It's widely understood that test automation increases testing speed, improves coverage, and helps enhance software quality. However, as an IT leader, you always ponder how to start test automation from scratch for your business. If that is the case, this blog is for you. Here, we’ll spotlight what you should consider while moving towards test automation.
What Is Test Automation?
Automated software testing involves the utilization of tools and test scripts to manage test data, conduct tests, and evaluate test outcomes within the software testing process. The incorporation of automation testing tools reduces the need for human involvement, thereby enhancing the efficiency and precision of testing while also reducing the time and costs typically associated with manual testing.
In the age of Agile and DevOps, manual testing is identified as a significant impediment within software development cycles. It consumes excessive time, is susceptible to errors, and lacks precision. This sentiment is echoed in a survey conducted by Gitlab Developers, where manual testing emerged as a principal hindrance to achieving agile software delivery.
The essence of Agile and DevOps lies in furnishing high-quality software rapidly. However, manual testing hinders QA teams from matching the development pace. To expedite testing processes, the most effective resolution is the implementation of automation testing.
Why is test automation important?
Saves time and money: Manual testing consumes a considerable amount of time. Automation testing effectively tackles this issue by enabling the automated repetition of identical tests iteratively. Once the configuration is established, automated test execution becomes a routine practice. As automation testing demands less time and effort, it ultimately leads to cost savings.
Improves testing accuracy: The probability of human error in manual testing is higher. When identical test cases must be executed repeatedly, the repetitive nature of manual testing elevates the risk of errors. Conversely, automated testing doesn't share this concern. Automated tests replicate the same procedures consistently and accurately with each iteration.
Increase test coverage: In manual testing, testers pick test cases based on their experience and user journeys. This approach is risk-prone and defects can leak into production. However, with automation testing, this problem can be addressed perfectly. Not only can QA teams run a much larger set of test cases with test automation frameworks but also execute risk-based test cases on priority. When more test cases are executed based on the risk, the possibility of defect leakage is minimized.
Where and when to automate testing?
Continuous integration/ delivery (CI/CD): To realize DevOps or Agile software development, you need to invest in automation testing tools to cope with the speed of development. Otherwise, your QA team will lag behind the dev team, creating a gap that adversely affects the time to market.
Repetitive tests: When tests need to be executed frequently with multiple data sets or configurations. Manual testing can be too time-consuming. Automation tests can be executed repeatedly.
Regression testing: To verify that new code changes don't negatively impact existing functionalities. Regression testing of cloud ERP solutions is a perfect use-case of test automation. Oracle rolls out quarterly updates, Salesforce thrice a year, while SAP & Dynamics 365 rolls out updates twice a year. Every time an update is rolled out, regression testing needs to be performed to ensure business continuity. Manual testing isn't viable as it requires too much effort and cannot guarantee adequate coverage. When testers select regression tests manually, there is a high chance that risks aren't covered properly.
Performance Testing: To simulate a large number of users and analyze system performance. For instance, while migrating or implementing a cloud ERP solution, you need to validate whether or not your ERP solution is capable of handling peak load.
Learn more: A comprehensive guide on Oracle EBS load testing
End-to-end testing: To ensure application compatibility across different devices and platforms. For example, you need to test your enterprise application across many configurations, such as different browsers, operating systems, or devices. Here, test automation can assist in improving efficiency and minimizing the effort.
How to Start Automation Testing: Step by Step Guide
To start with automation testing, you need to follow the steps:
Defining the scope of automation
The first step is to define the scope of automation. For this, you need to find and prioritize business-critical test cases. The reason for this is that not all tests are suitable for automation. Some tests may require human judgment, intuition, or creativity - exploratory testing.
Some of the perfect use cases for automated testing include:
Regression tests: This is the process of evaluating already-released software to ensure that no functionality has been broken as a result of any change or modification. Overall stability and functionality of current features are ensured by corrective regression testing. In the case of DevOps and Agile software development, there is a need to execute regression test cases on a weekly/ daily/ nightly basis. Without risking business continuity, this can only be possible with a test automation framework.
Integration tests: It is a software testing process in which the interface of different applications, modules, or components of a software application is tested as a combined group. Integration testing is a perfect use-case of automated testing as it ensures adequate test coverage and reduces manual test effort significantly. Since an automation tool supports cross-platform execution of tests, test scripts created once can be executed on different platforms later.
Data-driven tests: In this type of testing, it is validated whether or not the system is processing data accurately. Thus, test cases are executed against different sets of data.
Load tests: It is another use case of automated testing as different clients simultaneously use an application to check whether it can handle peak load.
Parallel testing: It is valuable to test web applications across multiple browsers and multiple devices. This is where parallel testing comes in. Automation enables parallel testing. Test automation scripts can be executed much faster than manual test cases.
*Finding the right automated testing tool *
It can be a daunting task to choose your test automation tool. For this, the tool selection process should involve the following - learning curve, maintenance effort, and ability to perform cross-browser testing. To help you, we’re providing below certain tips that will help you in finding the right automation testing solution:
No-Code automation: Always opt for a no-code automation testing tool as it can be operated easily by business users and stakeholders with minimal training. No-code test automation tools don’t require prior programming knowledge to operate, hence they have a low learning curve.
Opkey can solve this for you, it's one such no-code test automation framework that doesn't require programming knowledge to create and execute test cases. Test execution and test creation can be done easily by business users. Moreover, Opkey can convert manual test cases into automation tests with a click of a button.
Self-healing capabilities: Enterprise applications like Oracle Cloud, SAP, Workday, and Salesforce are highly dynamic in nature. Even a small change in UI can break test scripts. So, opt for automation tools that can identify and heal automation scripts without requiring human intervention.
Solution: Opkey comes powered with AI -based self healing technology. Opkey's AI automatically identifies the impacted test scripts and heals them automatically without requiring human effort.
Timelines & Maintenance Efforts with Opkey
End-to-end coverage: As integration testing is critical for business continuity, opt for a test automation platform that delivers end-to-end coverage. A platform that supports your entire technology stack will keep business risks at bay.
Opkey supports 14+ Enterprise applications and 150+ technologies to offer you end-to-end test coverage. Opkey perfectly integrates with your CI/CD pipeline to support continuous and shift left testing techniques.
Opkey’s automation testing platform
Test Data Management: Test data plays a critical role in ensuring maximum test coverage. Always opt for automation tools that can ensure seamless test data management.
Opkey’s Test Data Management solution saves companies time and money by ensuring their test data is always ready for testing. Opkey leverages test mining technology to autonomously mine test data from the client’s environment and ensure it’s in the correct format.
Opkey also mines master data details such as Chart of Account, Employee, Customers, Item, Supplier, Procure to Pay, Order to Cash, and more, which can reduce QA teams’ data collection efforts by up to 40%.
Designing and development
In this step, you need to create a robust automation testing strategy. For this, you need to develop logical test cases and test suites. With the help of no code automation tool, your team can easily create automated tests. Once these test cases are created, they can be reused again and again.
Executing test cases
This final phase is all about running test cases. Execute automated tests to obtain results.