Manual testing is a slow process not only in terms of the test case preparation, but we also need more time to run the test cases manually, step by step. Whereas, in automated testing, we need to write the test scripts once and run them automatically every time developers make any changes to the application’s code. Automation tools collect the results and present them in a report.
Automating the functional test cases involves developing test scripts using scripting language. Nowadays, organizations are looking to develop the automation framework which can be used across teams and resources without scripting knowledge.
Why Reduce the Efforts on Automation Testing?
In the fast-developing technology world, systems are complex with multiple layers (user interface, APIs, database, messaging layers) that force the testers to have multiple capabilities. Even automation frameworks are complex to develop and maintain. This can be resolved to an extent by defining a common set of automation development guidelines and how the automation tool can be used to develop a single automation framework by applying the Hybrid (keyword driven and data driven) framework approach for automating the test design. The framework approach not only saves efforts and cost but increases the reusability of frameworks.
Challenges During Automation Testing
- Developing the scripts for automation requires programming knowledge that has to be professional in scripting.
- Technical skill set of testers plays a major role in automation testing where testers are required to be trained in one of the languages used for test automation scripts.
- In linear models, reusability of automated scripts across different products or different sets of data is difficult.
- Cross browser testing requires the same scripts to be written specifically for each browser in the linear test automation model.
How to Overcome the Automation Testing Challenges
Scriptless framework is one of the frameworks widely applied in the testing industry to help in reducing the requirement of the technical skillset of the testers to a great extent. Keywords are developed that address specific functionalities which can be used irrespective of the application under test.
Once keywords are developed, testers can easily use the keywords to prepare the test scripts automatically. All the testers have to prepare the manual test cases and the existing framework takes care of the automation suite preparation. Some of the other advantages of this framework are:
Less time to automate: There is an 80% reduction in automation scripting. Testers only need to select a sequence of keywords in an excel sheet rather than writing the code.
Easy to understand: As it is maintained in a spreadsheet and no coding is visible to testers or users, the test scripts are easy to read and understand. Keywords and actions look similar to manual test cases, which become easier to write and maintain.
Early start: You can start coding the keyword-driven test cases before the application is completed, as object repository can be easily set up at a later stage. Using information gathered from documentation, keyword data tables can be created from manual test procedures.
Reusability of component: Once these keywords and actions are written and they are 100% reusable.
Minimizing Automation Maintenance Efforts
- POM (page object models): Using POM file to implement automation of a webpage, helps in minimizing the script changes required whenever there is a change to the application. The more and the smaller POMs that we have, the less changes it will require to make if anything changes. When we use POMs, it will reduce code duplicates and enforce code reusability, making your code agile and easier to maintain in case of changes.
- Updated UI is a process to provide the end-users a pleasant experience, developing a naming convention for each object can help. When we have less frequent changes to Web element properties like name, id, xpath, the maintenance effort for automation test scripts reduces drastically irrespective of whether the automation framework uses POM or not.
- Test scripts must be refactored for maintainability. It is important that when someone needs to work on and understand that code should follow the naming convention that makes it clear what the test is testing.
- As a best practice, test automation code should always have proper comments which makes the future maintenance easier.
Benefits of Using the Hybrid Framework
- Reduction of efforts by 80% and increasing the test coverage at the same time.
- Agile methodology can quickly enable the automation in each scrum team.
- Even manual testers can do automation without scripting knowledge & can do ramp-up of automation skills without impacting the project deliverables.
- High reusability and it is one-time development of keywords for most of the teams.
- Parallel execution of multiple testing activities.