Software Testing, one of the most important and strongest pillars of the massive tech world, has been going through numerous revolutions over the years. And, automation is another crucial part of the modern world. People are using automation to make complex time-consuming tasks extremely easy and efficient. Hence, the trend of automating most things has provided us with test automation, a vital part of the tech world’s backbone.
Test automation carries a huge significance in achieving greater efficiency & test coverage and helps users achieve a huge grab on the market. Its objective is to improve the products’ quality, lower the overall expenditure, and save a lot of time throughout the complete operation. But, like every other important field, there are several points to consider before moving ahead with test automation.
Not every test case is meant to be automated. If anyone proceeds with automating every test case that they go through, they may move towards a bunch of known and unknown problems. That’s why here, we are going to discuss which tests you should automate and how to decide.
Why Should You Automate The Tests?
The term test automation may sound like getting rid of manual testing. You may suspect that the significance of human resources will get demolished by automated software testing. But, they are all myths. No matter how easy, efficient, and fruitful automated testing becomes, manual testing will always hold a crucial place in the field of software testing. But, test automation has its own massive set of benefits that you can find out below.
- Test automation enables an efficient system to provide focused attention to crucial points of a web product.
- It helps the users get rid of the hassle of wasting time, money, and other resources on repetitive tests.
- Reputed test automation tools like PreFlight let you have a rock-solid trust that you are getting genuinely effective test results.
- Test automation provides the users with informative reports about the condition of their web products. It eventually helps them in identifying the most vital points of improvement in their products.
- It adds great value to the position of web products in the market. If an application is tested, improved, and approved for the best quality through such a renowned software testing tool as PreFlight, it will definitely have special popularity among its competitors.
What Are The Deciding Points To Get The Tests Into Automation?
Now, as you just went through the importance of test automation, it’s time for you to know the points that will help you decide whether you should automate the test or not. So, let’s get onto them.
- Common or widely used features that should be tested repeatedly. Test automation will save great time, cost, and resources on those repetitive tests. For example, smoke tests, sanity tests, and regression tests need to be run against every build/release of the application.
- Features or user flows that are critical to the business. You must automate them to make sure that they don’t break and cause a downfall in the business.
- Tests that need to be run in different environments such as different OS & browser combinations.
- If the test requirements, the test cases & test suites, or the task are stable, have lower risks, and are unlikely to change often.
- Time-consuming tests as they need a pretty long time (sometimes overnight) to run. Automating them will become a blessing to the users.
- Tests that execute the same workflow while using different data for its inputs for each test run e.g. data-driven tests.
- Tests that are prone to human error. Automating them will help in achieving much better accuracy.
- Tests that deal with huge amounts of data as inputs e.g. login tests, forms, etc.
- Tests that find out whether the application is performing up to the mark or not e.g. stress and load tests.
- Tests that have plenty of downtime between steps.
- Tests that involve visual testing to make sure that the application is behaving as per expectation. Automating them helps a lot in also ensuring that they act similarly in different browsers.
Categories of Tests That You Should Automate First
Till now, you got to know about how automated software testing is beneficial and why you should go for it. But, a clearer overlapping of those concepts with the conventional category division of tests will provide us with a better idea. Hence, let’s check out how test automation can help in improving the four categories of testing.
This is the largest subset of tests. Unit testing consists of numerous small tests that have the objective of individually and independently testing the smallest parts of an application to ensure that they are performing as expected. This stage requires the tests to be completed and the bugs or errors to be detected as fast as possible. Otherwise, the cost of finding bugs and debugging them can go up if the tests are executed later.
Now, you may wonder why such small tests should be automated. Well, there are strong reasons for that. These highly reusable tests that are part of the Test-Driven Technology (TDD), require the failing tests to be written first. Irrespective of the programming language, this method of writing the failing tests causes taking all possible inputs, errors, and outputs into account. Manual testing can never work positively in achieving the goal of keeping the cost low. That’s why it is always the best approach to automate the tests that come under unit testing.
This category of testing involves combining different software modules and testing them as a group to ensure that the interactions between the integrated units are working perfectly. So, as we can see that there is a huge need for quick feedback from the tests, automating them is the best and most efficient way to accomplish the goal. For that, many DevOps teams perform Shift Left testing i.e. moving the integration testing as close as possible to the build process so that they can get important feedback faster.
It is a massive subset of testing because it involves numerous types of software tests whose objective is to validate the software as a whole (the combination of software, hardware, and network) against the goal behind developing it. That’s why this category of testing includes different types of tests such as functional testing, keyword testing, data-driven testing, regression testing, smoke testing, black box testing, etc., and, naturally, you can see automation looking different for each one of them.
For example, in functional testing, several tools and frameworks are used to match the development codebase of the application being tested. The best practice is to take an approach that takes the application’s objective as an upfront concern e.g. automating the test by using PreFlight provides you with our amazing Record and Playback features. That way, you can stay assured of not experiencing any flaky tests.
Another crucial form of system testing that should be automated is Regression Testing which ensures that recent code changes do not have any harmful or adverse impact on the functionality of the application. A common practice in this type of testing is reusing all or some of the previously created test cases rather than creating new ones. Hence, automating these tests will significantly increase the overall efficiency of the testing process.
No matter how fast, smooth, and attractive a software is, if it does not fulfill your business requirements, it is of no use. Hence, you must test your software and ensure that the objective behind developing it has been justified. Acceptance testing is the form of testing that deals with the inputs and outputs of a system as a whole. It doesn’t bother about individual internal parts of the software. So, as we can see these tests operate on very crucial aspects of software, it should be automated to achieve the best results in the most complex tests.
Set The Priority Order For The Common Types of Tests
Knowing only the category of the tests for automation can cause confusion about the actual tests that are commonly performed. So, we must focus on the points that will tell us which of the commonly performed tests we should automate. Let’s check the deciding factors for the automation of common tests.
- If the feature operates on a critical path or is frequently used, it must perform the best. And, automating their tests will help in achieving that.
- If the feature involves any legal aspect, it must not have any flaws in it. You can easily ensure that through test automation.
- A feature must get passed through automated software tests if it deals with a lot of data and environment setup.
- You must test a feature through automated software tests if it has a lot of reuse.
Now, it’s time to look at how we should prioritize the automated testing of the most popular features.
This tabular comparison can really help anyone to decide which of these tests should be automated first and then the priority order can be followed.
Reach Above The Heights With PreFlight
Having a good idea about the priority order of the tests is essential for anyone with a goal to excel in the tech world. But, often it becomes cumbersome and time-consuming to concentrate on the testing operations rather than focusing on the massive business needs. That’s why PreFlight makes sure that our users do not get to worry even a little bit about achieving the best results in automated testing.
Our objective is to enable the whole team to work together on a product and exempt all our users from the hassle of coding while testing their web products. Our simple and smoothest browser extension provides you with all the efficient functionalities to set up your tests through a truly convenient interface and then you can repeat and analyze them whenever you want. Also, our amazingly fast and effective Cypress Test Recorder lets you generate the most efficient Cypress code for your tests within minutes. Hence, leave all worries about setting up the priority order of the tests and writing codes for them. PreFlight is here to serve you in more ways than you can imagine.
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