Test Automation in Agile Product Development

The ongoing demand for user-friendly, cutting-edge technology business applications has compelled software companies to deliver stable, cost-effective products in shorter time frames. Aiming for extraordinary product speed without compromising product quality is often a challenge for most companies. As a consequence, when it comes to product development, businesses understand the value of test automation in achieving both product quality and a faster time to market. With an inevitable arbitrate between quality and time-to-market, test automation often outperforms conventional testing methods and helps businesses stay ahead of the competition.

Need for Automation Testing

Product creation is a time-consuming process. When it comes to software development, we absolutely cannot ignore testing because it is such an essential part of the process. Though the agile method of product development is a quicker, less expensive, and better approach, it is vital to automate the testing processes, which saves time and offers insight into errors that manual testing methods might not be able to detect. Automation has more tremendous advantages than conventional testing methods, enabling businesses to develop high-quality products faster and with fewer defects. Companies that use agile development methods employ automation testing to handle continuous development and deployment.

Automation Testing Benefits in Agile Development

Automation testing serves as the basis of Agile software development methodology because of the benefits that it offers. Automation enhances the revenue, brand recognition and retention of customers.It aids companies in meeting industry standards, establishing market authority, and ensuring the timely delivery of high-quality software or applications.

Here are some substantial benefits of implementing automation in agile development.

Quicker Go To Market

Automation enhances the overall efficiency of the product development. Since testing is performed at each stage of the agile process, any issues or bugs detected are corrected early. This saves significant time and reduces the software’s time to market. Automated tests are quick to complete and can be repeated any number of times. Automation testing allows for more frequent updates, faster app improvements and enhancements, a shorter product development cycle, and faster time-to-market delivery.

Accelerated Speed & Accuracy

Test automation reduces human errors dramatically, resulting in more accurate test outcomes. Automated test cases are reusable, meaning they can be run several times in the same or different ways. Automation allows test practitioners to focus on more complex, case-specific assessments while automated software performs routine, often redundant, and time-consuming tests. Automation thus reduces time and effort by delivering results more quickly.

Higher Test Coverage & Performance

Automated software tests vastly increase software quality by increasing the scope and depth of testing. It allows for more detailed analysis and evaluation of various software components, which is rarely possible through a manual testing approach. With automated testing, you can quickly build a large number of test cases, even complicated and lengthy ones. It enables you to execute hundreds of automated test cases at once, allowing you to quickly test the app across various platforms and devices. This is something you can’t do if you decide to test the application manually. Furthermore, automatic tests can be performed with little human intervention, resulting in greater resource efficiency.

Cost Reduction

In the long run, automated testing is less expensive because once you’ve developed the test scripts, you can reuse them at any time without incurring extra costs. Although automated agile testing is often seen as an expensive endeavor, the initial investment in automation will pay off quickly. The return on investment is measured by the number of automated tests; the higher the count, the higher the ROI. Furthermore, defect documentation in each sprint and routine repository maintenance contribute to early defect identification, which decreases post-production failures and, as a result, project costs.

Test Automation Challenges

Despite the numerous advantages of an automation framework, implementing test automation is not easy. While there are multiple advantages to product engineering automation, there are numerous challenges when it comes to implementing automation testing in an agile environment. The most significant barrier is the upfront expense, which includes training, tooling, configuring, automating, and so on. Also, legacy applications may not be compatible with newer DevOps and Test Automation tools. Since Open Source tools are widely used for automation, a number of security concerns are raised. As a result, a well-organized test automation process may help mitigate these issues.

Agile practices lead companies to better and more advanced software development. The approach to automation testing in an agile environment is determined by the project’s requirements, as different projects need different automation tools. To get the most out of agile automation testing, we suggest that businesses looking to automate should find a strategic partner with prior experience in product engineering automation to increase their chances of success. One can find many IT service providers who excel in automation testing services, and Estuate is one among them. Consult our experts to learn how to increase efficiency and productivity with a well-thought-out automation strategy.

Scriptless Test Automation (STA): A new lightweight approach to Software Testing

“Scriptless testing allows non-testing business participants to understand the process, analyze test cases and see a better picture of what the tester is doing. STA approach offers outstanding benefits such as efficiency and cost savings.”

With Agile and DevOps, there is no scope to waste time, as more frequent releases are required to keep pace with an extremely competitive market. Software testing has drastically changed to enable rapid software launches of the highest quality. Most developers have indeed accepted that the “low-code / no-code” techniques of today are an efficient way to fulfil the relentless demand for faster applications. So why don’t we go with the developers’ suggestion and follow a modern, lightweight approach to testing instead of sticking with the high-maintenance, script-based testing approach that was designed decades ago?

What is Scriptless Test Automation?

