plan to buy all the supported devices. Instead, subscribing to a service that has all the devices ready for testing and integration can prove beneficial here. Again, this need is met by some tools available online likeTestsigma and SauceLabs that has a variety of browsers on multiple devices ready for testing, AWS Device farm is one such similar offering.
5. Test Case Creation
This is the most time-consuming task. The time taken depends on the number and complexity of the test cases. Also depends on the chosen automation tool. The complexity of the test case creation can be reduced if an easy-to-use automation tool is chosen. For eg. if a scriptless automation tool is chosen this can help save a lot of effort and time.
6. Execution, Reporting and analysis of the Test Results
The automated test cases would not make sense if they were not integrated with the CI/CD tools and run after all major check-ins. Running them often means quicker feedback. And this can be achieved when integration with CI/CD, reporting and analysis tools is in place.
Cloud services that also offer integration with these tools can help save substantial amount of time and resources. Testsigma is the go-to tool here that supports integrations tol such tools on the cloud.
Thus, although automation can prove to be a major task initially if the right automation tool with all the essential elements discussed above is chosen, it can avoid the huge initial time, cost and resources spent to gets started with automation testing.
That’s why we built Testsigma.
Testsigma lets you get Started with your test automation immediately. There is no initial ramp-up delay involved. Testsigma lets you automate your tests using simple English from day one!