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Discuss The Best Test Automation Strategy To Achieve Test Results
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The convergence of factors such as intense competition, the launch of new devices, the presence of legacy systems, and a multiplicity of platforms, operating systems, browsers, and networks has made the development of software a challenge. Add to that the changing dynamics of customer preferences and the advent of development models like Agile-DevOps, and you observe ‘quality’ becoming the preferred deliverable in the SDLC. To keep pace with digitization, businesses are required to develop robust and secure software applications that are rich in performance and functionality, in the shortest turnaround time. This entails incorporating Continuous Integration (CI) and a robust QA mechanism in the SDLC to deliver quality applications to the customers. Since manual testing remains woefully inadequate to address the challenge, test automation seems to have become the de rigueur for software testing.
Advantages of conducting test automation
Extensive test coverage: Since the software application of today has a comprehensive interface with various elements of the digital environment courtesy the APIs, it needs to go through an extensive QA exercise. With test automation services, codes can be integrated on a continuous basis and critical parameters validated within short turnarounds. The automated test scripts can check a multitude of test variables to find out if the test outcomes are on expected lines. Thus, the test scripts are able to identify glitches that may have crept into the codes. Moreover, since automation testing can work practically nonstop, the iterative tests can be validated across processes, APIs, devices, and networks. It is a far cry from manual testing where the test coverage area depends on the ability of human testers to conduct (or do away with) extensive tests.
Cost effectiveness: Due to the lack of extensive test coverage in the manual process, glitches can remain undetected for long. And when they are eventually detected in the final stages of the SDLC, it becomes costly and time consuming to eliminate them. The automation testing approach, on the other hand, can identify glitches in the initial stages of the development sprint. These glitches when brought to the notice of the development team are easy to eliminate, and thereby lead to cost savings.
Faster time-to-market: Software test automation can validate the quality of an application in the shortest possible time. This leads to a quicker integration of codes and a swift delivery of the software suite.
Reusability: Many of the automated test scripts can be reused for similar software applications. This quickens the time of testing as test automation experts are not required to write new test scripts.
Any automation testing approach needs to be robust and clear in its objectives. Let us find out the best approaches to implement automation testing.
So what does a great automation testing strategy require?
To begin with, not every process can be automated, nor can manual testing be fully eliminated. The test automation experts should identify the processes that lend themselves to automation. It is better to automate a few tests that are repetitive, complex and time consuming.
Record and Playback: In this approach, testers record the actions of users and play them back a number of times to compare the actual results against expected outcomes. The approach uses hard coded data, which can be understood and executed by non-coders should the complexities in terms of customization is kept at a minimum. This approach is easy to be implemented and has a low development cost as well.
Data driven framework: This works well when the workflow is repetitive and the data voluminous. Here, the test scripts run alongside the respective data sets within a framework. It helps to validate applications with big data sets in multiple environments. This approach consists of a limited number of checkpoints with robust test cases. The data driven framework test scripts can be reused and help to enhance the test coverage area.
Keyword driven framework/table driven/action world testing: The test consists of two distinct stages – design/development and execution. This test automation framework can validate applications across multiple environments and data sets. It has a good test flow coverage and the script can be reused.
In a continuous integration and delivery environment, the role of QA automation testing cannot be overemphasized. However, to derive the right test outcomes, proper automation tool, processes, and strategy should be selected.
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