Best Practices in Automation Testing
Did you ever think why automation testing is so beneficial? We have come across lots of reasons like time saving, repeatability, and maintenance of test suites which ensures the test scripts are kept up to date and quality of the software is maintained, reusability, increased test coverage, cost reduction and maximum return on investment etc.
There are some best practices in automated testing which can ensure that testing is successful and the maximum return on investment is obtained
1. Decide what Test Cases to Automate:
As it is impossible to automate all test cases, it is important to determine what test cases should be automated first.
The benefit of automated testing is linked to how many times a given test can be repeated. Tests that are only performed a few times are better left for manual testing. Good test cases for automation are ones that are run frequently and require large amounts of data to perform the same action. We can obtain maximum benefit of automation testing by automating the following test cases:
- Repetitive tests that run for multiple builds.
- Tests that tend to cause human error.
- Tests that require multiple data sets.
- Frequently used functionality that introduces high risk conditions.
- Tests that are impossible to perform manually.
- Tests that run on several different hardware or software platforms and configurations.
- Tests that take a lot of effort and time when manual testing
2. Test Early and Test Often:
To get the most out of automated testing, testing should be started as early as possible and ran as often as needed. The earlier testers get involved in the life cycle of the project the better, and the more we test, the more bugs can be found. Automated unit testing can be implemented on day one and then we can gradually build our automated test suite. Bugs detected early are a lot cheaper to fix than those discovered later in production or deployment.
3. Select the Right Automated Testing Tool:
Selecting an automated testing tool is essential for test automation. There are a lot of automated testing tools on the market, and it is important to choose the automated testing tool that best suits the overall requirements.
4. Divide Automated Testing Efforts:
As the creation of different tests is based on the skills of QA engineer, it’s important to identify the level of experience and skills for each of the team members and divide the automated testing efforts accordingly. For instance, writing automated test scripts requires expert knowledge of scripting languages and it can be given to a person who has the skill of scripting. Testing performed by a team is more effective for finding defects and the right automated testing tool allows to share the projects with several testers.
5. Create Good, Quality Test Data:
Good test data is extremely useful for data-driven testing. The data that should be entered into input fields during an automated test is usually stored in an external file. This data might be read from a database or any other data source like text or XML files, Excel sheets, and database tables . Using external data makes automated tests reusable and easier to maintain. To add different testing scenarios, the data files can be easily extended with new data without needing to edit the actual automated test.
Creating test data for automated tests is boring, but we should invest time and effort into creating data that is well structured. With good test data available, writing automated tests becomes a lot easier. The earlier we create good-quality data, the easier it is to extend existing automated tests along with the application’s development.
6. Create Automated Tests that are Resistant to Changes in the UI:
Automated tests created with scripts or keyword tests are dependent on the application under test. The user interface of the application may change between builds, especially in the early stages. These changes may affect the test results, or automated tests may no longer work with future versions of the application. The problem is automated testing tools use a series of properties to identify and locate an object . For eg, if the tool identifies an object by location coordinates, the automated test will no longer be able to find the object if the position of the object changes in later builds and will fail.
Providing unique names for the controls, makes automated tests resistant to these UI changes and ensures that automated tests work without having to make changes to the test itself. This also eliminates the automated testing tool from relying on location coordinates to find the control, which is less stable and breaks easily.
Adapting these recommended best practices helps to avoid common mistakes and improve the automated testing