Basic Introduction to Automation Testing

Eti Sharma

Every project or software goes through a testing procedure, and the type of testing method depends on various factors like the budget, expertise, suitability, requirement and timeline of the project. When the tester writes the testing script manually and tests the software until it functions properly known as manual testing & when this manual testing process becomes automatic, it can be defined as automatic testing.

Let’s dive in to learn more about the process of automation testing. By- Vishakha Vilas Nadhe

Software testing automation is the use of software tools to execute test cases automatically. This can be done by recording and replaying user actions, or by using a programming language to create scripts that automate the testing process. Software testing automation can be used to test a variety of software applications, including web applications, mobile applications, desktop applications, and embedded systems.

Software testing is not a one-time process, as the developer test the software until it is declared error-free. It checks whether the software is showing the expected output per input. Software testing is done by the testers who test cases repeatedly to gain output according to the requirement in two ways: a) manually and b) automatically.

Why Automation Testing

When a company develops a product, it is bound to have defects. So, before the release of the product, the company needs to capture the flaws in it to provide a seamless user experience. It is the responsibility of the testing team to perform various kinds of testing, from functional to non-functional, to ensure the effectiveness, efficiency, and better user experience of the overall product. Though testers use both Manual and Automation testing, but doing Automation Testing eases a lot of manual work, provides accurate results, and saves up a lot of time, which results in the quicker delivery of the product.

Types of Automation Testing Frameworks

  • Linear Framework : This is the simplest framework of all. Under this framework, you need to write a simple code to run the test cases without any modularity or sequential steps. It works as a record-and-playback model.
  • Keyword-driven Framework : It is a scripting technique where you associate keywords with certain actions, such as opening or closing of a browser, mouse-click events, and others. Later on, in your test scripts, you can call these keywords to perform a specific step. Also, you will have a file where you will maintain all the keywords, along with the actions they perform.
  • Data-driven Framework : In a data-driven framework, all the test case data inputs are stored in the table or in extension files, including .xls, .xml, .csv, etc. While executing the test scripts, it will read the values from the table. With the help of this framework, you can perform both positive and negative test cases.
  • Page Object Model Framework : In the POM framework, you will create an object repository for the web UI elements. It allows you to call these methods later on without having to write the code again. Thus, it results in less verbosity, code reusability, and reduced time-consumption to write test scripts.
  • Modular Framework : The modular framework allows you to divide the test scripts into small, independent modules. These modules will interact with each other in a hierarchical manner to run large test scripts. This will also help you create the required test scenarios and test the scripts individually.

Functional and Non functional Automation testing

  • Functional testing: The first test performed by tester on newly revised software is called functional testing, which verifies all the software functions’ features per user requirement. This testing works on the real-world business application and obtaining the expected output from a given input. All application functions are tested and involve smoke, unit, and integration testing.
    • Unit testing: The unit is the smallest component of the software that functions individually. Unit testing simplifies the testing of the whole software, where each software element is fully tested before the final version is out. Unit testing depicts how the code performs at each part and has a faster execution time. It’s the favorite of developers because it consumes less time and assure the working of each part of the software. Before automation testing, the developers write the code for testing, but now there is no need. The unit testing technique is divided into three broad categories: White box testing, Black box testing and grey box testing.
    • Integration testing: Integration testing is more complicated to set up compared with other tests. All the modules of the application communicate with each other to perform tasks. Therefore, testers group them for testing and exposing the flaws in maintaining the interaction between these modules. Another name for this testing is I&T or string testing, considered end-to-end.
    • Smoke testing: This testing checks and defines the product’s stability (whether stable or not). If the product result is unstable, it is called an ‘unstable build’ and sent back to developers, where they run more test cases to find out the root cause of the problem. 
  • Non-functional testing: Non-functional testing focuses on how well application functions are doing, not on what the product does. It is the opposite of functional testing, where application elements like reliability, usability, performance, etc., are tested. Some types of non-functional testing are reliability testing, load testing, compatibility testing, performance testing, security testing etc.
    • Performance testing: This non-functional testing tests the software’s stability, responsiveness and speed under the workload. It finds out the potential issues faced by critical software and medical programs used by the user, like slow operation of software under stressful circumstances. It finds hurdles in the performance of software and removes them to increase the ability of software to deliver the best results to the end user.
    • Regression testing: When some changes are made to the code of software or application, it needs to be tested to determine whether the software is working as before the change; for this purpose, testers use automation regression testing to automate scripts, applications of workflows, plans and other activities. It tests the system or software workflow after its updation and functional error.
    • Keyword driven testing: Keyword-driven testing tests the application using the data files consisting of the keywords related to the application, representing a set of actions needed to carry out the step. Here these specific keywords are identified and connected with the specific action. Therefore during testing, when these keywords are used, their related actions will automatically be done. This keyword testing is a popular choice for many businesses as it’s flexible, concise, easy to maintain and reusable. Keyword-driven testing is compatible with all kinds of automation tools in the market. Instead of programming experts, functional testers can plan the testing before the application is fully developed.
    • Data-driven testing: In data-driven testing, automation is inbuilt and very effective due to the few facilities provided, like the reusability of code, change in the script doesn’t affect the test cases, and this testing can be carried out in the phase of the software development cycle. It provides consistency in results and reduces the investment of time and resources. Test cases use the data separately stored in the table or spreadsheet format, and testers have multiple data sets for testing.

