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How Automation Testing Changed the Perspective?
Software Test Automation has surely changed the way software testing used to happen in the industry. Earlier, the tester is supposed to test what developer has developed – No questions asked. However, with the changing trend, testers have started taking the rope in their hand. Now, developers and testers are at par or we should say ahead and more responsible in project management. Now, the testers have to not only just check the functionality, but also need to check the performance and compatibility.
Quality has become the center point now. The competition has moved from quantity to quality. But, even after the focus is change, the timelines are still strict. The testers have more challenging job now. They need to meet the requirements, maintain the performance, support the multiple browsers and improve the quality, and everything within the same timeline of 10 days (probably, lesser!).
The automation tools landed in the market as a blessing for the testers. These automation tools help in automating the repetitive processes. And, this is how we start automating our regression test suites. The automation tools have multiple advantages like;
- Can be used in odd hours and for long durations
- Can be used for executing test steps which are repetitive in nature
- More accurate than humans
- Better and more accurate results
We have a bundle of test automation tools available in the market, each automation tool for a specific type of testing. We will discuss few of the tools here:
- Functional UI Testing − One of the major reason that we need an automation tool for functional testing is to test the changes in the UI (User Interface) throughout various releases, especially in case of regression suite execution. While going through various releases, a few new functionalities are introduced and sometimes the defect fixes are incorporated. These changes sometimes affect the UI as well. These UI changes can be easily captured using a screen record and playback feature of the tool and hard to miss out.
The tools to lookout for functional Testing are:
- Selenium − The Selenium is creating the new waves in the market with its good performance and better results and the biggest advantage is that its available for free. It is an open-source tool which is very widely used across the industry for functional automation testing for both web and desktop applications.
- HP UFT − HP Quick Test Pro (QTP) is renamed as Unified Functional Testing (UFT) tool. It is one of the most reliable tool to provide evidence and complete back tracking along with the execution of the automation scripts. It is again a paid tool with licensing version. It has flexibility to easily integrate with other popular tools.
- Test Complete − The TestComplete is a functional test automation tool. It is an ideal tool when the testers does not want to do much programming knowledge. It is a paid tool with licenses available as floating user license and node locked license. It supports recording and testing on Windows, Web and Mobile and almost all latest versions of the top browsers.
The test automation tools also help a lot in checking the performance of the application. In the fast moving world, everyone wants an instant response. If the response is delayed by even a minute, the user moves to the competitor’s website. Hence, along with Quality, Performance has also become a key parameter to achieve the success in the market. If we check out some top rated and reliable websites, like google, then the most attractive factor of the same is the speed. Let us take an example of airplane ticket booking websites.
If we are trying to book some tickets with website A, and the page is taking more than a minute to load, then, we are instantly open a new tab and open the competitor’s website B. If both were giving away tickets with just a small margin, we would still prefer to book the tickets from the site, which is loading faster and has good performance.
There are multiple tools in the market to check performance. Performance testing tools help in reducing cost and money as they can imitate as multiple users.
- HP LoadRunner − The LoadRunner tool by HP is a quite efficient tool for performance testing. It is licensed tool and comes with a trial version as well. HP Loadrunner is very much useful in extracting detailed reports along with the graphs. It can also help in analyzing the results and in understanding the outcome by determining where exactly the load is in the application. It can handle thousands of users at the same time.
- Apache JMeter − JMeter is an open source load testing tool which can be run in Java environment. Apache JMeter has the capacity to be loaded into a server or on a network that helps in analyzing the performance under different conditions. It needs JVM to run.
- WebLoad − WebLoad is again a performance testing tool which can be used to check the performance of the web applications. This tool performs load and stress testing on the web applications using Ajax, Adobe, Flex .NET, Oracle Forms, HTML5 and any of the similar technologies. The load can be generated from the cloud and on-premises machines. The WebLoad tool supports large-scale performance testing with heavy user load and complex scenarios.
Test Management − Along with the various types of testing, automation tools are used for managing the test ware. These test artifacts include test cases, test plan, test scenarios, test data, test results, reports etc. A test management tool is the one that helps in managing all these test artifacts with ease and allows to generate various reports. There are few available in the market which are quite efficient:
- HP ALM/ Quality Center − HP Application Lifecycle Management helps in managing the end to end testing lifecycle along with report generation. It also allows easy integration with the other automation tools for quick record management. It is a licensed tool, and each license do cost a lot. Although, it also gives a 30-day/ 15-day trial version, which can be easily downloaded from the HP website.
- IBM Rational Quality Manager − A tool by IBM helps in Test planning, test design, test execution, tracking and reporting. It integrates with many of the rational products for automation, source control, and bug tracking activities. It is also a commercial product.
- JIRA − bJIRA is also a paid tool with the capability to adjust with any management process or a SDLC process. JIRA is quite aligned to the agile process and is very easy to implement.
There are many more tools available and used in the market under various categories. We can conclude that now software testing is all about automation, but this does not mean the importance of manual testing has ended.
The purpose of manual and automation testing is quite different and they cannot become the complete replacement of each other. All the automation tools are still the software only and they have their own internal defects. We cannot completely depend on machines for maintaining Quality. Even after doing the execution of test cases with the help of these tools, we still need to review the results manually, to ensure the Quality of deliverables.
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