Automated software testing is a process in which software tools execute pre-scripted tests on a software application before it is released into production.
Define the scope of Automation
Scope of automation is the area of your Application Under Test which will be automated. Following points help determine scope:
- Feature that are important for the business
- Scenarios which have large amount of data
- Common functionalities across applications
- Technical feasibility
- Extent to which business components are reused
- Complexity of test cases
- Ability to use the same test cases for cross browser testing
Planning, Design and Development
During this phase you create Automation strategy & plan, which contains following details-
- Automation tools selected
- Framework design and its features
- In-Scope and Out-of-scope items of automation
- Automation test bed preparation
- Schedule and Timeline of scripting and execution
- Deliverables of Automation Testing
Automation Scripts are executed during this phase. The scripts need input test data before there are set to run. Once executed they provide detailed test reports.
Execution can be performed using the automation tool directly or through the Test Management tool which will invoke the automation tool.
Example: Quality center is the Test Management tool which in turn it will invoke QTP for execution of automation scripts. Scripts can be executed in a single machine or a group of machines. The execution can be done during night , to save time.
As new functionalities are added to the System Under Test with successive cycles, Automation Scripts need to be added, reviewed and maintained for each release cycle. Maintenance becomes necessary to improve effectiveness of Automation Scripts.
Framework in Automation
A framework is set of automation guidelines which help in
- Maintaining consistency of Testing
- Improves test structuring
- Minimum usage of code
- Less Maintenance of code
- Improve re-usability
- Non Technical testers can be involved in code
- Training period of using the tool can be reduced
- Involves Data wherever appropriate
There are four types of framework used in automation software testing:
- Data Driven Automation Framework
- Keyword Driven Automation Framework
- Modular Automation Framework
- Hybrid Automation Framework
Automation Tool Best Practices
To get maximum ROI of automation, observe the following
- Scope of Automation needs to be determined in detail before the start of the project. This sets expectations from Automation right.
- Select the right automation tool: A tool must not be selected based on its popularity but it’s fit to the automation requirements.
- Choose appropriate framework
- Scripting Standards- Standards have to be followed while writing the scripts for Automation .Some of them are-
- Create uniform scripts, comments and indentation of the code
- Adequate Exception handling – How error is handled on system failure or unexpected behavior of the application.
- User defined messages should be coded or standardized for Error Logging for testers to understand.
- Measure metrics- Success of automation cannot be determined by comparing the manual effort with the automation effort but by also capturing the following metrics.
- Percent of defects found
- Time required for automation testing for each and every release cycle
- Minimal Time taken for release
- Customer satisfaction Index
- Productivity improvement
The above guidelines if observed can greatly help in making your automation successful.