Automated software testing is an essential part of software development for various reasons. Technology across the globe has drastically evolved in recent decades. With its increasing pace, it's become challenging for companies to manage software quality without automated testing tools.
This article will examine why it is so important to test software and explore the top 12 benefits of using an automation tool or platform for test execution. It will also take a quick look at the different types of automated testing and answer some of the most pertinent questions about test automation.
Why Software Testing is Important
The goal of software testing is to find bugs, errors, or missing requirements in software. With any application, there's a significant chance that the final code will have issues with functionality, design, or both.
The best way to identify these problems is by running test cases and test scripts during the development cycle and after it. With test case execution, developers can identify and fix issues before deployment. An adequately tested application is more likely to be dependable and secure.
When a web application is not tested properly, it could result in a poor-quality product, delayed delivery, increased costs, and unsatisfied customers. Different types of software tests include:
Black box tests
Drawbacks to Manual Testing
There are challenges like limited time frames and cost factors when you run tests manually. Modular agile development methodologies further challenge test coverage.
Test automation tools provide increased test coverage and make software tests less time-consuming. But that's not all; there are many more benefits to testing applications using automated testing tools.
Whether you have to determine build stability with smoke testing, debug a new feature with regression testing, or perform another test, the most effective way to test an application is through automation testing.
Here are 12 top benefits of automated software testing:
#1. A Faster Feedback Cycle
Test automation provides:
Allows development teams to detect bugs early in the development phase.
Increases the team's efficiency in fixing issues quickly.
Automation testing also makes validation significantly faster and helps reduce the time it takes to get feedback for newly developed features.
#2. It Saves Time for Your Team
Automated testing will help your team spend less time running test scripts and test cases to check and validate new features.
Automation testing also saves time on interacting with other departments who can check the automated test logs to see what's happening instead of relying on the QA and development team to give them answers.
#3. Lower Business Expenses
Installing an automated testing environment requires you to invest time and money. However, buying a proper test automation tool provides excellent ROI. It can drastically speed up the test process and use fewer resources than manual testing, thus reducing business expenses.
#4. Improved Test Coverage
Manual testing limits how many test cases you can run on real devices. Automation testing gives you the time to write new test scripts and add them to your automated test suite.
With a more robust test suite, you'll have increased test coverage for the application. It means that you'll be able to test more features properly and deploy higher-quality software.
Test teams often avoid lengthy tests during manual testing. Automated testing lets your team write more in-depth test scripts for complex test cases and run them unattended, making lengthy tests a breeze.
#5. Improved Reusability of the Test Suite
It can be challenging when you first begin to build an automated test suite. But once you've defined the suite, it becomes straightforward to reuse test scripts for other test cases or even other projects.
You would already understand a lot about setting up an automated test suite, so it is easier to replicate this knowledge when setting up a new automation testing project.
#6. Launch Faster
With automation testing, you can perform repetitive tests faster and more precisely. All newly developed features can be tested and validated quickly, which reduces the feedback and test cycle so you can launch your application faster.
#7. Improved Insights
Some of your tests will inevitably fail. With automated software testing, you'll have far better insights than with manual testing.
Automated testing gives you insights into the application and shows you data tables, memory and file contents, and other internal program states. These insights are invaluable to developers to determine what's gone wrong.
#8. Higher Levels of Accuracy
Even the most experienced manual testers will make mistakes when running tests, especially continuous testing and a complex or lengthy test case suite. Automation testing makes it possible for your test team to execute tests with 100% accuracy.
Test cases will produce the same results every time you run them without human intervention. The same test cases can have vastly different results with manual testers.
#9. More Features
An automated test suite can simulate thousands of virtual users interacting with your web application. This gives you a clearer picture of how it will work on real devices and save developers a lot of time. It's impossible to achieve this with manual testing.
#10. Less Pressure on QA Teams
An automated testing strategy will allow your QA team to spend significantly less time on manual testing. As test automation increases, you remove the need to run repetitive tests manually.
QA engineers have the time to focus on areas other than test execution, such as building new features and tools to optimize the automation tests and test suite further.
#11. The Ability to Determine Build Stability Quickly
QA teams use smoke testing to verify the stability of the build. Most test cycles start with this test method because it checks the most critical functions of the application before going into deeper detail.
