What is Automation Testing?

In software testing, Test Automation/Automation Testing is a technique that involves using special testing software tools to write and execute a test case suite that compares the actual outcome with the expected outcome. Test automation is the practice of running tests automatically, managing test data, and utilizing results to improve software quality. It is used to automate repetitive tasks and other testing tasks which are difficult to perform manually. 

Test Automation is the best way to increase the effectiveness, test coverage, and execution speed in software testing. 

What can be automated?

It is impractical to automate all testing, so it is important to determine what test cases should be automated. The benefit of automated testing is linked to how many times a given test can be repeated. Tests that are only performed a few times are better left for manual testing. Good test cases for automation are run frequently and require large amounts of data to perform the same action.

You can get the most benefit out of your automated testing efforts by automating:

  • Repetitive tests that run multiple times.
  • Tests that are prone to human error.
  • Tests that require multiple data sets.
  • Frequently used functionality that introduces high-risk conditions.
  • Tests that are impossible to perform manually.
  • Tests that run on several different hardware or software platforms and configurations.
  • Tests that take a lot of effort and time when tested manually.

Different types of Software Test Automation

Typically, automated testing is divided into the type of testing, the type of tests, and the phase of testing.

Automation Based on the Type of Testing

Functional Tests: Functional tests are written to test the business logic behind an application. Automating these means writing scripts to validate the business logic and the functionality expected from the application.

Non-Functional Tests: Non-functional tests define the non-business requirements of the application. These are the requirements related to performance, security, databases, etc. These requirements can remain constant or can be scaled as per the size of the software.

Automation Based on the Phase of Testing

Automation of Unit Tests: These tests are run during the development phase itself. These are ideally run by the developers after the completion of development and before handing over the system to the testers for testing.

Automation of API Tests: API tests are run during the integration phase. These may be run by the development or testing team and can be run before or after the UI layer is built for the application. These tests target the testing based on the request and response on which the application is built.

Automation of UI based tests: UI Based tests are run during the test execution phase. These are specifically run by the testers and are run only once before the UI of the application is handed over to them. These test the functionality and business logic of the application from the customer-facing screens of the application.

Automation Based on the Type of Tests

Unit Tests: Unit testing is when you isolate a single unit of your application from the rest of the software and test its behaviour independently. These tests don’t depend on external APIs, databases, or anything else.

These tests are usually written by the developers themselves. However, based on the team structure, automation testers may also be asked to write them.

The main purpose of unit testing is to see how each component of your application will work, without being impacted by anything else. Unit testing is performed during the development phase and is considered the first level of testing.

Smoke Tests: Smoke testing is performed to examine whether the system build is stable or not. In short, its purpose is to examine if the main functionalities work properly so that testers can proceed with further testing.

This is a small test suite and is something that will be executed multiple times and therefore it makes sense to automate it. These tests will usually be functional and depending on the type of application a tool can be picked for them.

API tests: In API testing, the testers validate the business layer of the application by checking the request-response combinations for the various APIs on which the application is built. API Tests can also be done as a part of the integration tests.

Integration Tests: Integration test as the name itself suggests means testing the application by integrating all the modules and checking the functionality of the application.

The main purpose of integration testing is to verify how the modules communicate and behave together and to evaluate the compliance of a system.

UI tests: UI tests are done from the UI layer or the frontend of the application. These may target testing the functionality or simply testing the UI elements of an application.

Automating the UI to test the functionality is a common practice. It is also one of the most complicated automation.

Regression tests: Regression means checking that a recent change in code doesn’t affect any existing features of the app in question. In simple terms, it verifies that changes made to the system did not break any functionality that was working correctly before their implementation.

It is repeated after each new iteration of testing and the main test cases stay fixed with usually a few new additions after a new iteration. As it is frequently run almost all the test teams try to automate this part.

Performance Tests and Quality control: Performance tests are non-functional tests that target the requirements like testing of load, stress, scalability of the application.

Acceptance tests: Acceptance tests again fall under functional tests which are usually done to ensure if the acceptance criteria given by the client has been fulfilled.

Benefits of Automation Testing

Here are some of the biggest benefits of using automation testing for software development:

Faster Feedback Cycle

Automated testing improves the coverage of testing as automated execution of test cases is faster than manual execution.

Saves time and money

Software tests must be repeated often during development cycles to ensure quality. Manually repeating these tests is costly and time-consuming. Though automation may require an initial investment, it can save money in the long run to become more cost-effective.

Higher Test Coverage

Among the many advantages of automation testing, this one stands out. By automation, QAs can execute a much larger number of test cases. More tests ensure maximum coverage of requirements and features in every test cycle.

Wider test coverage increases the likelihood of identifying bugs, which prevents avoidable issues from escaping into production and contributing to a low-grade user experience.

Improved Accuracy

Even the best testing engineer will make mistakes during manual testing. Manual testers cannot be expected to deliver 100% accurate results. People get tired, miss steps, and make other errors. Automation, however, runs a script perfectly every single time, and records results in the exact detail it has been instructed to.

Detailed reporting capabilities

Automation testing uses well-crafted test cases for various scenarios. These scripted sequences can be incredibly in-depth and provide detailed reports that simply wouldn’t be possible when done by a human. Not to mention providing them in a shorter amount of time.

Improved bug detection

With automation at hand, developers can run unit tests on their workstations before pushing code to version control. Subsequently, a series of other automated tests (integration, regression, etc.) is also run automatically. As quickly as it is created, every patch of code is tested extensively. Bugs are detected early on when they tend to be easily fixable and their impact quite minimal.

Simplifies testing

Testing is a routine part of the operations of most SaaS and tech companies. Making it as simple as possible is the key. Using automation is extremely beneficial. When automating test tools, the test scripts can be reused. Manual testing, meanwhile, calls for a single code line to be written for the same test case, each time it needs to be run.

Eliminate Human Error

Manual testing is vulnerable to human mistakes. Especially for complex scenarios, it makes sense to use test automation to avoid mistakes. You can still make mistakes, even with test automation. However, the rate of mistakes is significantly lower when using test automation for your test suite.

Why do we learn automation testing?

Software testers with manual testing skills alone won’t cut it in today’s job market. Automated testing is all the rage. Yes, exploratory testing is important, and testers have certain skills that many developers do not, but the fact remains that the demand for automation testing continues to rise.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top