Understand the Various Kinds of Automated Testing and Discover the Reality About Test Automation:
The next segment of our automation testing tutorials is dedicated to offering an insight into automated testing types and debunking some prevailing myths about test automation.
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What Exactly is Automated Testing?
Automated testing involves executing a set of tests repetitively without the need for human intervention. Introducing automated tests into your testing process can optimise both time and resources.
What You Will Learn:
Automated Testing Types
There are distinct kinds of automated tests, which decide the specific set of tests that can be automated. This topic is often confused with automation frameworks types, which define the design of an automation package for easy execution.
In this article, we’ll delve into the different types of automation tests, and then briefly touch upon the automation frameworks.
Let’s delve deeper into these categories:
Automation Based on the Testing Type
Functional Test Automation:
Functional tests are intended to evaluate the business logic of an application. The automation of these tests entails script writing to validate the business logic and anticipated functionality of the application.
Non-Functional Test Automation:
Non-functional tests describe the application’s non-business requirements, such as performance, safety, and database requirements. These demands can either remain consistent or change, contingent upon the software’s scale.
Automation Based on the Testing Phase
Unit Test Automation:
Unit tests are performed during the development stage, ideally by developers upon development completion but before transferring the system to the testers for assessment.
API Test Automation:
API tests are carried out during the integration phase. These tests can be performed by either the development or testing team, before or after the application’s UI layer has been created. API tests concentrate on request-based and response-based testing of the application.
UI-based Test Automation:
UI-based tests are conducted during the test execution phase. These tests are specifically performed by testers and are only conducted after the application’s UI has been transferred to them. They evaluate the application’s functionality and business logic from the frontend.
Automation Based on the Test Type
Unit tests assess an application’s code and are often incorporated into the code itself. They focus on coding standards, such as the structure of methods and functions.
While developers typically write unit tests, automation testers may also be tasked with this responsibility in our contemporary world. Running these tests without any bugs signifies that the code will compile and run without any issues, making their automation handy for developers.
Smoke tests are frequently conducted tests in the testing life cycle. They are executed promptly following any build completion to ascertain that the application is still functioning properly.
As these tests form a minor suite and are executed multiple times, their automation is sensible as they are typically functional tests. Depending on the type of application, an appropriate tool can be chosen for these tests.
API testing has increased in popularity in recent years. Applications built on API architecture can undergo API testing.
In API testing, testers authenticate the application’s business layer by checking the request-response combinations for various APIs upon which the application is built. API tests can also be conducted as part of integration tests.
Integration tests involve the act of testing the application by amalgamating all the modules and examining its functionality.
Integration testing can be conducted through either API testing or through the application’s UI layer.
UI tests are performed on the application’s user interface or frontend. They may entail testing the functionality or the UI elements of the application.
While automating the UI to test functionality is common, automating GUI features poses a more complex form of automation.
Regression tests frequently feature automated test suites and are conducted at the conclusion of testing a new module to ensure it hasn’t impacted any existing modules.
Regression tests are carried out following each new testing iteration. Most testing teams strive to automate this test suite as it is frequently run, generally consisting of the main test cases, with a few new additions after each iteration.
Automation as Continuous Integration:
Continuous integration might involve running automated regression tests. When executing continuous integration, the regression testing suite or identified test suite is run whenever a new deployment is done.
Security testing can be either functional or non-functional and tests applications for vulnerabilities. Functional security tests include authorization-related tests, whereas non-functional security tests conduct tests for SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and much more.
Performance Tests and Quality Assurance:
Performance tests are non-functional tests that evaluate the application’s load, stress, and scalability.
Acceptance tests are included under functional tests and are performed to ensure that all of the client’s acceptance criteria have been met.
Till now, we have discussed the types of tests that can be automated and how they are classified. While all classifications indeed lead to the same inevitable end result of test suite automation, the distinctions between these types and frameworks are crucial in understanding depth.
After identifying the tests you aim to automate from the classifications mentioned above, you’ll require to design your logic to carry out these tests effortlessly without much manual interference. That conversion of a manual test suite into an automated one is when the frameworks come into play.
Now let’s dig deeper into the Top three Classification of Test Automation
- Unit Testing
- API Testing
- GUI Testing
#1) Automated Unit Tests
Automated unit tests focus on the robustness of the code. They assist in discovering bugs in the functions, methods, and procedures developed by engineers.
In some companies, developers are responsible for performing unit testing, while in others, specialized automation testing recruits are hired. These individuals are privy to the source code and author unit tests to stress-test the production code.
Unit tests are run whenever the code compiles and indicate whether all functionalities are operational. If a unit test is unsuccessful, it means there’s a bug in the production code.
