How To Decide What and When To Automate

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Test automation has quickly become the component to have in quality assurance for software businesses. The efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and shortened time to market benefits it offers make it an integral component of a business’s success strategy.

In fact, the changing requirements of the market and upscaling of companies has led to a demand for even more efficiency, quality, and cost-effectiveness, which has led to intelligent automation in testing to become a popularly adopted approach.

Composed of artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), intelligent automation takes things a notch higher than what traditional automation was able to achieve for software businesses.

While manual testing remains relevant in some key areas, automation has become a dominant component of testing for quality assurance. Accordingly, there are several different types of automated testing that software companies use. Here, we take a look at some of the most common types of test automation in the software industry:

The first thing you need to decide on is what approach you want to use when going about deciding on what to automate. There are three basic approaches you can take to automating your testing. We list them below:

Automation by Types of Testing:

  • Functional Tests: These tests verify the business logic behind the function. Automation of functional tests involves writing scripts which test the functionality of the application against the set expectations and requirements.
  • Non-Functional Tests: Non-functional tests involve testing applications on how well they are doing in terms of delivering customer satisfaction. Automation of non-functional tests can involve, for example, simulating hundreds of thousands of online users to see how well the application works when interacting with a large number of users at one time.

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Automation by Testing Phase:

  • Unit Tests: These tests study individual components’ functionality and are done by developers in the earliest stages of application development.
  • API Tests: These are integration phase tests. They are focused on how the different components interact with each other, thus testing how the request and response, on which the application is based, are working. API tests can sometimes be run by developers and sometimes by testers.
  • UI Based Tests: These tests are run in the test execution phase. Carried out by testers, these tests involve testing the application in its entirety in terms of its functionality and its business logic.

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Automation by Testing Types:

  • Unit Tests: Unit tests are built into the code of the application itself and are usually designed by developers themselves. The automation of unit tests means they will run as, and when required, by the developer, saving on time and helping in early detection of bugs.
  • Integrations Tests: These study how well the separate units integrate with each other.
  • API Tests: These are run by testers to verify the business layer of application by specifically studying the request-response sequence of the software. They can often be done as part of integration tests.
  • UI Tests: These tests focus on testing the UI elements of the application.
  • Performance Tests: These are the non-functional tests such as load tests, scalability tests, stress tests, and the like.
  • Regression Tests: Regression tests are the most commonly automated test suites in the business. They are done after any change, such as the addition of a new component, to make sure that the existing application is still functioning as it was.

As a business, it is entirely up to you to carefully consider which of the aforementioned automation approaches is best suited to your needs. Choosing the approach right for you is the first important step towards successful automation of your testing process.