Scriptless Test Automation (STA) is a method to build automated test scripts, having no coding or programming skills. STA enables testers and business users to perform automation tests without scripting and helps to generate faster results, minimizing the time and effort spent on understanding code. STA provides an optimal mix of functional and technical expertise by merely using keyword abstractions as inputs to create test steps, modify methods, and selecting the appropriate options for a specific problem. In other words, it allows other business participants with no testing background to understand the process, evaluate test cases, and see a better picture of what the tester is doing. Overall, script-free testing makes automation simpler, more understandable, easier to use and optimizes testing automation efforts.

Scriptless testing tool and it’s working

A scriptless test automation (STA) tool offers an abstraction from the test automation code that concentrates mainly on validating business logic. The STA tool drastically simplifies the manual effort required to build a test case. Instead of writing code, you simply need to define the steps to be performed, and the tool will convert those manual steps internally into the actual execution code behind the scenes during the test execution. In the end, you can view the report of test execution outcomes without any code writing.

What is the need for Scriptless Test Automation?

Scriptless tool will help to reduce the time involved in the development of automated tests, but it is not a proxy for the actual encoding. Scriptless automation allows manual testers to use their testing skills to create automated test cases for different test scenarios to test the core features of the products. With Scriptless Test Automation, you can bring your product to the market faster than ever before. Scriptless testing requires less time to be spent on automation, increases productivity, reduces costs and is highly versatile enough to satisfy increased testing demands. The scriptless approach is something that even manual testers can use without acquiring any new skills. Implementing STA saves money which could be invested in upskilling manual testers, instead of recruiting automation test engineers who tend to be very costly.

Scriptless or Scripted testing?

The decision to use scriptless or script-based testing depends on your test goals and the amount of testing required for your project. Instead of manually writing codes, Scriptless uses Graphical User Interface such as visual drop-down menus to create tests that measure the performance of the system. Scriptless testing automates high-level testing and usability features using the GUI environment, which is much simpler and quicker to do than writing scripts for each change in code. Automated scriptless testing is mainly used to evaluate high-level function verification and scalability for potential functionality enhancements. On the contrary, Code-based testing is performed to test a feature in-depth which includes all its parameters and logical pathways to be verified with a variety of test scenario combinations. The Scriptless test automation approach offers outstanding benefits, such as efficiency and cost savings. It enables quicker script design and development, making automation faster, thus improving time to market. This approach allows business users to engage in the QA process and to provide useful reviews to strengthen the quality of the final product. Test creation, maintenance of test script and performance efficiency are highly reliant on the test automation framework that you select and are crucial to the success of any test automation process. With several scriptless test automation tools being available in the market, it is vital to pick a solid framework that supports each application of your Project. Opting Estuate’s e-TAS web automation tool can be the ideal solution to meet the needs and requirements of Agile testing for rapid software releases and to achieve substantial cost savings.

Lightweight Testing Automation Framework – A critical component of your digital journey

Every organization runs its business using software, and such softwares should be thoroughly tested before it gets released into the market. At this stage, automation testing is essential for the rapid release of effective and secure software products. To achieve this, the testing team adopts automation frameworks as it helps them to manage complicated testing tasks within the PDCA (Plan-DO-Check-Act) cycle even with less experience.

Automation frameworks form an integral part of any automation testing process. It acts as a pillar in the successful completion of automation projects. The framework helps the QA team in their testing efforts, improves test speed and accuracy, and increases test efficiency by providing a high return on investments (ROI). Framework implementation reduces overall maintenance costs and optimizes the agile testing process. Ideally, lightweight test automation frameworks are considered as they are designed explicitly to automate the regression tests.

Let’s understand the Lightweight Testing Automation Framework

Lightweight Testing Automation Framework (LTAF) is a tool designed to perform integration and regression tests by enabling web browser scripting to perform subsequent actions against the application interface. LTAF simulates operations similar to an actual user action, such as texting, clicking links, scrolling the page, submitting buttons, and simultaneously verifying the expected results in the browser window. LTAF is termed as lightweight as it involves relatively simple programs or less code. The lightweight automation tool is predominantly associated with the agile software development method.

You can consider a variety of automation framework approaches for your industry. To list a few, we have open-source, commercial, and heavyweight test automation frameworks. Compared to all of these, Lightweight automation framework implementation is quicker, with significant benefits. Lightweight frameworks are used to ramp-up the regression test, which involves testing an application to ensure that the existing functionalities are not affected due to the introduction of new code updates or enhancements.

Test Automation Framework benefits:

The automation tools are essential to improve the efficiency of testing processes. Its implementation strengthens the testing process enormously, ensuring:

Code Reusability – Allows quick re-use of existing code or functions to create a new program without re-writing it again.

Cost-effectiveness – Cloud-based automation frameworks enable you to execute unlimited projects that are made available worldwide to unlimited users.

