In the rapidly evolving world of digital transformation, businesses that want to stay on top of the market must make sure their software is of the best quality. A key part of being successful is being able to respond quickly to changes in the market while keeping a high level of reliability. This is where the power of functional testing that is done automatically becomes clear.
Automated functional testing is a key part of the software development lifecycle. It helps teams quickly check if their apps meet standards and work the way they were meant to.
Manual testing can take a lot of time and is prone to mistakes. Automated functional testing, on the other hand, uses specialized tools and scripts to simplify the process, making it faster and more reliable.
Functional testing is a type of software testing that checks to see if an application or system's functions or features work as intended and according to the requirements.
In functional testing, the tester is more interested in what the system does than in how it does it. This type of testing looks at things like user interfaces, application programming interfaces (APIs), databases, client/server applications, and the way the application works.
Functional testing is crucial in software development for several key reasons:
Making sure that the software meets all of the business needs: Functional testing makes sure that the software works the way the requirements and design documents say it should. This makes sure that the software meets the business goals and standards of the users.
Making sure the user experience is good: It looks at user screens, forms, buttons, and navigation to make sure the user experience is smooth and easy to understand. This is very important for user happiness and growth.
To find flaws ahead of time: Functional testing looks for problems with the way an application works, like incorrect functionality, broken links, or bad data processing. If you find and fix these problems early on, you won't have to pay for expensive fixes later on.
To reduce business risks: Thorough functional testing lowers the chance of putting out applications that are broken or missing parts, which keeps your reputation with customers and partners.
To make sure that industry regulations are followed: In industries with strict rules, like healthcare or finance, functional testing makes sure that these rules are followed, preventing legal problems and possible fines.
To make sure that all the parts work well together: It checks how well the different parts of a system work together. This is very important for complicated applications with many systems or interfaces that need to work together.
To make scaling applications easier: An application that has been tried well is more likely to scale well. Functional testing helps find problems with the software's ability to handle more users and fix them.
To lower total development costs: It's cheaper to find and fix functional bugs early in the development process than to fix them after the software has been deployed. This makes better use of the tools we have.
If all relevant test data were stored in a central location, like a warehouse, the time spent creating unique test cases using different data sets might be drastically reduced. And if we can figure out a way to use this data warehouse to run several iterations without any human intervention, we can get quite close to an ideal solution.
Given that every piece of software has its own unique design and set of capabilities, it makes sense that functional testing would involve a wide variety of different procedures. It also has several moving parts inside that need to be thoroughly examined and evaluated.
Unit tests, integration tests, system-wide tests, and acceptance tests are the traditional four phases of this approach. These steps have been arranged for convenience, but you may come across other systems of organisation.
The term "unit testing" refers to a specific type of software testing in which discrete parts of a program are evaluated independently to guarantee proper operation. Functions, methods, and classes are all examples of atomic components of software that may be tested independently. Unit testing's purpose is to ensure that each component functions as expected and to catch bugs at an early stage in the development process.
Smoke testing is an early stage of software testing that ensures the program's most fundamental features are operational. It's a fast test to assess if the program can withstand more rigorous scrutiny. The software is considered stable for additional, more comprehensive testing if it "passes" the smoke test. If it "fails" the smoke test, there are major problems that must be fixed before any more testing can be done.
Regression testing is a type of software testing that ensures new changes or updates to a program do not adversely affect existing functionalities. It involves re-running previously conducted tests to verify that the recent modifications haven't introduced any new errors or problems. This helps maintain the overall stability and reliability of the software throughout its development or update cycle.
Integration testing is a type of software testing where different parts or modules of a program are tested together to ensure they work as a cohesive unit. It verifies that the interactions between these components function correctly, revealing any potential issues that may arise when they are integrated. The goal is to identify and address any compatibility or communication issues early in the development process.
Internal software testing, sometimes known as "alpha testing," is performed by the development team or a small subset of the target audience. It is conducted in a safe setting before the program is made available to the general public. Alpha testing is performed prior to beta testing to find and fix any bugs that may have been overlooked.
Beta testers are a group of regular people who aren't part of the development team but help test new software before it's released to the public. It follows alpha testing and allows the program to be tested in a more realistic setting. Beta users are asked to comment on the product's usability, functioning, and any outstanding bugs. The development team can use this critique to polish the program one last time before releasing it to the public.
End-users or other stakeholders review the product to see if it satisfies their requirements and business needs during the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) phase of software development. Before a piece of software is released into the wild, it must undergo one more round of testing in a realistic setting.
There are many advantages to using automated functional testing while building software.
First and foremost, automated functional tests are faster and more efficient than manual ones, allowing for quicker validation of program functioning. This allows the testing process to go more quickly and provides the development team with more timely input.
Automated functional tests are reliable since they always follow the same procedure and validate the same conditions. This assures trustworthy and precise outcomes by removing room for human error.
Thirdly, compared to manual testing, functional automated tests can cover a greater number of scenarios and edge cases thus providing better test coverage. As a result, testing is improved and possible problems are more likely to be left uncovered.
Automated functional tests are particularly useful for regression testing. They may easily check to see if any recent code changes have broken any features or caused any bugs.
Unlike manual testing, functional test automation enables the simultaneous execution of numerous tests on different settings or configurations by leveraging Parallel Testing, resulting in significant time savings.
Automated functional tests may be easily incorporated into CI/CD pipelines, making automated testing a standard practice throughout the whole software creation lifecycle. This guarantees that only stable, high-quality code is released to users.
By handling mundane, time-consuming chores, automated scripts allow manual testers to focus on more strategic, high-value activities like exploratory testing.
Automated tests can readily manage a huge quantity of test data, allowing for comprehensive testing of a wide range of situations and inputs.
