Certain factors should be taken into consideration while automating test scripts. Automation of tests is generally done to accelerate the process of testing and meet tighter deadlines. Proper implementation of automated tests results in effective Quality Assurance (QA).
The need for test automation frameworks comes when all the modules need to be tested for initial bugs and to fix them. Hence, automated testingis a viable option when a significant level of repeated regression testing is required.
A web application may have thousands of users interacting simultaneously. The creation of such a large number of users manually is an inefficient process of testing. This process can be carried out by automating load testing, which will work by creating virtual users for checking the load capacity of the application. Automated testing can be implemented for reviewing repeated functional changes in the same Graphical User Interface(GUI). Read More: Automation Testing
Facts to Consider
Once we understand why and when we need to automate testing we can identify the risk factors while implementing it. While test automation has its benefits, its implementation should be carried out after a deep consideration of certain risk factors.
1. Availability of skilled resources
Automation will need skilled resources having sufficient knowledge of programming or those who have a technical background with adaptability to new technologies. If such resources are not available, then the shift to automated testing is not suggested as handing over expensive tools to unskilled professionals will not generate the expected results.
2. Requirement of initial investment
Like manual testing, automated testing also has a significant investment cost which is high at the initial level. The cost for purchasing automation tools, training, and maintenance of the test scripts is very high. Its return on investment can only be realized only after a significant period through optimum utilization of the tools.
3. User interface automation
User Interface should not be automated if it is prone to frequent changes. This is because, with frequent changes in the UI, the associated test scripts will also need to be changed which will constantly require additional maintenance costs.
4. Application stability for supporting automation
Testing automation is to be implemented in environments that can support automation. The agile environment is best suited for automation testing. Other environments will call for extra investments to adapt to such new changes.
5. Achieving 100% automation
It is may not be economically and technically feasible to achieve a complete automated implementation. Certain areas of testing such as regression testing, load testing, etc., will need to be automated extensively, while areas of UI testing, usability, and compatibility can be restricted to manual testing only.
6. Exclude rare tests from automation
Test cases that are run only once or rarely can be excluded for automation.
7. Automation lifetime
The automated tests should be used repeatedly to realize the cost incurred for its implementation. Roughly, an automated script suite should be used at least 15 – 20 times to test separate releases, to generate a standard Return on Investment.
As several testing activities require manual labor, quality assurance teams are under tremendous pressure to keep costs minimal and complete the procedures within short time frames, especially when they deal with heterogeneous system scenarios. To meet the deadline and stay within budget, the teams are forced to skip or delay critical tests. By using conventional record-and-play tools to perform automated testing activities, organizations often find it hard to maintain the crucial scripts. In the interim, expert quality engineers are required to build and update the tests. The outcomes are risky testing procedures and higher expenses. Automated testing helps organizations to ensure proficient testing and optimal app performance while lowering business risks related to outages and slow performance.
Automation of test cases is an effective way of accomplishing testing objectives. Proper research and analysis should be carried out before the implementation of automated testing. A complete match to the requirements is unlikely to be available at any time. Hence, instead of depending 100% on either manual or automated testing, the best approach is to proceed with a balanced combination of both. However, automated testing is not the complete solution. Real-time testers should also be used along with automation.