Here is a scenario that happens every time in the software solutions industry.
Your team just finished developing a software solution and may even wish to take it to market as a mobile app. All that is left is the go-ahead from the product owner/manager but then they get a delay or in some instances, an outright NO.
Simply put, the product (in this case, the application) has to go through quality control and would be run through automation testing to confirm its usability, functionality, security, and performance standards. If this solution fails to meet any of the expected results, it does not get permission to proceed. This is perhaps, the most crucial aspect in developing a product and it can’t be evaded.
A properly executed software solution will increase productivity for practically any business. Picture increased production rates, reduced labour and better execution of tasks, all with automation. Workers who can work with machines and are familiar with the rigours of manual operation will greatly appreciate automation.
This is why software solutions are important.
Software solutions are created to bridge this gap with seamless and innovative technology that has been tested multiple times. To effectively create and even categorise software as a solution, it must go through automation testing and have the ability to inherently be automated.
So what is Automation Testing?
This is the practice of running Quality Assurance tests automatically. It is a faster and more efficient way of running test scripts on software applications. Software engineers run this technical process during the Testing Stage between the fourth stage (Coding Stage) and the sixth stage (Deployment Stage) of a Software Development Life Cycle.
During this stage, test data is collated, and analysed so its test results are utilised to improve the overall performance of the product. Typically, these tests are done using Testing Software which frees up valuable time and resources. A more efficient and detailed way to properly test software.
Those who are familiar with this process understand that for the success of this process, there is a need for successive or repeated cycles of the same test. An extremely time-consuming process if performed manually. Hence, the use of Testing Software.
Any other reasons for Automating Tests?
There are other reasons why we automate tests. The benefits of such endeavours cannot be ignored in the fast-paced world that we live in. If we do not find ways to do repetitive work effectively, our development and advancement would be hindered.
Here are a few reasons and resultant advantages of Automated Tests:
Increased Test Coverage
In a bid to create more test cases and more test scenarios, there is a need for automated testing. With a well-tuned automation practice in place, more input data can be tested with regard to a given feature. The objective is to have a large enough coverage that many tests can be carried out successfully while avoiding mass testing that is prone to let bugs and other quality factors slide.
This option cannot be overtly expressed; with automation, you can do more simultaneously. Simply put, you save time with technology taking on repetitive tasks. One should note that this is not indicative of a seamless working method as it does take time to write the automation script for never before tested software. However, once that initial milestone is surpassed, testing takes on a new speed with an advantage that can’t be ignored.
Reduce Human Intervention
By leveraging Automation Testing, you can reduce the amount of interference from humans. This means you can run these tests overnight, reuse and execute the same procedures unlimited times without any additional costs. This is both time-saving and cost-effective.
With these advantages, automated testing and automation as a whole are slowly finding their way into almost everything we can think of. It is simply inevitable and a welcomed development for all. And so, as these tests find themselves going into different industries, there has become a clear distinction on the type of automation tests based on the focus area of the test.
Types of Automated Testing
Automated testing is divided into two distinct types of testing which most times run as a pair. The Functional and the Non-Functional.
This is the type of testing that focuses on the real-world, business application of a software solution or app. For instance, bank applications must be able to connect users to their accounts and money when all conditions (such as the use of an internet-accessible device, registered user, etc) are met. This is the bare minimum and the main idea behind the application. As the name implies, it tests the efficiency of the “functions” of an application or software solution.
This is the type of testing that focuses on the other requirements of the software. In the case of the previously cited example, a functional test will address the performance, security, and data storage, among others; of the banking application. The idea is to ensure that the efficiency of the application while performing its essential functions meet the required standard.
Asides from the types of Automation Testing, there are fields of tests within each of these types of tests. Sometimes, these fields simultaneously overlap both types of tests. They include Smoke Tests, Integration Tests, Regression Tests, Security Tests, Performance Tests, Acceptance Tests, etc. and they are quite common in the field of Test Automation. They all play integral roles in the different phases of Automation Testing.
Phase of Testing
As with all things within the Software Developmental Cycle, each stage has numerous phases. Test Automation is no different with three phases of tests.
#First Phase: Unit
This is the very first phase of Automation testing and it is usually done manually by developers before handing it over to the testers. As the name implies, it takes on units or individual components of the software product. This process or phase can be automated if there is a need.
#Second Phase: API
A highly flexible phase that can be conducted by either the development or testing team, this phase is focused on testing the API functionality of the software. The Application Programming Interface serves as the middleman that connects all the systems your software needs to deliver its objectives. It is tested to ensure that there is a seamless integration between the systems and the software itself.
#Third Phase: UI
Innately falling under the Functional Automation Testing type, this phase examines and optimises the business logic of the finished software. User Interface (AKA the UI) is what the users see and interact with when they open their application and hence, it comes as the last phase of Automation Testing. This phase of testing is led by testers only after the User Interface has been drafted following the ideal of an authentic user experience.
What Tools to use for Automated Tests?
We did mention the use of Automation Testing Tools that aid or speed up the process. Selecting the right tool is largely dependent on the requirements of your software and the solution it is trying to proffer.
This is arguably the most popular tool service provider in the market. They offer great flexibility unlike any other with support for the whole host of programming languages (C#, Groovy, Java, Pearl, PHP, Python, and Scala). It also runs seamlessly on the three most commonly used operating systems; Windows, Linux and Mac. It is a particularly great tool for web applications.
Unrivalled in service provision with a global coverage spanning continents, Hidden Brains offer a unique set of Automation Test services that cover any requirements identified. Leveraging years of experience, these professionals use their unique testing tools to tick every box on their detailed checklist for quality assurance.
One of the testers’ dependable performance testing tools, Apache Jmeter meets anyone’s software performance testing needs. Apache can perfectly simulate heavy loads on a network, server or a group of serves as the test requires. It is every performer geek’s dream tool as it is a great way to evaluate how well a soft can handle different load types/scenarios.
Built with high usability in mind, Ranorex answers all your User Interface needs. The “Smart Object Recognition” feature puts it a cut above the rest as it allows tests to run uninterrupted; even with a change mid-test. This tool supports a wide variety of web, desktop, and mobile platforms, making it the tool of choice for UI tests.
Automation Testing is an irrefutably crucial part of a software development cycle and any product cycle really. While the inputs of people are most relevant too, we cannot ignore the advantages that Automation Testing brings.
This article sums up the major touch points to note when it comes to Automation Testing, the benefits of Automation Testing, the phases of this testing and the best tools to use. Ensure that this guides you in your decision making for the right Automation Testing.
Hidden Brains has successfully collaborated with customers to deliver enterprise solutions across industries and markets. We are a team of world-class experts ready to deliver best-in-class consulting to take your organisation to the next level. Are you looking to step into the 21st century with your custom applications and software? Then you can reach out to us on our website or send an email via [email protected].
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