Automation Testing: Definition, Types, Best Practices

In the fast-growing, IT industry with robust competition, faster and quality-driven software is the need of time. Manual testing cannot possibly keep up with the changing demands in the market. This is why automation testing has become the showstopper in today’s IT world. 

In this guide, you will learn to align your organizational goals with cost-efficient bug-free software development.

What is Automation Testing?

Automation testing is software testing that businesses use to execute testing automatically. This type of testing has a predefined set of tests automatically scheduled for their application. To determine whether automation testing is effective, businesses are measuring the test using the ROI (Return on Investment) model.

It helps large businesses to see the return on their investments and make decisions quickly and easily.

Related read: What is software quality assurance

Best Practices to improve Automation Testing ROI and effectiveness

Businesses are running automation testing for better results, so it’s important to improve the effectiveness of automation testing and ensure maximum return on investment (ROI).

Here are some best practices to improve Automation Testing Effectiveness and ROI:

1. Define What to Automate

In the first step, you need to identify what are the essential parts that need to be automated; otherwise, it becomes hard to achieve the desired ROI from automation testing. Many factors need to be considered while defining the areas, including environment, dependencies on hardware, potential impacts and many more. The main purpose of test automation is to eliminate the human interaction to those repetitive tasks that can easily be automated. 

You can consider these things for automation:

  • All those tasks that can be repetitive
  • All the features that remain stable 
  • Tests that have complicated calculations
  • Tasks that are hard to perform manually
  • Tests that take lots of effort and time

These areas can be considered for automation testing that saves time & effort and reduces risk scenarios. 

2. Prepare Test Cases & Scenarios 

Before starting automated testing, creating test cases and scenarios is better. Testers can predict the test scenarios & defects before executing the automation testing. It also gives a clear idea about the workflow and execution process that helps get the desired ROI.

3. Utilizes Quality Test Data

New methods and technologies are used for the software development cycle, requiring quality test data for successful automation testing. So the data size must be optimized and contain only comprehensive information and components relevant to application automation testing. So before starting the automation testing, it becomes essential to have quality test data. 

4. Use Standard Test Tools, Frameworks & Techniques

A key solution to enhance the effectiveness of automation testing is using standard tools, frameworks and techniques for a particular application testing. Some of the popular techniques recommended by ISTQB as Behavioral, Black-Box Testing, White-Box Testing, State Transition etc. Using the right frameworks & techniques increases the speed of automation testing and getting the desired ROI.

5. Don’t Automate Everything

Many testers make the mistake of automating everything to reduce their testing efforts, but it’s not the right approach in automation testing. To achieve the desired ROI, manual and automated testing must be required per test scenarios. Because there will be some tests that can be possible by humans.

6. Review Tests Periodically

Reviewing tests is one of the important parts of testing where QA testers need to review their tests time-to-time. Reviewing tests Periodically helps testers to identify & remove unnecessary and outdated tests that do not need further testing. 

Types of Automation Testing

When you have decided on taking the process of automation from manual, basic knowledge about the types of automation comes in handy. Automation testing is divided into three major categories:

1. Functional Testing

It examines what the product does while approving each function and feature of the application. It balances out users’ requirements. By following this, you approve the actions that the software performs.

2. Non-functional Testing

It examines how the product behaves while approving the usability and performance of the product. it balances out the user’s expectations. By following this, you approve the software’s performance. This stage is hard to achieve through manual testing.

Testing based on the phases of testing:

3. Unit Testing

It tests a single unit of the software/ product setup. Testing a chunk of code is necessary as it provides a granular report on how the code is performing. In this phase, the execution is faster and easier.

4. API Testing

Application Programming Interface or API acts as a bridge between the UI and database.

5. UI Testing

It keeps in check the visual elements like buttons, links, labels, and images on the operating screen. If this system is afloat, then it majorly regulates the user experience. It also keeps in check the functionality of the application which is handling user actions via any input device. 

6. Smoke Test

The smoke test comes in the initial stage of the automation testing. This test basically acts as the green signal when you add a new feature to the existing setup.

7. Integration Testing

This test verifies the thread of all the modules in an application. As the name suggests, the test involves the grouping of small modules and running tests to disclose any flaws in the working of the whole software.

8. Regression Testing

A regression test is done when the new changes like bug fixes or configuration changes, have been made in the previously existing version to get detailed information on the working of the software. Here both functional and non-functional tests run consecutively. 

9. Security Testing

This test identifies potential risk factors of data breaching or any sort of unauthorized access. This test unveils any underlying vulnerabilities or threads in the software application that may be exposed and exploited.

Benefits of Automation Testing

1. Quick Feedback Mechanism: Automation testing makes monotonous tests slide away without having to waste manpower. This communication bridge prepares you for quick response hence improving customer service.

2. Improvement of Testing Efficiency: Since now the testing is done by robotics then the risk of errors narrows down to zero, therefore improving the efficiency of the test.

3. Early bug detection: Identifying the critical bugs during the initial phase of testing during software development.

4. Reduces the expenses: The same setup will be used for automation testing. Manual testing is far more expensive since it requires manpower and other equipment.

Popular Automation Testing Tools

1. LambdaTest

This is one of the best automation testing tools in the market for desktop and web applications. LambdaTest can perform cross-browser on a combination of more than 2k browsers both automated and manually.

2. TestComplete

This tool is used for desktops, mobile, and web applications. It has capabilities of record and playback along with ease of working using languages like Python and JavaScript.

3. QMetry Automation Studio

This testing solution is a low code/ no code automation test platform.

Real Examples of Automation Testing

While testing software, the fundamental approach that requires breaking down functional and non-functional units then running tests on these units, and then performing tests on the entire setup (end-to-end system testing), in the end, testing the external interfaces (API testing and/or UI testing). 

Above mentioned various tests are performed to get a detailed report on the working of the software before launching it in the market.

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