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April 1, 2014

What to focus after the automation tool is in place?

Developing a piece of software or application that fulfills customers’ diverse needs & deeds without any bug or error is always a daunting task. A detailed testing becomes critical in order to ensure the success of an application or a system and automated testing seems the first choice among the QA professionals.

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There is no denying that automated testing helps you reduce the development cycles, get rid of tedious repetitive tasks and enhances the quality of the application/software. However, the history of test automation clearly shows that not all the test automation projects achieve desired success. In order to make it successful, it should be done with some care and by following some best practices.

Are you a newbie in the field of test automation and don’t know what are the best practices or tips to be followed or where to start from? If yes, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’re going to cover some useful tips or best practices that everyone should follow for managing tests after implementing test automation tool.

  • Decide what test cases to automate

Without identifying or determining what test cases should be automated first, it is not possible to automate entire testing or make automation testing successful. One should understand that the things that work in a specific environment may not work in other environment. Also, the decision of what test cases to be automated also depends on various factors like AUT, environment, hardware dependencies, potential impacts and more.

However, you can get most out of your test automation efforts by start automating following things:

  1. Repetitive tasks are good enough to start your automation efforts. It is important that tasks/features are stable enough to make your test automation efforts successful.
  2. You can also go for smoke tests to begin your automation with.
  3. You can also choose tasks requiring complicated calculations for automation.
  4. Choose tests or tasks that require regular setup of environment.
  5. Go for tests that are difficult to perform manually
  •  Divide your automated testing efforts

Once you’re done with what kind of tests to automate, it is time to divide your automated testing efforts. It is important to understand that not all the team members have same skills and experience. Therefore, it is important that you make a new plan, which can help you identify which tests are beneficial for automation.

Try to figure out what exactly you want to achieve through test automation and then decide on what tests you can automate. Once you’re done with this, it is time to decide on what kind of actions those automated test will do. Rather than creating complicated tests testing different aspects of the application functionality simultaneously, try to divide them into small piece of tests. It will help you get big results in an easy way. And the last but not the least thing you can do is to choose the right kind of testing automation tools. Choosing the right kind of automation tools could help you save your time and increases the testing efforts.

  •  Create Quality Test Data

Having a quality test data is crucial for data-driven testing. The data that is going to be used into the input fields while performing the automated testing is generally stored in an external file. It can be read either from a database or from any other sources like XML or text files. Creating a quality test data could be quite boring, but it is important to create good-quality data.

A test data can be said ideal when with the minimum size of data set all the possible application errors can be identified. It is important you prepare a data set that includes all the basic functionality of the application without increasing amount of efforts, time and cost. You can create data set into different categories like no data, valid data set, invalid data set, illegal data format, boundary condition data set and so on.

  •  Creating tests that are resistant to changes in UI

Generally automated tests created with either scripts or keywords and depended on the application that is going to be tested.  However, the UI of the application often get changed during the successive builds and it could affect the tests results. It is possible that your automated tests may not work for the successive versions of the application.

If you look at the automated tools, they usually utilize a series of properties in order to identify and locate an object. Therefore, providing unique names for the controls will help make tests intact from UI changes and help you make your automated tests work smoothly without introducing any change in it.

Adopting these 4 tips or best practices outlined in this post will help you get maximum benefit from your automated testing process through a quality software product. It will help you test faster, test more code and enhance accuracy. What’s your take on this? Share your views in the comments…!

Author the Author:

Prashant Chambakara is a Test Consultant associated with TestingWhiz, an automated testing tool for web and cloud applications. He loves to discuss issues on test automation/software testing contributing to the testing communities through blogs, articles, and conference speaking engagements. Follow his tech activities Twitter (@prashant_geek).

About Prashant Chambakara

Prashant Chambakara is a Test Automation Enthusiast. He loves to share insights, views and information on software testing and its associated branches.

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