The role of testing and test automation is of strategic importance in the software development lifecycle. As the world becomes increasingly software-driven, there is hardly any place for slow software products and applications in today’s market.
Fast evolving market and customer expectations are also compelling to accelerate the speed of development and roll out thoroughly tested updates and upgrades faster.
Over time, we are witnessing a steady move toward shifting testing left and making it a part of the development process. As methodologies like DevOps gain traction, test automation comes under a greater focus.
However, when it comes to testing, it can be hard to wrap your head around all the jargon and terminologies flying around. Some terms sound similar but have different functions. For instance, test suite and test case sound somewhat similar, don’t they? However, they have different meanings.
In this blog, we attempt to explain one such significant term – the test suite. Very simplistically put, a test suite is a collection of test cases. Clearly, we must first understand the two concepts separately for greater clarity to build understanding.
What Are Test Cases?
A test case answers the question, “What am I going to test”? These are a set of actions to determine if the different features/functionalities within a system are performing as expected. They also confirm whether the system meets the expected standards and guidelines and fulfills the customer requirements.
In essence, test cases are one of the most fundamental parts of the software testing hierarchy and contain the sequence of steps that must be carried out during the test execution.
Let’s consider an example. Suppose a business needs a contact form on the website that sends out an email when a visitor leaves a message. In that case, the development team will create the functionality. However, the process will need a test case to verify that the email arrives on form submission. This determines whether the software meets the functionality or not.
To that end, a proper test case comes with a predefined expected result. For this, it is also essential to define the initial desired state when writing a test case.
Test cases have preconditions and postconditions. Preconditions define the actions of the user or system that must have occurred for the functionality to be provided.
Postconditions are the outcome of the test case and assert whether the test provides the desired results or has the desired effect relative to the parameters mentioned in the precondition.
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What Is a Test Suite?
A test suite, as mentioned earlier, is a collection of test cases that are related to each other. As the number of test cases grows, the need to categorize and classify them increases to enable better accessibility. It is the same as organizing a big pile of books. Organizing books on a bookshelf is a good idea to know which books you have and to access them better.
Test suites are like these bookshelves that keep all the test cases properly organized and grouped. It becomes much easier to categorize test cases to match the planning and analysis needs with a test suite in place.
The Role of Test Suites in Scaling up Test Automation
Test cases and test suites can be created manually. Manual test cases must be detailed and contain all the steps for a tester to conduct a test easily. And a manual test suite refers to a repository of the manual test cases grouped, described, and organized properly.
While a certain degree of manual testing is essential in the SDLC pipeline, depending mainly on manually creating test cases impedes testing velocity. Since product features, updates and upgrades require thorough testing before release, test automation becomes critical to the testing toolkit.
Managing a test suite efficiently directly impacts the testing efforts. The better organized the test cases, the faster the testing process becomes. However, depending primarily on manual tests and test suites can add load on testing teams when the testing volume and the number of test cases increase dramatically. Maintaining these test cases then becomes a burden.
Leaning towards automation is one way to reduce the burden of managing and maintaining test suites. Test automation initiatives can scale according to the growing needs of testing teams.
Test Automation Needs Intelligence
An intelligent and codeless test automation platform optimizes test case creation and makes the test suite in software testing easier to manage, maintain and update. Testers can freely develop logic without losing the simplicity of natural language.
A codeless, intelligent test automation platform also makes it easier to plan test runs. Test runs are executing one or more test cases based on different criteria. A comprehensive test automation platform makes test run scheduling easier and more effective by providing granular clarity into the entire SDLC status.
The test assets can also be reused, which ensures that testing teams do not need to create individual test cases. Test cases become easier to manage and maintain when modularity and reusability are built into them. Testing velocity and accuracy then maintain a northward trend even with increasing volumes.
Test suites are run repeatedly for every change in the program. Sometimes large test suites continue to contain test cases that are no longer needed to satisfy the coverage criteria because they are now obsolete or redundant.
With complete clarity into test cases and their existing status, reducing the size of the test suite becomes easier. The number of test cases to run after changes is made to the software also reduces. This lowers costs associated with tests such as regression testing.
Connect with us to see how our codeless, AI-powered test automation platform can elevate your test automation efforts by easing the burden on test cases and test suites.