Advantages of Automation Testing

  • Simplifies Test Case Execution: Automation testing can be left virtually unattended and thus it allows monitoring of the results at the end of the process. Thus, simplifying the overall test execution and increasing the efficiency of the application. 
  • Improves Reliability of Tests: Automation testing ensures that there is equal focus on all the areas of the testing, thus ensuring the best quality end product. 
  • Increases amount of test coverage: Using automation testing, more test cases can be created and executed for the application under test. Thus, resulting in higher test coverage and the detection of more bugs. This allows for the testing of more complex applications and more features can be tested. 
  • Minimizing Human Interaction: In automation testing, everything is automated from test case creation to execution thus there are no changes for human error due to neglect. This reduces the necessity for fixing glitches in the post-release phase. 
  • Saves Time and Money: The initial investment for automation testing is on the higher side but it is cost-efficient and time-efficient in the long run. This is due to the reduction in the amount of time required for test case creation and execution which contributes to the high quality of work.
  • Earlier detection of defects:  Automation testing documents the defects, thus making it easier for the development team to fix the defect and give a faster output. The earlier the defect is identified, the more easier and cost-efficient it is to fix the defects.

Challenges in Automation Testing

  • High initial cost: Automation testing in the initial phases requires a lot of time and money investment. It requires a lot of effort for selecting the tool and designing customized software.
  • Limitations:
    • 100% test automation is not possible as generally, the effort is to automate all the test cases but in practical real situations not all test cases can be automated some test cases require human intervention for careful observation. There is always a human factor, i.e., it can’t test everything like humans(design, usability, etc.).
    • t is not possible to automate tests that verify the user-friendliness of the system. Similarly, if we talk about the graphics or sound files, even their testing cannot be automated as automated tests typically use textual descriptions to verify the output.
  • Programming knowledge is required: Every automation testing tool uses any one of the programming languages to write test scripts. Thus, it is mandatory to have programming knowledge for automation testing.
  • False positives and negatives: Automation tests may sometimes fail and reflect that there is some issue in the system but there is no issue present and in some cases, it may generate false negatives if tests are designed to verify that some functionality exists and not to verify that it works as expected.

The Top Automation tools available for Web Testing

  1. Selenium: Selenium is the most powerful free tool for automating functional testing of web applications. Selenium is a set of tools that helps testers to automate web applications more effectively.Every day Selenium is gaining popularity among testers. And if you are professionally engaged in testing automation, then studying this product is an integral part of your activity.
  2. Katalon Studio: Katalon Studio is a free and reliable solution for automating API, web, and mobile testing. Katalon Studio includes a full set of functions for the complete process of automation of testing, covering several platforms and types of testing. Katalon is a convenient and powerful tool that supports the ability to record test scripts. Katalon Studio is a great helper for developers.
  3. UFT: Unified Functional Testing (UFT) is an automated software testing tool. The tool allows you to reduce the complexity and cost of testing by making it easy to develop and maintain test scripts.
  4. Ranorex: Ranorex is a paid universal tool for web automating testing, mobile, and desktop applications. It features advanced GUI recognition capabilities, reusable test scripts, and the ability to record/play software test steps.
  5. Robot Framework: The Robot Framework is an open-source framework designed primarily to automate acceptance testing and ATDD, but its capabilities go far beyond that. Robot Framework uses the concept of keyword-driven testing. An approach in which keywords are developed that can then be used by people who are not very good at programming and automation in particular, to build automatic tests.

Get in touch with Telenity to explore customizable Employee trackingFleet tracking, and other location based APIs for your business at [email protected]

Sources: Javatpoint, dhananjaysonar and Intellipaat websites

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