Automation Testing Benefits and Why Your Business Should Use It
As businesses continue to shift towards digitalization, software testing has become increasingly important for ensuring the quality and reliability of software applications. Automation testing, in particular, has emerged as a critical tool for organizations looking to accelerate their software delivery cycles while reducing costs and improving overall efficiency. With automation testing, businesses can achieve faster time-to-market, enhanced test coverage, reduced costs, and increased ROI.
In this article, we'll explore the benefits of automation testing in more detail and why your business should consider adopting it as part of your software testing strategy.
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.
In this context, automated testing has emerged as a critical tool for organizations seeking to deliver top-notch software quickly and efficiently. A recently commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting found that automation can speed up the delivery of applications up to four times faster than traditional methods, all while reducing errors and risk and increasing overall value.
Automated testing not only improves software quality and reliability but also saves time, reduces costs, enhances test coverage, and increases team productivity and morale. These advantages are particularly important in today’s competitive business landscape, where customers demand constant innovation, high-quality products, and seamless user experiences.
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What are the benefits of automation testing?
Our chosen benefits are both comprehensive and precise enough to provide clear and actionable insights into the most significant benefits of automation testing. This helps to understand how automation testing can assist organizations in achieving their objectives and improving their processes in practical ways.
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 software quality and reliability
Automated testing can quickly and accurately test software, catching errors and bugs that may be missed during manual testing. This can lead to higher quality software that is less likely to experience crashes, errors, or other issues that can negatively impact user experience.
Improved software quality and reliability is critical for businesses that rely on software to provide products or services to customers. A bug or error in software can cause significant user frustration and damage a company’s reputation. By using automated testing to catch bugs and errors early, businesses can improve the reliability of their software and prevent costly issues down the line.
For example, in 2016, Facebook found a critical bug in their iOS app that was causing it to crash. The bug affected millions of users and was causing significant frustration. Thanks to automated testing, Facebook was able to catch the bug early and release a fix quickly, improving the reliability of their app and preventing further user frustration. This is just one example of how automated testing can help businesses improve the quality and reliability of their software.
By automating testing processes, companies can streamline the software development life cycle and reduce the time it takes to release products to market. This is particularly important in today’s fast-paced business environment, where companies are under pressure to release new products and features quickly to remain competitive.
One example of a company that has benefited from faster time-to-market through automation testing is Amazon. The company’s web services division, AWS, uses automated testing extensively to accelerate its software release process. By automating its testing processes, AWS has been able to reduce the time it takes to release new features and updates from weeks to just days, allowing the company to stay ahead of the competition and meet the needs of its customers more quickly.
Reduced costs and increased ROI
Automating testing processes can help organizations save money by reducing the time and resources required for testing. Automated testing can handle repetitive testing tasks, such as regression testing, freeing up testers to focus on more complex testing issues. This can result in higher quality software that is better suited to the needs of customers while also reducing the risk of delays and cost overruns.
Siemens Healthineers, a leading medical technology company, was able to reduce the time and cost of software testing by 50% by implementing automated testing. This allowed them to redirect resources towards other critical areas of software development and maintenance, ultimately leading to increased ROI.
In addition, automation testing can help businesses increase their ROI by improving the efficiency of the software development process. By identifying and fixing bugs quickly, automation testing can reduce the amount of time and resources required for software development. This can help businesses to release software updates more frequently, improving customer satisfaction and increasing revenue.
Better productivity of the development team
Automation testing has revolutionized the software testing industry by significantly improving the accuracy and efficiency of testing procedures. With automation testing, repetitive tasks are automated, freeing up team members to focus on more complex and challenging tasks. This means that team members can dedicate more time to planning, strategizing, and problem-solving, resulting in higher-quality testing outcomes.
Automation testing also helps to eliminate human error, which is a common issue in manual testing. This is because automated tests are run consistently, without the potential for human error, ensuring that test results are accurate and reliable. As a result, team members can trust the test results and make informed decisions based on them, without wasting time and resources double-checking the results.
Moreover, automation testing enables teams to run tests on multiple platforms, devices, and browsers simultaneously. This significantly reduces the time and effort required to test software on different platforms, making it easier for teams to deliver high-quality software in a timely manner.
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.
Seamless testing integration with CI/CD
Furthermore, automation testing enables teams to automate the entire delivery process by creating automated tests for each stage of the pipeline, from unit testing to integration testing to acceptance testing. This ensures that each stage of the pipeline is validated before the software product moves on to the next stage. It helps to catch defects earlier in the development cycle, reducing the overall cost of fixing defects and improving software quality.
Once the automated tests are created, they can be triggered automatically when new code is committed to the repository. This ensures that any potential issues are caught early in the development process, making it easier to fix and reducing the risk of software defects in the final product.
Spotify, the popular music streaming service, uses automation testing to achieve continuous integration and delivery. The company’s development team uses a testing framework called “Dockerized Jenkins Pipeline” to automate the testing process. This framework enables developers to push their code changes to the main branch multiple times a day without worrying about breaking the build. Once the code is pushed, the automated testing suite runs a battery of tests on the new code changes to ensure that they integrate smoothly with the existing codebase.
This approach has helped Spotify to significantly reduce the time it takes to release new features and updates to customers. Previously, the company’s release cycle took up to two weeks. However, with automation testing and continuous integration and delivery, the release cycle has been shortened to just a few hours.
Enhanced test coverage
Automated testing enables businesses to test large volumes of data and code, which is beyond the capacity of manual testing. This increased testing capacity leads to a more comprehensive and reliable test coverage that can detect and prevent defects that could negatively impact the user experience. Automation testing ensures that all functionalities, including new features, are tested thoroughly before being released into the market. Automated testing is not prone to human error, ensuring that test coverage is consistent across all testing environments.
Enhanced test coverage also allows businesses to test their applications across different platforms and devices, ensuring that their software works seamlessly across all platforms. Automated testing tools provide the ability to test applications on multiple devices and platforms simultaneously, saving businesses time and effort. This enhanced test coverage means that businesses can catch defects early on in the software development process and address them before they cause any significant issues or delays.
For example, Google uses automated testing to thoroughly test their Chrome browser across a range of devices and operating systems, ensuring that it functions as intended in all environments. This has helped Google maintain a high level of software quality and user satisfaction.
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.
8 types of software testing that should be automated
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, 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.
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:
- QA Wizard Pro
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:
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:
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
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
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
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:
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.