Automation is slowly yet surely becoming a significant part of our working lives. Every Industry is undergoing transformation be it small or big, due to automation. The positive impact of automation is not only limited to customers, even technicians such as software and web application developers are reaping it's benefits. This is in large part due to Automation Testing which is a mechanism to test the case scripts that the developers create for a particular application and which is proving to be a game changer.
Basically, Automation Testing provides a framework for the testing of a case script of an application without a need for human intervention. In addition, not only does it test the case script, it also provides detailed reports and summaries for the same. It is important to know, however, that Automation Testing is not completely devoid of human interaction. Initially, in order to perform automation testing, there is a need to feed a test code to the tool performing automation testing. This code would include all the possible end results for the case script. In other words, it would include all the user actions possible for that particular application. There are various Automation testing tools available in the market today such as Selenium, Appium, Cucumber, Tricentis Tosca, etc.
One of the main advantages that automation testing offers over manual testing is that it brings down the time and cost required for testing. Manual testing would generally involve two or three developers constantly testing the case script and preparing reports for the same. The task would become cumbersome, repetitive and time consuming. While, manual testing of the case script would take weeks, automation testing could do the same task within hours. Moreover, in manual testing, doing the same thing repeatedly means that the testing being done is prone to human error. Conversely, in Automation testing, since there is no human intervention required, it is more accurate and precise.
In addition, in case of a bug fix or an enhancement to the case script, it is far more beneficial to perform automation testing than manual testing. In case of the former, the tool has recorded the basic functions of the case script which have already been tested. So there is no need to manually test the case script from the beginning as it would have been the need in manual testing. Lastly, there is no need for a developer to be physically present while automation testing is taking place. In the instance that a developer is in an important meeting, the tool would continue to do the testing regardless of his/her presence.
A framework is not only restricted to the software tools or liberaries but it can also include the best practices or a set of rules to be followed in order to make full use of its characteristics. Following are the most commonly used test automation frameworks:
This is the most basic test automation framework. It is used for small type applications, primarily because, it creates and executes each script individually for each test case. Thus, it is also called the ‘Record and Playback’ Framework.
The Data-Driven framework separates the test logic and the test data from each other. This allows the developer to create different test scripts with the help of different sets of data. The data sets are kept in external files in tools such as MS Excel Sheets, XML Files, etc. This framework provides a certain amount of flexibility in execution of tests but for its utilization needs hands-on programming knowledge.
A table format is used to define each key function that is being used in this type of test framework. The automation test scripts are executed based on the keywords which are specified in the above mentioned table. The framework is much similar to Data Driven Framework but much simpler. Hence, there is no need for testers to possess hands-on programming knowledge.
The whole application under the test framework is broken down into several modules. This modules have their own individual test scripts created and then executed. These individual scripts can be combined to make a larger script if the testers think it as necessary. Thus, testers write different function scripts which make up function libraries, which are used whenever required.
The combination of two or more test frameworks results in a Hybrid Testing Framework. It leverages the benefits of the two test frameworks according to the requirements of the test environment. Due to this reason, it is finding a lot of takers in the current market.
Selenium is probably one of the first names that come to your mind when you think of an automation testing tool. It is an open-source test automation software which means that the holder can distribute it to anyone without the need for a license. Selenium not only supports different operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Mac, etc. it also supports different browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, IE, etc. In addition, different programming languages such as Java, Python, PHP, etc. are available as options while writing a script.
Other popular software’s include Katalon Studio which is a free license software and UFT i.e. Unified Functional Testing, which is a software with a commercial license. Katalon studio was built after Selenium and Appium, which means that it covers the weaknesses of these tools and builds upon its strength. Moreover, both sets of customers can use Katalon Studio. Non-programmers do not have much to worry about when they are starting an automation testing project whereas for advanced programmers, libraries can be built which allows them to maintain their scripts.
Thus, Automation Testing, has turned a lot of eyeballs due to it's positive impact observed in companies which have implemented it. There is little doubting the fact that it will turn into a widely accepted industry practice sooner rather later.