#2) Automated Web Service/API Tests
An Application Programming Interface (API) enables different software applications to interact with each other, thereby requiring testing like any other software. GUI testing is generally not included in this kind of testing.
API testing examines functionality, compliance, and security concerns. In terms of web applications, the security and encryption of data sent and received can be tested.
A widely used tool for API testing is SOAPUI, which provides both free and paid versions. There are also other tools, depending on unique requirements.
#3) Automated GUI Tests
Automating GUI testing is the most demanding sort of automation as it includes testing the user interface of an application.
As GUIs change frequently, this kind of testing can be challenging. However, this test type closely mimics what users do with the application. Given that users use a mouse and keyboard to interact with applications, automated GUI tests imitate this by simulating mouse clicks and text entries.
Automating GUI testing assists in the early detection of bugs and can be used for regression testing or to fill out lengthy forms.
Similar to the various kinds of automated tests, there are also different kinds of automation frameworks.
Frequently used automation frameworks encompass:
- Linear (Record and Playback)
- Keyword Driven
- Data Driven
- Page Object Model
Supplementary Reading => Automation Frameworks
Several tools are available based on the form of testing carried out and the framework adopted:
- Selenium: A robust tool for testing web applications with extensive browser compatibility.
- JUnit and NUnit: Primarily employed by developers for unit testing.
- QTP: A beneficial tool for non-web applications with an in-built object repository.
- Sikuli: A freely available GUI testing tool.
- SoapUI: A tool designed for API testing.
- Rest Assured: A library for developing an API test framework.
- Appium: A tool that backs mobile testing, native app testing, hybrid, and mobile web application testing.
- JMeter: A tool intended for performance testing.
- TestNG: Although not an automation tool in its own right, TestNG gives ample support for automation frameworks built with Selenium, Appium, Rest Assured, etc.
Further Reading => Test Automation Tools
Prevalent Misunderstandings About Automated Testing
Over time, I’ve come across a few typical misinterpretations about test automation. I’ll clarify them in this post.
Misconception #1: Automation aims to replace human testers.
Test automation is intended to assist testers in making the testing process speedier and more dependable. It can never substitute human testers.
Consider test automation to be like a car. If you walk, you might take around 20 minutes to reach home. But when you use a car, you can reach in only two minutes. The driver of the car is you, a human. Yet, the car allows you to get home faster and conserve energy. You can utilize this saved energy for other crucial tasks.
This same concept applies to test automation. It enables you to quickly test repeated, lengthy, and routine tests, saving time and energy to concentrate on testing new functionalities and critical aspects of the application.
As James Bach once put it: “Tools don’t test. Only people test. Tools only perform actions that ‘help’ people test.”
While tools can click on objects, it is humans who determine where to click. I hope you grasp my point now.
Misconception #2: All the testing can be Automated
If you attempt to automate all your test cases, you might succeed, but then our first point becomes false. If everything is automated, what function does a manual tester fulfill?
The fact is, you can’t automate all your test cases. Even we as testers trust that no application can be completely tested. There are always scenarios that we miss, and some bugs only arise when clients utilize the application.
If you can’t completely test an application, how can you promise full automation?
Moreover, it’s highly likely that you will be able to automate all your existing test cases. There always exist scenarios that are tough to automate and easier to carry out manually.
Remember, we utilize cars to cover long distances, but we still encounter traffic signals, fuel consumption, parking hassles, fees, and other complications. In some scenarios, it’s just easier to walk, isn’t it?
Thus, avoid trying to automate everything. Only automate scenarios that are vital and time-taking to perform manually.
Misconception #3: Automation involves recording and playing back.
Please dissolve this illusion. Misunderstandings like these are often created by erroneous advertisements from automation tool vendors. They claim that you can simply capture and replay your steps to automate test cases. That is far from the truth!
Automation consists of a lot more than just recording and replaying. Experienced automation engineers scarcely use the record and replay feature. Instead, they utilise scripting to create automated tests. The record and replay feature may be employed initially to comprehend how the tool generates scripts for various steps.
Once we grasp the scripting, we rely on it to author automated tests. Remember, coding knowledge is crucial for test automation. But, don’t be discouraged if you lack programming skills. Like any other skill, you can learn programming through practice and commitment.
I know individuals who do not have a background in computer science but have learned to code and have now become excellent automation engineers. Microsoft hires testers who can code. These roles are known as SDETs (Software Development Engineers in Test). The job description clearly states that “SDETs write a lot of code.”
Learn to code; don’t be afraid of it. It will make you an outstanding tester.
I hope this article has managed to clarify some notions related to automated testing.
Recommended Reading => Latest Automated Unit Testing Tools
We’ve covered the different types of automated testing and how they can be classified.
Key classifications comprise: