The world is moving towards automation. You may have been listening different opinions and some buzz words behind its popularity like agile development, cloud testing and much more. But the more important is to know why, how and when based on your specific business perspective. Does it really beneficial to your business or need? If yes, which path you should follow when you have multiple options to do automation testing like through manual automation scripts, vendor-specific automation tools, open source tools and last but not least through cloud platform! Let us go one by one.
When to use automation test – a simple scenario
Let say you have multiple modules functionally interconnected to each other. During testing a defect has been identified in a module and developers fixed it. But the change in the module may have a functional impact on other modules which need another round of functional testing to ensure all the modules are working properly. Suppose you have 50 such functional scenarios. Hence, manually running this regression testing is time-consuming and can delay the release. Rather if you have already prepared automation script for such regression testing how many hours and cost it will save for you? So, regression testing is an area where you can expedite your process through automation testing.
Why use automation testing?
Is regression testing is the only cause of using automation testing? Broadly speaking ‘No’. Automation testing has proved its efficiency in small to large scale software development lifecycle from technical to non-technical aspects.
Saves time and money: As discussed already when running through automation tool or script, it is faster and needs minimum manual intervention saving your resource budget and project timeline.
Correctness: Manual testing needs some skills and alertness to execute each step of test cases, which is not needed in case of automation testing. Hence the result is expected to be more accurate.
Increased test coverage in limited time span: In case of very complex and huge application there may be a need of testing thousands of test scenarios to give full test coverage. It may need the involvement of inner data tables, memory usage, and files containing the application which manually sounds like impossible. Using automation testing it is feasible within given time frame.
Effective agile development: In an agile environment when the frequent release is a need, testing must be faster and correct. To pace up with development, automation works well in these scenarios.
Helps developer with quick turnaround time: When multiple developers are working on different inter-related modules, a shared automation script can help them to identify bugs with any change during unit testing. It helps to expedite development process as a whole.
Automate load testing for virtual users: Suppose your application needs a load testing that may interact thousands of users. Manually testing this scenario is a real challenge whereas an automation script can generate thousands such users for your application.
More frequent functional changes: When the functional requirement of your application changes more frequently whereas the GUI is frozen, it’s a complete testing rework and automation can save testing time.
How to use automation testing?
There are many pertaining questions here –
1. Which type of testing can you automate?
The answer is almost all types –
- Unit testing
- Functional testing
- Regression testing
- Integration testing
- Black box testing
- Data-driven testing
- Smoke testing
- Keyword testing
2. How much investment is needed for it?
It depends on your need and budget. It can be performed three ways –
- Automation scripts those are written by skilled testing programmers.
- Open source automation tools like Selenium
- Vendor-specific automation tools
Now depending on your project scale and budget, you can choose which one works most suitable for you.
Conclusion: While you can accomplish most of the testing scenarios through automation testing in an efficient, resource and cost-saving way, you must well analyze on it beforehand. The initial investment for automation is high although it may help you for long-term purpose. Hence, be focused to choose the path of automation. You must remember that automation doesn’t mean zero involvement of testers. Moreover, you need skilled staff to supervise or write automation scripts. Otherwise, your investment on automation will not give you expected ROI. You must do a fit-gap analysis of the tool or process with your requirement. If you go for automation tool then better to go for open source tool at the initial stage to save the cost. Another important point you should keep in mind that you cannot expect 100% automation in your project. Areas like UI testing, compatibility tests or recovery analysis need manual testing and cannot be achieved through automation. Moreover, use the best practices for automation testing to make it really beneficial and optimum.