By Kaloyan, QA Lead at Flat Rock
It’s almost impossible to release an application without testing it first. More and more clients want to be certain that their product is verified and validated by a quality assurance specialist. And if the system is more complex, more testing approaches are applied.
Every development team tests its products, but the delivered software always has defects. And in some cases, manual testing will not be sufficient to cover all possible cases. This is true especially when the team works on iterations and the QA must re-test functionality which was developed a few iterations back. In such situations, the team must decide if it’s possible to use an automated way to cover more tests. This will increase the effectiveness, efficiency and coverage of the software testing.
Automation testing is a process in which a software tool executes predefined test scripts. There are several types of testing, which could be automated:
> Unit testing;
> Functional testing;
> Integration testing;
> Regression testing;
> Data driven testing;
> Black box testing;
> Performance testing;
> Stress testing;
> Load testing.
Usually it’s more time-consuming to create an automated test and if this test is used only once, it will increase unnecessarily the cost of the project. That’s why the team must decide what part of the application should be tested automatically. The main objective is to simplify the test process with a minimum set of test scripts. For example, if the regression testing is a large percentage of the QA resource, then it might be a good idea to automate it with a specific tool. Such tools are capable of executing test scripts, reporting outcomes and also comparing the results with earlier test runs. It’s important to say that these tests can be run repeatedly.
When the team decides which part of the testing will be automated, they must decide what tool is suitable for their needs:
- Should it be free or not?
- Who should write the test cases?
- What language will be used?
- Do they need a server to execute the tests repeatedly?
The benefits of the automation testing are:
> It will improve the accuracy – testers, who are freed from repetitive manual tests, will be able to think about other cases and to automate them as well.
> Automation does what is impossible to simulate with manual testing – even the largest QA departments cannot perform a test with thousands of users.
> Automation testing can simulate as many virtual users as you want interacting with a software application.
> It saves time and money – software tests have to be repeated during the development of a product. Manually repeating is cost and time consuming. Automated software can reduce the needed time from days to hours.
The drawbacks of the automation testing are:
> Some tools are very expensive, especially those of them, which could simulate thousands of users.
> It might take a time for the QA to learn how to use a tool – in some cases, they should learn a specific programming language in order to execute the test cases.
> If the case is not properly set, it will report that there is a bug in the system, even if the functionality is working as expected.
In conclusion – automation testing is very useful and could help the team increase their productivity and reduce the time which is needed to verify that something is working as expected, but still it cannot replace entirely manual testing.
Flat Rock is specialized in development and testing of bespoke software both manually and automated. Contact us to learn how to optimize your product or in case you need a hand in verifying software quality.