In addition to making it simpler to keep tabs on test results, analyse patterns, and create documentation for compliance and reporting needs, automated testing technologies also provide more in-depth reports and logs.
While automated testing offers increased efficiency over manual testing, it comes with its own set of challenges:
Steep Learning Curve: Many automation tools are code-based, requiring proficiency in coding for test creation and maintenance.
Realistic Goal-setting: It's crucial to establish realistic expectations for automated testing. It should be complemented with other testing methods for optimal software quality.
Flaky Tests: Tools like Selenium often face issues with test scripts breaking due to changes in the application.
Limited Cognitive Ability: Automated tests only assess specific areas they are programmed to check and may miss failures in unprogrammed areas.
Testsigma, is a codeless test automation tool designed to tackle these challenges. It allows for test creation as easily as writing in plain English and employs artificial intelligence to automatically rectify tests where possible.
The term “automated functional testing” refers to the process of automating tests whose primary goal is to verify the operation of a given feature. In this type of automated testing, black-box tests predominate. Whether it's a user interface, application programming interface (API), database, security protocol, or any other kind of input/output interface, these tests' purpose is to ensure that the functionality in question works as expected.
For an in depth guide please check out our article on What Is Automated Testing? Ultimate Guide
The selection of automated functional testing tools depends on the context in which it is used. Each software requires a different testing strategy, and no one tool fits all requirements.
Some popular automated functional testing tools are listed below :
- Testsigma - Testsigma's USP is that it can be used for testing not just websites but also mobile apps and APIs. If you need to test your product across many platforms and different types of technologies, this is a must-have.
It also provides constant feedback and works with a wide range of platforms and browsers. When modifying code and checking for proper operation, this capability is invaluable.
The ability to run tests in parallel is what really sets it apart, as it greatly reduces the amount of time developers waste waiting for tasks to finish. One of the most significant benefits of automated testing is the insightful reporting. Testsigma's results are presented in straightforward timelines and reports that may be accessed at both frequent and infrequent periods.
In addition, the software development kit and application programming interfaces make for remarkably smooth integration of this package as a whole. Additional plugins, such as data generators, from its collection of extensions and add-ons, can be used to further improve this integration.
2.Selenium : When discussing automated functional testing, the word Selenium always comes up. This open-source program has been around for quite some time, and it is especially useful for building web apps.
That it works with Linux, Windows, Chrome, Edge (and even the defunct IE) and other widely used platforms is hardly a surprise given its popularity. You can write tests in whichever programming language you like, be it Java, Python, C#, PHP, or any of the many others out there.
Since Selenium has been around for so long, its test creation procedure is surprisingly streamlined, making test creation a breeze.
3.TestComplete : TestComplete, created by SmartBear, is an exceptional piece of testing software. It supports languages including C#, JS, Python, and C++ Script, and it comes with a prebuilt test editor that is optimized for keyword-driven workloads.
Various types of testing, including unit testing, coverage testing, data-driven testing, and regression testing, are all included in TestComplete. Using AI to detect UI elements is a notable feature that significantly reduces testing time and effort.
4.Certify: Worksoft's Certify is a powerful testing suite that can be used with no issues on any device or operating system. Its excellent scalability and capacity are evidenced by its widespread use by large-scale software developers; in fact, even massive business programs like Oracle depend on it.
Both the installation and the UI are extremely user-friendly, and it works with any testing technique currently in use. Certify is also great for testing groups that have people who aren't technical. Because it can be tested with little to no code, it opens up testing to everyone on the team.
5.Ranorex : Yet another graphical user interface (GUI) testing tool for desktop, mobile, and online apps. If your development process requires constant testing, this tool is a great option because it provides rapid feedback and facilitates smooth development.
Ranorex's no-code option and user-friendly UI make it suitable for novices. The fact that it works with every major browser and OS makes cross-browser testing much easier.
Testsigma is a web-based test automation tool that can speed up the process by a factor of five thanks to its use of plain English and an easy-to-navigate user interface. Writing automation tests is just like writing manual tests, and neither coding nor familiarity with tools is required. To satisfy the needs of a software project, it combines the strengths of manual and automated testing to provide a robust, on-demand solution for all the testing needs.
This can be done in a few easy steps :
Go ahead and create an account on the Testsigma website.
Start by making a new project in Testsigma's dashboard for the software application you're going to be testing.
Determine where in the project the desired automated testing will take place. Testsigma allows test cases to be written in plain English.
In your test cases, you must specify the test data that will be used. Data for tests can be efficiently managed and reused with Testsigma.
Using the Testsigma Recorder or the Testsigma scripting functionality, you can either record your tests or write them manually in simple English.
Prepare the test sites where your code will be run. Choosing a browser, OS, and device are all part of this process.
Testsigma can be used for automated testing. Tests can be done immediately or at predetermined intervals.
Testing for functionality can be a drag, as you've probably seen (or worse, experienced). The crux of automated testing resides in this concept of automating any task that is performed frequently.
You can and should automate any test that you run frequently. The logic is pretty intuitive in automating the test once will prevent you from having to continuously do the same manual steps.
Smoke tests, for instance, are performed often during the development process. It would be really helpful to automate that test, as we run it every time we commit a new feature to the build. Some tests need additional involvement from the tester. These tasks are not only time-consuming, but also prone to human mistakes. It makes logical sense to automate these processes, and doing so can be more convenient in the long term.
Depending on what you're building, many of the tests will be run on different browsers, operating systems, and platforms. As a result, duplicating the same functional tests across all of them is a time-consuming endeavour. These tasks can be automated and scaled more easily.
Hopefully, you can now see which functional tests would benefit most from being automated. On the other hand, there are tests that you might only run sometimes during development. It's up to you to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of automating such processes. Most of the time, it isn't, and developers end up doing things by hand.