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Test Automation – How Much Automated Is Your Test Automation Framework
Every software product strives to deliver flawless software, yet the delivered software has several defects that always creep in and reappear despite the best manual testing efforts. Manual testing is performed by trying various usage and input combinations and comparing the results to the expected behaviors. Such tests are often repeated during development for changes in the source code and situations like operating systems environments and hardware configurations. However, manual testing is limited to a certain extent and is unable to match the pace of required efficiency and test coverage of complex software applications.
Large and complex software projects require a significant investment in time, resources, costs, etc., which quickly adds up and increases the cost of testing. Automated Testing provides a solution to this. Once tests are created, automated tests can be run over and over again without any additional costs and are faster than manual tests. Automated testing helps to reduce the time to run repetitive tests from days to hours that translates directly to cost savings. It increases the depth and scope of tests and helps to improve software quality. Lengthy tests can be run unattended, on multiple computers and with different configurations. Automated Testing can easily execute thousands of different complex test cases during every test run, providing testcoverage that is impossible with manual testing.
However, one important point to take care of is that not every test requires automation. For smaller projects, implementing a Test Automation Framework or Automated Testing may not be an economically feasible solution. For larger projects, engaging a Automated Testing is a necessary step.
Most project teams spend a lot of their time and effort in creating a framework with a lot of features but forget to consider about the tests. The real value of any Test Automation Framework is provided not by the number of test scripts, but the test results it produces. Automated Test scripts are also a part of the production code base and need to be maintained just like the rest of the code. Adding overly complex and difficult to maintain tests can slow down the feedback cycle and diminish the importance of automation.
Even the most efficient tester can make mistakes during long monotonous manual testing. The largest software and Quality Assurance departments are unable to perform a controlled web application testing with thousands of users.
Test Automation Framework helps to execute the Automated Tests precisely and always record detailed results. They can simulate tens, or thousands of virtual users interacting with a network, software and web application. Tests can be run automatically whenever changes are introduced in the source code. The developers are accordingly notified if the tests fail. This saves time and helps to increase the developers’ confidence. Executing repetitive tasks with a Test Automation Framework enables the team to spend time on more challenging and rewarding projects.
The number and frequency of software projects today, outpaces the ability of the testers to verify and validate them manually. Automated Testing can help to manage this high amount of change. It harnesses the power of computers to run test suites quickly and saves human capital for more engaging tasks in the organization.
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