Testing an application is an essential step involved in product development. Organizations focus on repeating the various tests in the development cycle to ensure the best quality. The main testing methods used by technical teams worldwide are manual testing and automated testing. Organizations use automated testing for certain processes, but they mainly depend on manual testing. Globally, an average of only 15% of tests were automated, according to the World Quality Report (2021-22). Although test automation tools are used by many companies, they still are not able to leverage the benefits of test automation in the development process. Executing manual tests requires a lot of human effort to compare the results with the expected behavior and record the results. As the source code changes, testers have to repeat the entire testing process in manual testing. In addition to that, it is prone to human errors and difficult to execute on various platforms.
In the present world, organizations cannot compromise on speed and time. As the markets are getting competitive, companies need to evolve to deliver their products and updates faster. To achieve faster development cycles, using test automation tools in the development and testing process is necessary. With the help of test automation, testers can perform thousands of different and lengthy test cases and increase the depth of tests to improve the quality of applications. It also enhances testing accuracy with minimal human intervention. Generally, a testing framework is adopted by organizations to automate the testing processes. The main testing frameworks followed by software companies are keyword-driven framework, data-driven framework, linear automation framework, and modular-based testing framework.
HeadSpin enables automated testing by integrating the CI/CD pipeline of the testing teams with our solutions, and the HeadSpin Platform can be configured to KPIs as per customers’ needs. This will always keep the DevOps process of organizations aligned with customers’ needs.
Manual vs. Automated Testing
Let’s check some of the significant differences between manual testing and automated testing:
- Manual testing is performed manually by QA analysts, whereas in automated testing, tests are performed automatically with the help of test automation tools where human involvement is not required.
- Manual testing is a method where the testers have to take care of everything from test creation and test execution to analysis, whereas, with test automation tools, testers can write test scripts and then automate the test execution and generate the report.
- Manual testing cannot be 100% accurate, as there is always a possibility of human error, whereas automated testing is reliable because it is code- and script-based.
- Manual testing provides less test coverage than automated testing, as it can execute more test cases.
- Manual testing is time-consuming, whereas automated testing is faster and more efficient than manual testing.
Core Benefits of Automated Testing
In the modern world, automated testing has transformed software development, and it has been the main reason for the explosion of apps over the past decade. Let’s look at the major benefits of automated testing that helps organizations speed up their testing and development processes.
1. Faster Feedback Cycle
With test automation, organizations can reduce the time needed to complete a feedback cycle for new software features. If the testers can provide input about the software to the development team faster, then the development team can fix the bugs in the code more quickly. By increasing the speed of the feedback cycle, companies can eliminate the risk of releasing buggy software. As test automation helps testers detect software bugs in the early stages, they can correct those bugs in the development stage itself. Thus, this will accelerate the software development process.
2. Testing on Multiple Platforms in Parallel
Cross-browser compatibility is an important feature that needs to be checked during the software development process. As many browsers are available in the market, manually testing software on all browsers manually is a tedious process. With test automation tools, testers can create countless test cases to perform cross-browser testing. Hence, the testing team can complete the cross-browser testing of a software application on various browsers, operating systems, and devices quickly and simultaneously.
3. Reusability of Test Scripts
As developing test cases take a lot of time and effort, the reusability of test scripts is a major advantage of automated testing. In order to test new operating systems or devices, testers always have to create distinct test scripts for each cross-browser test. The reusability of automated test scripts enables testers to optimize their time better while testing.
An advantage of using Appium and HeadSpin together while automating the testing procedure is recording testers' actions and translating them into code snippets, which they can use in their scripts. This feature will help minimize the effort of manual coding.
4. Easy Data-driven Testing
One of the critical benefits of test automation is data-driven testing. With data-driven testing, testers can evaluate all functionalities involving numerous data sets. Some of the significant advantages of data-driven testing that help testers to accelerate the application delivery pipeline include:
- Enables the reuse of functions and actions in testing
- Stores verification and test data in a single file and separates them from the test case logic
- Minimizes the number of test scripts and cases
- Saves all test scripts in a single repository
Data-driven analysis is one of the prime features of the HeadSpin Platform. With our Platform, enterprises can collect 120+ data points to analyze the performance and experience of their applications.
5. Test Insights
While testing applications manually, testers need to share the inputs of the tests with each other manually to understand how many test scripts have been written and what all errors have been fixed. This can create confusion among the testers and delay the whole testing process. The test insights generated using test automation tools can guide the testing teams in tracking the entire process. With these automatically generated insights, technical teams can reduce the possibility of human errors. Testers can also use these insights to plan their testing process upfront.
6. Maximum Test Coverage
Achieving 100% test coverage for complicated applications is very challenging for testers. In manual testing, this becomes more difficult, as it is hard to manage many test cases simultaneously. Automating the testing processes can be an apt solution to this problem. Test automation tools can support the testers by providing additional test coverage and assisting them in testing features like UI, databases, and servers. These tools will enable testers to improve the quality of applications without affecting the functionality. Moreover, with 100% test coverage, testing teams can analyze the previous and current releases and track every build cycle and project fixes.
7. 24X7 Test Execution
Compared to manual testing, the significant benefit of test automation is the flexibility to perform testing at any time of the day. As manual testing requires human efforts, it is impossible to execute tests 24X7. Automated testing enables testers to schedule automated test execution remotely at any time of the day. With the help of automated testing tools, testing teams can generate detailed reports with insights into the tests that have been run for the analysis of applications at any time of the day as per their convenience.
