The test automation process consists of the use of specific software capable of controlling and managing certain tests. This is possible from the application of strategies and some tools that facilitate the comparison between predicted results and actual results.
With these tools, it is possible to configure preconditions for each test, as well as other control and reporting functions. Thus, test automation starts from a manual process of establishing rules, facilitating and speeding up one of the most important stages of software development.
Why do test automation?
Running software tests is an extremely repetitive and tiring task. And, unfortunately, it is impossible to give up this stage of development when you want to deliver a quality product to consumers. For this reason, turning to test automation is a great choice.
Automation tools allow code to be written once, making the computer run all tests written for the software from time to time. As a result, the development team gains confidence, since it is possible to allocate the time spent on tests to tasks such as correcting errors that, by chance, may be detected by automated tests.
However, one of the biggest benefits of using test automation is that, in general, the productivity of software development increases and, with it, customer satisfaction, since they are guaranteed to receive a product with error free.
When test automation should be done?
The relevance of test automation is intrinsically linked to the final quality of the product that is intended to be delivered. Thus, automating software testing is a step that will depend, among other things, on the feasibility of the process itself.
When identifying the need to automate software testing, it is critical to understand what the costs will be and whether the project will maintain the quality level. Furthermore, it is necessary to take into account the maturity of the test process team, how many times these tests will be redone and reused, what are the expected results and, also, the frequency of changes of the features that will be tested.
After all, it is a waste of resources to carry out a test for a certain functionality that, in a few days, can undergo significant changes. So basically, test automation should be applied, mainly, when it is possible to guarantee that the quality of manual execution will be maintained.
Brief about few automation tools
Naturally, in the context of the need to resort to test automation, automation tools play a leading role, as they are largely responsible for performing this type of task. Below, I listed five of the top test automation tools available today.
- Selenium: Selenium is, without a doubt, the most used test automation framework today. Built in the early 2000s and constantly evolving, this tool is the top choice of open source testers for web applications. In addition to occupying this leadership position in the test automation frameworks category, Selenium still serves as the basis for other automation tools such as Katalon Studio, Robot Framework, Protractor and Watir. It also supports different operating environments. It works on Windows, Mac and Linux, in addition to the various browser options such as Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Headless. Selenium is best used by those programmers with experience in developing specific scripts and libraries for each type of test that is needed. Despite this, its flexibility makes it possible to apply test automation in any software.
- Robotium: Aimed at Android applications, Robotium is a very popular framework for automating tests on this platform. Fully compatible with native and hybrid applications, the tool makes writing black-box test automation much easier. Robotium’s main function is to simulate the procedures that, under normal conditions, would be performed by the person responsible for the test analysis, which may include registration, research or alteration and deletion of a certain record.
- Appium: Appium is a cross – platform open source test automation tool for native or hybrid applications, which supports both mobile simulators and real devices. Unlike Robotium, which is exclusively aimed at the Android system, Appium is also used for automating software tests on Apple’s iOS platform, which makes this tool extremely attractive to developers. With Appium it is possible to perform tests regardless of the chosen programming language, since it accepts scripts in Ruby, Java, Node.js, PHP, C#, Clojure and Perl.
- UFT – Unified Functional Testing : UFT is one of the most popular commercial testing tools when it comes to functional software testing. Providing a wide range of features for API, web services and GUI testing of desktop, web and mobile software, UFT uses Visual Basic Scripting Edition to record test and control processes. Integrated with Mercury Business Process Testing and Mercury Quality Center, UFT supports CI through the integration of specific tools such as Jenkins.
- Watir: Like the other tools presented in this article, Watir is used for automating open source web tests based on Ruby code libraries. The tool accepts tests in different types of browsers, such as Firefox, Opera, Headless and Internet Explorer. What’s more, Watir even supports other data-driven tests, integrating with BDD tools such as Test/Unit, Cucumber, and RSpec.
Mainly for the functional tests, there is the possibility of automation with the help of tools, in which it is possible to create scripts (codes) that simulate the operations that were executed manually, with the benefit of enabling their execution on different platforms, systems operating systems, browsers and screen sizes. This brings a very large gain in cost, time, quality and risk reduction.
Written by: Luis Chiringatambo, Oprimes Tester