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Web Automation: Getting Started with Website Test Automation

Web Automation-ACCELQ
Posted On: 10 March 2023

Why does the buzz of web test automation seem to increase? As new platforms and applications proliferate, websites remain a crucial touchpoint between businesses and customers. With digital technologies transforming the business landscape, web apps have become essential business enablers.

Today, test cycles need automation to keep up with the speed of development and release software and consequent updates fast and consistently. Research also shows that automation testing can reduce the cost of each test hour. Web automation testing, thus becomes imperative to reach ultimate perfection to improve software quality, improve risk coverage and increase development agility.

Clearly, test automation is critical to building new-age, robust, reliable, and performance-driven websites and applications.

What is Web Automation?

Web automation is the practice of automating tasks and actions performed on websites or web applications. It involves utilizing specialized tools, software, or scripts to simulate user interactions and automate repetitive or complex actions on web pages.

Those tests that are repeatable, demand complex calculations, and fast validation are great candidates for web automation testing. Some examples are regression testing, smoke testing, performance testing, and functional testing.

That apart, automation testing is also great for tests that need quick analysis or tests that need to validate functionalities that must be tested repeatedly with numerous data sets.

Tests that are time-intensive, monotonous, and need complex processing typically require repetitive testing. Running an automation feasibility analysis is also a good way to identify the candidates best suited for automation.

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Benefits of Web Test Automation?

Web automation testing offers several advantages for organizations and software development teams. Here are the key benefits:

  • Improved efficiency and productivity through quick and accurate test execution.
  • Increased test coverage with the ability to execute a large number of test cases.
  • Enhanced accuracy and reliability by eliminating human errors.
  • Cost and time savings by reducing manual effort and enabling round-the-clock testing.
  • Faster feedback loop for prompt defect identification and resolution.
  • Efficient regression testing to ensure the stability of existing functionalities.
  • Scalability and reusability of automated test scripts
  • Detailed test reporting and documentation for tracking progress and analyzing results.

How to Develop the Right Test Automation Strategy?

Right Test Automation Strategy-ACCELQ

The next crucial step is to create a comprehensive test automation strategy. The test automation strategy defines the scope and goals of automation, establishes the testing approach, and identifies the tools for comprehensive testing coverage and speed.

Defining the scope and goals of web automation is crucial for comprehensive testing and good outcomes. Once the team has defined what to test, they need to plan and establish the test approach and identify the sequence and frequency of the tests. Utilizing the test automation pyramid streamlines this and helps establish a good feedback loop that makes sure that code changes do not disrupt existing features.

The test automation strategy has also to ensure that the testing practices are based on current QA approaches and make the testing process simple, comprehensive, and fast.

How to Determine the Automation testing tools for web application?

There is a huge dependency on automated testing tools for web applications. Hence, it becomes crucial to evaluate the capabilities of the web automation testing tool and ensure that it helps in testing both web and APIs comprehensively and capably.

  • The web automation testing tool should do a fair amount of heavy lifting and capably automate all aspects of the quality lifecycle from test design all the way to test planning & execution.
  • Given the increasing need for CI due to the adoption of development methodologies such as DevOps and agile, the test automation tool should be CI ready, scalable, and ready for enterprise use.
  • The tool should also allow in-sprint and early automation with virtualized abstraction for functional testing.
  • It should fit seamlessly into the existing ecosystem and integrate with tools like Jira, TFS, Jenkins, Bamboo, etc.
  • The capability to enable a design-first approach that relinquishes the need for custom frameworks is also an important functionality that the tool must have.

How to Ensure a Comprehensive Test Design and Coverage

Comprehensive test automation needs comprehensive test design and test cases. As such, the next stage is all about designing test cases for execution.

When designing these test cases, it becomes important to ensure that:

  • The test case templates can be reused in multiple projects.
  • The test cases are simple, concise, and decipherable.
  • The tests are prioritized in a hierarchy based on the feature or software component under test.
  • The test scripts are written in an organized manner with the proper naming convention.
  • The source code is maintained in source control to avoid code loss, and version control and history are maintained as well.

Make sure to write the test automation cases and scripts following the programming best practices since test automation is akin to software development. It is also important to maintain and update the scripts for flawless execution.

Organizations can also leverage codeless web automation tools that eliminate tasks like choosing the framework, the automation language, framework implementation, etc. These platforms allow business users and manual testers easily automate tests since they allow test creation using simple English.

Using test automation platforms that enable reusability and abstraction makes the test cases more modular and allows these to be reused in some other test scenario.

When the testing tool/platform allows for cross-browser testing across modern browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Edge, it eliminates the need for any external infrastructure service. This accelerates the testing process without compromising on testing coverage.

Test Management Strategies

Developing test asset management capabilities and driving smart test management contribute to testing automation success. This is especially important as testing shifts left.

Organizations need to

  • Enable automated test planning to make the test automation strategy, goals, and scope clear and defined.
  • Ensure better test asset management through greater traceability and referential integrity across the test assets.
  • Run the test cases in proper succession to identify bugs and verify the performance of every feature. Start with individual test cases and then move to regression testing.
  • Review results and optimize the test suites for greater efficiency.

The Challenges with Web Test Automation

While automated website testing is the future, it is packed with a few challenges that are similar to any other approach in the world. And it is our responsibility to not overlook the same. The prime challenges that can come with web test automation are:

  • Dynamic web elements can make consistent interaction difficult.
  • Cross-browser compatibility requires managing variations in rendering engines.
  • Test data management becomes complex with large datasets or specific combinations.
  • Synchronization issues may occur when tests run faster than the web application.
  • Maintenance is necessary due to sensitivity to application changes.
  • Security measures like CAPTCHA can hinder automated interactions.
  • Flaky tests occasionally produce inconsistent results.
  • Setting up and maintaining test environments can be challenging.

Final Thoughts

Smart, codeless, and comprehensive test automation platforms are emerging as a result of these challenges and the subsequent need to fine-tune test automation. Organizations can now choose comprehensive codeless web test automation platforms with AI-powered natural language automation and a next-gen recorder. These tools help teams to automate fast while removing maintenance needs.

These platforms also automate test design, maximizing coverage and reusability. They allow testers to develop test scenarios based on predictive analytics and path analysis. Auto-test generation capabilities further accelerate the testing process and add agility to the development process.

It is, however, important to ensure that the codeless web automation platform supports evolving and new technologies. It should also help manual testers build test cases for automation without having to program them.

As customers demand perfection, it becomes essential to increase the testing footprint and test more comprehensively, and accurately. As customers demand perfection, increasing the testing footprint and testing more comprehensively and accurately becomes essential. The capacity to test fast with greater agility to ensure a faster time to market and greater customer satisfaction is very important.

Connect with us to see how we can augment your test automation initiatives and help you deliver winning software products into the market.

   

Geosley Andrades

Director, Product Evangelist at ACCELQ.

Geosley is a Test Automation Evangelist and Community builder at ACCELQ. Being passionate about continuous learning, Geosley helps ACCELQ with innovative solutions to transform test automation to be simpler, more reliable, and sustainable for the real world.

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