Advantages of Automation Testing and Why Your Company Should Use It

Automated Testing is hitting the verge of popularity. But does it actually suit your business? In this guide, you’ll learn about the key benefits and software testing types that should be automated.

Our product was build without a single bug in beta-version….said no Product Owner ever. The truth is – no matter how professional and experienced your developers are, the nasty bugs still creep inside even the neatest software products.

Up to 50% of mobile users report that they’ll immediately delete an app if they spot a single bug. The stats for web products are nearly the same. That’s why software testing and quality assurance come as an integral part of the overall web development process.

While for most people software testing is still associated with a bunch of people anxiously clicking in your app, inputting some odd commands and doing other strange chores, that’s no longer the case with automate software testing.

What Are The Benefits of Automated Testing?

According to a recent survey conducted by Worksoft, 4 out of 5 surveyed companies reported the tangible benefits of automation testing in multiple areas (86%), with the majority of respondents specifically highlighting 3 to 6 areas with the highest impact. These benefits can be summed up to the following:

Improved Staff Performance and Time Savings

Staff Performance and Time Savings

Software tests should be scheduled regularly during the development cycles to secure quality. Obviously, more complex products e.g. custom CRM systems, EMR/EHR systems or any enterprise web application project require more complex testing, especially if you choose to support multiple operating systems and software configurations.

After each manipulation with the source code, you need to run software tests. Repeating these tests manually is costly and time-consuming. One of the core benefits of test automation is that you need to create a set of test cases once and afterwards conduct them 24/7 even when the testing team is out of the office.

Automated testing cuts down the time to run repetitive tests from days to just a few hours. After all less time spent = smaller development bill to foot.

Additionally, you don’t need to keep a dedicated manual testing team to handle QA. One automated testing engineer can have you covered at all times.

Earlier Bugs Identifications Before The Users Are Impacted

Advantages of Automation Testing

Automated testing increases the depth and scope of tests to spot even the smallest imperfections. Running lengthy tests is hard to schedule manually as they cannot be left unattended or require large amount of human resources.

One the definite pros of automation testing is that they allow to dig deeper into the applications core and efficiently review data tables, memory and file contents and internal program states to determine if the product is behaving as expected. In fact, you can schedule to run simultaneous tests on multiple computers with different configurations or cross-text a web and native-mobile app solution. Additionally, you can create powerful test cases to emulate the activity of hundreds or thousands of virtual users, who are interacting with your network and application. Considering that Romexsoft team specializes in high-load web applications – this feature is indispensable to ensure the end product is 100% stable and robust.

Automated test cases not only offer a larger test coverage compared to manual tests, but allow faster deployment of new features to users due to the super-sonic speed and efficiency of the entire process.

Improved Test Results Accuracy

Test Results Accuracy

Take human factor into account for manual testing. Even the most skillful professionals may make mistakes during the monotonous work.

Automated tests perform the very same steps with all the results being recorded for further review. As a result, your testing team has more time to deal with complex features and improve automated test cases. You can check out this BDD test automation cheat sheet for Serenity as an example.

Your Team is Happier

Last, but definitely not least – transferring repetitive tasks to scripts gives your team more time to focus on more interesting and challenging work. They can focus on improving their skills and confidence, instead of dealing with the same day-by-day monotonous manual testing chores.

So, what can you automate within your testing framework?

As already mentioned, the advantages of automation testing are that you can ensure large coverage in numerous software development areas and high penetration without expanding your team. In general, you can automate the 8 areas of software testing.

8 Types of Software Testing That Should Be Automated

In general, automation can be applied to nearly any type of software testing. Based on our experience, however, we’ve identified the next core areas worth automating in the first place.

Regression Testing

Even a tiny tweak in your software code can potentially cause unexpected consequences. Regression testing is aimed at identifying code incompatibilities by testing existing software applications to ensure that changes or additions haven’t broken any existing functionality. The primary aim is catch bugs, which might have accidentally slipped through into the new release and stay 100% sure that all the earlier bugs were fixed.

The major benefits of automated regression testing are that your team can re-run testing scenarios over and over again without any hassle to ensure that the new changes made did not result into a regression, or caused previously functional components to fail.