Without test automation, smoke testing is slow and requires manual intervention from testers, for example, setting up test data on the database.
You can automatically prepare the database required for smoke tests by automating smoke tests. This is a quick way to determine the build's stability.
#12. Eliminating Human Error
Manual testing is vulnerable to human error, especially in complex scenarios. To avoid mistakes, it makes sense to use test automation.
It's important to note that mistakes are still possible with automation testing. However, it drastically lowers errors when there is minimal human intervention.
Different Types of Automated Testing
A test automation setup covers various test types, including:
A unit is the smallest piece of code that can be isolated from the rest of the system, usually a function. A unit test should focus on only that particular piece of code and not touch other code or interact with a network, configuration file or data tables.
The goal is to test if the logic behind the function or other unit is correct.
Where unit testing focuses on isolated logic without interactions, functional testing tests functionality with all integrations. Functional tests take the input and convert it to output, which is used to compare with expected results.
QA teams use regression testing to determine whether the application's quality has decreased or increased. Regression tests are necessary every time the application gets a new feature or fix. Although regression testing is very time-consuming, it's crucial to maintaining product stability.
As discussed earlier, smoke tests help QA teams to determine whether the build is stable. It is seen as the first step of the test process before moving on to further testing. It is a quick way to verify your application before proceeding with the rest of the test automation process.
Black Box Testing
The internal code structure is irrelevant in black box testing; only input and output matter. The goal is to see how user-friendly the application is when someone first uses it, so the tester should not have any knowledge about the software.
Black box testing is difficult to automate but still very useful. It aims to reveal issues in the following categories:
Missing or incorrect functions
Behavior or performance errors
Startup and termination errors
Integration testing aims to determine whether two or more systems can integrate and work together. A system is a group of components that may include APIs, file systems, networks, web services, databases, or other components.
For example, if an API extracts data through a search from a database on a cloud server to generate test reports. All the components have to integrate and work together flawlessly to get the desired result. Integration testing uses a single test to test the connections between the systems.
Every Application Should go Through Automated Testing
Before QA teams began using software test automation, developers and testers were responsible for writing test scripts and running test cases using test data to catch bugs after the software was developed.
The process was labor-intensive and involved manual testers running repetitive tests on multiple browsers and operating systems to ensure that it would ultimately be successful on real devices in the field.
While manual intervention is necessary, even with automated test cases, using only manual testers is a time-consuming method that's not as accurate as automated testing. It drastically reduces test efficiency.
The Bottom Line
Automated testing saves time, improves test efficiency, and can drastically improve software quality. Without automation testing tools, test engineers will waste time on repetitive tasks that can be automated.
Although the initial investment could run high, automation testing benefits outweigh this. If you don't have an automated testing process yet, now is the time to look at testing tools.
A wide array of test automation products cater to multiple platforms and hardware configurations.
If you want to improve software quality and you're looking at automated cross-browser testing, talk to Scriptworks today to discuss the key benefits of automated testing.
FAQs About the Testing Process
What is the main purpose of automation testing?
The main purpose of automated testing software is to: Reduce the effort and costs associated with manual tests. Improve software quality. Make it easier to run repetitive tests. Make it possible to launch faster. Generate detailed test reports.
What are the benefits of test automation vs manual testing?
Automation testing is faster and more thorough than manual testing. It reduces the amount of manual work required and thereby reduces costs. Automated tests can run automatically and concurrently on multiple operating systems and browsers simulating real devices, while manual testers can only tackle one configuration at a time. Because manual testers are prone to human error, automation testing is significantly more reliable than manual testing.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of automated testing?
One of the main advantages of automated testing is that it requires significantly less time and resources than manual testing. Another advantage is that it is far more accurate than manual testing. On the other hand, automated testing only works as well as what it is programmed to. Even if the test cases are passed, there could still be significant flaws in the application that have been overlooked when the test cases were defined. Another potential disadvantage is that automated testing requires maintenance. As the application under test evolves, so should the test suite.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of automated testing software tools?
An automated test platform provides an elegant visual interface that empowers your testers to design reusable automated test packs. It can simulate the actions of hundreds of virtual users interacting with your software on multiple browsers. The only potential disadvantage of using high-quality automated testing software is if it is used incorrectly.