Implementing test automation is critical to build and deploy robust applications in quick time. However, the business should have a strategy in place to make test automation functional, cost effective and easy to maintain.
In an Agile and DevOps environment, the focus is on the quick detection of glitches in an application before its eventual deployment. This is due to the fact that a quality validated application stands a good chance in securing customer approval than the one devoid of it. It is better to have a robust and secure application with less number of features than having one with umpteen features but with glitches galore. To ensure this, the software must undergo a series of tests namely, unit, functionality, performance, usability, security, and regression test among others. However, should these battery of tests be conducted manually, the eventual outcome may not be to the satisfaction of everyone due to the inherent issues with manual testing.
Test automation provides the best way to validate an application in terms of quality and ensure its quick deployment. The automated tools can run scripts that test repetitive tasks to shorten the SDLC. This way, QA automation testing can achieve speed and reliability – important deliverables of the Agile-DevOps setup. Even though the test automation framework adopted by businesses has reduced the number of test cases, there are occasions where businesses have failed to implement their automated testing strategy like in regression testing. The reasons for the failure in implementing test automation can range from the difficulty in writing test scripts with a longer lifespan to maintaining them. Let us chart a robust automated testing strategy to achieve quality deliverables and ROI.
Strategy to implement test automation solutions
#1 Automating the right test cases: Since it is difficult to automate each and every component of the application, choose the ones that give the best test outcomes. Thus, it is better to run keyword based tests, for they are easy and quick to write. Moreover, they are best understood by the software as well. The challenge is to maintain these tests and keep them updated over time. The test cases to be automated should be of types such as large datasets, high risk, repetitive, and those covering a number of browsers, platforms and networks. The automation of such choicest test cases would help in identifying the glitches better, provide relevant dashboard reports for analysis and improving the processes, and free the test automation experts to explore other features thoroughly.
#2 Cover the development sprint: The Agile-DevOps ecosystem is about building a development sprint where writing and testing the codes are done concurrently. The goal of building a development sprint is to accomplish both the tasks of development and QA together and in the shortest possible time. This is not always feasible to achieve except with proper planning. For example, when new functionality is added, it should be subjected to unit testing. In other words, the functionality should be broken down into smaller units and tested based on keywords that correspond to your business requirements. This way, the business can derive the maximum benefit out of unit testing. The QA team can write automated scripts for various units while being a part of the sprint.
The test automation solutions can help the QA team to keep pace with the development team by quickly performing various unit tests. When the development and QA teams work in the same sprint, it significantly improves the quality of the code by a large measure.
#3 Making the automated scripts to last long: Among the many challenges of writing robust test cases is the fact that they can become irrelevant after a while. This can be pre-empted by writing smaller test cases in a sequence of steps to test a functionality. The advantage of writing smaller individual test cases is that they need not be rewritten once a new functionality is introduced. On the other hand, instead of rewriting the whole script from scratch, it will be easier to focus on a few test cases pertaining to the changes.
#4 Independent of UI: The flexibility of an automated test script can be ensured if the same is UI independent. The test cases should be written based on keywords that are duly supported by the backend. At the same time, should the test cases use the UI elements, it can spell trouble as the latter can undergo changes.
The only way QA automation testing can succeed is by properly designing the QA build and devising a well thought out strategy. The focus should be to write test cases that remain relevant across processes and changes.
Komal Lopez works with Cigniti Technologies and is instrumental in helping enterprises make better decisions related to Quality Assurance products, tools, and services by leveraging research and content. She specializes in writing about technology trends, testing trends and has been in the Marketing and Communications industry for over a decade.