Here’s what’s included in automated regression testing toolkit:

  • Solex
  • TestComplete
  • QA Wizard Pro

Unit Testing

Unit Testing

Unit tests assume testing a unit – the smallest part of code that can be logically isolated within a system. For most programming languages – that is a function, a subroutine, a method or a property.

Unit testing method is part of the Test Driven Development (TDD) approach, which assumes that each programmer creates a test prior to any production code, and afterwards writes the code that will make the test pass. This practice encourages developers to write cleaner code based on the initial assurance obtained after the initial test and refactoring the original code.

Best tools to use are:

  • Jtest
  • JUnit

Load and Performance Testing

Load and Performance Testing

Load and performance tests are the cherry on top of all the previous testing you did. When your web application is almost complete, that’s the go-to way to identify whether your product will handle the actual demands on an army of users.

The definitive advantages of automated testing, in this case, are the multiple load and performance tests you can run simultaneously from different devices. You can emulate as many users as possible to ensure the final product is absolutely stable and can handle whatever is coming for it!

At Romexsoft, high-load applications are our particular specialty and we use the following automated tools to reach the top results:

  • Jenkins
  • JMeter

Functional Testing

Functional Testing

In a nutshell, functional testing deals with your application relations between the users and the rest of the system. This approach tests only what the application does as a whole opposed to the unit tests that cover only what certain application segment does and how it does that.

In other words – if you want your app to function well, you need to test every single operation it was designed to perform. And here are the good tools for that:

  • Selenium WebDriver
  • Ranorex
  • SoapUI

GUI Functional Testing

GUI Functional Testing

To make sure your app’s design is not only attractive, but also functional and does everything up to your specifications e.g. button 1 powers up feature A, you should run a few respective test cases.

The issue with GUI testing is that even seemingly small applications have multiple operations that need to be tested. For instance, a simple desktop application like Microsoft WordPad has 325 possible GUI operations. More complicated web apps can feature between 1.000-5.000+ variations. Automated UI testing in this case is lifesaving as the whole process may take weeks for a manual team. The go-to tools are:

  • Selenium WebDriver
  • Ranorex
  • TestComplete

Smoke Testing

Smoke Testing

Smoke testing technique has been picked up from hardware testing best practices, which checks if there’s smoke from the hardware component when the power is suddenly off.

Similarly, in software testing context, this technique encourages testing the basic functionality of each build. If the test fails, the entire build is declared unstable and is no longer tested until it passes the smoke test.

Smoke tests are often an integral part of BDD (Behavior-Driven Development) environment as they allow easily tracing back to the exact kind of behavior we want to see within an app. This approach to testing saves you ton of time and efforts by uncovering early obvious bugs.

The following tools are perfect for scheduling such tests:

  • Selenium WebDriver
  • Bamboo
  • Cargo
  • TestingNG

Acceptance Testing

Acceptance Testing

Acceptance testing is commonly used in BDD to verify that the set requirement (story) is complete. As customer, that’s your way to ensure that no original requirements have been changed during the project scope and everything was done as planned. These kind of tests are useful for identifying some of the problems previous unit or integration tests might have omitted and offer an excellent overview of how “complete” is your product.

The tools worth using for automated acceptance testing are:

  • Cucumber
  • FitNesse
  • Selerium
  • Ranorex

Interested to learn more about testing tools and automated testing benefits? Check out our recent post with 21 automated testing tools rated and reviewed by top professionals!

Mobile Testing

Mobile Testing

The users’ smartphones are already crammed with dozens of apps. Your product doesn’t stand a chance unless it works perfectly. Automated mobile testing can save you heaps of times and budgets on hiring a dedicated QA team. Android devices in all sorts of screen sizes, and both iOS and Android users often forget to update the software to the latest version, meaning higher risks of incompatibilities.

Appium is one of the best mobile automation tools and Ranorex is another service worth trying.

So why you should use automated testing, after all? In three lines:

  • To save money
  • To save time and human resources
  • To receive a better end product

While shifting towards automated software testing in-house may cost a lot as you’ll need to purchase the tools, setup environment and hire respective professionals to do the job, Romexsoft team offers affordable automated testing services and quality assurance testing services both as part of our custom software development package and as a stand-alone service.

Written by Romexsoft on July 28, 2016

Serhiy Kozlov CEO/CTO at Romexsoft - AWS Partner in Cloud Migration & Application Modernization | AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner | LinkedIn Profile
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