test automation

Automation testing comes with a number of advantages; it reduces margin of error from human intervention (manual testing), and it ensures speedy deployment of highly reliant and stable applications which can, in turn, contribute to business success. In this blog, we look at the pillars of a robust test automation framework.  

It’s safe to say that one of the critical functionalities that has come to the fore, as businesses accelerate their digital transformation journey, is test automation. This is because, whether the a brand is online or offline, a positive customer experience remains a core objective when building a product or service.  

What is test automation though? Simply put, it is the process of using the right automation tools to continuously test, manage and improve software quality and performance. Automation tools repeatedly test the various aspects of software at continuous intervals to identify how it is functioning, derive test results and throw light onto any improvements that need to be made. 

5 Core Pillars of an Effective Test Automation Strategy 

  1. Choosing the right test automation tool(s) 

A test automation tool follows a pre-defined script and automates the software testing process. It reduces human intervention in testing, thus providing speed, efficiency, accuracy and effectiveness.  

Before choosing the right test automation tool, the first step is to understand when investing in an automation tool makes sense. Consider the following factors when making the decision; 

  • Test automation tools can be expensive. So, investing makes sense if your project is large and justifies the cost 
  • When you need to conduct repetitive tests with minimal human intervention 
  • When you need to run tests frequently and at regular intervals 
  • When you need achieve quicker turnaround times 

There are a number of test automation tools you can choose from, like tools that require coding, and those that can be implemented automatically, there are tools that are free and open-source, and those that require one to pay a licensing fee or monthly subscription (like a SaaS model), the tools also vary based on the channel you’re looking to test – web, mobile or desktop, and more. 

  1. Managing test data 

As you may already know, there are five types of testing that typically take place; unit testing, integration testing, functional testing, regression testing, and acceptance testing.  

In each phase of testing, test data is created or used to conduct the tests based on the script or preconditions laid out.  

Typically, in unit testing, teams can create mock data and run tests, but in integration testing or functional testing, they need to use more specific data to run the tests. In fact, this data also needs to come from other systems or applications that may interact with the application you are testing, to derive more accurate results.  

A Merit expert says, “Earlier, creating or initialising test data used to be a manual, siloed process. But today, as businesses are looking at deploying high-end applications at speed, resorting to test data management techniques can prove effective and useful. TDM creates data that mimics an organisation’s actual data and delivers it to application teams so that they can run valid, non-production tests quickly and effectively. TDM is ideal for organisations that deal with a lot of sensitive data. It is also cost-effective, and reduces risk of regulatory flaws during testing.” 

  1. Creating the right test environment 

In simple words, a test environment is the hardware, software, database and network configurations that application teams use to run the tests. The right test environment can go a long way in ensuring that software tests run smoothly. It can help in identifying bugs in the app, and deploying highly reliant, error-free applications, which can in turn contribute to business success. Typically, organisations develop a TEM (test environment management) strategy that encompasses; 

  • Planning and scheduling testing times and cycles for each team, especially when the environment is being shared across different product teams 
  • Lesser reliance on manual testing and more on automated testing, which can not only improve the testing environment, but also be cost effective 
  • Ensuring that the tests are run using mimic data that are as effective and real as actual data, so that no regulatory rules are breached 
  1. Drawing insights from test results 

A few key best practices to follow when analysing test results are; firstly, name your tests so that you know what the test intended to do. Secondly, make note of the rest of each test – whether it passed or failed. Thirdly, if a test has failed, take time to identify why the test failed and what was found to be lacking or incorrect. Developing a comprehensive test report, although tedious, it can be very effective in identifying where improvements need to be made. 

  1. Bringing together the right team  

 Your test automation team; be it developers, engineers or product architects, need to have experience or knowledge of test automation tools, so that they can determine whether a test automation tool makes sense, under what conditions automation testing is required, and how the tests need to be run. 

Merit’s Expertise in Software Test Automation  

Merit is a trusted QA and Test Automation services provider that enables quicker deployment of new software and upgrades.  

Reliable QA solutions and agile test automation is imperative for software development teams to enable quicker releases. We ensure compatibility and contention testing that covers all target devices, infrastructures and networks. Merit’s innovative testing solutions help clients confidently deploy their solutions, guaranteeing prevention of defects at a very early stage. 

To know more, visit: https://www.meritdata-tech.com/service/code/software-test-automation/

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