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Automated Testing Vs Test Automation - Clearing The Cloud Of Confusion

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By Author: Diya Jones
Total Articles: 101
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When it comes to DevOps and its outcomes such as Continuous Integration and Testing, the term "automation" comes into play. Automation means using technology to finish a task quickly and seamlessly. Automated testing is quite different from test automation. Automated testing aka continuous testing is the method of conducting automated tests that are part of the value chain. It helps to derive feedback on the business-related risks that are associated with a software release. The feedback helps to get an insight into the feasibility of a software release. On the other hand, test automation aims to automate the repetitive manual tasks that a software engineer-cum-tester would exercise. He or she does so with the help of functions that utilize the user interface of a system. It mainly produces a set of fail or pass data points that is concurrent with the requirements of an application.

Test automation solutions involve the automation of selected test cases. These cases are meant to validate the quality of software while conducting integration or regression tests. This helps testers execute the process in a faster manner while reducing the test execution time. The emergence of several test management tools such as Eggplant, Webdriver, and Selenium has streamlined the automated testing process over a period of time. Furthermore, these tools target several facets of testing in a fast retrieval and systematic mode. These help the development team in avoiding any kind of redundancy.

How Automated Testing is different from Test Automation

The key differences between automated testing and test automation can be classified into three categories namely, time, risk and breadth.

· Time: Speed has become a key differentiator in today’s competitive IT landscape where enterprises rush to deliver finished products to their demanding customers. As a result, most organizations are turning to DevOps and Agile to expedite their build, testing, and delivery processes. Automated testing mainly focuses on testing the internal systems that were framed and updated as per the traditional waterfall development model. Now, Agile processes are becoming the standard where testing takes place in parallel with development. This helps in hastening the iteration timeframe of the test build.

· Breadth: Even though organizations per se try to avoid the occurrence of large-scale software failures to save their reputation, minor glitches can create trouble for them as well. It is important to note that a failed unit test or positive UI test that is part of the QA automation testing process does not validate the quality of an overall user experience. To safeguard the end user experience, the software needs to undergo tests covering a broad canvas. This helps to detect anomalies related to the inadvertent modifications of an application, impacting functionality.

· Risk: Nowadays, businesses deliver a number of internal applications as well as complementary pieces of software to the end users. For example, users can access the procedure of internal flight booking systems. Also, the complementary pieces of software can help customers to plan their vacations by availing services such as renting cars, hotels, etc. Exposing the internal applications containing certain functionalities to the users can act as a competitive differentiator. However, it can also increase the complexity and number of potential failure points.

So, if the automated testing process does not consider the business risks, the test results would not offer any insight to assess those risks as well. Most tests are devised to offer low-level details on whether user stories accurately specify the requirements or not.

Test automation is a part of continuous testing that scores over the traditional testing method as far as identifying and removing critical glitches are concerned. Test automation minimizes the burden of testing needs by tracking different system tests. In doing so, test automation ensures that testers maintain a standard of quality at all points along the pipeline. It helps testers to focus more on the effort and time in creating efficient test cases.


It is important to understand that no tools or technology platforms can give the desired results. Like DevOps and Agile, automated testing needs the adoption of technology, processes, people as well as collaboration with test automation solutions. So, should business enterprises seek to enhance the productivity of their testing teams by optimizing the test cases, the application of automation testing becomes important in the SDLC.

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