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Test automation process overview

Test Automation helps to increase efforts required for delivering test results and shortens test execution cycles. Advanced tests and optimal coverage help to deliver software of a better quality. Moreover, test automation is a well-tailored process with defined stages.

Any process starts with definition, so before applying to test automation you should define the automation scope. When starting tests development, a tester should, first of all, determine order according to the tests` priority rate. Everything matters in scope definition.

Having quite profound experience in automation testing I can say that, automated tests should cover the most stable part of functionality along with the one that get rather often tested for about 3-4 times per week. As a rule, smoke test is chosen for that very purpose, or another part of regression tests.

As soon as the scope is defined, a tester moves to selection of automation tools. The tested interfaces define the package of applied tools. Different types of interfaces presuppose different tools` range; there is no any universal option. Having decided upon the tools, testers get to framework implementation.

Framework is a basis for further automated tests` development, as it provides an opportunity to optimize the test development efforts by re-using the code. Moreover, you can utilize any of the ready-to-use frameworks presented on the market, like Robot framework for Selenium.

All the tests run in environment, which is to be well-configured. Upon this step you should create and support the environment to successfully run automated tests and store the results successfully. They require test data, which means you are to prepare the set of files and test accounts beforehand. Otherwise, you tackle risks that may damage the process and provide you with irrelevant test results.

Automation steps

Eventually, when all the preliminary preparations are done, testers can begin automated test development. A regular process of providing new automated tests includes the following points:

  1. Selection of manual test case according to the stated priorities
  2. Code writing for the automated test
  3. Adding the automated test to the debug test execution
  4. Adding automated test to the test execution for newly created builds

As well as analysis the tests need support, which presupposes the process of updating automated tests along with the updates of the interface and/or business logic.

When the tests get started they should be monitored. You cannot just let them go along without tracking the process. While monitoring automated test remember take into your consideration the following things:

  • Automated test coverage, cost per test
  • Useful vs. irrelevant results after test execution
  • Cost per test
  • The scope of support in comparison with the number of executed tests
  • Economic effect (return on investment)

Tracking the process keep in mind, that test automation is much more than computers launching test programs. It is also delivering information about the quality.

Automation includes many factors that need to be understood and addressed before automating testing. Follow the main points so as to avoid the risks and get your benefits.

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