Customizable UI / Features /Reports – Customizable frameworks help in creating user-friendly reports.

Flexible to add new features – Integration of manual test case with the automation tool allows the QA team to make quick decisions about test cases requiring automation.

Fast and easier implementation – Simple architecture and design make it easier for tool implementation.

Maximum test coverage – Improves testing consistency by optimizing code coverage and providing test cases for all functionalities of the program.

Less maintenance and dependency– Frameworks aids with quick test script creation. Test scripts generated are independent of platform and test applications.

e-TAS – Web Automation Tool

Estuate has developed one such robust, in-house lightweight web automation tool called eTAS (Estuate Test Automation Solution). eTAS is a highly efficient and customizable tool with convenient features that delivers quick and precise results with minimal manual intervention. The tool uses a parameterized – keyword driven framework to automate regression tests for an application.

Some of the eTAS features include:

  • Script-less automation – Adopts scriptless automation approach for automating test cases. This approach helps the QA team to embrace automation without worrying too much about scripting.
  • Simple architecture – A simple design that requires limited human interaction for its operation. The tool helps in creating useful automation scripts that are independent of the test application.
  •  User-friendly graphical results – Generates accurate and real-time test reports leading to improved software quality.
  • Smooth test execution at client systems.- Ensures faster, low-cost test execution and aims to achieve faster results.
  • Global and local object repository – Supports both the default and shared object repository. 
  • Multi-browser compatibility – Compatible with other open-source software and applications, and also supports various browsers such as Google Chrome, Microsoft IE, Apple Safari, and Mozilla firefox.
  • Open-source selenium as a platform – The keyword-driven framework uses Selenium and Java as its base, which makes it easier for testers to build code with minimal coding skills.

It’s quite a challenging task to select an appropriate automation tool or framework for your project from a wide variety of unique featured tools. While choosing an automation tool, you need to evaluate if it meets your particular tool requirements and accordingly narrow down your search for a suitable tool that satisfies your needs. It is imperative to note that the tool vendors can provide continuous maintenance, upgrades, and support throughout the project completion. 

Estuate’s eTAS favors testing teams to design and execute UI and functional tests through web and mobile applications, and it offers a robust framework and stable support for the development and maintenance of automated test projects.

Testing as a Service – a Booming trend with Benefits

Need an enhanced product that is competent enough with no compromise on quality? Or do you want to deliver a software product with no in house testing team? All this requires technical expertise that experts can provide. However, what if the technical experts you need aren’t on your payroll?

Well, that’s why firms are embracing this Cloud model QA -TaaS. It brings a new dimension to the software community. The enterprises which implement this model enjoy on-demand and versatile access to services at the right time at a reasonable price.

What is TaaS?

Testing as a Service (TaaS) – is a model in which the testing process is outsourced to the service provider or a third party company, who specializes in creating test environments, perform testing, and deliver test results as per client requirements. TaaS has proved significant benefits over conventional testing environments in the past. The TaaS model comes with a lot of advantages.

Benefits of adopting the TaaS model into business:

  • Reduces cost – Requires fewer investments in setting up servers, tools, operating systems, and so on.
  • Offers a Pay-per-use service – Pay only for the services opted.
  • 24X7 service availability – Services are accessible anytime, anywhere.
  • Customizable – Flexible enough to meet the constantly changing needs of cloud QA.
  • Highly scalable – Ensures rapid test results through rapid procurement, project setup and testing.
  • The entire infrastructure is hosted on the Cloud- Centralized test environment that eliminates hardware and software investments.

Avail various types of tests on your application with TaaS, for instance:

  • Functional – checks for feature functionality
  • Performance – checks for system speed and response time
  • Load/Stress – checks for system performance in unfavourable conditions
  • Regression – Iterate functional and non-functional tests.

So how important is testing in the software process?

Testing is imminent if your application involves the latest techniques and technology. Nowadays, customers have the flexibility to rate your application. So one bug reported will stand a chance to lose all your potential customers. To overcome this risk, you need to have a quality product that is bug-free released into the market. It requires a stable and dedicated test team whose main focus is to deliver High-quality product, which is very crucial for your company.

Is your company ready for TaaS?

Unlike booming social networking sites like Facebook, Whatsapp, Google, and all software companies do not have enough privilege to test their products with real-time customers. They must invest time and money on resources and infrastructure, which is not feasible.

So what do you bring home when you engage in an Estuate’s cloud QA?

  • Get an end product that fulfils your requirements.
  • A high-quality product that is reliable and error-free.
  • Customer appreciations leading to business optimization.
  • End to end testing service management to reduce costs with software maintenance.

With the increasing demand for testing, it is challenging for smaller enterprises and software companies to have a full-fledged team and environment deployed for the testing process. No matter how big or small is the company size, TaaS can be tailored to any size.