Automated testing is a software testing method where an automated tool is used to test the software application and compare the actual and expected outcome. In the case of large projects, testing all the functionalities manually becomes tedious and in some scenarios, testing has to be repeated numerous times during development to ensure quality, this is where automation comes in. Automation replaces a series of manual testing tasks and involves automating the creation of test cases and execution of those test cases. Automated testing can also be used to test the application for load and performance. As it is impossible to automate all testing activities, it is important to identify the set of tasks that needs to be automated.
Advantages of automated testing
- Testing can be repeated any number of times with no additional cost.
- Brings efficiency in testing.
- Reduces testing time.
- Early detection of defects saves cost.
- Automated testing is reliable. It brings actual results all the time.
- Very useful to test repetitive tasks.
- Complicated applications can be tested at ease.
- Test results are precise and error-free.
- Test scripts can be reused.
- Increases the coverage of testing.
- Automation testing is comprehensive and covers more functionality.
- Automated testing can run without manual intervention.
- Possible to simulate hundreds of virtual users during a performance test.
Deciding between manual and automation testing depends on the application to be tested. For instance, Testing an application for usability is best done manually. For GUI based applications, manual testing will be the best option whereas for a data-driven application automated testing will work best. There are some applications that require both manual and automation testing.
Automation in testing can be achieved through testing tools. Testing tools can be open source or commercial solutions. Testing tools comes with numerous functionalities and capabilities and finalizing the tool is an important phase of the testing cycle. There are many popular testing tools that include Selenium, Katalon Studio, UFT, Test Complete, SoapUI, Apache JMeter and Postman. As automated testing is tool dependent, you need to choose the right tool that meets your project needs. The testing team should possess good knowledge about the testing tool and its features.
Things to keep in mind while selecting a tool
- Does the selected tool best meet your project requirements?
- Is the tool within your budget?
- Does the tool support different types of test?
- Does it have reporting capability?
- Does it work on various platforms like web, mobile and desktop?
Testing that can be automated include:
Load – Automation proves beneficial in case of load testing. The testing tool can simulate thousands of virtual users and analyze the performance of the application
Smoke Testing – After each build, a quick automated test is done to review the code and find defects at an earlier stage.
Regression Testing – An automated tool is used to test the functional and non-functional aspects of the software after the software is updated.
Unit Testing – Automated testing is done at the source code level where the smallest piece of code is tested.
Integration Testing – Combine the unit tested modules and check if the interfaces and interactions between modules are functioning properly.
Functional Testing – Automated Testing to check the user interface and how the application functions.
Automated testing will reduce the development time and has many benefits when implemented properly. Seek expert advice and make an informed decision about the right testing method for your project.