When organizations have to perform a large number of test cases manually, they need to expand their workforce accordingly. However, in the case of automated testing, the process is highly scalable, as most of the testing is done automatically. Even though the testing is performed automatically, minimal human supervision is required in this process. According to the World Quality Report (2021-22), an efficient and scalable test automation strategy uses AI/ML for dynamic scope selection, detects errors and code backlogs, improves test coverage, and offers better control and transparency over the testing process while reducing test cycles, security concerns, and risks.
9. Low Business Costs and Better Utilization of Human Resources
Although automating the testing processes can be a large investment for enterprises, it can reduce their overall operational cost through effective resource utilization. With test automation tools, companies need a very small workforce to perform the testing process. As there is a lack of workforce for performing the high-level tasks for companies, such as planning and product management, companies can utilize their workforce to perform such tasks. These factors will help organizations to achieve better efficiency and profitability.
10. Enhance the Quality of Manual Testing
Test automation is not an alternative to manual testing, as many testing processes require human supervision and effort. However, automating certain tasks can definitely help testers to improve the quality of applications and reduce the time to market. Most test automation software tools are used to validate manual testing. The major advantage of automation testing is the easing of stressful activity of manual testers, so they get time and bandwidth for innovating with better test scenarios. Thus, manual testing is always the base for test automation.
11. Effective Smoke Testing
Although smoke testing is recommended as a best practice in the testing process, many organizations avoid it to improve the bandwidth of testers. Test automation tools are used to automate smoke testing that needs human efforts. Thus, test automation helps testers evaluate the stability of a software build by performing automated smoke testing for successful build validation. The datasets required for performing smoke tests are generated automatically, thus, allowing the stability of software builds to be determined faster.
12. Better Regression Testing
Performing manual regression testing for applications is a tedious process. In this type of testing, testers need to repeatedly test a set of similar test cases to ensure that error is fixed. This has been a critical pain point for developers/testers for a long time. Repeated testing can create a delay in the software release and reduce the efficiency of testers. Automated regression testing is the perfect solution for this problem. As test automation tools can perform testing 24X7, the time needed for performing regression testing can always be extended. The time and effort used to build automated test cases is a one-time investment, which will help organizations to increase their profitability.
With HeadSpin’s automated regression testing, QA experts can compare their applications build-over-build. Our solutions will help testing teams reduce the overall regression cycle time and cost involved in the testing process.
13. Reduce the Time to Release
One of the main benefits of test automation is speeding up application development cycles. By automating the testing process, testers are able to test new features very quickly. As automated testing can reduce the time taken to complete feedback cycles, strong inter-departmental communication is established across the test environment. With proper feedback being communicated effectively, each team is able to speed up their process. Thus, this will result in the reduction of applications' time to release.
14. Execute Lengthy Test Scenarios
While performing manual testing, various test scenarios may have recurring and lengthy procedures. By using test automation software tools, testers can execute exceedingly complicated and lengthy test scenarios easily and rapidly 24X7. With automated testing scripts, testers can complete long test scenarios in lesser time compared to manual testing.
15. Achieve Excellent Return on Investment (ROI)
With only manual testing, software development teams take considerable time to develop and launch applications. Moreover, due to repetitive manual quality tests, there can be a delay in the release of the software or its feature. These factors can affect the return on investment of organizations. Automated testing can shorten the product release time by automating all repetitive operations and requiring fewer resources, thus, resulting in a high return on investment.
With the right combination of test automation tools and proper planning of testing processes, test automation can be the future of software testing. As the software market is evolving rapidly, the need for automating the testing processes is also rising. Currently, organizations are making the shift from complete manual testing to a hybrid testing environment to leverage the automated testing benefits, like faster releases, automated repetitive tasks, reduced time for regression testing, enhanced test coverage, and 24×7 availability. This type of testing approach will give confidence to developers, management, and customers alike.
With HeadSpin's solutions, testers can automate the testing process and leverage the Platform's unique features. The key differentiators of HeadSpin are:
- Artificial Intelligence: HeadSpin has 44+ ML models for human perception and performance issue recommendation
- Automatability through APIs: Comprehensive library of REST-based APIs to enable multiple workflows without any user intervention
- Extensive Device Support: Thousands of devices are deployed in 90+ locations worldwide to enable testing in real user conditions
1. What is the modular-based testing framework?
Ans: It is a framework used to automate the testing process. This framework focuses on the concept of abstraction. In the modular-based testing framework, the testing teams create scripts for each application module under test individually, and then these scripts are combined in a hierarchical order to develop large test cases.
2. What are the various phases in an automation testing life cycle?
Ans: The main phases in an automation testing life cycle are:
- Figuring out the scope of automation testing
- Choosing the correct automation frameworks and tools
- Designing a test plan and test execution strategy
- Setting up the test environment
- Developing and executing test cases
- Analyzing and generating test reports
3. What is the data-driven framework?
Ans: The data-driven framework is an automated testing framework. In this framework, input values are read from data files and stored into variables in test scripts. This framework enables testers to build both positive and negative test cases into a single test.
4. What is HeadSpin Appium Inspector Integration?
Ans: HeadSpin Appium Inspector Integration is a feature offered by the HeadSpin Platform. It allows testers to develop Appium scripts using the Appium Inspector IDE directly from the device Remote Control UI. This feature helps testers to bypass the steps like developing simulators/emulators and downloading the apps for testing.