Also known as automation testing, automated testing has revolutionized the mode of software testing. It is playing a crucial role in the recent explosion of mobile apps and web applications across industries. Thanks to its growing adoption, the global market for automated testing is expected to grow to $49.9 billion by 2026.
Automated testing frameworks like Selenium enable the testing of entire applications (or modules). Before automated testing, manual testing was mainstream. However, it was slower, more time-consuming, and more expensive.
Through this guide, we shall define automated testing, as well as its various techniques and applications.
What is Automated Testing?
Automated testing is any software testing approach where no (or minimum) human intervention is necessary for application testing. Automation testing executes test scripts anytime to examine the product or application.
Before the advent of automated testing, software testing was manual, with a team of software testers assigned to uncover product flaws. The software tester prepared the necessary test cases and executed them repeatedly to check if the application performed as expected.
Contrarily, automated testing uses automation tools or frameworks which can execute the same test cases repeatedly. Once the test automation suite is prepared, this form of testing requires zero human intervention.
Why is automated testing effective? It is because it improves the test coverage and execution speed of product testing, thus enabling more products (or versions) to undergo testing in a limited period. This leads to more high-quality products with a faster release cycle to the market.
Next, let's discuss the benefits of automated testing.
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Benefits of Automated Testing
Automated testing has invariably proved to be significantly faster than manual testing. This is beneficial for companies looking to develop applications at a faster pace. When used in an agile environment, automated testing enhances communication among project stakeholders, including developers, testers, and project managers. This improves overall efficiency by quickly identifying and resolving product flaws or vulnerabilities.
As compared to manual testing, automation testing is cost-efficient in the long run. For instance, manual testing does not facilitate repetitive or continuous testing. The cost of manual testing also increases over time. On the other hand, automation testing enables companies to execute their test scripts repeatedly without additional costs. Hence, it works out to be cheaper from a long-term perspective.
In essence, automated testing does not replace human testers but serves to improve their productivity. Human resources no longer need to spend their working time writing test cases or performing basic product testing. Instead, they can focus on advanced or critical tasks, thus improving employee engagement and job satisfaction.
Here are some of the other benefits of automated testing:
- Wider test coverage
- Improved product quality
- Earlier detection of bugs and flaws
- Suited for DevOps and CI/CD
Next, let's discuss the techniques used in automated testing.
The Four Techniques of Automated Testing
Product companies can improve automation testing using various techniques. Here are four popular techniques that are frequently used:
1. API Testing
With the advent of the DevOps framework and Agile practices, API testing is now the focal point for automation testing. The growth of cloud platforms is boosting the importance of API components among application developers. As API functionalities lack a GUI, automated test scripts are used to test every API call.
Here are some of the common types of API testing:
- Load testing
- UI testing
- Validation testing
- Security testing
For web services testing, test automation tools must change the input data to check for variations. This involves modifying the XML or JSON files. The proliferation of web services is enhancing the importance of this form of automated testing.
Automation test frameworks are also suitable for non-technical users as they can store their data in Excel spreadsheets. It's noteworthy that web services testing reduces the chances of data duplication (in variables), which can lead to more complications.
2. Unit Testing
Unit testing and test automation accelerate defect detection with constant feedback. Created by application developers, unit testing ensures that every application function is working properly. Unit tests are easy to automate and are executed automatically whenever any code is added or modified to the codebase.
3. Integration Testing
The role of integration testing is to check if all application modules are integrated and working properly together. Integrated tests can also be automated easily. Integration testing must work for both expected and unexpected application inputs.
4. Shift Left Testing
The Shift Left testing approach is all about performing testing from the early stages of application development. With this approach, automation testing is executed from the initial development phase and can detect more product glitches and anomalies. This technique is also effective at reducing the costs of bug fixing during early development (as compared to postproduction or deployment).
Software testers can now create and run automated test cases from the initial project phase. This innovative approach can further accelerate software development and improve the time-to-market.
Let's discuss a few applications of automation testing.
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When Should Automated Testing Be Applied?
Automation testing is utilized optimally in selected scenarios and applications. Here are a few scenarios that can employ automated testing:
Automated testing is useful when a product feature or process needs repeated testing. It does not offer value when used for deprecated or unused product features.
It's noteworthy that software testing often requires testers to perform repetitive tasks to check a particular functionality or process. Automation testing can diligently perform these repetitive tasks without any reduction in its efficiency.
Manual or Human Efforts
Consider a scenario when unit testing consumes most of the QA team's time and effort. This is a prime candidate for automation testing. Automation can reduce manual effort, thus saving both time and cost.
Business-critical applications are central to the operations of any organization. To deliver high-quality applications, automation testing is a safe and reliable alternative to manual testing.
As automation testing can execute 24/7, it is suited for continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD). With this method, incremental code changes automatically integrate into production without any human intervention.
Why ACCELQ Is the Most Reliable for Automation Testing
Among all test automation platforms, ACCELQ offers a completely codeless approach that transforms a code-based environment. Here are some reasons why ACCELQ is better than other test automation tools:
- Software testers can freely develop their test logic without bothering about the programming language.
- It enforces both modularity and reusability in test asset development.
- It provides a comprehensive approach that covers every aspect of test automation.
- It offers extension capabilities with its annotation-based system.
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