How can you effectively implement Test Automation?

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The impact and benefits of Test Automation have been evaluated and validated by organizations, development and testing teams, and even industry analysts. Various strategies and methodologies have been leveraged to effectively implement Test Automation and bring accuracy and velocity to the testing cycle. Nevertheless, the practices and technology platforms behind automated testing are evolving and maturing with growing challenges and adoption of emerging technologies. In the given circumstances, how can teams effectively implement Test Automation?

Planning and establishing the scope of Test Automation is highly critical in an environment that demands results that bring efficiency and speed to the process. Effective designing and planning is bound to deliver results in the longer run. Especially, in the current phase of Digital Transformation, Software Testing and Quality Assurance has some major consumer goals to deliver.

In the context of delivering exceptional customer experience, Vittorio Cretella, CIO & Board member at Mars, states, “In the past, there was the cushion in between IT and the consumer. But, now we are dealing directly with IT and dealing directly with the consumer, which places IT in a very strategic position in the company. We have to really understand how the user is reacting and how to achieve this optimal customer experience. To accomplish this, we need constant deployment. But we also have to ensure that deploying functionality daily or hourly always improves the user experience. We can’t risk disrupting it – so this is where Continuous Testing comes in. A year ago, I thought testing was boring. Now, I can tell you that testing is truly strategic.”

Software Testing is adding value for enterprises, boosting organizations to invest in testing platforms and tools. Test Automation has been incorporated as a strategy to enhance the testing cycle and extend the benefits for development as well. We will look at some effective implementation practices in the light of the expected benefits from Test Automation in the current scenario.

Implementing Test Automation in the current scenario

Automating Tests and implementing automation frameworks can be a tricky task. Considering that if it is implemented effectively it can deliver the expected outcome. However, if it is not done strategically it can even result in chaos and complete disruption of the project.

Set definite goals

With any kind of test automation activity it is important to set definite goals and align the automation tasks accordingly. The goals should be tracked as the project progresses, which will also give opportunity to the testers to go back and check a particular activity. Moreover, in an agile environment, the deployment goals keep changing. An automation tool helps to keep track of the progress on the builds and enables smooth deployment.

Building and deployments can get monotonous due to the repetitive nature. Automation with set targets can make the process faster and seamless for the testing teams. Moreover, the scope for error also goes down.

Automation for API/Web Service Testing

Web services enable two applications to exchange data without disturbing the underlying architecture of the application. Hence, it is critical to test the web services for validating the response, which makes the automation tasks absolutely sensitive for teams. In the process, all the tests can be pushed to the middle layer in the pyramid of the architecture. It will help to identify the bugs and issues faster and fix them by implementing automation frameworks.

Automation for repetitive tasks

Right from interaction with end users, writing user stories, to developing them; all this is a repetitive cycle. Hence, it can be absolutely enabling to apply automation for these tasks. This can be done even with a Javascript or any automation tool that fits well within the team’s skill sets.

Automation for Non-Functional Testing

Non-functional Tests such as Load, Performance, and Stress tests are very much critical to determine the application’s presentation in the user environment. These tests are repetitive and can be monotonous, resulting in an error. Automation frameworks and tools can definitely add value for these tests and substantially eliminate the possibility of errors.

Automation for Data Validation

With reference to testing data comparisons, it involves comparing data files such as text files, CSV or excel files, etc. This task involves comparison against baselines for making data validation or there could be same files being generated from two different sources. Any such activity can result in repetition, which needs to be identified quickly. Hence, automation is needed to ensure that any such error in data processing is identified effectively. Test Automation frameworks can be implemented for various requirements.

Automation for Searching activity

Searching for a specific file within the data maze can be a tedious task, resulting in errors and ineffective searching process. Any such tasks can be automated to ensure efficiency and speed in the search process.

Cigniti is a leader in providing test automation services and has built a dedicated Automation Center of Excellence (ACoE) backed by a decade of experience in executing test automation engagements for global clients & a large pool of test automation experts. Cigniti Test Automation Accelerator Kit comprises of pre-built test automation scripts, utilities, process assets and frameworks, and has helped many companies in implementing successful test automation initiatives.

Cigniti invests over a $1mn annually for developing intellectual property and has committed partnerships with industry leading automation tool vendors to complement innovation. Cigniti is also an active contributor in open source platforms for test automation and is a silver sponsor of Selenium.